Radical Chic Redux

From left to right: Members of the Manson family, Susan Denise Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Leslie Van Houten.

Leslie Van Houten was a member of the Charlie Manson “family,” an infamous cult of unrepentant monsters devoted to orgies of sex, torture, and murder. In 1969, the 19-year-old Van Houten plunged a knife into Rosemary LaBianca 14 times. Van Houten made sure the last thing Rosemary witnessed before she died was the murder of her husband, Leno, by the Manson gang.

A Los Angeles jury sentenced Van Houten to death, but California law subsequently commuted her sentence to life in prison. Recently, a parole board recommended that she be freed, in large part due to decades of efforts on her behalf by Left-wing academics such as  Karlene Faith, a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz’s “History of Consciousness” department, who thinks Van Houten has something to teach us. “I believe we need to pay attention to her.”

If released, she’ll undoubtedly be able to choose among job offers from the likes of Harvard and Yale.

Faith was preceded in the HistCon Department by Angela Davis, a stunningly beautiful African-American woman who had the distinction of being the third female to make  the FBI’s 10 Most-Wanted List. A Black Panther and Communist activist, Davis in 1970 had procured and supplied the weapons used by a black teenager to storm a Marin County courthouse, free two black convicts, and take the judge, prosecutor, and three female jurors as hostages. The judge was killed in the shoot-out.

Davis was joined on the Most-Wanted List by Bernardine Dohrn, a leader of the violent group, Weather Underground. Dohrn had signed a declaration that formally declared war on the U.S. government, and publicly threatened to attack graduation ceremonies across the country “where the big people will come as speakers.”

Like Professor Faith, Dohrn celebrated the Manson crazies. “Offing those rich pigs with their own forks and knives, and then eating a meal in the same room, far out! The Weathermen dig Charlie Manson,” she told an audience of the Students for a Democratic Society soon after the murders. Once her own legal problems were resolved, Dohrn was hired as an adjunct professor by Northwestern University School of Law.

Dohrn’s husband, Bill Ayers, was one of the founders of the Weather Underground, and plotted to blow up police stations, the U.S. Capitol Building, and the Pentagon. In 1969, he helped plant a bomb at a statue dedicated to police casualties, and as often as the statue was rebuilt Ayers and his group blew it up again until it was moved to Chicago police headquarters.

In 1973, Ayers co-authored a book dedicated to “all who continue to fight” and “all political prisoners in the U.S.” One of the prisoners he mentioned by name was Sirhan Sirhan, Robert F. Kennedy’s Palestinian murderer.

Along the way, Ayers became Barack Obama’s chum and a professor at the University of Illinois education school. But he never abandoned his revolutionary fervor. In an interview with the New York Times, he said, “I don’t regret setting bombs” and “I feel we didn’t do enough.” Asked if he’d do it all again, he said, “I don’t want to discount the possibility.” The interview was published on September 11, 2001.

Ayers’ celebrity status didn’t sit well with everyone. When he was up for emeritus status at the University of Illinois, Robert Kennedy’s son, Christopher, spoke against him.

I intend to vote against conferring the honorific title of our university to a man whose body of work includes a book dedicated in part to the man who murdered my father, Robert F. Kennedy . . .  There is nothing more antithetical to the hopes for a university that is lively and yet civil . . . than to permanently seal off debate with one’s opponents by killing them.

Christopher Kennedy succeeded in denying Ayers’ demand for an emeritus professorship, but that doesn’t sit well with today’s Democrats. He is the “Kennedy Democrats don’t want” as Politico delicately put it.

If the polls are to be trusted, Kennedy has the support of the people of Illinois—but not the party leadership. They’re backing billionaire J.B. Pritzker, the brother of Obama’s Secretary of Commerce. Given a choice between a Kennedy and a crony capitalist, today’s Democrats have left the old-fashioned liberalism of the 1960s far behind them. Kennedy was told he lacks the right “personality” to represent Democrats. Trapped in an elevator by TV crews, he asked, “Have some decency. What have you become?”

Decency! When did you last hear that word? We’ve moved on, and Democrats no longer object to universities that hire killers. Trashiness has gone mainstream. Fifty years back it was self-consciously outré, like the cocktail party Leonard Bernstein threw for the Black Panthers, which Tom Wolfe mocked in “Radical Chic.” “Some of you here may have some feelings left for the Establishment,” said the Panthers, “but we don’t. We want to see it die. We’re Maoist revolutionaries, and we have no choice but to fight to the finish.”

Well, that’s cold.

It alarmed Barbara Walters, who demanded to know whether there’d be a place for her and her children, after the revolution. “Does that mean we have to go?” One of the Panther wives observed that it sounded like Barbara was afraid. “I’m not afraid of you,” Barbara retorted, “but maybe I am about my children.” How very unrevolutionary! But in his Park Avenue suite, all Bernstein had to worry about is what kind of canapés to serve a Black Panther.

The Manson family, Bernadine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, these were the freaks thrown up by the 1960s. We knew they were contemptible, and that Leonard Bernstein was ridiculous. But now they’re mainstream. We see it in the Washington Post’s fawning stories about the Antifa thugs, the support given to Leslie Van Houten, and in Chelsea Manning’s support group. Tom Wolfe called it Radical Chic when it was the province of a precious elite but now it’s gone mainstream. It’s Radical Chic Redux, and it stinks of cultural degradation.


