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Sunday, October 05, 2008
Brokaw claims Ayers is now a mere "school reformer"
My latest guest-post at HughHewitt.com ponders how Tom Brokaw can revere the Greatest Generation's heroism in the 1940s, yet dismiss Bill Ayers' terrorism in the 1960s and 1970s, and call him a mere "school reformer" despite his present radical plans to turn our educational system on its head and turn every teacher into a "community activist" to teach against "oppression."
[Copied here for archival purposes on November 5, 2008, from the post linked above at HughHewitt.com.]
(Guest Post by Bill Dyer a/k/a Beldar)
I like Tom Brokaw. I really liked his 1998 book, The Greatest Generation. Because I like him, I sometimes almost persuade myself to forget that he, like the entire old-media structure of which he's a conspicuous part, is a liberal who oftentimes willfully blinds himself to reality. That's the only way that this morning on "Meet the Press," he could make a statement like this, on the topic of whether the McCain-Palin campaign is "going more negative":
Well, they've already signaled that they're going to come out pretty hard on — uh, attacks on what they called [Obama's] absence of character and his absence of leadership qualities. In fact, there was a story in the New York Times just in the last couple of days about [Obama's] association with William Ayers, who'd been a member of the Weathermen, who were a radical group from the 1970s, and who's now a school reformer in Illinois.
Later, during the round-table discussion with other pundits, Mr. Brokaw again pointedly referred to Ayers as "now a school reformer from Illinois."
"Now a school reformer"? I suppose that's literally true, if shamefully misleading. Bill Ayers wants to "reform" American education in the same way that he wants to "reform" America — as in, literally "re-forming" it after he's blown it all to pieces. From Stanley Kurtz' reporting in the Wall Stree Journal:
The [Chicago Annenberg Challenge's] agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers's educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland's ghetto.
In works like "City Kids, City Teachers" and "Teaching the Personal and the Political," Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? "I'm a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist," Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk's, "Sixties Radicals," at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC....
Mr. Ayers's defenders claim that he has redeemed himself with public-spirited education work. That claim is hard to swallow if you understand that he views his education work as an effort to stoke resistance to an oppressive American system... For Mr. Ayers, teaching and his 1960s radicalism are two sides of the same coin.
Mr. Ayers is the founder of the "small schools" movement (heavily funded by CAC), in which individual schools built around specific political themes push students to "confront issues of inequity, war, and violence." He believes teacher education programs should serve as "sites of resistance" to an oppressive system. (His teacher-training programs were also CAC funded.) The point, says Mr. Ayers in his "Teaching Toward Freedom," is to "teach against oppression," against America's history of evil and racism, thereby forcing social transformation.
That's the modern Bill Ayers. And it's the modern Bill Ayers who posed for a magazine article entitled No Regrets while proudly stomping on an American flag.
Bill Ayers, not in the 1960s, but in 2001
Sure, Justice Scalia and I would both defend this twisted dollop of evil scum's First Amendment right to profane America's most sacred symbols. But no one has to ignore the fact that he's scum. No one has to give a free pass (or a vote) to politicians like Barack Obama who — despite knowing both Ayers' radical history and radical present — have consistently chosen to associate with Ayers, to cooperate with him, and to hand out small fortunes to support Ayers' radical goals to "re-form" the educational system.
Do you want another example of cognitive dissonance? It's how someone like Tom Brokaw can simultaneously (a) revere as "our greatest generation" the ordinary Americans who put their lives on the line for that same flag in the 1940s, but yet (b) defend and embrace as a "school reformer" an unrepentant terrorist, bomb planter and would-be cop-killer from the 1960s and 1970s who even now boasts that he "walked out of a jail cell and directly into [his] first teaching job." What, we're supposed to pay attention to the 1940s, yet ignore the 1960s, 1970s, and the present?
I hope that Mr. Brokaw will rise above his innate liberal bias and do a fair job in moderating this week's presidential debate. But don't persuade yourself that he's not a liberal, or that he sees the world through anything but a liberal's blinkered world-view.
Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to Brokaw claims Ayers is now a mere "school reformer" and sent a trackback ping are listed here:
(1) stan made the following comment | Oct 5, 2008 2:53:49 PM | Permalink
Check this out http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/10/enough_already.html
I agree. When are we going to stop whining about the bias and start doing something effective about getting the truth out to the people?
(2) Paul_In_Houston made the following comment | Oct 6, 2008 10:35:09 AM | Permalink
You must have really hit a nerve on this one; as of 10:30 AM CST, 06 Oct 2008, there are 253 comments at Townhall on this.
Usually, when the number hits the high double-digits, it's likely the comments cesspool is too toxic to be worth wading in.
(3) stan made the following comment | Oct 7, 2008 9:20:15 AM | Permalink
I'm curious about your take on the hapless quality of the responses many on the left throw out (up?) to the concerns raised about Ayers. It was a long time ago, he's just an educator, guilt by association, etc. I don't know if they just aren't capable of understanding the point or they do, and are deliberately throwing up irrelevant smoke screens. [i.e. are they incompetent in their understanding or corrupt in their intent?]
(4) Paul_In_Houston made the following comment | Oct 7, 2008 11:21:19 AM | Permalink
Stan, Bill will almost certainly have better take, but I suspect it is that they simply don't want to understand.
It would be heretical to their religion (and I really believe there is no other word than religion to describe their blind devotion to this man).
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