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Related Categories: San Francisco | Racial Justice
View other events for the week of 2/20/2009
Bernadine Dohrn & Bill Ayers - Race Course: Against White Supremacy
Date Friday February 20
Time 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Location Details
Modern Times Bookstore
888 Valencia St @ 20th
San Francisco, CA
Event Type Speaker
Organizer/AuthorErin Stalnaker
Emailerin [at] moderntimesbookstore.com
Phone(415)282.9246
Address888 Valencia St San Francisco, CA 94110
The authors will be reading from and discussing their new book of essays, Race Course: Against White Supremacy. (See below for book information)
White supremacy and its troubling endurance in American Life is debated in these personal essays by two veteran political activists. Arguing that white supremacy has been the dominant political system in the U.S. since its earliest days, this discussion points to unexamined bigotry in the criminal justice system, election processes, war policy, and education. Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn are former leaders of the Weather Underground.
Added to the calendar on Sunday Feb 15th, 2009 2:06 PM

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Tony
Tuesday Feb 17th, 2009 9:57 AM
I defended the married couple of Ayers and Dohn against the right wing rants (''Unrependent Terrorists '' ) and the feeble attempts to tie Obama to them .
But i don't think they have much to say about ''racism '' or at least how to fight ''white supremacy ''.
These upper class , very EX radicals are very selective who and what they deem 'racist ''. For example is Joe Biden a racist ? Probably in many ways , remember his strange , condensencing remarks about Obama '' He' so clean and presentable '' or words to that effect .
Will the Professors comment about that ? i doubt it since he's Obama's VP ! (and i suppose it's ''racist '' to critize Obama or any other Black democrat )
It is racist to support the death penality ? Not necesarily but given the huge number of Black and Latino men on death rows it certainly is possible . But Obama supports the death penality ! So what about him ?
Basically their whole idelogy that they have had since their Weather faction in SDS was founded is opposition to ''white skin priviledge '' . This very flawed worldview makes no distinction between white workers and white corporate exces like Ayers father , who was the CEO of the Illinois equiviant of PGE . (And how do Latinos and Asians fit into this idelogy ? Are advanced Capitalist countries like Japan and Singapore part of the '' Third world "' ? )
It's true that Ayers and Dohn have nothing to apologize for to demogues like Sean Hannity and Bill O Reilly but i would like to hear a self critique of the so called '' weather underground '. I also think that their guilt based philosphy has liitle if anything to offer in ways to fight real institutional racism .
Check out BlackAgendaReport.com

And, sometimes, BlackCommentator.com -- especially the current/past critical commentaries of former Black Panther Larry Pinkney. (If you can't get to back issues thru the website, then Yahoo/Google search "Larry Pinkney"+Obama+BlackCommentator.)

As far as my perspectives, I see Obama as the ultimate facelift -- the ultimate ruse -- on American imperialism.

The mentally and verbally bubbly Bush Dubya was too brash!! So, the American ruling class (that faction fed up with Bush & Co.'s imperialist mismanagement) needed another "I feel your pain" neo-Clintonesque imperialist president (except that, for reasons I don't know, Clintons in the White House obviously somehow pissed off too many elite white Democrats in his administration: maybe they were too arrogant; maybe they stepped on too many toes; I don't know...), and one who could speak, with (like Clinton or even Blair) his 'silver tongue', the English language impressively enough to get U.S. imperialist allies to go along with U.S. DemoPublican -- alternate "Good Cop, Bad Cop" -- foreign policy.

Yes! And *WHERE* ARE all those "progressive/leftist" pundits who said that, once they got him elected (as the Democrat 'Good Cop' version to the Republican 'Bad Cop' version), they were going to be on Obama's heels from day-one in the White House, especially if he kept pursuing (among other things) Bush's militaristic imperialist, saber-rattling, and Zionist foreign policy!?
by JA
Thursday Feb 19th, 2009 2:27 PM
I meant to say, in my comment post above, "the _*bumbly*_ Bush Dubya"
by JA
Thursday Feb 19th, 2009 2:42 PM
[Dohn and Ayers have little to say
by Tony
Tuesday Feb 17th, 2009 9:57 AM

"Basically their whole idelogy that they have had since their Weather faction in SDS was founded is opposition to ''white skin priviledge '' . This very flawed worldview makes no distinction between white workers and white corporate exces..."]

