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William Ayers says He’s a Family Friend of the Obama’s

This just out in the November 14th edition of the Chicago Tribune:

In a new afterword to his memoir, 1960s radical William Ayers describes himself as a “family friend” of President-elect Barack Obama and writes that the campaign controversy over their relationship was an effort by Obama’s political enemies to “deepen a dishonest narrative” about the candidate. <snip>

He’ll appear Friday on “Good Morning America” to promote the re-issue of his book this week. The Tribune obtained a copy of the updated material.

In it, Ayers — who did not respond to requests for comment — summarized his relationship with Obama: “[W]e had served together on the board of a foundation, knew one another as neighbors and family friends, held an initial fund-raiser at my house, where I’d made a small donation to his earliest political campaign.”

Ayers lamented that his relationship with Obama became an issue.

“The more serious point is that Obama was asked once more to defend something that ought to be at the very heart of democracy: the importance of talking to many people in this complicated and wildly diverse society, of listening with the possibility of learning something new, of speaking with the possibility of persuading or influencing others. … In a robust and sophisticated democracy, political leaders, indeed, all of us, would seek out ways to talk with many people who hold dissenting, even radical, ideas.”

Read Full Story Here

What?  “Knew one another as neighbors and family friends.”  Should engage each other even those with radical ideas?  Hmmm, doesn’t seem like that’s what we heard before the election.

The reason I find this so disturbing is not because I think Barack Obama “palled around with a domestic terrorist” (Palin’s description on the campaign trail).  There is absolutely no doubt that during the 60s and 70s, William Ayers was a domestic terrorist, but let us remember that the Vietnam War was a very turbulent time in this country.  Anti war movements were everywhere; drug use ran rampant.  In some respects, the youth of our country during that time were not in their right mind for many reasons.  I am not offering excuses for them, but an understanding.

The reason I find a relationship between William Ayers and Barack Obama so disturbing is what William Ayers represents today.  It’s not that Ayers was a domestic terrorist, it is that he, today, remains a man with a radical left agenda with the purpose of indoctrinating our youth.  William Ayers believe it or not is a very honest guy.  He speaks openly about his current beliefs.

In interviews held in April 2002, William Ayers stated the following:

I considered myself partly an anarchist then and I consider myself partly an anarchist now.  I mean I’m as much an anarchist as I am a Marxist which is to say you know I find a lot of the ideas in anarchism appealing.

During a time where both William Ayers and Barack Obama attended a conference in April of 2002, Ayers stated:

I’m very open about what I think and nobody here is surprised about what I think.  But at the same time, there is a struggle over various religious fundamentalism, Jihad being the most visible.  But the religious fundamentalism of the Christians and the Jews is equally as troubling.

Is one of those regrets that I took extreme measures against the United States at a time of tremendous crisis, no it is not.  I don’t regret that.  The people of the world are being exploited and oppressed and militarized by the great imperialist powers led by the United States, that is the situation today in my view.  It’s a situation we should all be horrified at and we should all oppose.

The White Panther party was a group of cultural revolutionaries mainly.  They were are artists and anarchists and drug, dope smokers and a really good group of people.  We create felons by having these archaic puritan drug laws that make no sense whatsoever in any logical way so in that sense I still feel like an anarchist.  I don’t feel like the rules apply and if they don’t apply, I don’t feel like you should follow them. 

See a video of these comments here

I wanted to give you a little taste of William Ayers, but there are many videos and audios on YouTube where William Ayers is very forthcoming with his views.  In the link I’ve given you above the video goes on to make comparisons between William Ayers’ beliefs and those of Barack Obama, and I encourage you to watch it in its entirety.

So the question really becomes is William Ayers the type of person that you would have as a family friend?  Again, I appreciate Mr. Ayers honesty and that he is not one to hide his views, but seriously should the President-elect of the United States of America be a family friend of this man?  And why does this family friend relationship information come to us after the election?  Will the main stream media finally investigate this relationship?  How many times do the American people need to be lied to before they wake up and understand the associations in Mr. Obama’s recent past?

You know the answers to these questions.  Those who pay attention and do not take their spoon feeding from the main stream media know the answers to these questions.

