Monday, April 13, 2015

Murderers’ Row at Columbia

My article in today's FrontPage magazine:

Terrorist and convicted murderer Kathy Boudin and her
biological son, radical academic Chesa Boudin.

Murderers’ Row at Columbia

By Matthew Vadum

Weather Underground terrorist and convicted cop killer Kathy Boudin is now surrounded by fellow felons on the staff of the Columbia University School of Social Work where she crusades against the supposedly systemic racism of the justice system.

The septuagenarian Boudin is assistant adjunct professor and director of the school’s “Criminal Justice Initiative: Supporting Children, Families and Communities” (CJI), which appears to be focused [1] on keeping criminals like her out of prison by abolishing imprisonment as a punishment. As her official bio states, the initiative, which she co-founded, “is dedicated to ending society’s reliance on incarceration and retribution and advancing solutions.”

The school, which calls “mass incarceration” a “central social crisis of our time,” is little more than an indoctrination mill that churns out radical left-wing propaganda largely at taxpayer expense.

“There are approximately 1.6 million people in the nation’s prisons and jails and 7 million American children with a parent who is either incarcerated, on parole, or on probation,” according to the school. “The Criminal Justice Initiative focuses on how the social work profession can best address the educational and human needs of individuals, children, families and communities affected by incarceration.”

Boudin served 22 years in prison for her role in an assault on an armored-car in Nyack, N.Y. in which two police officers and a Brinks security guard died. Boudin was paroled in 2003 after telling officials that she took part in the $1.6 million robbery because she felt guilty for being white. Security guard Peter Paige and police officers Waverly Brown and Edward O’Grady died in the 1981 attack. Nine children subsequently grew up without their fathers.

Boudin is no stranger to irony.

This past Dec. 4 in a year in which two black men — Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y. — were killed by police in incidents that received national media attention, Boudin put her name [2] on an online mini-manifesto titled, “BLACK LIVES MATTER: Statement from the Columbia School of Social Work Community.”

The document states that there is “systemic racism and oppression in our country overall and our justice system in particular.”

“We are outraged by the decision [not to indict Ferguson cop Darren Wilson] and call for immediate and sustained action to examine, analyze and redress the harmful and pervasive effects of racism.”

The document ends with “Michael Brown matters. Eric Garner matters. Black lives matter.”

The late Nyack, N.Y. police officer Waverly Brown.
Kathy Boudin was convicted of murdering him.

But not all black lives matter to Kathy Boudin.

She didn’t declare in the statement that she was convicted of murdering a trailblazing African-American police officer. Nyack cop Waverly Brown, who was gunned down after Boudin distracted the police who had pulled over a getaway vehicle, had become his village’s first black policeman in 1966.

It is unclear if Boudin and the other Brinks robbers squealed with delight after offing someone left-wing radicals would call a “pig,” especially because Brown represented what they despised.

He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. Known by the nickname “Chipper,” a fellow officer said “he had absolutely no enemies.” In the police station’s kitchen, he prepared meals for the other police officers on his shift. When the police department in his mother’s hometown of Lawrenceville, Va., tried to lure him away, he reportedly refused to go because he loved his job in Nyack so much.

In any event, Columbia University was the natural choice for Boudin, the cop killer.

With her Weather Underground comrades in 1970 she plotted to plant bombs in Butler Library on the university’s Morningside Heights campus. She received one of the most worthless advanced academic degrees America has to offer — the education doctorate (Ed.D.) — from Teachers College, Columbia University. Fellow terrorist and longtime Obama pal Bill Ayers received his Ed.D. from the same school two decades earlier. Neo-communist apostles of depravity and engineered social collapse, Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, both taught at the Columbia University School of Social Work in the 1960s.

The crime that Boudin participated in was a joint action by the Black Liberation Army and May 19th Communist Organization. It was perpetrated to raise money for an insurgency against the U.S. government.
Of course, the Ivy League social work school doesn’t exactly boast about the fact that the Criminal Justice Initiative is overflowing with ex-cons convicted of violent crimes. It took reporter Perry Chiaramonte for the hidden nest of ivory tower felons to be revealed [3].

Cheryl Wilkins was the getaway driver in a 1996 hijacking at gunpoint of a Federal Express truck. She did a 12-year bid for robbery and assault at Manhattan’s Bayview Correctional Facility.

Wilkins was also co-director of the CJI. Today she is senior program manager at Columbia’s Center for Justice. Her official bio states that “her work is consistent with overcoming the damage that mass incarceration has left on families and communities.”

Denise Blackwell spent a decade in prison after being convicted of attempted second-degree for participating in a holdup in which three drug dealers lost their lives. Her son, Mack Moton, who was only 15 at the time, was tried as an adult. He is serving a sentence of 32 years to life at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, in Ossining, N.Y.

Chiaramonte identified Blackwell as “a ‘research assistant’ under the Social Intervention Group, the parent/umbrella group of the Criminal Justice Initiative.”