Support Free & Independent Journalism Your support helps protect our independence so that American Greatness can keep delivering top-quality, independent journalism that's free to everyone. Every contribution, however big or small, helps secure our future. If you can, please consider a recurring monthly donation.

Want news updates?

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.

23 responses to “Radical Chic Redux”

  1. I could cry for this country. Values have been so degraded that there is little left to take pride in. I never forgot who Bill Adler was and I was horrified that he was a close friend (not to mention neighbor) of Barack Obama’s. Chicago is a rough & tough town. I don’t know what Bill Adler has going for him that he can swing so much political clout, but it must be something unsavory.

    • That’s Bill Ayers. And over and above ‘friend and neighbor’ – Obama actually began his ‘political career’ in Ayer’s living room.

      It’s amusing as heck the MSM spent months trying to ‘connect’ Trump and David Duke -the same media that ignored Obama’s long association with actual bomb-throwing domestic terrorists…

      • Had Barack Obama been a white guy with the same history and ideology, we would not even know his name today. Today I only curse his name.

    • I swear I meant Bill Ayers! Just a little brain freeze there!

    • I refuse to cry any longer for our former nation. I served for 22 years in the Corps. The civilian population voted for and endorsed the change in values which we now suffer. So the voters wanted it. I am more than willing to let them live, in the cesspool which they have created, for the few years that i have left on this earth.

      • I sympathize with your point of view. I do not have children or grandchildren and so do not have a personal stake in the future of this country. I just can’t believe the little brats are so destructive! And, btw, thank you for your service. I personally think it would be a good thing for all American males to serve in the military — it would be good for the nation and good for the men.

      • When we had a draft we had no problems with man power. Additionally many a young man grew up in the service and went on to serve the country in other ways. In the early sixties our congress was about 80 percent veterans. Currently it is about one percent vets. And we now wonder why we keep playing war instead of soundly crushing the enemy until they beg to surrender….

      • A decade later, that Congress didn’t have the administration’s back in Vietnam.

  2. I remember seeing a picture of Bill Ayers stomping on a flag. The picture was taken in 2001. I loathe him and his harridan of a wife.

    • Yes. As the author states, that photo and the article that went with it were published on 9/11/2001.

  3. It’s beyond flabbergasting that none of the MSM examined Obama’s long association with Ayers and Dorhn. Domestic terrorist bomb-throwing cop killers who Obama idolized – probably explaining his 8 year tenure painting targets on cop’s backs…

    It’s also pretty sad nobody ever assassinated Ayers and Dorhn – as they advocated assassinating others…

    • Barack Obama was a manufactured persona. The man has little to do with the fantastic (as in made up) character they all wished him to be.

  4. I wish I could give the author a hundred thumbs up for this article.

    The leftist movement should have been put down fifty years ago, but Johnson wanted a divided population and Nixon lacked the guts.

  5. Here in Wonderland. that all makes sense.
    When everything you see, when everything you stand upon, when all that you have come to know is recognized only as proof of the Corruption of Western Civilization…proof of its colonialist/imperialist/capitalist oppressive past as represented particularly by American patriarchal racism….then obviously those who have actively worked against it, sought to destroy it, murdered its citizens in acts of calculated horror & cruelty…why those are the very folk you need to honor.

    Here in Wonderland, when we deface statutes of Columbus, question whether or not it’s ‘righteous’ to honor Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin….destroy the monuments which commemorate the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of American lives as they sought to end slavery….shout down and destroy those who would teach us….why then it makes perfect sense to elevate pathetic anarchists and homicidal maniacs. Who else??

    The Idiots at Pomona captured this utter lack of thought most effectively in their response to their President’s plea in support of free speech. This is what they said (quoted at length to more fully convey the insanity): “The idea that there is a single truth–’the Truth’–is a construct of the Euro-West that is deeply rooted in the Enlightenment, which was a movement that also described Black and Brown people as both subhuman and impervious to pain. This construction is a myth and white supremacy, imperialism, colonization, capitalism, and the United States of America are all of its progeny. The idea that the truth is an entity for which we must search, in matters that endanger our abilities to exist in open spaces, is an attempt to silence oppressed peoples. We, Black students, exist with a myriad of different identities. We are queer, trans, differently-abled, poor/low-income, undocumented, Muslim, first-generation and/or immigrant, and positioned in different spaces across Africa and the African diaspora. The idea that we must subject ourselves routinely to the hate speech of fascists who want for us not to exist plays on the same Eurocentric constructs that believed Black people to be impervious to pain and apathetic to the brutal and violent conditions of white supremacy.”

    Of course these are the people who would honor only knaves and fools, killers and thieves. Here in Wonderland we’ve become very small indeed.

    • “Every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And that process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” — Orwell in “1984”

    • The freaks are declaring their place in the sun. One can only wish they contract cancer and die off.

  6. I find myself disagreeing with Ms. Goldberg for the first time ever: Angela Davis was no more a stunningly beautiful African American woman than I was. Ugly inside and out.

  7. Why are monsters like Ayers and Dohrn, dodging incarceration on technical grounds, even permitted to dwell within the U.S? If someone stormed into your house and defecated in your living room, you would not give them the “freedom of the house”.

  8. Charlie Manson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel,, Leslie Van Houten., Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn: Their very existence proves a hell exists. What else could spawn such a horde of demons?

  9. This is all why the 2cnd amendment is as important if not more than the first…. never, ever allow we citizens to be disarmed for then we are at the mercy of the feral who respect no decent rule of law. Proceed accordingly.