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Ayer-ing Grievences

Remember Bill Ayers?  The man the McCain campaign tried to tie to Obama so they could say he "palled around with terrorists?"  If you don't, please consult this video:





(Yes, this ad was banned from regular broadcast from what I can only conjecture was due to it's blatant innacuracies and ridiculousness)  Anyway, Ayers is back in the spotlight, at least locally, after recently being asked to speak at Boston College by two of its student groups.  

Ayers, a distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, was scheduled to give a talk on education reform in America.  The talk, however, was cancelled due to what the university called a safety issue.  This excuse seems tenuous at best.  Let's explore why:

Safety Concerns?  Some people believe Ayers was involved in the killing of a Brighton police officer, Walter Schroeder, in 1970.  While no one condones murder, especially of those who serve and protect us everyday, someone should not be held accountable for something he did not do.  Ayers was never even charged with any involvement with the bank robbery that led to Schroeder's death.  According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, a Web site that pays tribute to law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, all of the people involved with the robbery were caught, tried, and convicted. 

"The trigger man was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole, but has been denied parole each time. The other gang members were all sentenced to prison but are now mostly freed." Even after the students groups offered to have set up a satelite feed, the university continued to ban the event.  Maybe they're concerned a wire would short out.

Any safety concerns by protesters against Bill Ayers can be attributed to conservative radio talk show host (stop me if you've heard this one before) Michael Graham after he railed against BC for allowing an "unrepentant" terrorist to give a talk.

If he was afraid of the corruption of young minds, that claim is about as bogus as Glen Beck's assertion that Al Gore is creating a Neo-Hitler Youth.

I formerly put "unrepentant" in quotes because the conservatives love to say how "unrepentant" Bill Ayers was for killing all those people he didn't kill.  The aforementioned people love to take his comment "I wish we had done more," out of context, completely dismissing Ayers' clarification on this statement. Furthermore, according to Chicagotribune.com, Ayers feels regret “in helping [to] found a group that carried out bombings during the Vietnam War.”  So, I open the explanation of Ayer’s being “unrepentant” up for discussion as long it doesn’t involve something to the effect that he had his fingers crossed behind his back, he didn’t cross his heart and hope to die, or he didn’t pinky swear with you.

If you want to read a full description of the situation at Boston College, read this.

Yesterday, Michael Graham responded to liberal criticism with these comparisons:

"Ayers’ defenders insist that free speech demands we ignore his actions and heed only his ideas. Really? So if Tim McVeigh were alive, he’d be speaking at BC, too? How about an invite for the Grand Wizard of the KKK?
And I’d love to see how women’s groups react when BC invites O.J. Simpson to discuss property rights. After all, O.J. was never convicted of murder, either."

Just for fun, let’s laugh about how ridiculous these comparisons are.
1)    Timothy McVeigh only had a high school diploma. Thus, his particular insight into education reform may not be useful.  Too speculative? Maybe.  But I would still prefer a university education professor’s perspective.  Oh yeah, and Tim McVeigh was convicted of killing 168 people.  Bill Ayers hasn’t even been charged with killing anyone.
2)    A Grand Wizard of the KKK?  Like David Duke. A member of your political party?  Yeah, BC could invite him to speak and it would probably be protested.  But would it get cancelled?  I bet that's highly unlikely.
3)    O.J. Simpson on property rights?  Again, Bill Ayers was never convicted let alone charged. O.J., on the other hand, resides as an inmate in Lovelock Correction Center in Nevada.
 

- Brendan Jackson, Boston College student

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