On Monday night, I saw Bill Ayers speak at Allen Hall. (The room was much more full this picture was taken 15 minutes into the Q and A). I do commend Allen Hall for putting on these events, and I probably made a huge mistake by not living in Allen. Anyway, I did come into the talk with a dislike of Ayers previous activities. I did get the chance to ask Dr.Ayers some questions about: education, newspapers, education segmentation by discipline, and local vs. federal funding. I have to admit he is a very articulate guy. Although, he does have a considerable amount of experience as a debater. The question and answer period got heated towards the end, in fact the gentlemen that got in a heated discussion with him, was arrested Thursday night.
The real question that was in my mind when I left the Ayers’ talk is should we forgive him? In the United States during the Vietnam War many people dodged the draft. Some had violent protests, some peaceful. The things that Ayers did was to make a point, and he agrees the way he went about making his point was wrong. And I believe what he did was wrong. But do people deserve to redeem themselves, flash forward 40 years and Dr.Ayers is a distinguished professor of education at UIC. I am still conflicted about people reforming themselves, but I’m willing to give people a second chance because some people have given me that chance.
I actually found out today someone I knew dropped out of college and decided to become a minister. If that makes him happy and he feels that it is a calling. I think he should do it, I agree with him you have to do things that make you feel good.