Written by KJ Kaufman

November 14, 2008 at 1:25 am

5 Responses

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  1. Your comments are misleading, to the unfortunate point of being false. Here is some useful information.


    CHICAGO (AP) — Vietnam-era radical Bill Ayers said Friday that he doesn’t know President-elect Barack Obama any better than “thousands of other Chicagoans” and that the two never talked about Ayers’ anti-war activities.

    In a television interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” the college professor disputed the contention that in the new afterword of a paperback edition of his 2001 memoir “Fugitive Days” he describes himself and Obama as “family friends.”

    “I’m describing there how the blogosphere characterized the relationship,” Ayers said. “I would really say that we knew each other in a professional way, again on the same level as say thousands of other people.”

    In fact, Ayers said he didn’t even know Obama when he hosted a coffee early in Obama’s political career at Ayers’ home in the Chicago neighborhood where the two live. Ayers added that he agreed to have the meet-the-candidate event after a state senator asked him to.

    “I think he was probably in 20 homes that day as far as I know,” said Ayers, who has declined interview requests from The Associated Press. “But that was the first time I really met him.”

    In the afterword of his book’s new release, Ayers wrote: “In 2008 there was a lot of chatter on the blogosphere about my relationship with Barack Obama: we had served together on the board of a foundation, knew one another as neighbors and family friends, held an initial fundraiser at my house, where I’d made a small donation to his earliest political campaign.”


    Ayers, an author and education professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said he thought the accusation by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin that Obama had been “palling around with terrorists” was absurd.

    “Pal around together? What does that mean? Share a milkshake with two straws?” Ayers said in his first interview since the controversy began. “I think my relationship with Obama was probably like thousands of others in Chicago. And, like millions and millions of others, I wish I knew him better.”

    In the late 1960s, the Weather Underground, a radical offshoot of the antiwar movement, asserted responsibility for roughly a dozen bombings. Among the targets were the Pentagon, the Capitol, police stations, banks and courthouses.

    Three of the conspirators were killed in the 1970s when a bomb exploded prematurely, but no one else was injured in a campaign described by one critic as “immensely bad ideas and dreadful tactics.”

    In a story that appeared in the New York Times on Sept. 11, 2001, Ayers was quoted as saying that he did not regret setting bombs. He told the reporter, “I feel we didn’t do enough.”

    The depiction of Ayers as an “unrepentant terrorist” caught on.

    Asked yesterday if he wishes he had set more bombs, Ayers answered, “Never.” He also said he had regrets.

    “I wish I’d been wiser,” he said. “I wish I’d been more effective. I wish I’d been more unifying. I wish I’d been more principled.”

    History has shown of the Vietnam War that “those who opposed it were on the right side,” Ayers said. But he said some of his early rhetoric was “juvenile.”


    In the updated version of his 2001 book “Fugitive Days,” Ayers calls into question one of the more incendiary quotes attributed to him during the campaign: “I’m nowadays often quoted as saying, ‘I don’t regret setting bombs. I wish we’d set more bombs. I don’t think we did enough.’

    “I never actually said that I ’set bombs,’ nor that I wished there were ‘more bombs.’ … I killed no one, and I harmed no one, and I didn’t regret for a minute resisting the murderous assault on Viet Nam with every ounce of my being.”

    He was particularly disturbed by a newspaper headline published in 2001: “No regrets for a love of explosives.”

    “That’s neither my narrative nor my sentiment,” Ayers wrote, “but the idea was seized upon by the neocon media machine: I was an unrepentant and violent terrorist.”

    Please, help spread the word, the truth:

    • It is a lie to say Ayers is an “unrepentant terrorist.”

    In fact, he never harmed anyone himself, and is is in fact sorry for many of the things the Underground said and did.

    • It is a lie to say Ayers was a “family friend” of the Obamas. That quote is taken out of context.

    I appreciate whatever your blog can do to set the facts straight and end the lies and falsehoods on this subject.



