It had been a long time since I saw one of this country’s vilest citizens, but there he was, sitting for a two-part, two-night interview with Megyn Kelly on Fox News.
If you’re over 50, you might be familiar with Bill Ayers, who, with his equally despicable wife Bernadine Dohrn, were the inspiration for the Weather Underground. The Weather Underground was a spinoff, so to speak, from Students for a Democratic Society.
If you’re wondering how I can condemn Ayers and Dohrn, together for many years, let me give you a sample of Dohrn’s attidude toward society. Here was her comment on the Charles Manson murders, also known as the Tate-LaBianca killings (by the way, she made these comments in a speech attended by more than 400 people, so there should be no question about their accuracy): “First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them, then they even shoved a fork into the pig (Sharon) Tate’s stomach. Wild!”
Perhaps I should explain why I’m talking about those two angels, Ayers and Dohrn, other than the fact that I saw the lengthy Ayers interview on Fox. It’s because of an event that’s significance is still being debated.
Back in 1995, when Barack Obama was running for the Illinois state senate, a fundraiser was held at the Ayers-Dohrn residence for the candidate. People familiar with Ayers and Obama insist that they were friends, but Obama, when pressed on the issue, claims that he only knew Ayers “in passing.” Perhaps, to paraphrase William Shakespeare, the president doth protest too much.
Having given you the tip of the violent, revolutionary iceberg, I’d like to get “closer” to the story.
It seems that Dohrn, unhappy with the early actions of the Underground, urged the group to up the level of violence. Her “advice” was taken seriously and on March 6, 1970. I was newly married and 1½ years back from Vietnam. I was also sitting in the student coffee shop at the New School on 12th Street in New York’s Greenwich Village. All of a sudden, there was a thunderous noise, which rattled the windows right next to where I was sitting.
Within minutes, at least a dozen emergency vehicles – police, fire, ambulance – converged on the former location of a townhouse across from the New School. It just happened that Dustin Hoffman, who wasn’t there, owned the townhouse next to the now-obliterated site. If you’ve heard the story, you’ll know that the explosion was caused by the early detonation of an extremely powerful dynamite bomb packed with nails. The three bombmakers, I’m still glad to say, were killed when the bomb went off. They were members, of course, of the Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn-inspired Weather Underground. The bomb, in a twist of fate, was intended for an NCO dance at Fort Dix, New Jersey, that night.
The regrets after the explosion seemed more directed at the loss of life of fellow members of the Underground, rather than the intended targets, members of the United States Army. This event still has a hold on me, not only because I distinctly felt the explosion, but, incidentally, I had done my basic training at Fort Dix.
Oh, maybe the future president of the United States didn’t know the “pedigree” of Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn when he was honored at their house.
Bud Stevenson, a retired stockbroker, lives in Fairfield. Reach him at [email protected]