I Found This Tidbit When I Wasn’t Watching the Debate….RE: Ayers/Obama Early Relationship

~~Posted by InsightAnalytical-GRL

I get nervous watching debates, so instead I roamed around some of the debate threads and somehow wound up at the Audacity of Hypocrisy site, which is now “offically” called Audacity of Deception and Hypocrisy

Anyway, this was posted yesterday (October 7) and I think it’s an interesting nugget:

Breaking: William Ayers Mentioned Obama in his “A Kind and Just Parent” Book

Ayers had to know Obama at a very close level to mention him in his book along with Muhammad Ali and Louis Farrakhan. The book came out in 1998. It takes about 2-3 years to write and publish a book, so this friendship can be placed going back to at least 1995. The evidence comes straight from William Ayers. Read the page at Google Book.

Unfortunately, page 82 can’t be copied, so here’s transcript of the page:

…erful university and its allied neighborhood association have worked to manipulate boundaries and borders to assure “stability” and separation.  Our neighbors include Muhammad Ali, former mayor Eugene Sawyer, poets Gwendolyn Brooks and Elizabeth Alexander, and writer Barack Obama. Minister Louis Farrakhan lives lives a block from our home and, we think, a unique dimension to the idea of “safe neighborhood watch”: the Fruit of Islam, his security force, has its eye on things twenty-four-hours a day. I pass Farrakhan’s mansion, offer a cheery wave to the Fruit, get a formal nod in response, and turn north two blocks across 47th Street, into the lap of urban blight.


Publication Details:

224 pages
A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court
By William Ayers
Published by Beacon Press, 1998
ISBN 0807044032, 9780807044032

Ayers’ book was published by the Beacon Press, which “is a department of the Unitarian Universalist Association” which is based in Boston.  According to the mission statement,

Beacon Press is an independent publisher of serious non-fiction and fiction. Our books often change the way readers think about fundamental issues; they promote such values as freedom of speech and thought; diversity, religious pluralism, and anti-racism; and respect for diversity in all areas of life.

I don’t know exactly how long it takes to publish a “serious” book, but judging from several scholarly acquaintances who have published, the 2-3 year time frame that the folks at the Audacity site have proposed seems entirely reasonable to me.

Back in February of this year, Politico was among the first to delve into William Ayers history. The opening paragraphs of the story, titled “Obama Once Visited ’60’s Radicals” read:

In 1995, State Senator Alice Palmer introduced her chosen successor, Barack Obama, to a few of the district’s influential liberals at the home of two well known figures on the local left: William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

While Ayers and Dohrn may be thought of in Hyde Park as local activists, they’re better known nationally as two of the most notorious — and unrepentant — figures from the violent fringe of the 1960s anti-war movement.

Now, as Obama runs for president, what two guests recall as an unremarkable gathering on the road to a minor elected office stands as a symbol of how swiftly he has risen from a man in the Hyde Park left to one closing in fast on the Democratic nomination for president.

“I can remember being one of a small group of people who came to Bill Ayers’ house to learn that Alice Palmer was stepping down from the senate and running for Congress,” said Dr. Quentin Young, a prominent Chicago physician and advocate for single-payer health care, of the informal gathering at the home of Ayers and his wife, Dohrn. “[Palmer] identified [Obama] as her successor.”

Obama and Palmer “were both there,” he said.

The publication date of the book–1998–with a mention of Obama seems to reinforce the early date of their first meeting, reported as 1995.

For more insight into what was going on with Barack Obama in 1995, see my earlier post “What Makes Obama Run?” from The Chicago Reader, December 1995.