Corrupting the Youth
Ayers has acknowledged committing crimes during his underground days—crimes that arguably amounted to treason. Yet thanks to procedural complications and a lack of witnesses, he never went to trial or to jail. A few years after stepping out of the shadows, Ayers reflected on his odyssey in a conversation with journalists Peter Collier and David Horowitz: “Guilty as hell, free as a bird—America is a great country,” he exulted.
Ayers has devoted his post-Weatherman life to 'educating' the American youth.
These days, Ayers carries the joint titles of Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago. One of his several books on the moral imperative of teaching for social justice is a bestseller in ed-school courses. Like many other tenured and well-heeled radicals, Ayers keeps hoping for a revolutionary upheaval that will finally bring down American capitalism and imperialism. But now, instead of planting bombs in bathrooms, he has been planting the seeds of resistance and rebellion in America’s future teachers, who will then pass on the lessons to the students in their classrooms.
Those ideas are arguably more potent than a few potent than a few pounds of explosive. It would be interesting to find out what Senator Obama thought, not of Ayers the Weatherman, but of Ayers the educator. Ayers apparently thinks very highly of Obama, going so far as to sponsor an event for Obama in his own home, which Obama attended.
Education is a subset of the process of learning. It provides the educated with a framework though which to view the world, gives the child the algorithms to interpret what his senses discern. It is the forge of the next generation, one of the main ways in which culture is passed. The Huffington Post characterizes Obama's relationship to Ayers as "scant". Less scant, perhaps than his relationship with Tony Rezko but more scant than his acquaintance with Nahdmi Auchi, who now it turns out, he really did meet.
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