Thanks to Andy for posting below about the Obama/Ayers/Khalidi connection, and to Hugh Hewitt for giving me a chance to discuss it. I’m finding that I simply don’t have time to write up all the material I have on Obama’s troubling background prior to the election. So in lieu of the article I would write if I had more time, let me include some material from the acknowledgments of books by Ayers and Khalidi.
In the acknowledgments of Ayers’ 1997 book, A Kind and Just Parent (the book Obama publically endorsed in the Chicago Tribune), he thanks Rashid Khalidi’s wife, Mona Khalidi, calling her a “co-parent:”
Thanks to friends and family who provided models and standards and shared struggles of parenting:…Mona Khalidi, sister, friend, and co-parent today….
Thanks to…Mona Khalidi…for careful critical comments.
And in the acknowledgments of his 2004 book, Resurrecting Empire, Khalidi begins like this:
There are many people without whose support and assistance I could not have written this book or written it the way that it was written. First, chronologically and in other ways, comes Bill Ayers. He persuaded me a little over a year ago that I should write this book, and he put me in touch with my editor, Helene Atwan, who has done all that I imagined a good editor could do and more. Bill was particularly generous in letting me use his family’s dining room table to do some of the writing for the project….
Bernardine Dohrn continually encouraged me to keep working on the book when I was traveling and at home….
Obviously, the Khalidi and Ayers-Dohrn families were very close, intellectually, personally, and politically. Both Ayers-Dorhn and the Khalidis gave separate campaign events for Obama. Khalidi did exchange ideas with Obama, and it’s hard to believe that Khalidi’s political backing of Obama and exchanges with Obama on the Middle East weren’t thoroughly discussed with Ayers, whom Khalidi would surely have known had a history with Obama at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and on the juvenile crime battle.
Ayers’ 1998 edited book, Teaching for Social Justice, features a contribution by Rashid Khalidi (pp.186-187). Here are some excerpts from Khalidi’s piece:
Much of what I do involves teaching for justice, because the very terms I teach about are subversive of so many categories of public knowledge. This is because teaching about the modern Middle East in the United States means confronting a great deal of resistance, notably where the subject of Palestine is concerned….
Beyond generalized prejudices and often not-so-veiled racism against Arabs, Muslims, and Middle Easterners, the main problem comes when I have to confront firmly held and profoundly wrong ideas, particularly one which are widespread in our culture….
Things get harder when such misunderstandings, which at times are honest and innocent, are combined with the “idiot wind” which blows whenever government policy is discussed, and the lemmings in the media and the inside-the-beltway chorus echo whatever those in power are saying. It is nevertheless vitally important to try to talk sense about such things, whether about the Gulf war back in 1991, or about the “peace process” today, which has so far given us a lot of process and very little peace.”
For more on Khalidi, see this post by Martin Kramer.
It’s also of interest that in the back of Teaching for Social Justice Ayers includes a list of books he believes can serve as “resources for teaching for change.” Among those books is Obama’s 1995 memoir, Dreams From My Father.