(Readers who are new to the discussion and want to understand its specific connection to Barack Obama should read Diamond's post):
More fundamentally, Bill Ayers world view is rooted in what I consider a racialist, if not racist, view of American politics.Diamond's discussion of reparations for American descendents of slaves focuses on how the issue has been extended by the Ayers cadre to the concept of an "education debt" owed (I presume by white U.S. taxpayers) to the descendents.
(I use the first term - racialism - to describe ideas or perspectives that use race-based approaches which I think overstate the race component but that do not really rise to the level of racism. I have a hard time, for example, concluding that someone like Reverend Wright is, at heart, a racist in the sense that, let’s say, George Wallace was. But he certainly uses race in a divisive way that I think overstates the role of race. That is what I consider “racialism” as opposed to racism. There is, of course, the danger that one can go so far in that direction or view the world that way for so long that actual racism takes hold – perhaps Louis Farrakhan is an example, though I do not spend much time paying much attention to him. Maybe one way of getting at this issue is that while a white person can actually show up at the church of Reverend Wright it would not have been possible for a black person to show up at certain churches in the American south in the 1960s and expect to get home safely.)
Since the days of Weather Underground Ayers has advocated a viewpoint that argues that the fundamental issue in American life is "white skin privilege" -- that white Americans benefit from being white at the expense of blacks. [...]
For more on Barack Obama's connection to the reparations issue, see RezkoWatch's post today titled They Owe Us and this 2007 piece from PR-Inside, which focuses on Obama's support for Chicago City Council, Alderwoman Dorothy Tillman, who is a strong supporter of reparations. (H/T Free Republic.)
Of course the reparations issue can be seen as completely distinct from the machinations of the authoritarian Left cadre. But as a reminder of how the cadre never met a social cause they didn't set out to screw up, consider David Horowitz's prank to illustrate the cadre's thuggery when it met with a dissenting opinion on reparations.
For links to Diamond's recent discussions of the authoritarian Left and social injustice see his Eduwonkette: Sol Stern and Bill Ayers Debate on "Social Justice" Teaching and my post titled "The great unanswered questions" about Barack Obama's relationship with William Ayers.