JERUSALEM – A radical who served as an adviser to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign keynoted an environmental activist festival whose satellite event was addressed by former Weather Underground terrorists William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.
Cornel West, a professor at Princeton University, addressed the Washington DC Green Festival over the weekend, an event promoting environmental awareness whose speaker list is teeming with radicals. Ayers and Dohrn keynoted the satellite Green Festival in Chicago, alongside Amy Goodman, host and executive producer of Democracy Now, a far-left, pro-socialist news organization.
A Green Festival promotion reads, “Enjoy more than 125 renowned authors, leaders and educators; great how-to workshops; cutting-edge films; fun activities for kids; organic beer and wine; delicious vegetarian cuisine and diverse live music.”
It was unclear how either Ayers, Dohrn or West were related to environmental activism.
West served as an adviser on Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March and is a personal friend of Farrakhan. He serves as honorary chair of a U.S. socialist group and has ties to black extremists.
West authored two books on race with Henry Louis Gates Jr., who last summer was at the center of controversy after Obama remarked on the Harvard professor’s arrest.
Obama named West, whom he has called a personal friend, to the Black Advisory Council of his presidential campaign.
West was a key point man between Obama’s campaign and the black community.
It was West who introduced Obama at a 2007 Harlem fundraiser, an event featuring about 1,500 people which served as Obama’s first foray into Harlem since he announced his Democratic presidential candidacy.
WND reported that West introduced Obama on stage at the fundraiser after first railing against the “racist” criminal justice system of the “American empire.”
A scan of YouTube clips found West introducing Obama at the fundraiser while stating the “American empire is in such a deep crisis” and slamming the “racist criminal justice system” and “disgraceful schools in our city.”
“He is my brother and my companion and comrade,” said West of Obama.
Obama asked the audience for a round of applause for West.
West has branded the U.S. a “racist patriarchal” nation where “white supremacy” continues to define everyday life. He once stated the 9/11 attacks gave whites a glimpse of what it means to be a black person in the U.S.
From a young age, West proclaimed he admired “the sincere black militancy of Malcolm X, the defiant rage of the Black Panther Party … and the livid black [liberation] theology of James Cone.”
Cone’s theology spawned Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s controversial pastor for 20 years at the Trinity United Church of Christ. West was a strong defender of Wright when the pastor’s extreme remarks became national news during last year’s campaign season.
In 1995, West signed a letter published as an ad in the New York Times that voiced support for cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, a former Black Panther.
In 2002, West further signed a “Statement of Conscience” crafted by Not In Our Name, a project of C. Clark Kissinger’s Revolutionary Communist Party. He then endorsed the World Can’t Wait campaign, a Revolutionary Communist Party project seeking to organize “people living in the United States to take responsibility to stop the whole disastrous course led by the Bush administration.”
After branding the U.S. a “racist patriarchal” nation in his book “Race Matters,” West wrote, “White America has been historically weak-willed in ensuring racial justice and has continued to resist fully accepting the humanity of blacks.”
Also in that book, West claimed the 9/11 attacks gave white Americans a glimpse of what it means to be a black person in the U.S. – feeling “unsafe, unprotected, subject to random violence, and hatred” for who they are.
“Since 9/11,” West wrote, “the whole nation has the blues, when before it was just black people.”
Meanwhile, Ayers generated controversy in last year’s presidential campaign when it was disclosed the radical worked closely with Obama for years. Obama also was said to have launched his political career at a 1995 fundraiser in Ayers’ apartment.
WND columnist Jack Cashill has produced a series of persuasive arguments that it was Ayers who ghostwrote Obama’s award-winning autobiography, “Dreams from My Father.”
As WND reported, Obama and Ayers sat together on the board of a Chicago nonprofit, the Woods Fund. Ayers also was a founder of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, where Obama was appointed as its first chairman in 1995.
Ayers and his wife, Dohrn, were two of the main founders of the Weather Underground, which bombed the New York City police headquarters in 1970, the Capitol in 1971 and the Pentagon in 1972. The group was responsible for some 30 bombings aimed at destroying the defense and security infrastructures of the U.S.
Characterizing Weathermen as “an American Red Army,” Ayers summed up the organization’s ideology: “Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, Kill your parents.”
“Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon,” Ayers recalled in his 2001 memoir, “Fugitive Days.” “The sky was blue. The birds were singing. And the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them.”
Ayers brandished his unrepentant radicalism for years to come, as evidenced by his now notorious 2001 interview with the New York Times, published one day after the 9/11 attacks, in which he stated, “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.”
Ayers posed for a photograph accompanying the New York Times piece that showed him stepping on an American flag. He said of the U.S.: “What a country. It makes me want to puke.”