2008 Bookselling With Terrorists
posted by October 7 at 11:24 AMon
Obama’s been a regular customer at 57th Street for years. I have a friend who works there, and it seems like a great bookstore; it’s a co-op, and it’s fairly highbrow because it’s so close to the U of Chicago. Yesterday, Rachel wrote a great post about the awful turn McCain’s taken in his campaign and the whole Ayers issue. It puts things into perspective as far as Ayers’ presence in Chicago goes. Here’s a taste:
Two fairly frequent shoppers there are Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. … It occurred to me, reading the news today, that if Barack Obama is a terrorist by association with Bill Ayers, then I, too, am a terrorist, or at least a terrorist by association. I took money from him, money which later paid my paycheck — I profited from this connection! I smiled at him, and treated him like any other customer — and much more respectfully than some of the Nobel Prize winners (to be fair to me, there are so many). Besides just working there, I was — and remain — a member of that co-op bookstore; we are members and shareholders together, and the profits from the store (if ever there are any) are distributed among each shareholder. I’ve certainly spoken to him more frequently in the last year than Barack Obama did; the senator was barely in Hyde Park this year.
Rachel admits that this is “a fun sort of sophistry,” but I think it’s important to note, and her post is definitely worth reading all the way through. Ayers is part of the community in Chicago, and a whole lot of people would have to be considered “pallin’ around with terrorists,” if having an Ayers connection is the only qualification.
(Thanks to Slog tipper Christin.)