Bill Ayers: Terrorist and Teacher

I was once told that when you are at a crossroads and wondering where to go, you ask yourself, “What is the worst case scenario?” And then you seriously consider if you can live with those consequences. So what is the worst case scenario in this Bill Ayers situation. That Obama was friends with this man. I’m going to go out on a limb and say EVERY politician will lie about their “friends.” It’s not an aspect I like about politics. Sadly, I believe both McCain and Obama have denied relationships with some ugly people (I mean corrupt financiers more than “terrorists/activists”). So let’s say Obama has lied about this relationships with Bill Ayers. The worst case scenario is that Obama has conversations with Bill Ayers where they look at the way the country works and shake their heads and consider “out of the box” solutions. Worst case scenario, Ayers believes in violence as a justifiable means to his definition of justice. That’s pretty bad.

So let’s follow this scenario. IS IT the worst case scenario? Could Obama have been friends with Ayers? Could he still be friends with Ayers? Sure. Only Obama and Ayers know the extent of their relationship as well as how Ayers has influenced Obama over the years. Is Bill Ayers a violent Anti-American who is only limited by age and lack of support in a desire to bomb the White House? Well, strangely, there’s the rub.

Huh…that’s our unrepentant terrorist.

So let’s dig a little deeper…That quote FOX plays over and over is from a speech Ayers did at Univ or North Dakota…and here’s an interesting reaction from someone who was there. If I understand this right, he wasn’t telling those students he didn’t regret his actions. It looks like the quote was “found” by Young Americans for Freedom who were protesting at this event. Was he reading off of this YAF print out? Seems like it. I’m still trying to find a fuller video of the event. And when I read this article from Dakota Student, he actually does have regrets. “you can’t be 63 and not have regrets.”

So the overall speech was inspiring to many students that day. Ayers usually is. Many of the videos I found of Ayers shows him an articulate, peaceful man. If he’s hell-bent on anything, he’s hell-bent on getting teachers to teach responsibly. On showing them the responsibility they have with impressionable minds. Clarification: he does NOT tell teachers to show kids how to make bombs and “do enough.”

So…the nitty gritty. Did Bill Ayers say bombing was not enough? Yes and no. A reviewer in the New York Times said he said it. She also says he realized his youthful arrogance. And was “embarassed” when seeing a documentary on the Weathermen. Is there remorse? Seems like it. Is there enough remorse? That is a clincher. He says the Weathermen were arrogant. Solipsistic. He left the group of his own accord. He surrendered. But when pressed, he begs for perspective. So is Ayers the unapologetic terrorist? Not really. He is an older man with many regrets and a lot of growth.

He is radical. It cannot be denied. He is liberal for sure. He has a violent past. He has very unique views on the 60’s and the icons of that time. I don’t agree with everything he says. However, the hour or so of video I just unearthed thanks to YouTube and Google and my uncanny ability to search the net, has been quite inspiring. Beautiful, in fact.

What little I have learned is this. Ayers, is not the demon he has been painted to be. He is a man with aspirations to sit with angels. He is a teacher. And an inspiration.

So worst case scenario, Obama has listened to an eloquent speaker who denounces war. Who wants peace. Who believes in justice. Who believes teachers are gatekeepers to our futures. Who believes every person should see who they are in history, their place in the world….and then change the world from where they stand.

I have drawn my conclusion. I would completely understand fear of a man who can listen to Ayers with objectivity. But I do not fear that. I do not fear the challenge of mind a man like Ayers gives us. I welcome it. Ayers is honest. Because of that honesty. I can take his words and sift it through my own morality and feel richer for it. The real Ayers. Not the Ayers created in a political tug-of-war. I can live with a President who was in this man’s home. I actually find it refreshing.

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