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Wade C. Maroney, Fargo, Published May 17 2013

Letter: DuBord right on the money regarding MSUM and Ayers

The column by retired Professor Dick DuBord (May 11) was, in my opinion, right on the money. I, too, hold Professor Steve Grineski in high regard, having taken one of his classes at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Bill Ayers is a product of the times – very turbulent times in the 1960s when we had ultra-conservative politicians who made it their business to oppress the masses who were exercising their First Amendment rights in regard to an illegal war and civil rights that were being violated.

It makes me reflect on the Democratic Party convention in Chicago in 1968. The “Chicago Eight” (later the “Chicago Seven” after Black Panther member Bobby Seale spent four years in prison for contempt, a record back then).

Angela Davis, a black activist who spent some 18 months in prison for being a member of the Communist Party, and who then-Gov. Ronald Reagan tried to fire in 1969 from her position as a professor at a California university, without success.

These were people who were well-educated, who were exercising their rights to organize civil disobedience. Richard Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover saw these and others as a threat to national security.

When the U.S. government spent almost a trillion dollars just during the 1950s on South Vietnam, the military industrial complex expected all Americans to support and pay taxes, as U.S. military and innocent civilians died, while war profiteers got richer. This was an “American war,” not a Vietnam War.

Ayers’ participation in the Weather Underground was part of the formation of protests all across the U.S., including college campus protests, where the students were well-informed of a hostile government. After 9/11, students today are not as well-informed, which goes back to high school teaching, but through people like Ayers, they can be informed and educated about those times.

Faculty members should be supportive and be tolerant with someone like Grineski, who teaches at a school that I deemed to be “liberal.”

I plan to attend grad school this summer at MSUM because of people who have a deep passion for education, like Grineski and Ayers.