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Dean Millot's Comment on the Ayers AERA Affair

Regarding the Ayers affair, Dean Millot posted the following comment below and over at Flypaper, but it is worth reprinting in full:

I'm a lawyer now involved in k-12 education with a long background in national security.

Putting on my lawyer hat - Ayers was a fugitive from justice, but all charges against him were dropped in light of prosecutorial misconduct.

Putting on my national security hat - to describe him and the Weather Underground as terrorrists is a bit of hyberbole. As a tactic of political struggle, terrorism refers to the indiscriminate use of force against innocents. The Weather Underground targeted government and military facilities - and warned potential victims prior to their actions. Their actions were criminal, but they were not Al Quada, the IRA, Bader-Meinhoff, or the Red Army faction. It devalues the serious nature of terrorism to slap the label on every misguided or even deranged person with a bomb.

Putting on my k-12 hat, the man may have radical views, but presumably members of AERA havent found them to be a bar to his role in an norganization nfocused on research. If AERA is too radical for some, they might form a separate group.

As a citizen of this free society, I also have something to say. To call someone who has never been found guilty of of a violent crime, let alone terrorism - the highly charged word "terrorist," is to take political debate back to the atmosphere of McCarthyism. "If you don't agree with me, you must be a Communist - or in this case a terrorist (and I, by implication, must be a patriot)."

I don't agree with Mr Ayers politics or many of his views, but I'll be damned if I'm not going to protest actions and tactics that can only drag poitical discourse into the mud.

To paraphrase one historic response to Senator McCarthy - "Have you no shame?"

Dean wins.

Right on, Dean.

Maybe AERA members could find a leadership position for Eric Rudolph too? After all, he also mainly targeted facilities. Unfortunately, he's in jail which I can see as being a problem for some folks, since we're all apparently agreed that conviction -- not admission of guilt -- should be the standard here. It's unfortunate that Rudolph, unlike Ayers, doesn't have a powerful father to get him off the hook. But it's good to know that there are standards in who AERA members will nominate to represent them in leadership roles. And it's also good to know that not everyone carrying a bomb to advance a political agenda is a terrorist! Silly me. I thought that was the definition of terrorism. Let me get this straight... Threats of violence and destruction of government property: merely criminal, but certainly not irredeemable tactics to use to enhance democratic debate. I wonder if that's part of the social justice curriculum?

Bite me!

This is ridiculous. Ayers admitted committing criminal acts; he has been unrepentant of his criminal activities; and his current position involves attempting to brainwash student teachers into his twisted mindset.

But we can't call him a criminal? Well, that makes a lot of sense - another demented individual was never convicted of a crime - Adolf Hitler. And, for that matter, neither was Josef Stalin.

He's in good company there.

Comments are now closed for this post.


Recent Comments

  • Linda F: Bite me! This is ridiculous. Ayers admitted committing criminal acts; read more
  • DF: Maybe AERA members could find a leadership position for Eric read more
  • Kohlmoos: Right on, Dean. read more
  • JE: Dean wins. read more




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