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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Democracy takes a hit

I guess it's time up update that old A.J. Liebling line and declare that freedom of speech belongs to those who control the satellite dish.

Caving to pressure from a right wing yakker (who I won't dignify with a link either) Boston College officials who already canceled a planned speech by Bill Ayers on campus -- the title being "The State of Democracy in America" -- decided not to let allow the planned satellite-delivered salternative to go forward.

I guess that Ayers, 1,000 miles away in Chicago, posed a public safety hazard in Brighton.

Let's be clear: the actions of the Weather Underground, even if they did not include the Brighton bank robbery that claimed Boston Police Patrolman Walter Schroeder, were despicable.

But stifiling a First Amendment right -- within an organization that is supposedly the free marketplace of ideas where students can learn from past mistakes -- is despicable in a different sense.

It is spitting on the Constitution Schroeder was sworn to uphold.

So the next time you hear a right wing rant about how those of us on the left choose to spit on the flag and our rights as Americans, think about this incident -- where a campaign of a man aiming to impose his own view of our rights and responsibilities can prevent the free expression of the ideas represented in the Declaration of Independence and Constution.

One fomented terror with bombs. The other fostered terror with words. And was terrified of words that don't fit his narrow world view.

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Blogger Daniel said...

What was so "despicable" about the Weather Underground, if they never actually hurt anyone? What did they do that was so much worse than the vicious and unnecessary war they were protesting against? A lot of good the tepid activism and keyboard passion of today did to prevent or stop the Iraq War. Maybe groups like the Weather Underground had the right idea after all.

March 31, 2009 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? Ayers should be rotting in a cell, not speaking to college students. Better yet, he should have been put to death years ago as a terroist and cop killer. Why is this jerk still alive. There are many people that do not deserve to draw breath, and IMHO Ayers is one.

March 31, 2009 6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the state of democracy in america"? didnt the BC students said he was coming to discuss educational plans?

when you start advocating or particpating in violence to acheive your goals than you begin to remove yourself from the discussion in polite society.

ayers own words ("guilty as hell. free as a bird") indict him. but i guess dead police officers doesnt count as hurting anyone?

all that being said i would have preferred if he came and spoke and people questioned him on his past behavior and asked him to justify himself. instead we will end up with BC students thinking that this is an innocent man being railroaded out of town.

April 02, 2009 12:41 PM  

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