Mika’il DeVeaux served 24 years at a Westchester County, N.Y., prison, after being convicted of second-degree murder, Chiaramonte discovered. DeVeaux was a keynote speaker at CJI’s “Removing the Bars” Conference three years ago and he was co-director with Boudin of Citizens Against Recidivism Inc., a nonprofit organization in Springfield Gardens, N.Y. Today he is the group’s executive director.

His bio didn’t indicate he was an ex-con. Instead it stated DeVeaux “has more than three decades of experience working with men incarcerated in New York State maximum security prisons and many who have been released following periods of confinement.” The statement is accurate in a Media Matters kind of way.

Chiaramonte also discovered that Boudin’s old comrades-in-arms, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dorhn, showed up for CJI’s “Removing the Bars” conference in 2012.

“Other former high-level members of the Weather Underground were invited to speak at CJI events,” he wrote. “They included Russell Neufeld, who went on to become an anti-death penalty attorney, and Laura Whitehorn, who spoke at an October 2011 called the ‘Troy Davis Teach-in.'”

Boudin claims to feel bad about those three murders.

“I have nothing but regret for the suffering that I caused, and I’ve attempted to lead a life that would express that remorse and that regret,” Boudin said in 2013 when cornered [4] by Jesse Watters of Fox News.

But Boudin sounded less repentant in a speech that year. She forcefully urged the release of her fellow co-conspirators in the Brinks robbery.

“I want to also talk about the people who still in prison and not here and remember them,” Boudin told an audience at New York University’s law school in 2013. Boudin had the honor of delivering the “19th Annual Rose Sheinberg Lecture on the politics of parole and reentry.”

“People [like] David Gilbert, Judy Clark, Sekou Odinga, Roslyn Smith, so many other people that aren’t here but I’m thinking of them, we want them here with us, and hopefully some day they will be.”

All four persons Boudin named were convicted of murder or attempted murder.

David Gilbert was a co-conspirator in the Brinks robbery who is imprisoned in Auburn, N.Y. Gilbert was a member of the Weather Underground, Revolutionary Armed Task Force (RATF), and he helped to found the May 19 Communist Organization with Boudin and Clark. The name of the group was derived from the birthdays of Vietnamese Communist Ho Chi Minh who was born May 19, 1890, and Malcolm X who was born May 19, 1925.

Gilbert is also the father of Boudin’s son, Chesa Boudin, who was raised by fellow Weather Underground members Bill Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn when his parents went to prison. (Boudin handed little Chesa off to a babysitter before the robbery.) Wholly unrepentant, Gilbert still writes self-important, pompous propaganda pamphlets romanticizing his wasted life of error.

The “Judy Clark” is Judith Alice Clark, another Weather Underground member who participated in the robbery. Clark is currently a guest of the State of New York at the Bedford Hills maximum-security facility where she is serving a 75 years-to-life prison term.

Sekou Odinga [5], also known as Nathanial Burns, was a member of the Black Liberation Army (BLA) and Black Panther Party who was found guilty in 1984 of six counts of attempted murder of police officers. Odinga participated in the Brinks robbery and was convicted of breaking fellow BLA member Assata Shakur, the former Joanne Deborah Chesimard, out of a New Jersey prison where she was doing time for murdering a New Jersey state trooper. Shakur now lives in Communist Cuba. Although imprisoned at Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York when Boudin spoke at NYU in 2013, Odinga was released the next year.

The “Roslyn Smith” must be Roslyn D. Smith, one of Boudin’s fellow inmates at the Bedford Hills correctional facility. Smith and Boudin both were involved with the prison’s Children’s Center which provides parenting classes. According to court records [6], Smith was convicted in the robbery and brutal 1979 murder of “80-year-old, bedridden Louis Feit and his 73-year-old wife … in their Brooklyn apartment.” Smith remains behind bars.

Retired Nyack police detective Arthur Keenan, who was wounded during the Brinks robbery, told [4] Fox’s Megyn Kelly that Boudin never apologized to him. He also said he didn’t believe the former prisoner was sincerely remorseful.

“She’s on a soapbox at these two colleges to try to accomplish her mission by swaying the young students there that weren’t even born when these crimes took place. Her radical views are still the same as they were in the Sixties.”

Kelly replied that Boudin has “a lot of empathy for the people who are in jail for their crimes and their murders — not so much for their victims and the families of their victims.”

It’s a fair point.

Left-wingers, including community organizers, have a certain reverence for criminals. The more radical the activist, the greater the reverence.

A criminal, especially one who commits violent, socially disruptive crimes, is viewed as a kind of revolutionary attacking the system.

Someone like unrepentant Philadelphia cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, a black man who murdered a white man, will sometimes be worshiped by segments of the Left.

It’s a little-recognized part of the psychopathology of the Left.

And Kathy Boudin and her Criminal Justice Initiative are doing their damnedest to spread this disease.

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