American academics have mustered more support for Weather Underground alum and tenured professor Bill Ayers than they ever have for the country which they work in. Perhaps this should not surprise.
The man whom failed presidential candidate John McCain dubbed “some old terrorist” and the land of his birth and residence have frequently been at cross purposes, although his intellectual fans do not see it that way. “Any person with basic knowledge of American history in the 1960s and 1970s knows that the Weather Underground did not kill anyone (except themselves),” Bucknell assistant history professor John Enyeart claimed to Jefferson Taylor of The Counterweight newspaper. “I have a duty as a historian to correct the record whenever possible.”
The Counterweight is published by the
“Larry Grathwohl, a former FBI informant in the Weather Underground, tells Accuracy in Media that he was contacted by law enforcement authorities about five or six years ago about bringing a murder case against Weather Underground communist terrorist Bernardine Dohrn for her reported involvement in the 1970 death of a young San Francisco police officer, Brian V. McDonnell,” AIM editor Cliff Kincaid reported on Nov. 2, 2008. Dohrn is Mrs. Ayers.
“Grathwohl had personal knowledge of the bombing, having testified before Congress that Ayers told him at the time he was in the terrorist organization and that Dohrn had personally planted the devastating bomb,” Kincaid revealed. Nevertheless, while Professor Enyeart’s historical record-keeping may be questionable, his trio or reviews on ratemyprofessors.com are glowing raves.
Yet and still, he may be the beneficiary of what at least one academic old hand labels an informal “faculty-student nonaggression pact.” This is particularly apparent in one-third of the feedback that he gets on the aforementioned web site:
“Johnny Boy is a cool cat. I have taken two of his classes which has caused me to want to become a history major, I do not think you can pay a better compliment. His lectures aren’t the best. The subject matter isn’t the best. It’s just solid. My roommate and I would come blacked out for our 830s and he wouldn’t get mad when we left class to puke…”
Advanced inebriation may or may not be a prerequisite for the course. Nonetheless, Bucknellians serious about their history find much to be nauseous about in their university’s treatment of same.
“Perhaps the history department’s biggest flaw is its fumbling of American history,” James Roesch writes in The Counterweight. “Currently, ‘Introduction to U. S. History’ is divided into three separate courses, beginning with pre-colonial American and ending in the late twentieth century.”
“One of these three courses is offered occasionally, but for many semesters—such as the upcoming—none appear at all.” Roesch penned these words for the December 10, 2008 issue of The Counterweight.
The courses he describes above, of course, mostly precede the 1960s—the decade of Bill Ayers’ and Bernadine Dohrn’s wild and crazy youth—which many Bucknell historians can’t wait to get to, or get back to. “Students fortunate enough to grasp the historical basics then must waste time and energy on Bucknell’s advanced courses,” Roesch writes. “These include classes such as ‘America Confronts Revolution,’ devoted to the rich history of celebrity-poseur activists, doped-up and oversexed hippies, racial grievance-touting domestic terrorists, and other raving radicals.”
“So Bucknell fails to teach James Madison and Alexander Hamilton but covers Bob Dylan and Joan Baez.”
Against this backdrop, it is hardly surprising that Bucknell was able to field a quartet to affix their names to the petition at supportbillayers.org. and join a couple of thousand like-minded pedagogues. The wonder is that the citadel of Lewisburg, Pa. only added four supporters to the fan club.
Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.