    November 15, 2008 at 10:45 am

  2. I appreciate your point of view, but you have to agree that Ayers tends to twist words a bit. In addition, he portrayed or characterized his actions during the Vietnam War era quite differently yesterday on Good Morning America then what actually really occurred. You have to ask yourself how truthful William Ayers is being today when he claims the was not a domestic terrorist. What else would you call it? It is clear that very early in the Weather Underground movement that they wished to do physical harm in fact kill people. It was only after one of the bombs they were making to kill both military and innocent civilians at a dance that blew up in their apartment and killed William Ayers’s girlfriend shifted their movement toward attempting to not kill anyone in their bombings. But they still chose to use bombs which by their nature you cannot ensure that you will not kill anyone when you set one off.

    Please step back yourself and think about his actions. They are the actions of a terrorist (there is no way to sugar coat it), and until he fully admits to his actions he will forever remain unrepentent.


    November 15, 2008 at 11:04 am

  3. curi0us0nefromthe60s: “until he fully admits to his actions he will forever remain unrepentent.”

    Define “fully admits to his actions.”

    The Underground was a radical organization. They did a lot of things that were wrong. It literally blew up in their faces.

    If you’re a Catholic, and believe that the only way Ayers can make amends is thru some kind of confession, well, don’t hold your breath. What isn’t discussed much is government malfeasance (especially by the FBI) with regard to the Underground, which ultimately led to charges against Ayers being dropped, but which have also hardened the comments he makes on that era.

    I think the real question is, can there be redemption without confession?

    What is not generally reported about Ayers is that since his radical days, he has devoted himself to scholarship and non-violent positive social change. This is the reason that Ayers and Obama know each other, beside the fact that they live in the same neighborhood.

    Here’s the bottom line: It is NOT true to say he IS a terrorist. Even if you want to argue he WAS a terrorist, the fact is, he is not the same man he was 40 years ago. He is now a respected scholar and a recognized expert on school reform. In 1997, Chicago awarded him its Citizen of the Year award for his work on school reform.

    But what’s the point of this discussion? It’s to say that the Bill Ayers of today is not a “terrorist that Obama palled with.”

    If truth matters, it would be fair to say that Ayers was a member of a radical and violent organization 40 years ago, but has left that life to become a useful, non-violent, and praiseworthy activist for school reform and other positive change. And that, it was in the capacity of being a non-violent activist for positive change that he met and worked with Obama.

    But I guess, if the assumption is that people cannot grow or evolve, that they are irredeemable, and that we must say they are today what they were 40 years ago… well, it’s a free country. All I can ask that people look at this with another viewpoint.


    November 15, 2008 at 12:49 pm

  4. I saw the GMA interview and he made several statement to contradict WHEN and WHY Obama first came to his house. It’s possible that they had socialized as couples for years before he lauched his political career. Just look at the time lines and then watch this interview! It shows that AYERS lied at least twice, maybe 4 times. {Good reason for him to keep quiet until Nov 14.}

    Walter Boyer

    November 15, 2008 at 2:53 pm

  5. Lunch Counter,

    I really appreciate your comments and the discourse we are having on this subject. It is very refreshing to be able to disagree without seeing the nastiness on so many other blogs. And I appreciate the intelligent discussion we are having here. Unfortunately, you and I still disagree.

    First, William Ayers’ Weather Underground acts were terrorism. Terrorism is defined by dictionary.com in part as:

    the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.

    That definition perfectly describes their acts in the 70s.

    Now, as far as has William Ayers growing up and changing as a person since those times, I understand your point, and the point you make is valid; however, I tend to disagree with you here as well. William Ayers is an admitted anarchist, and an admitted Marxist. You can listen to his own words on YouTube videos as recent as 2004 where he describes himself as a small “c” communist and a Marxist.

    Now, you may agree with socialism, communism and Marxism. I, however, do not accept these political ideologies in any way shape or form. And that is the danger I see in the present day William Ayers. I do not believe our universities should be teaching socialism and Marxism as a positive political ideology.

    I tie Mr. Obama to these political ideologies in that he participated on boards that were funneling money for education in support of William Ayers educational beliefs.

    I think it is unfortunate that our youth are no longer being taught at our highs schools and universities the dangers these political ideologies entail. History has shown their eventual outcomes.

    Again, I appreciate your comments on these matters and respect your comments even though I wholeheartedly disagree with them.


    November 15, 2008 at 2:56 pm

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