JANUARY 16, 2009
A major public university paid a renowned domestic terrorist—who proudly admits planting bombs in several U.S. government buildings—thousands of dollars to speak on campus this week and administrators violated academia’s sacred free-speech policy by forbidding protestors.
Claiming that Vietnam-era radical William Ayers, once a fugitive from U.S. justice, is an “education reformer,” administrators (whose salaries are financed with tax dollars) at Florida State University enthusiastically lured him to their sprawling Tallahassee campus with a $5,000 reward to spread his radical agenda.
They also protected the terrorist by ordering campus police to usher protestors away to a “free speech zone” far removed from the auditorium where he spoke. One local newspaper columnist highlights the school’s flaw in considering the harmful educational notions of a man who hid from the law after bombing the buildings of our nation’s police, elected officials and military personnel protected speech that public money should fund. Yet protestations against Ayers’ ideas don’t deserve similar protection.
As a member of the domestic terrorist group Weather Underground Ayers and his fellow radicals planted bombs on the Capitol, Pentagon and other government buildings to protest U.S. policy. For years he was a fugitive from U.S. justice and, to this day, he publicly says that he doesn’t regret setting bombs and that in fact his group “didn’t do enough.”
Even Barack Obama, a close Ayers associate, distanced himself from the aging radical who teaches at a public university in Chicago. Ayers has long supported Obama’s political career by donating money to his campaigns and hosting fundraisers at his Chicago home and for years the two men hung out in the same political and social circles.
But the relationship proved damaging during Obama’s presidential campaign and he worked hard to censor television ads highlighting his decades-long ties to Ayers. Team Obama even demanded that the Justice Department intervene to block stations from airing the damaging commercials.
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