Former Weather Underground leaders William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn made an appearance at San Francisco’s Modern Times Bookstore on February 21 to promote their new book Race Course Against White Supremacy.

I attended the event for one reason only: To see what kind of reception San Francisco would give to these two former terrorists. I took a few photos, but luckily someone who goes by the name “SFPatriot” took some videos as well and sent them in to me; they are presented below, along with my photos.

It was quite clear that just about every single person there (except me) idolized these two unapologetic violent revolutionaries. The entire store was packed full of people.

But we ran smack dab into what I call the Ayers-Dohrn Paradox, which is:
Ayers and Dohrn gained fame as violent revolutionaries willing to commit murder and other terrorist acts in order to overthrow the United States. For that, they were greatly worshipped by the far left. Now, in their sunset years, they’re trying to re-cast themselves as “respectable” left-wing professors with “reasonable” opinions, who have long ago sworn off violence. And so, at these events, neither of them ever mentions their violent heyday, except rarely in passing. Instead, they focus exclusively on their current obsessions: Introducing Marxist thought into schools, and closing down the prison system. However, almost no one who goes to see Ayers and Dohrn gives a damn about hearing monotonous lectures on these particular topics: instead, their fans idolize them because of their violent revolutionary past. So at these events, the audience (as in this case) is full of far-far-far-left radicals who came in order to hear overheated revolutionary rhetoric. But instead, what they get is a boring professorial monologue. If Ayers and Dohrn were nothing more than your run-of-the-mill leftist professors, no one would go to their appearances. They’re coasting on their violent reputation, while at the same time trying to distance themselves from it. And that is the Ayers-Dohrn Paradox.

(Video by “SFPatriot”)
This video shows one of the very few references to their past made all night: During the introduction by fellow former radical Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (who now works at Modern Times Bookstore), the following exchange occurred, which produced the biggest laugh of the night:

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: “Bill and Bernardine have been a collaborative pair for so long, I don’t even think of them as a married couple, even though they have three children and grandchildren and all. They’re partners in…um…in um…
Bernardine Dohrn: “Crime.”
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz: “Crime.”
Audience: [Laughter.]

Bernardine Dohrn: A life of crime. And proud of it.

(Video by “SFPatriot”)
I’m not particularly interested in simply reporting what Ayers and Dohrn had to say. In fact, during Ayers’ speech, that’s exactly what he recommended: Do not let your ideological enemies even get the opportunity to present their narrative. Besides which, they both already have way too much of a platform. But I’ll show a little mercy here and give Bernardine a minute in this video to explain the thesis of their book, Race Course Against White Supremacy.

There. Having seen SFPatriot’s video, aren’t you glad you missed the rest of the lecture?

(Video by “SFPatriot”)
Just like our new Attorney General Eric Holder, Dohrn and Ayers think the United States is “a nation of cowards” for not “talking about race” enough — as if 23 hours per day isn’t satisfactory. In this video, Dohrn says she agrees with Eric Holder. Which is exactly what Obama’s detractors were saying during the campaign — that Obama would appoint people to powerful government positions who would in fact be promoting the Ayers/Dohrn philosophy. And now we know — that’s exactly what has happened.

“Guilty as hell — free as a bird!”

50 Responses to “San Francisco welcomes William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn”

  1. 1richb on Feb 26, 2009 at 2:57 pm:

    Only in San Francisco can a “professor” like that exist. By all rights, he should have spent most of his life in prison. Thank you Zombie for showing the world the real far left. They are a scary bunch.

  2. 2neocon hippie on Feb 26, 2009 at 3:15 pm:

    Actually, richb, Ayers and Dohrn were just visiting. They are based in Chicago, home of President Barack Obama.

  3. 3zombie on Feb 26, 2009 at 3:23 pm:

    1 richb
    2 neocon hippie

    Yes, they live in Chicago — they were only visiting San Francisco to promote their crazy new book.

    So, it’s not just an “only in San Francisco” phenomenon; scenes like this can happen in major cities wherever there are leftists. But, yes, there is a great preponderance of them in San Francisco.

  4. 4Outrider on Feb 26, 2009 at 4:00 pm:

    Looking at the books in the background; are there any books sold in that particular bookstore that are not radical? Except for the book “The Beatles” behind Ayers head in photo three-wonder how that slipped in there?)

