Bill Ayers: Passive living as violent living

| November 18, 2008 | 1 Reply

Bill Ayers talked with Salon.com, exploring many issues.   I was especially interested in his characterization of those Americans who would argue that they are passive or non-violent by the fact that they are not, themselves, physically violent.  Per Ayers, there is no “neutral” when one’s country is perpetrating despicable violence.

Why didn’t Ayers come forward with an interview prior to this?

Q: But I e-mailed you during the campaign and asked, “Do you want to talk about this?” And you said, “Thanks, great to hear from you, but not at this time.”

A: Well, what I didn’t want to comment on was the political campaign. I didn’t want to enter into that. The reason is simple: I thought that I was being used as a prop in a very dishonest narrative — and I didn’t want to be part of the narrative and I couldn’t find a way to interrupt it. Anything that I said was going to feed that narrative. So I felt that part of this was the demonization of me — certainly that I’m some kind of toxic agent that has to be feared.

The second thing, and perhaps more important, is that I was being used to try to bring down this promising new leader by the old tactic of guilt by association. The idea that somehow — and this is deep in the American political culture — that if two people share a bus downtown, have a cup of coffee, have several conversations, that somehow means that they share an outlook, a perspective, responsibility for one another’s behavior. And I reject that. That guilt by association is wrong and we shouldn’t buy into it.

From CNN, we now learn what kind of “terrorist” Ayers was:

The Weather Underground bomb at the Pentagon went off in a women’s restroom on the Air Force wing, causing extensive flooding that destroyed some classified computer tapes. The Capitol bomb was set in a men’s restroom and caused about $100,000 in damage.
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Both bombs were preceded by warnings that they would take place and caused no injuries or deaths, as was the case with about 20 other bombings for which the group claimed responsibility.

“Terrorist?”  Why wasn’t this information widely publicized during the campaign?

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Category: American Culture, law and order, Politics, War

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Tim Hogan says:

    Ayers was on "Fresh Air" today on PBS. His 2001 book has been reprinted with a new afterward. Good job, McCain-Palin!

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