Weather Women in Academia: Terror Teachers
In 1969, Weatherwomen Kathy Boudin and Eleanor Raskin collaborated on a book of legal advice for radical activists: The Bust Book: What To Do Till the Lawyer Comes. The answer, per their actions, was different: don’t let the police catch you in the first place.
Not long after the book’s release, the two women went into hiding and participated in the Weather Underground’s most bloody affairs. This included the bomb-making escapade that ended in the deaths of three of their colleagues in Greenwich Village (but thankfully not the hundreds of murders they were plotting), and, for Boudin, the Brinks armored car heist in 1981 that took the lives of two police officers and a security guard.
Eleanor Raskin was not charged in the Brinks massacre. But in one of the many stories that former members of the Weather Underground prefer not to discuss, police captured Raskin and her husband Jeff Jones in New York City just three days after the attack. At the time, Raskin and Jones had been on the run for more than a decade. Coincidence? Not likely.
Fast-forward to today. These former Weather Underground terrorists now share another distinction: they are both professors at law schools in New York State.
Raskin teaches at Albany Law School. Boudin is closer to the scene of their crimes: she has just been appointed Sheinberg Scholar in Residence at NYU Law School. Along with Bernardine Dohrn at Northwestern University School of Law, Kathleen Cleaver at Emory Law School, and Angela Davis’ “prison-industrial complex” activism as professor emeritus at UC Santa Cruz, nearly all the currently free women of the terrorist Left have entered the academic legal profession.
Having an ex-Weatherwoman in the law faculty lounge is an exciting academic accessory; having a former Black Panther is even better, and both are appealing enough to forego the usual tedious vetting of credentials.
Boudin is not even a lawyer.
Kathleen Cleaver has no real academic credentials, only a scattering of outdated agitprop with titles such as “Mobilizing for Mumia Abu Jamal in Paris,” and “The Antidemocratic Power of Whiteness.”
Clearly: even the competent among these criminals were hired because they are unrepentant terrorists. This is the one credential that matters. The candidate must have held a gun to someone’s head in a bank “expropriation,” or firebombed a policeman’s car or a judge’s house; second, they must be unrepentant.
The career trajectories of former Weathermen track heavily on this second point: those who regret their violent pasts have not thrived in academia.
What’s the point of hiring a terrorist if they want to wash the greasepaint off? Mark Rudd learned this lesson in recent years: He made the mistake of sounding mildly regretful about setting bombs in the 2003 documentary film Weather Underground, and he has been backpedaling wildly ever since. The more he denounces his former denunciation of violence, the shinier his academic star glows.
“No Regrets for a Love of Explosives” is virtually a sacrament among the Left’s former terrorists, enshrined in Hollywood fables like Robert Redford’s current movie, The Company You Keep, and in movement memoirs that read like amateurish Philip Roth. This was the headline of an infamous New York Times profile of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn published on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. This brush with fate did not shame them or any of the other former Weathermen.
And why should it? Shame is out. Academia means never having to say you’re sorry -- for trying to kill cops or bomb the Pentagon, that is (you do have to apologize for everything else).
Kathy Boudin’s academic specialty is “Prisoner Re-entry,” which is the practice of minimizing a criminal’s culpability for his crimes while maximizing society’s responsibility to the criminal. The re-entry movement transfers limited law enforcement dollars from crime prevention to social services for ex-cons. It is based on the philosophy that offenders are victims who need to be made whole by the society that has slighted them or failed to nurture them in some way.
It is easy to see how this would be appealing to terrorists who have never wavered in their belief that they are both heroes and victims of society.
When she entered prison in 1981 with the blood of three men on her hands, Kathy Boudin immediately joined other incarcerated radicals such as Susan Rosenberg, Marilyn Buck, Laura Whitehorn, and David Gilbert to agitate for an array of demands ranging from the release of so-called “political prisoners” (i.e., themselves) to higher education programs behind bars to be paid for by the taxpayers but administered by anti-incarceration activists teaching revolution to restive inmates.
In academic circles, such prison activism has come to be known as “rehabilitation.” It replaces ordinary definitions of the term. Likewise, on university campuses political activism is now known as “academic research,” and it replaces ordinary definitions of that term.
Columbia University -- where Boudin holds yet another prestigious academic post -- is turning over its campus this weekend to a “university-wide criminal justice initiative” to promote “alternatives to incarceration.” Kathy Boudin is the organizer; Angela Davis will be the keynote speaker.
Davis’ organization Critical Resistance advocates for the release of all people from prison. That is the only real “alternative” these radicals are seeking.
In 1969, Kathy Boudin and Eleanor Raskin wrote:
The cop and the judge wear different uniforms, but they both serve the same system we seek to destroy.
Raskin is a judge now, in addition to being a law professor, and Boudin has succeeded in her ambition to kill cops. The destruction of the rest of the system will be on full display at Columbia University this week.