  5. 5yochanan ben avrohom on Feb 26, 2009 at 4:31 pm:

    The female traitor is employed at northwestern u. which is also home to the holocust denier by the name of BUTZ.

    northwestern students are elitist spoiled brats.

  6. 6Mitch Haase on Feb 26, 2009 at 4:56 pm:

    Bill Ayers approached me outside a porta potty in a Chicago forest preserve and offered me $50 if I would let him suck my dick.

    I accepted.

  7. 7Jon on Feb 26, 2009 at 4:57 pm:

    They should both be throw in prison for the rest of their lives with no chance of parole the next time they show their smug traitorous faces in public

  8. 8Observer on Feb 26, 2009 at 5:00 pm:

    Somebody should have put up a sign referencing Brian V. McDonnell – an SF cop killed on February 16, 1970 by a bomb in the Park Police Station. Rumor has it that those two know more than a little about the circumstances of the bombing, and perhaps even who built and placed the bomb.

  9. 9George Bentley on Feb 26, 2009 at 5:08 pm:

    That is why I could never go undercover. Unlike Zombie I would shout something at the mad bombers, and it would not be nice or civil.

  10. 10CattusMagnus on Feb 26, 2009 at 5:15 pm:

    Was there no voice of opposition? Nobody came to protest them? I would have thought with how famous they had become during the election that at least one person might have shown up to ask some tough questions or at least hold up a sign. That being said, I’d probably wouldn’t confront them out of fear that their loony fans.

  11. 11zombie on Feb 26, 2009 at 5:22 pm:

    #4 Outrider:

    Modern Times is a Communist bookstore. Because of that, about 75% of their stock is radical/far-left/communist/etc. They throw in a few mainstream books about the ’60s and so on to flesh out the shelves.

  12. 12zombie on Feb 26, 2009 at 5:24 pm:

    #10 CattusMagnus

    As far as I could tell, there was not a single protester. (When they appeared at a Catholic college in Moraga a few weeks earlier, however, Melanie Morgan did schedule a protest.)

  13. 13Buffoon on Feb 26, 2009 at 7:25 pm:

    Awwwwww, such a cute and violent, treasonous, terrorist couple….. Maybe a semi’s brakes will fail tonight and do America a favor…. Just sayin…

  14. 14Anonymous on Feb 26, 2009 at 8:18 pm:

    Man to man I bet John McCain would kick his ass.

  15. 15DangerousNate on Feb 26, 2009 at 8:26 pm:

    William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn are living proof that American freedom has a darkside.

  16. 16DangerousNate on Feb 26, 2009 at 8:27 pm:

    Oh, and thanks zombie for posting this!

  17. 17GGMac on Feb 26, 2009 at 8:57 pm:

    I see Bernardine is still wearing the red star pin – small, right side, above breast. The same red star displayed on Ayers’ web site as his logo. Marx is surely smiling on his two well-trained sycophants/Obama neighbors.

    Thanks for the article, Zombie – excellent, as usual.

  18. 18Rhys on Feb 26, 2009 at 9:49 pm:

    Note picture #6. The book to the right of Bernardine’s shoulder. It speaks volumes (pun intended).

  19. 19Joe on Feb 27, 2009 at 4:20 am:

    Absolutely disgusting. The speakers, the book store owner, and the lemmings. Dohrn is quite a sheltered bigot, spewing radical left-wing rhetoric stuck in the 60′s.

    Round here, Ayers will be making a stop in The Peoples Republic of Boulder, accompanied by emeritus professor Ward Churchill.

  20. 20SumDum Phool on Feb 27, 2009 at 6:14 am:

    The earrings on Mr. Ayers are a nice touch.

    Of course these “the USA sucks and is the root of all evil” mavens have never LEFT the USA to live in one of the many places I’m sure they consider much better than the USA (which are…???)…and for some reason, I doubt they are turning over all proceeds from this “book” and lecture tours to some poor, oppressed, downtrodden peoples….

  21. 21Mon on Feb 27, 2009 at 6:27 am:

    Were they equal opportunity murderers? Did any blacks die in their bombing sprees?

  22. 22gegenkritik on Feb 27, 2009 at 7:42 am:

    Marx is surely smiling on his two well-trained sycophants/Obama neighbors.