You raise some very good points, but that I don't know the background of when it comes to Ayers & Dorhn in particular, but that deserve to be examined.

But, my having said that, white workers (altho they have often been deeply exploited by white capitalism, but while they have often been victims, they have, as often, been volunteers) *DO* enjoy white-skin privilege -- especially (and certainly on the same employment level, and typically even below) compared to Black, Latino, Asian, Native workers. *At the least*, the *poorest* of white workers were given "the psychological wages of whiteness" and the privilege of being *terrorists* (KKK, Kops, vigilantes and vandals, etc.) -- the only free-running terrorists permited in the U.S. by (and typically including) "law enforcement" -- against people of color workers.

So, don't forget to call for an examination of *that* too.
by Aaron Aarons
Friday Feb 20th, 2009 3:16 AM
But one kind of privilege that is even more important these days than white-skin privilege is imperialist-country citizenship privilege. For example, the difference between the average material standard of living (by almost any definition) of Black people in the U.S. and that of Black people in Africa is far, far greater than that between Whites and Blacks in the U.S., even if the latter difference is far from trivial.

Which is not to deny that White-supremacist ideology also makes it easier for those who are looting Africa (and some places with more lightly-colored populations, like South and Southwest Asia) to commit massive atrocities without much opposition at home.
by DIY mofo
Friday Feb 20th, 2009 7:58 AM
Jared Israel has a full breakdown of the two, and the implications of their friendship with Obama. Bottom line: anyone who supports Dohrn and Ayers better be able to explain why they faced so little jail time (any?) for their actions yet their comrades below them in the WU all faced stiff sentences. COINTELPRO, folks, it's not just for dinner anymore.

http://www.tenc.net/
by Interested
Friday Feb 20th, 2009 11:28 AM
Hear it for yourselves and don't take the know-it-alls commenting here too seriously. I say, all voices must be raised. If nothing else, buy a book at MT.
by Aaron Aarons
(indy [at] aarons.f-m.fm) Saturday Feb 21st, 2009 3:49 AM

1) I just read all four articles by Jared Israel about Obama, Ayers and Dohrn on Mr. Israel's website (referred to by "DIY mofo" above). While I can't comment on his interpretation of the fact(oid)s he quotes, I find it interesting that, while he refers to his role as a leader of the Worker-Student Alliance (WSA) faction of SDS in fighting the faction that became the Weathermen and, later, the Weather Underground, he doesn't mention that the WSA was controlled by the Progressive Labor Party (PLP), of which he was a leader until 1979! In fact, the only reference to that party on his entire web site is in a page reproduced from the Harvard Crimson of 1969!

2) Jared Israel defends all the crimes of the settler colony that bears his family name, though he doesn't defend all its actions. Here's a quote from his reaction (posted on 2 September 2005) to the so-called "disengagement" from Gaza, whose real function was to turn Gaza into a free-fire zone:

The recent mass eviction of Jews from Gaza and four West Bank settlements is very important. First, it means tragedy for the 10,000 people directly involved [who were both hugely compensated and given new homes in West-Bank colonial settlements]. Second, it means the acceptance of the idea that Gaza, and by extension, also the entire West Bank, are by right "Palestinian" Arab territories. Third, it also means accepting the blatantly racist principle that Jews have no right to live in "Arab lands." [As opposed, obviously, to the non-racist principle that Jews have a right to kick non-Jewish Arabs off of the lands their families have farmed for centuries because they are not Jews!]

The comments in square brackets are mine.
by Tony
Saturday Feb 21st, 2009 12:39 PM
Thanks to Aaron Aarons for digging into Jarel Israel 's contradictions . While one shouldn't discount ifro based on problems with the source it's worth noting .
As much as i politicially oppose Ayers/Dohn i do not believe for a second they were agents ! The fact that they got light sentences means nothing . That happens all the time (and not just for sinister reasons ) What i remember is that the Feds only very relunctantly agreed to a deal due to the fact that the defence was going to aggressively question and publisize all the illegal acts , including break ins, beatings, death threats, etc. , used by the FBI agents assigned to track them down .
There's also the fact that cops and prosecutors sometimes deliberately let some go while others serious time due not to betrayals by the former but as part of a scheme to put a ''snitch jacket '' on the those who got off lightly .
No more slanders please !
by Tony
Monday Feb 23rd, 2009 7:33 AM
Did anyone attend their SF or Berkeley appearances ? If so what was said both from the podium and from the audience ? I hope there was real dialogue and debate .
-

[Any reports on their SF or Berkeley apperances?
by Tony
Monday Feb 23rd, 2009 7:33 AM:

"I hope there was real dialogue and debate."]


I DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE BERKELEY EVENT, BUT AT THE MODERN TIMES EVENT, MODERATOR ROXANNE DUNBAR-ORTIZ, AND THUS AYERS & DORHN, TOOK A GRAND TOTAL OF *8* QUESTIONS IN 2 SETS OF 4.

*THE END*.

(Of course, if their otherwise good answers would have been a bit shorter, they might have squeezed in more questions: some of our leftist speakers/panelists need an official/casual time limit too, because some of them do like to go on a bit or more.

And you know how most professors [or radio show hosts] are: most of them aren't used to a real time limit and tend to give long-winded answers, wanting to throw in every single thing that comes to mine, to every question. Sometimes they even say to a room full of leftist activists, "You already know this, but...", and then they tell us something *really basic* that, indeed, we, of course, already know! BUT, THEN A LOT OF THESE PEOPLE ACTUALLY *WANT* TO TALK THE CLOCK OUT FOR EACH QUESTION, BECAUSE THEY INDEED WANT TO *LIMIT* THE POTENTIAL FOR ANY CRITICAL QUESTIONS/COMMENTS/ DIALOGUE.)

I THINK THEY PROBABY TOOK 6 (MAYBE EVEN 7 OR 8) QUESTIONS ON THE RADIO (ON THEIR KALW APPEARANCE) IN JUST 55 MINUTES!

MORESO AND MORESO, THESE KIND OF LEFTIST EVENTS ARE MORE PROMOTIONAL AND **COMMERCIAL** EVENTS, RATHER THAN PROBING AND *CONSCIOUSNESS* EVENTS.

THESE EVENTS HAVE BECOME REDUCED TO LIBERAL/"LEFTIST", ORCHESTRATED, 'ENTERTAINMENT' EVENTS -- WHERE YOU CAN GO UNCRITICALLY HEAR SOMEONE WHO *SOUNDS* GOOD -- TO WHATEVER EXTENT THEY ARE OR CRITCALLY AREN'T -- APPLAUD AND THEN FEEL LIKE YOU'VE DONE YOUR GOOD LIBERAL/"LEFTIST" DEED FOR THE WEEK/MONTH.

AND, TO BE HONEST, IT SEEMS THAT MANY PEOPLE WHO GO TO HEAR THEIR FAVORITE "LEFTIST" HEROES DON'T GO THERE TO CRITICALLY THINK (BECAUSE MANY PEOPLE ACTUALLY *SHUDDER* FROM HEARING CRITICAL QUESTIONS/DIALOGUE): MANY SEEMINGLY GO THERE TO BE ENTERTAINED AND COMFORTABLY TOLD *WHAT* TO THINK.

AND THERE WAS NO PARTICULAR NEED TO RUSH -- EXCEPT THAT THIS SHOWS THE REAL (LACK OF) IMPORTANCE THE MODERATORS AND/OR SPEAKER(S) PLACE ON ANY REASONABLE, AT LEAST SEMBLANCE OF, DIALOGUE, EVEN ON THE LEFT.

JUST A *PRETENSE* OF ANY REAL SENSE OF DIALOGUE.

I MEAN, IT'S A PRIVATELY-OWNED BOOKSTORE -- AND AYERS & DORHN (not that I have anything against them personally) SPENT *GGOBBBSSS* OF TIME SHMOOZING AFTERWARDS.

SO WHAT WAS THE RUSH!???

SO WHAT GOOD IS AN INDEPENDENTLY OWNED BOOKSTORE FOR SUCH VERY POPULAR EVENTS IF THE BOOKSTORE "HAS TO" CLOSE UP SHARPLY "AT 9" (AND, with still time for booksignings, CAN'T EVEN SEEM TO FIND JUST ONE OWNER/MANAGER/SUPERVISOR WHO CAN'T CLOSE UP EVEN JUST A HALF-HOUR LATER)!?

