A Freedumb Moment

Yesterday as I was poring through the latest riveting updates on the Sandra – Jesse saga I saw a blurb about the cancellation of a speech at the University of Wyoming.  The scheduled speaker was Bill Ayers, the University of Illinois professor who was a 1970’s convicted radical bomber.  Ayers was the founder of the Weather Underground that was an anti-Vietnam radical activist group known for bombing empty government buildings.   Ayers turned himself in to authorities in 1980 and pleaded guilty to possession of explosives for which charges were dropped.

Tom Buchanan, UW President said that he had concerns about safety given the outpouring of negative emails and letters he received from people around the state.  Buchanan said: “Re-evaluation of this event was unavoidable. I’m satisfied with the outcome.  Academic freedom is a core principle of any institution of higher education. But with that freedom comes an obligation to exercise free thought and free speech in concert with mutual respect and acknowledgement of broader resource and security impacts on the campus. The exercise of freedom requires a commensurate dose of responsibility.”

Given that Ayers has been a professor at a large public university for several years, and given that he is a nationally respected advocate for reform in public education, I wondered why people were against him.  Of course, I suspected that it had to do with his radical activities of 30 years ago.  And yes, I found that those opposed felt that Ayers would be an abuse of freedom of speech.  In fact, people like Ayers should not be allowed to speak anywhere.

Take a look at this article from the Laramie Boomerang (Don’t you love that name?) that was written before the cancellation.  Please take the time to read the comments section.  It is here where you can see how alive and well the Freedumb movement is.


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