    I doubt that. In fact, Marx would not have liked Marxists and Ayers would have been shocked, if he read Marx’ letters to Abraham Lincoln and his admiration of the USA.
    The USA are much closer to Marx’ “association of free indivduals” than Marxists like Ayers and their socialist Dystopia will ever be.

  23. 23Kalifornia Kafir on Feb 27, 2009 at 9:08 am:

    “But we ran smack dab into what I call the Ayers-Dohrn Paradox, which is:
    Ayers and Dohrn gained fame as violent revolutionaries willing to commit murder and other terrorist acts in order to overthrow the United States. For that, they were greatly worshipped by the far left. Now, in their sunset years, they’re trying to re-cast themselves as “respectable” left-wing professors with “reasonable” opinions, who have long ago sworn off violence.”

    Come to the UC Berkeley campus and you will find lots of folks suffering from the Ayers-Dohrn Paradox. We have lots of old revolutionaries fighting for seats at Chez Panise and sipping high-end California wine on their Kensington terraces.

  24. 24Fenris on Feb 27, 2009 at 9:16 am:

    I can imagine Eric Holder if he adopted the Ayers/Dorhn approach:

    YOU: Nice weather today, isn’t it?
    HOLDER: It is, but you’re still a latent racist.

    My point is, it you want people to stop making race-based judgments, it’s best to stop thinking about race altogether.

  25. 25NU alum on Feb 27, 2009 at 11:43 am:

    25 Fenris: You’re only a racist if you’re a white person.

    5 yochanan ben avrohom: Not all NU students. It’s certainly not worse than UCBerkeley, SF State, Duke U., Columbia U., etc. Being in the mid-west means you have a higher representation of conservative thinkers.

  26. 26Bernard on Feb 27, 2009 at 11:55 am:

    Coming to an appeals court soon we will live to see Mumia’s sentence commuted by The One as a thankyou for being a friend. This is one of Ayers life’s ambitions. It will save Holder the trouble of being accused as soft on terrorists and long on pardons.

  27. 27Ken on Feb 27, 2009 at 5:43 pm:

    I find no fault with the couple’s left-wing ideology, though I can’t say I support the old methods Ayers is purported to have once used. As a Communist Party member, I can say there is no place for bombings or so-called “revolutionary violence” when building socialism in the US. Lenin made it clear almost 100 years ago:

    “The categorical requirement of Marxist theory in investigating any social question is that it be examined within definite historical limits, and, if it refers to a particular country (e. g., the national programme for a given country), that account be taken of the specific features distinguishing that country from others in the same historical epoch.”

    Obviously, in the United States, with a healthy (albeit imperfect) electoral system and large mass of decently educated workers, the “definite historical limits” and conditions of America’s “historical epoch” do not call for any violent overthrow of anything. What’s more, Marx and Engels themselves recognized that the use of violent revolution was only acceptable in certain conditions and not in others:

    “The practical application of the principles will depend, everywhere and at all times, on the historical conditions existing for the time being. For that reason, no special stress is placed on the revolutionary measures proposed [in the Communist Manifesto].”

    Don’t these people ever actually read Marx before proclaiming themselves Marxists?

  28. 28George Bentley on Feb 27, 2009 at 9:15 pm:

    # 28; “Don’t these people ever actually read Marx before proclaiming themselves Marxists?”

    They did read Marx, that is why they must do all this bashing and race baiting, to make America bad enough to warrant a revolution.
    Propaganda: the art of turning truth into what you want it to be.

  29. 29Kun on Feb 27, 2009 at 9:30 pm:

    Ken, that Marx & Engels quote is taken out of context (then again, you’re with the CPUSA.) They were talking about reformism and that revolution would not be the immediate goal. For example, anti-colonialism > socialism in colonial countries, popular front against fascism > socialism in, say, the Spanish Civil War, etc.

    Perhaps you should read some Hoxha, who did a good job tearing up your former Soviet puppet-party.

  30. 30Kun on Feb 27, 2009 at 9:31 pm:

    Forgot to post the other link,

    Begin with his criticism of Browderism.