-- EVEN FOR VERY SIGNIFICANT LECTURERS (AND ESPECIALLY WHO HAVEN'T BEEN IN THE BAY AREA FOR *YEARS* OR MORE).

BUT THE EXCUSE IS STILL -- OH WE HAVE TO BE OUT BY 9:PM ("OUR REGULAR CLOSING TIME"), WHEN THE SHMOOZING AND SOCIALIZING STILL GO ON 'TILL 10:30/11:00PM!

LET THE AUTHOR/S ARRIVE EARLIER AND LET THE EASY SHMOOZING AND SOCIALIZING AND PHOTO-TAKING GO ON FOR AN EXTRA HOUR *BEFOREHAND*.

HELL, EVEN MAYBE DO SOME OF THE BOOKSIGNING BEFOREHAND.

I'VE STOPPED GOING TO MOST OF THESE EVENTS -- AND ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE TO PAY. (I SAVE A LOT OF TRAVEL AND ATTENDANCE TIME, PERSONAL ENERGY, AND GAS, TOLLS, TICKET/DONATION, AND EATING-OUT MONEY.)

AND THE MORE YOU PAY, THE LESS THEY'RE INTELLECTUALLY AND CRITICALLY WORTH -- BECAUSE THEN THE MORE TIGHTLY CONTROLLED THESE EVENTS TEND TO BE: MORE SEPARATED INTO THE "ALLL-KNOWING ORACLE/S" -- YOU KNOW, "60-SECOND QUESTIONS *ONLY*!!" -- MAYBE EVEN JUST TINY INDEX CARDS, TO BE SIFTED & CENSORED! -- AND THE WOULD-BE PASSIVE AUDIENCE.

IF IT'S OVER $12/$15 (AND CERTAINLY IF IT'S THOSE $20 EVENTS) I DON'T GO (unless it's a particular benefit I support) -- BECAUSE THE ORGANIZERS WANT THE EVENT TO BE *"PERFECT"*: WHICH MEANS *NO CRITICALLY PROBING QUESTIONS*.

WHILE I WOULD SUPPORT ANY BENEFIT EVENT FOR _THE WONDERFUL MIDDLE EAST CHILDREN'S ALLIANCE (MECA)_ IN BERKELEY, I'M GLAD I OTHERWISE DIDN'T PAY (OR WOULDN'T HAVE PAID) $15/$20 PRIMARILY TO HEAR SOMETHING I COULD HEAR (saving money, driving, gas, tolls, and time) ON THE RADIO (on KALW's "Your Call" & KPFA's "Flashpoints") -- IF Q&A ARE GOING TO BE SO CONSTRAINED OR LIMITED.

(And, as I said, I wasn't at the Berkeley event, because while I'm more than happy to support a MECA benefit event, I still want a realistic expectation of dialogue.)

THE BEST EVENT I ONCE WENT TO WAS WHERE THE WELL-KNOWN AUTHOR SAID, "MOST OF YOU KNOW WHO I AM AND WHAT I GENERALLY THINK; MOST OF YOU HAVE HEARD ME ON THE RADIO; MOST OF YOU HAVE READ OR CAN READ MY BOOKS; SO, LET ME JUST TALK FOR 15 MINUTES AND THEN WE'LL JUST DIALOGUE."

(AND BACK BEFORE THE ISRAEL LOBBY GOT HIM FIRED AND WHIPPED HIM DOWN TO A ZIONIST, AND ANTI-BOYCOTT, APOLOGIST, NORMAN FINKELSTEIN USED TO OPEN UP HIS Q&A'S BY SAYING, "FIRST I WANT TO HEAR FROM ANYONE WHO DISAGREES WITH ME ABOUT SOMETHING!)

BUT PEOPLE WITH BIG &/OR CELEBRITY EGOS (OFTEN REINFORCED BY "PROGRESSIVE/LEFTIST" AUDIENCES FEENING/CRAVING FOR THEIR OWN CELEBRITIES) WOULD NEVER SAY ANYTHING LIKE *THAT*!

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