Do Associations Matter?

The McCain campaign — and earlier, the Clinton campaign — cast suspicions on Barack Obama’s character by linking him to admitted domestic terrorist William Ayers. When questioned in a primary debate about his association with Ayers, Obama said

This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who’s a professor of English in Chicago who I know and who I have not received some official endorsement from. He’s not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis. And the notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was eight years old, somehow reflects on me and my values doesn’t make much sense, George.

What Obama failed to mention is that he kicked off his political career in William Ayers’ living room. He was the founding chairman of the board of directors for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge — a grant proposal that William Ayers wrote and later received funding for. As founding chairman on the board of directors, Obama chose which “external partners” in Chicago would receive funding through the $49.2 million dollar educational grant.

Who would kick off a political career in a stranger’s home? I find it unbelievable that a man who would strategically pick the hometown of Abraham Lincoln to kick-off his campaign for President would choose the living room of a stranger to kick off his political career. Perhaps he didn’t know about Ayers’ background as a domestic, flag-stomping terrorist, but I find it more believable to think that Obama didn’t think Ayers’ background mattered.

All the other powerful Chicago politicians were rubbing elbows with Ayers, so perhaps Obama felt it was okay to run with the herd. After all, Ayers’ bombing sins were committed a very long time ago, so perhaps people wouldn’t remember. Hadn’t Ayers redeemed himself with his community activism?

Why should associations matter to a Christian?

God actually has quite a few things to tell us through the words of King Soloman — the wisest and wealthiest king the world has ever seen.

Proverbs 13
Walk with the wise and become wise;
associate with fools and get in trouble.

Is there any way we would put the word “wise” in front of William Ayers’ name? Most in America agree that his “detestable” actions were deplorable. Obama has denounced them. Yet he walked with this very foolish man — and his Chicago Annenberg Challenge project failed. According to the Final Technical Report of the Chicago Annenberg Research Project, the education initiative that Obama directed did not achieve its “bottom line” goal of improving student academic and nonacademic achievement.

A person who would bomb the Pentagon would be, by definition, a hot-tempered person. Most Americans do not resort to pyrotechnics to relieve their frustrations with their government, yet pyrotechnics is what Ayers and his Weather Underground group did. Proverbs 22 speaks about groups such as these:

Don’t befriend angry people
or associate with hot-tempered people,
or you will learn to be like them
and endanger your soul.

I think it entirely plausible to say that Obama probably did befriend Ayers. He did not merely sit on a board with Ayers. He wrote the preface for Ayers’ book, A Kind and Just Parent. Why would Obama write a preface for a person he did not know very well? Again, perhaps because he thought that the past was past and that it just didn’t matter what Ayers had done back then. Why did he not disclose this relationship?

The Obama camp says that McCain and Palin are trying to “change the subject” when bringing up Obama’s association with Ayers. But what if the shoe were on the other foot and McCain had an association with someone extremely radical? Like, perhaps David Duke?

Think about it. If John McCain had served on a board with KKK member David Duke, he would never have been chosen as the Republican Party’s nominee. There would have been massive protest marches, and McCain’s name would have been sullied just by his association — no matter how tenuous — with such a man. Even if David Duke somehow cleaned up his act and repudiated his past actions, McCain’s name would be mud. The media would be all over it.

Obviously, all is not fair in politics.

In digging for information about this relationship, I stumbled across other relationships that raise even more red flags for me than Ayers, if that’s possible.

His association with ACORN, which is currently being investigated in at least ten states for voter registration fraud.

A non-profit board he and Ayers both served on, The Woods Fund, gave two grants, one for $35K and another for $40K to the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), founded by Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi and his wife, Mona. Khalidi was reportedly a spokesperson for the Palestinian Liberation Authority’s press agency WAFA in Beiruit from 1976 to 1982. He has openly called Israel an “apartheid system in creation,” and a destructive “racist” state. He hosted a fundraiser for Obama’s unsuccessful bid to the U.S. House of Representatives. AAAN co-sponsored a Palestinian art show that highlighted the “Nakba” (or catastrophe) of Israel’s official formation in 1948.

The Woods Fund also funded a group called STOP (Southside Together Organizing for Power). Seemingly innocuous, this group organizes tenant associations and campaigns vehemently against what it calls “gentrification” —

A takeover of the land, housing, business, culture and public space of a community in order to attract and serve the interests of upper-income residents and displace working class and low-income residents, especially residents of color.

The reason “gentrification” is taking over cities is due, according to STOP, partly to deindustrialization as jobs are shipped overseas. (Why are they shipped overseas? Because the US has the 2nd highest tax rate on businesses in the WORLD. They don’t mention that fact in their documents.) They also claim that the cutting of welfare and other social services,

whether for reasons of ‘fiscal discipline’ or ‘efficiency,’ take away what little safety net exists for those people left behind by capitalism.

Left behind by capitalism? Let me tell a story about someone who refused to be left behind by capitalism. It was my dad, and he had something called initiative and gumption. It’s what millions of self-made people have. My dad grew up in challenging times. His family was evicted frequently because there was no money to pay the rent after his dad used it all up on liquor. So what did my daddy do? After getting back from Vietnam, he worked his tail off doing hard labor — he dug ditches for a local gas company. He did every task in front of him the very best he could do. Over thirty years later, he was the manager of an entire region and is now happily retired on a pension. How did he do it? By not claiming to be “left behind” by capitalism or anything else.

If not capitalism, then what? Let’s see…Obama wants health care to be a “right.” He wants to take money away from those who have worked hard for it — the “rich” — and redistribute it to the poor. His wife said,

“If we don’t wake up as a nation with a new kind of leadership…for how we want this country to work, then we won’t get universal health care,” she said.

“The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more.”

According to Miriam-Webster, socialism is defined as:

any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

Yes, associations matter. In the case of Obama…we have Ayers…and Khalidi…and pie.

Are you ready to redistribute your slice of the pie?

One thought on “Do Associations Matter?

  1. Okay, hold the phone. Did I miss something big?? I know that name Annenberg.

    The full name of is: The Annenberg Political Fact Check.

    Does this seem strange to you??

    Could there be a bigger connection?

    I also found that as a senator, Obama requested a $3.5 million dollar earmark for something called the USC Annenberg Research Network. This is on his very own website, buried in a list of other earmarks he’d requested. (fiscal years 06-07)

    Something is not right with this!!!!

    I know I already raised suspicion on, but now I’m freaking out a bit. What is going on here??

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