Can’t we get Rudd to speak on campus?

I mean on the SUNY New Paltz campus, of course. It would seem to be nothing less than de rigueur. What’s her name in the Education Department can arrange it, I’m sure.

John Murtaugh makes it so obvious why Rudd has to come:

I’m looking forward to Ted Kaczynski’s book tour. Sure, it will have to be beamed remotely from the Unabomber’s prison cell, but it’s always interesting when terrorists try to justify themselves. Ted hasn’t found a publisher yet, though, so for now we’ll have to content ourselves with Mark Rudd. HarperCollins has just published Rudd’s memoir, Underground: My Life with SDS and the Weathermen, and the author is embarking on a promotional tour.

For the uninitiated, Rudd is the former adolescent who organized the sit-ins at Columbia University in the late sixties, helped lead the so-called “Days of Rage” at the 1968 Democratic Convention, and helped found the violent Weather Underground. He went into hiding during the 1970s following the death of three of his cohorts, who blew themselves up while assembling nail bombs destined for the Officers’ Club at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Three weeks earlier, on the fifth anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X, the same crew had firebombed my home. My father at the time was a New York judge, and Rudd and his collaborators apparently objected to his presiding at the then-pending trial of several members of the Black Panther Party on charges they had plotted to bomb several Manhattan department stores.

Rudd seems to have the whole SUNY New Paltz package. He’s now an “educator” and an “organizer,” and he was present at the creation of the campus Weltanschauung, though to be clear, much has been added since the 1970s. Nonetheless, it’s good to go back and take the opportunity to reflect on the foundations.

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