Irony and Revisionist History – Lessons from Columbia University and Professor Kathy Boudin

Is there any business that you are aware of that would actively hire an individual who once intended on setting a bomb at said business? Probably not, but nonetheless, welcome to liberal academia; and welcome to Columbia University. The irony, as they say, is strong with this one.

Having recently perused the Columbia University website, I managed to come across this very interesting image:


For those wondering, that is an image of the Greenwich Village townhouse explosion in 1970.  The explosion occurred because of a premature bomb detonation, when a device that was being fashioned by members of the Weather Underground accidentally exploded.  The description of the image on the Columbia University website reads:

Site of the East 11th Street Townhouse that blew up in March 1970, killing Teddy Gold, Diana Oughton, and Terry Robbins. Kathy Boudin and Cathy Wilkerson (who just published a book, Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times As a Weatherman) survived the blast (more).

Kathy Boudin is the name that most stands out here, having been a Weather Underground member and convicted murderer … but more importantly, recently having been hired as a Professor at Columbia University’s School of Social Work.

Via last month’s New York Post:

Former Weather Underground radical Kathy Boudin … now holds a prestigious adjunct professorship at Columbia University’s School of Social Work, The Post has learned.

So we have an image on the Columbia University website of a bomb explosion involving a current Columbia University professor.  Too rich.

But here is the third prong in the triumvirate of irony – the bomb, according to some sources, was meant to destroy the main library at, you guessed it … Columbia University.

Here is an excerpt from a New York Times article:

The explosion, which became front page news and sent a shock wave through the city, was caused by the accidental detonation of dynamite in a subbasement bomb factory. Young radicals from the Weathermen were making bombs to destroy property, beginning with the main library at Columbia University.

Of the five domestic terrorists at the Greenwich Village townhouse, Boudin seemed to be the one most favoring the use of such devices.

Via Wikipedia:

According to Cathy Wilkerson, who was a leader of the New York collective of the Weatherman, they were disappointed with the minimal effects of their earlier use of Molotov cocktails at the home of Judge Murtagh and other locations. At the suggestion of Terry Robbins, another of the leaders, they decided to use dynamite for newly planned actions. 

They purchased a considerable quantity of dynamite and a number of electric fuses. The group investigated and designated three targets, including a dance at Fort Dix, an army base in nearby New Jersey. It was reported that “arguments went on day and night” in the townhouse, with Kathy Boudin favoring the use of antipersonnel bombs and Diana Oughton having misgivings.

The phrase ‘anti-personnel’ indicates that these devices were designed to inflict bodily damage and/or death upon human beings.

Aside from designing bombs that could have been used on the Columbia University Library, some have actually claimed the devices were meant for a different target. A former FBI informant, Larry Grathwohl, described one version of the intent for the bombs being built.

“One other historical fact that demands mention is the explosion of the Weatherman bomb factory in Greenwich Village in February of 1970.  The bombs being built for use at an Army dance at the Ft. Dix Army Base on a Saturday night contained roofing nails for the shrapnel effect, and if the bombs hadn’t prematurely detonated, killing three Weathermen, the effect would have been devastating.”

Hundreds of military personnel and their significant others could have been injured or killed had the plot been carried out to fruition. As a result of the scrutiny being applied after the explosion, Boudin figured she would go underground like so many of her ilk, to elude authorities.

But wait, there’s more.

Not only did Boudin, along with Cathy Wilkerson, survive the Greenwich Village townhouse explosion meant to kill or maim people, but she was also a key player during a Brinks armored-car robbery in 1981 that resulted in multiple deaths.

In the Brinks case, Boudin drove the getaway vehicle (a U-Haul truck) as her armed partners murdered a security guard and made off with $1.6 million.

Even more heinous, after being stopped by police officers later on, Boudin feigned innocence and convinced the officers to drop their guard. As the officers lowered their weapons, they were quickly overcome by six men from the back of the truck. Two of the officers were murdered by multiple rounds from a heavy cache of weaponry.

Boudin was convicted of murder and felony robbery, but released in 2003 by a New York parole board. Then Governor George Pataki denounced the decision saying, “The murder of a police officer should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

Of course, you’d never know any of this by reading how the Columbia University website introduces their new Professor of Social Work.  On one page they mention her prison term, but portray it as being a result of “civil rights, antiwar, and international justice movements”, not for being a convicted muderer.

Another brief biography doesn’t mention her past convictions or prison sentences at all.

A slightly dishonest revisionist history by omission, for the good professor. And certainly a misleading portrayal of an instructor that some students may oppose being taught Social Work by … because Boudin’s past social work involved people dying.

A past that included bomb designs that forced Boudin to go underground and avoid capture for over a decade, and a subsequent crime which forced her behind bars for 22-years, has effectively been erased by the liberal educators at Columbia University.  

Where once they were targets of her rage, where once she was a deplorable criminal lurking in the shadows, Columbia now finds itself a career sanctuary for Ms. Boudin.

Multiple attempts to contact Columbia University regarding the image or the misleading biographies have gone unanswered.  Perhaps integrity at the University is now hiding … underground.

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