The Rehabilitation of New Left Terrorists
This week, the rehabilitation of the most extreme of the New Left groups -- The Weather Underground -- entered a new stage.
Yesterday, The New York Post revealed that convicted felon Kathy Boudin -- who was released from jail a decade ago after serving 22 years for her role as getaway driver in a deadly 1981 Brinks truck robbery -- was given the position of Adjunct Professor at Columbia University's School of Social Work.
At the same time, Boudin was also(!) given a position held concurrently at New York University, where she was appointed Sheinberg Scholar-in-Residence. She recently gave a lecture for that program on “the politics of parole and re-entry,” something which she obviously knows about.
There are, of course, many other candidates who could have been given both positions, and none of them were part of a leftist terrorist group whose action resulted in the death of the first African-American police officer in that area, and two other police officers. Two of the three had families; children grew up without their fathers.
When she was pulled over, Boudin shouted to the officers whose guns were drawn: “put the gun back.” They put their revolvers in their holsters.
At that point -- as the officers went to inspect the back of the van she was driving -- her cohorts came out with weapons blazing, killing the two policemen and one other who had joined in pursuit.
Boudin was never repentant.
As David Horowitz points out today at NRO:
[Boudin is a] murderess who betted the cold-blooded massacre of three law-enforcement officers, including the first African-American on the Nyack police force; a woman whose actions left nine children fatherless and who has shown no genuine remorse for that.
This Friday marks the premiere of a new film directed by and starring Robert Redford, The Company You Keep. Along with Redford, the film stars Shia LaBeouf, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Nick Nolte, and many other top Hollywood actors.
Billed as a thriller, the movie is based loosely on Bill Ayers and the group that held up banks and pulled off the Brinks robbery.
In a 90-minute video interview with the New York Times, Redford was asked by the Times' David Carr what his motivation was for making the film. His answer was most revealing:
I was at the time very sympathetic to the Weather Underground, and I thought that their cause was just.
Redford clearly regards them as they themselves claim, as simply militant anti-war activists. Redford said that despair regarding their inability to end the war forced them to move in a new direction, and that “I disagreed with their turn to violence,” which he, like Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn do today, blames on the U.S. government -- which they argue on a daily basis unjustly killed and harmed more people than they ever did.
Indeed, in the film itself the Sarandon character -- obviously based on Kathy Boudin -- says essentially that, giving the same rationale that Ayers has given in scores of interviews.
Just today, Ayers again proceeded to offer a whitewash of his and the Weather Underground’s record, in a softball interview titled “Bill Ayers Uncensored” that appears on The Daily Beast/Newsweek website.
Ironically, in the very first issue of The Daily Beast, Tina Brown opted to open it with a tough anti-Ayers essay by Paul Berman, who called Ayers “the stupidest man in America, politically speaking; always is, always was.” To those who claimed he was just an anti-war and civil rights activist, Berman correctly wrote:
But, hey, Prof. Ayers is, in fact, an unrepentant terrorist. As for "lunatic leftist," why, if this phrase does not apply to Ayers, it applies to no one.
Like Horowitz today, Berman concluded:
The armed left-wing movements of those years claimed to be the champions of black advancement, and yet made a point of destroying the actual black people who were advancing.
For today's piece, Brown assigned the interview with Ayers to one Marlow Stern, who clearly knows nothing about Ayers, and hence allows him to get away with a complete whitewash of his actual record.
Ms. Stern: the Weatherman was created with a formal “Declaration of War” against “Amerikkka.” Their goal was to start a race war in the United States, which is why, in her famous speech, Dohrn made a hero of Charles Manson.
They meant to destroy SDS and to transform it into the basis for a domestic guerilla army, which would “make the Revolution,” as they used to say. They incited the left to engage in this war.
The naïve Marlow Stern allows Ayers to paint his movement in terms other than the ones which they themselves claimed it stood for in the '60s and '70s.
