At The Corner, Andy McCarthy focuses on the Bill Ayers that Barack Obama can’t deny knowing–Bill Ayers the education “reformer,” with whom Obama worked closely and whose “reform” projects Obama generously funded (with other people’s money, of course):
Ayers’s prior terrorism, while highly relevant, is not the essential point. The real issue is Ayers’s revolutionary leftism (at around the time Ayers and Obama began working on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, by the way, Ayers described himself as “a radical, Leftist, small â€˜câ€™ communistâ€).
Obama is clearly lying when he claims ignorance about Ayers’s terrorism, but even if you wanted to pretend otherwise, it is impossible that he was in the dark about Ayers’s revolutionary leftism: Ayers has never made a secret of it and can’t seem to help himself from mentioning it about every 30 seconds. Obama not only knew about Ayers’s views in this regard; he obviously subscribed to them: was a member of the Chicago New Party begun by the Democratic Socialists of America; he worked closely with Ayers on “education reform” for years, he approved of Ayers’s similarly fringe-Left views of the criminal justice system’s treatment of juvenile crime, and, we are learning, he was tightly aligned with ACORN, which he and Ayers funded and whose practices fit comfortably with the Ayers view of “participatory democracy.”
McCarthy quotes Ayers’ speech to Chavez and his comrades at length; here are couple of high points:
[M]y comrade and friend Luis Bonilla, a brilliant educator and inspiring fighter for justice â€¦ has taught me a great deal about the Bolivarian Revolution [i.e., Chavez’s movement] and about the profound educational reforms underway here in Venezuela under the leadership of President Chavez. We share the belief that education is the motor-force of revolution, and Iâ€™ve come to appreciate Luis as a major asset in both the Venezuelan and the international struggleâ€”I look forward to seeing how he and all of you continue to overcome the failings of capitalist education as you seek to create something truly new and deeply humaneâ€¦.
[Iâ€™ve] learned that education is never neutral. It always has a value, a position, a politics. Education either reinforces or challenges the existing social order, and school is always a contested spaceâ€”what should be taught? In what way? Toward what end? By and for whom? …
Venezuelans have shown the world that with full participation, full inclusion, and popular empowerment, the failing of capitalist schooling can be resisted and overcome. â€¦ [W]e, too, must build a project of radical imagination and fundamental change. Venezuela is poised to offer the world a new model of educationâ€”a humanizing and revolutionary model whose twin missions are enlightenment and liberation.
These are the views that Barack Obama funded in Chicago and with which he chose to ally himself. No wonder that a study later found that the many millions of dollars that Obama funneled to left-wing groups led to no improvement in the quality of education!
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