Mona Charen

We tell ourselves, we parents of college-bound kids (not to mention ordinary citizens), that American campuses really aren't as bad as all that, that students can avoid the most tendentious indoctrinators and that the press tends to exaggerate. And then we read headlines like "Kathy Boudin Teaching at Columbia" and sharp reality once again punctures the comfortable cushion of denial.

I'm not speaking personally because I'm among the hyper-vigilant and politically obsessed. I read the newsletters of the National Association of Scholars, a group of academics who bravely battle campus attempts to suppress free speech and free inquiry. I scan the press for news of academia. But most Americans, I'd guess, while knowing that college faculties are dominated by liberals, don't realize quite how extreme or how deeply corrupt our campuses have become.

Consider the case of Boudin, a member of the Weather Underground, a left-wing domestic terror group. What kinds of gentle hijinks did the WU engage in? They bombed the U.S. Capitol, the State Department and the Pentagon. They planned to detonate a bomb full of nails at a soldiers' dance in Fort Dix, N.J. The bomb exploded prematurely in a New York townhouse.

In 1981, Boudin was at the wheel of the getaway vehicle when the WU held up a Brinks truck and stole $1.6 million. Her colleagues killed the driver and gravely wounded another guard in the course of the robbery. They then transferred to the U-Haul truck that Boudin was driving. When the U-Haul was stopped by police, Boudin got out of the cab with her hands up and urged the police to lower their weapons. When they did, six of her heavily armed accomplices jumped out of the back of the truck and gunned down two of the officers.

Boudin, a cradle communist (her father was Fidel Castro's lawyer, her uncle was I.F. Stone), was 38 at the time of the Brinks attack -- not a youth. She spent the next 22 years in prison after pleading guilty to felony murder and she is now an adjunct professor of social work at Columbia University.

Just imagine if someone who had driven the getaway car for a group that attacked and killed an abortion doctor had been offered a place at the Heritage Foundation or Hillsdale College. Of course you cannot imagine that because such a person would be irredeemably tainted in the eyes of Heritage and Hillsdale. But supposing such a hire were possible, can you imagine the outcry?


Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
 
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