Contrary to what Ayers argues now, and which Redford believes, they were not part of the anti-war movement. They sought Revolution at home, and victory to the Vietcong and all revolutionary movements abroad.
As David Horowitz points out in a not-yet-printed letter to the editor of The Daily Beast -- and Horowitz is perhaps our nation’s leading expert on the New Left -- the interviewer allows Ayers to wrap himself around the civil rights movement and the anti-war forces in order to exculpate himself from the crimes of which he was guilty. And as for the claim that they never hurt anyone -- there are scores of actual deaths and bombings they took credit for, but for which no one was ever arrested. As for the others, like the planned Fort Dix bombing in which their leadership blew themselves up in a West 10th Street townhouse, it was not for want of trying that no one was murdered.
If all the above is not enough: this Friday at AMC theater chains, a new documentary movie opens about the Communist and Black Panther revolutionary activist Angela Davis. It's called: Free Angela Davis and all Political Prisoners. Directed by filmmaker Shola Lynch, it has the support and financial backing of Jada Pinkett Smith, wife of the actor Will Smith.
As the article about it makes very clear, it is out and out Communist propaganda, the kind we have not seen in decades.
Once reserved for small leftist outfits, which made scores of Black Panther propaganda films in the '60s, now a major chain sees fit to put out such drivel for mass consumption in the hope that a new generation -- already raised at our colleges and universities in the world of leftist falsehood -- will believe the portrait painted in the movie.
This morning, The Daily Beast/Newsweek compounds its free publicity given to totalitarians and terrorists with a tribute to the Angela Davis movie, written by Allison Samuels.
Samuels glorifies Davis -- yet does not let readers hear any of the letters Davis wrote, which were presented to the jury by the prosecution and which paint Davis as rather crazed and committed to armed struggle. It was time to pick up guns, off some "pigs," and make a real revolution in America, and so forth.
Instead, readers get platitudes about Davis' would-be commitment to "change and political power." Samuels writes:
"She never apologized for her politics or her associations and she always looked fabulous doing it,’’ says Pinkett Smith, referencing Davis’s memorable and perfectly coifed afro that remained a symbol of black pride throughout the ’70s. In the documentary, directed and deftly written by Shola Lynch, Davis herself gets to recount the politics and actions that branded her a terrorist and while at the same time spurred a worldwide movement calling for her freedom as a political prisoner.
Pinkett Smith explains how she got involved and what she knew about Davis beforehand:
Through my family and also once I became really good friends with Tupac Shakur, that’s really when I got pretty educated about the Black Panther movement. Of course, Angela Davis being a very prominent figure during that particular era. So that’s when I became a really big fan.
Now, Pinkett-Smith believes:
Angela Davis [has] become the figure of freedom and justice not only in our country but around the world.
The truth is the opposite. She is only regarded as such by the far left in this country. Davis is despised by all those who formerly lived in the Communist world of real oppression -- a system which Davis supported, and whose repression against dissidents she completely approved of.
In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, I had a book review appear regarding the high school I attended in the 1950s in New York City, which the editors appropriately titled “Fast Times at Lenin High.” I mention it here, because both Angela Davis and Kathy Boudin went to that school.
In those years it was staffed almost entirely by teachers who belonged to the American Communist Party or were its fellow travelers, and any leftist proclivities learned at home were reinforced by the teaching staff.
Now, the kind of warped political education I received at that institution has become the norm for the culture at large. Even conservatives have proven vulnerable to it. Yesterday, Robert Redford appeared on Joe Scarborough’s morning TV program: Scarborough waxed ecstatic about the brilliant film Redford had made, offering not one word of criticism and accepting his own portrayal of its accuracy.
So: this coming week we have evidence of how our culture is rewarding the worst elements of the far left: New Left revolutionary terrorists are given university teaching jobs; those who are given space in major media spin their own story dishonestly, yet it is bought by gullible interviewers; and two new movies resurrect both the Weather Underground and a Stalinist hack who believes in “the science of Marxism-Leninism”.