When discussing his relationship with Barack Obama, domestic terrorist Bill Ayers told Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly that Obama didn’t know him any better than thousands of other people. That is a lie. The truth is that Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist who was described by the President as “just a guy from the neighborhood,” was close friends with President Obama along with a third pal, the even more radical Mike Klonsky.
Klonsky is the former National Chairman of the Students for a Democratic Society. In 1968 he penned a document titled “Toward a Revolutionary Youth Movement. ” Think of it as a “love note” to Chinese dictator Mao Zedong. It called for “an organized class-conscious youth movement” to engage in “revolutionary struggle” to “expose war, racism, the exploitation of labor, and the oppression of youth.” Klonsky concluded that “racism is an inherent part of capitalism and a primary tool used to exploit all working people.”
Klonsky did not join his buddy Ayers when the latter broke away to form the Weather Underground. Instead he founded the “October League,” a Maoist organization that changed its name to the “Communist Party (Marxist Leninist)” (CPML) in June 1977.
Old student communists do not die nor do they fade away. Ayers earned a doctorate and become a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Klonsky proceeded down the education career path as well.
In 1991 Klonsky and Ayers reunited and co-founded a project known as the “Small Schools Workshop” (SSW), premised on the notion that if high schools were to limit their enrollment to no more than 400 students (and optimally to fewer than 200), the learning atmosphere on campus would be improved. The curriculum for the project’s schools was very heavily weighted toward “social justice.” That’s according to Klonsky himself, who was part of the group’s leadership since its founding:
An English teacher can explore misogyny or materialism in American culture through the lens of hip-hop lyrics. Or … a math teacher can run probability simulations using real data to understand the dynamics behind income inequality or racial profiling.
It was with through the SSW that the future President, Ayers, and Klonsky became the three amigos.
Obama and Ayers worked together on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC). Obama chaired the board that oversaw funding decisions and directed over one million dollars worth of grants to the Klonsky-directed organization. CAC gave SSW a series of grants totaling $1,056,162. But that’s not all. The Joyce Foundation and the Woods Fund of Chicago, (Obama also sat on both boards), gave SSW another $912,556.
The future President’s relationship with Klonsky and Ayers went beyond the guilt-by-association cries of Obama supporters. The Annenberg Challenge and Small Schools Workshop shared the same floor in the same building.
According to this letter dated 1995, Obama’s office was on the 3rd floor:
According to this 1996 memo , Small Schools Workshop was also on the 3rd floor:
As the co-creator of the Small School Workshop, Ayers office was right next to Klonsky’s on the same floor as the future President.
Nothing has changed since those formative years, at least with Ayers and Klonsky. In a 2001, Klonsky was interviewed by the Chicago Tribune. There he said he and Ayers were still pursuing the same radical agenda they had advocated in their younger days:
We’ve learned how to work within the system. The fight to save and improve public education embodies all the issues we were fighting for back then.
Obama’s relationship with Klonsky continued well into his campaign for President. Klonsky was even given a page on Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign site discussing education and social justice.
That was until the blog Global Labor and Politics started writing about the Obama-Klonsky relationship. At that point mention of Klonsky’s blog mysteriously disappeared from Obama’s campaign site (though thankfully evidence of the linkage remains available through web archives).
Despite Team Obama’s scrubbing of references to any relationship between Obama and Ayers and Klonsky, the fact remains that tge future president promoted and collaborated with these anti-American radicals. He worked in close quarters with them and was responsible for overseeing the allocation of almost $2 million dollars to their organization. Klonsky even wrote for Obama’s campaign until he was exposed. With that long and close association, it would be hard to believe that the three amigos did not also share ideology.
In any case, Ayers’s claim that he did not have a unique relationship with Obama is simply a lie.
Cross-posted at The Lid