Sunday, October 12

The Other Bill Ayers

This was sent to me by my good friend Joe Brisben, who is a terrific writer, soulful musician, and serves, as he puts it "as a simple, country investment counselor for SCI Financial Group, Inc., a division of Wells-Fargo, Inc., where he is a social worker for other people's money and does his best to keep it out of trouble." In 1990, he started broadcasting a weekday morning commentary for WSUI at AM 910. He started writing the "Money" column for The Source in 1998.

I know Bill Ayers. He is married to one of my classmates from the University of Chicago, Bernadine Dohrn. A bunch of folk musicians and singers from our class have rehearsed in their home before we conduct hootenannies at reunions. Bill teaches education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Do you think he could have acquired that position, much less held it, if he were the monster that John McCain and his minions paint Bill out as in the campaign ads against Barack Obama?
Bill and Bernadine have a wonderful family. They have two sons. One is a foster child who came to them with many problems. He grew to become a Rhodes scholar. That indicates some serious, sensitive parenting. As her mother sank into the throes of Alzheimer's disease, Bill and Bernardine cared for her in her later years in their home until her death. How many of us would have the heart and wlling to commit the resources to do that?
If you want to know where Bill stands on education, read his books, Teaching toward Freedom, A Kind and Just Parent, and The Journey of a Teacher. I know what he was like 40 years ago, but to say that he has not evolved into an upstanding citizen is to avoid the evidence at hand. In fact, to say that Barack Obama is a terrorist for associating will Bill Ayers is as idiotic as stating that John McCain is really a left-wing liberal in disguise because he associated decades ago in North Vietnam with Communists.
I am writing this note in the spirit of stopping the snide innuendos and vilification and move on to the real issues of the economy, the war in Iraq, mortgages, inflation, and fossil versus alternative fuels. Furthermore, I am sending this to conservative as well as liberal acquaintances and friends. Let us be the best citizens we know how to be.- Joe

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