This post continues the series of chapter summations of Radical-In-Chief by Stanley Kurtz. Today we cover Chapter 7.
Ayers and the Foundations
Barack Obama and Bill Ayers worked hand in hand aiding each other for 8 years when Ayers was chairman of a foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) and Obama was on the board of the Woods Fund, an allied foundation also in Chicago.
Ayers abandoned bombing and violence as methods but his beliefs and goals for a complete transformation of America have never changed. And his activities following the terrorism stint have a much greater impact than the terrorism ever had.
Some time after his Weathermen period, Ayers wrote that “activism and organizing would become our way of life” and I will “take on the American monster, end the American nightmare.” He wrote that America must have a “total, fundamental economic and social transformation in which the working class overthrows and liquidates the ruling class” [emphasis added].
In 2001 Ayers reminisced “Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon. The sky was blue; birds were singing. And the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them!” Obama and Ayers were serving together on the Woods Fund board when Ayers wrote those words.
Socialism and the Foundations. Community organizing is a little too radical and roguish for most liberal foundations to support. Three foundations, however, weren’t at all reluctant. They were the Wieboldt, the Woods, and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge foundations. Obama served for a time as chairman on the boards of two of the three.
Frank Woods made his money in coal. His son ran the foundation for many years supporting traditional liberal causes. After his death, the setting of policies fell to staffers who took the fund into the realm of the radical left. When remaining family members objected, the money was split with just 30% remaining in the coffers controlled by the family. Seventy percent of the Woods Fund money was de facto commandeered by the Ayers/Obama clique. The story is similar with the Annenberg Foundation money. [Walter Annenberg was a staunch conservative and a confidant of Ronald Reagan.]
The Chicago Annenberg Challenge was conceived by Bill Ayers as a means of funding his education program. His co-founder and fund raiser was a woman named Anne Hallett. Ayers and Hallet installed Obama as chairman. Ayers concentrated on programs and Obama worked with Hallet to bring in the funding. By all measures, including its own, the CAC failed to make any improvement in education. But the founders still considered it to be a success because a significant portion of the $100 million raised was siphoned off and used to support other socialist causes.
Bill Ayers hates believes that America with its free market system is a “monster” and a “nightmare”. But he knows from his owned failed experience that the United States cannot be driven into socialism by force of gun and bomb. That idea was the product of an overzealous and impatient youth. The US is one of the most prosperous nations on earth and known the world over as a bastion of freedom and a land of opportunity. As long as these conditions exist the people will not knowingly turn to socialism with its philosophy of take-from-some that which is rightfully theirs and give to others who have done nothing to earn it. Only with a plan of stealth and incrementalism is there any hope of transforming the nation into the visions held by Bill Ayers and Barack Obama.