Despite writing a top notch critical article, Flanagan herself makes on error. She writes that they “combined a set of generally laudable goals- they wanted to end poverty, improve public schools and eradicate sexism and racism- with the leadership and tactics of an unrepentant street criminal with a gun fixation.” Their so-called laudable goals, however, were but an excuse for the criminal activity which made them distinguishable from others who truly wanted to attain justice.
If they wanted to improve public schools and end racism, one must ask why the SLA murdered the first African-American Superintendent of Schools in Oakland, Marcus Foster. Perhaps Ms. Flanagan forgot that. As I recall, the SLA’s argument at the time was that Mr. Foster was a front for the white power structure, who was fooling the black population into believing the schools must be made better under the system. Some laudable goal.
At any rate, the parole board in California should get lots of letters endorsing Flanagan’s main argument: her criminal behavior must be punished, and the parole terms others – especially poor African-American parolees- never get, should be immediately rescinded. Let Ms. Olson live in a half way house in San Francisco or Oakland, far away from her nice suburban home and family. She can wait for reuniting with them another few decades.