  31. 31Ken on Feb 27, 2009 at 11:00 pm:

    “Perhaps you should read some Hoxha”

    What good is reading Hoxha? There are, to say the least, quite a few important “specific features” distinguishing present-day America from the Albania of 50 years ago. The goal is building socialism in the 21st century US and I fail to see how the phrase-mongering of a deceased Albanian contributes to that. Maybe you should read Foster’s book “Towards a Soviet America.”

    “your former Soviet puppet-party”

    Please. As if your hero Enver Hoxha wasn’t a puppet of the Chinese.

  32. 32Kun on Feb 28, 2009 at 11:27 am:

    You’re right, Ken, Hoxha was indeed a puppet of the Chinese. That’s why it took usually one and a half years for machinery to be delivered to the shores of Albania and Albania was able to freely disassociate itself with China at any time. Hoxha had his doubts about the Chinese as early as the late 60′s (Sino-Albanian split was ’78), as his two-volume work ‘Reflections on China’ can attest too.

    “Maybe you should read Foster’s book “Towards a Soviet America.” ”

    Hoxha’s ‘Eurocommunism is Anti-Communism’ was written in 1980, Foster’s ‘Toward a Soviet America’ was written in 1932. You could of at least picked a post-WWII book, considering how Browder considered America a ‘unique’ case after World War II and the entire CPUSA changed as a result.

    “There are, to say the least, quite a few important “specific features” distinguishing present-day America from the Albania of 50 years ago.”

    There are. Big difference though, I don’t recall how waging a struggle against the “ultra-right” contributes to anything except reformism. I guess the fall of the wall must of really emptied out your party’s coffers (not to mention newspaper material, c.f. Communist Party of Canada) that you’re going around endorsing people who praise the triumph against the Soviet Union in their inauguration speeches.

    The CPUSA was little more than a joke after the 1950′s ideologically. It basically repeated whatever Moscow wanted it too. “Follow Stalin, yay. Khrushchev condemns Stalin, yay. Peaceful co-existence, yay. Invasions of Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan, yay. Brezhnev replaces Khrushchev, yay. Gorbachev comes to power, yay. Perestroika, yay. Breakup of the USSR, OH GOD NO!”

  33. 33Karl Marked on Feb 28, 2009 at 2:23 pm:

    Grathwohl to the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee on October 18, 1974, was very specific:

    “When he [Bill Ayers] returned, we had another meeting at which time―and this is the only time that any Weathermen told me about something that someone else had done―and Bill started off telling us about the need to raise the level of the struggle and for stronger leadership inside the Weathermen ‘focals’ [i.e., cells] and inside the Weatherman organization as a whole. And he cited as one of the real problems was that someone like Bernardine Dohrn had to plan, develop and carry out the bombing of the police station in San Francisco, and he specifically named her as the person that committed that act.”

    Grathwohl added that Ayers “said that the bomb was placed on the window ledge and he described the kind of bomb that was used to the extent of saying what kind of shrapnel was used in it.”

    He was asked, “Did he say who placed the bomb on the window ledge?” He replied, “Bernardine Dohrn.”

    … “Sergeant McDonnell caught the full force of the flying shrapnel, which consisted of heavy metal staples and lead bullets. As other officers tried rendering aid to the fallen sergeant, they could see that he sustained a severed neck artery wound and severe wounds to his eyes and neck,” the San Francisco Police Officers Association Journal reported about the incident.

    “Officers [Ron] Martin and [Al] Arnaud, who were standing several feet from the window ledge, were knocked to the ground and sustained injuries from the flying glass,” it said. “The blast caused them hearing impairment and shock. One officer was knocked to the floor unconscious, while another “suffered multiple severe wounds on his face, cheek and legs from the flying fragments of the glass.”

    “The sole purpose of the fence staples was to kill and injure people,” Grathwohl notes. “If you were building a bomb that was only supposed to do property damage and your intent was to injure no one, why would you put fence staples in it?”

    Grathwohl told AIM, “Bill [Ayers] told me about it before I had even read about it in the paper. When I went to the FBI and gave them this information, I knew nothing about it. And the information Bill had given me was so exact. I knew that the bomb had been left on the window ledge of the Park Police station and I knew what the bomb was comprised of.”

  34. 34Passionate Conservative on Feb 28, 2009 at 9:45 pm:

    When he dies, and let’s face it, there are more days behind than ahead of him, so I don’t want anyone thinking I’m advocating violence to the little darling, but his grave should probably be unmarked. We don’t want it to become some sort of public urinal.

