The Spectacle Blog

What Are Terrorists Teaching Your Kids?

By on 5.8.13 | 5:18PM

The taxpayers of North Carolina would probably be shocked to learn that their state university has for a number of years employed a Marxist revolutionary who advocated the violent overthrow of the American government, which he described as "the imperialist, sexist, racist state."

Howard Machtinger wrote that in 1973, when he was a fugitive wanted by the FBI for his role in a plot by the so-called "Weatherman" terrorist group to bomb the Detroit Police Officers Association Building. Machtinger has never repudiated his radicalism. Indeed, only four years ago, Machtinger defended the Weather Underground in an article in the leftist journal In These Times, saying that it was a right-wing "libel on the antiwar movement" to call the criminal bombers "terrorists."

You say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to, eh? Let experts on semantics debate what words should be used to describe the Weather Underground, although my personal preference would be for the FBI's wanted-poster description: "These individuals should be considered dangerous because of their known advocacy and use of explosives, reported acquistion of firearms and incendiary devices, and known propensity for violence."

Whatever you call them, the question that parents and taxpayers should be asking is, "Why are these dangerous individuals being hired as teachers and professors?" Indeed, as Director of the Carolina Teaching Fellows Program at the School of Education at the University of North Carolina's Chapel Hill campus, former fugitive Howard Machtinger was a teacher of teachers, and has also served as co-director of the university's Program for Historical Education.

The employment of Weather Underground alumna and convicted murderer Cathy Boudin at Columbia University has called new attention to such questions, as have Bill Ayers's attempt to disavow his fellow anti-American terrorists who bombed the Boston Marathon. But as the case of Howard Machtinger makes clear, Boudin and Ayers aren't the only terrorists who have found a warm welcome in academia.

A young journalist Ryan Girdusky has compiled a list of 12 accused terrorists teaching at American universities. It's a startling list and, after reading it, you'll understand why I said, "Based on past experience, 20 years from now, al-Qaeda and Hamas terrorists will be teaching at Columbia University."

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