  35. 35Christina on Mar 1, 2009 at 12:32 pm:

    Funny how the Lefties who think Cuba and other Commielands are Paradise on Earth never trundle themselves off to enjoy the benefits. You’d think they’d at least have spent a year or so there….

  36. 36Ken on Mar 1, 2009 at 2:36 pm:

    “Funny how the Lefties who think Cuba and other Commielands are Paradise on Earth never trundle themselves off to enjoy the benefits. You’d think they’d at least have spent a year or so there…”

    how amusing….

  37. 37Anonymous on Mar 1, 2009 at 3:03 pm:

    Self loathing is pitiful. May they enjoy the fires of hell.

  38. 38Fenris on Mar 3, 2009 at 11:24 am:

    25 NU Alum: I can never remember: are Jews white?

  39. 39average_guy on Mar 3, 2009 at 12:31 pm:

    38 Fenris

    Outstanding post.

  40. 40Jeffrey Altman,MD on Mar 4, 2009 at 11:50 am:

    Thanks for the post Zombie,

    In the past month, some Illinois legislators have introduced legislation that would keep current and “former” terrorists from holding state positions. (Ayers is a professor at University of Illinois). While I doubt this legislation will pass, I am glad people are keeping pressure on this criminal and his criminal wife. Fortunately, it seems like this was a low key event with only a few left wing yahoos in attendance. I think it best not to give the Ayers/Dohrn pair any attention and let them fade into the obscurity they deserve even though they deserve our anger and scorn. In todays society, more attention sometimes equates with more credibility. I appreciate your excellent documentation of Ayer’s and Dohrn’s radical views and prior criminal terroristic actions. President Obama’s sympathetic views towards him and his previous political affiliations with Ayers represent seriously poor political judgement and in my mind continue to remain relevant!

  41. 41ol Sal on Mar 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm:

    Zombie, you are an angel who boldly goes when I would fear to tread, lest my head spin wildly around before it commenced to blowing up. My profoundest thanks, sir, for your public service.

    BTW, I was a student at NU in the 1970s and they had nutcases like Dorn on the faculty then, too, including the most racist professor I ever met: a Sociology prof who spent all his time talking about “the good old days” living off the public teat during Johnson’s Great Society in the 60s, and hollering at the class for being pampered white kids from the suburbs. I dropped the class on the last day you could do so. Those teaching real topics, though, were intelligent and engaging lecturers.

  42. 42jp on Mar 8, 2009 at 6:48 pm:

    Did you take a shower when you got home?

  43. 43bertie on Mar 17, 2009 at 11:03 pm:

    I won’t hold my breath but it’s something:

    “Bill Ayers’ famous quip may come back to haunt him. There is no statute of limitations on murder charges.”

  44. 44wren on Mar 24, 2009 at 8:02 pm:

    I just learned that Bill Ayres is coming to my town (Naperville, IL) on April 8. He will be signing at the bookstore I used to work at and speaking at the highschool I graduated from. This can’t happen without some opposition. Any advise?

  45. 45andy levinson on Apr 22, 2009 at 7:11 am:

    Case against terrorists Ayers and Dorhn to re-open….and Obama’s justice dept muzzles san francisco cops….won’t let them talk about the case against obama’s old friends…w&pageId=92722

  46. 46blooming rose on Jun 19, 2009 at 9:22 am:

    Sorry folks, but we live in (and say we’d like to encourage around the globe) a place where free speech, freedom of thought and the ability to disagree (it’s called dissent) in our philosophies, political and otherwise was written in our Constitution. For the record, Ayers, Dorn and their group were very clear that their intentions were to awaken America to the violence we were bringing (and continue to bring today) around the world and on our own soil as well. Their goal was to destroy certain ‘properties’, not people’s lives, that were associated with that oppression and injustice. Yes, oppression and injustice. Who among us is willing to see that our government participates in that? For more of the ‘facts’, I recommend the 2003 documentary, simply titled, “The Weather Underground”.

  47. 47blooming rose on Jun 19, 2009 at 9:24 am:

    One more word: that place in America where we live is a ‘Democracy’, right? We obviously still have a lot of work to do to get there.

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