portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts

Weatherman Kid wins Rhodes Scholar

As with the other triumphs of his young life, Chesa Boudin was unable to celebrate with his parents on Saturday afternoon when he was named a Rhodes scholar. He could not even share the good news. As maximum-security inmates in the New York State prison system, Katherine Boudin and David Gilbert are barred from receiving telephone calls or e-mail messages.
From Radical Background, a Rhodes Scholar Emerges
By JODI WILGOREN


CHICAGO, Dec. 8 As with the other triumphs of his young life, Chesa Boudin was unable to celebrate with his parents on Saturday afternoon when he was named a Rhodes scholar. He could not even share the good news.

As maximum-security inmates in the New York State prison system, Katherine Boudin and David Gilbert are barred from receiving telephone calls or e-mail messages. Though Mr. Boudin has rigged his dorm room at Yale University to override the block on collect calls, neither parent was able to connect with him today. They will read of their son's accomplishment in the newspaper, instead, and it may be days before they can congratulate him.

Mr. Boudin, 22, is used to it. His parents, members of the 1970's radical group the Weathermen, have been in prison since he was 14 months old, for roles in a 1981 Brink's robbery in Rockland County in which two police officers and a guard were killed. They missed his Phi Beta Kappa award, high school graduation, Little League games.

"When I was younger, I was angry," Mr. Boudin, a tall, clean-cut young man said in an interview here Saturday evening, looking comfortable in the navy pinstriped suit he had worn for the Rhodes interview, though the tie was long gone.

"Now I'm not angry," he said, "I'm sad that my parents have to suffer what they have to suffer on a daily basis, that millions of other people have to suffer as well."

Raised by two other Weathermen leaders, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, in Chicago's Hyde Park, he is one of 32 American winners of this year's Rhodes scholarships. It is a remarkable achievement for a boy with epilepsy and dyslexia who did not learn to read until third grade and spent much of his childhood in temper tantrums. His selection also reflects the changes in the nation's premier academic award in its 100th year: once an exclusive club of Ivy League athletes, the Rhodes in recent years has rewarded an array of students who have overcome striking challenges.

Among the other winners announced today are Kamyar Cyrus Habib, a Columbia University student from Kirkland, Wash., who is a black belt in karate, a downhill skier and a published photographer as well as blind; Marianna Ofusu, who attends Howard University in Washington and is a Latin American dance champion; and Devi Shridhar of the University of Miami, who at 18 has mastered five languages, published a book on Indian myths and been admitted to medical school.

Thirteen of the winners are from Ivy League schools, four from Harvard, but the class also includes the first Rhodes scholar from the University of Central Florida, and students at state universities in Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota and Utah.

Established by the will of the British colonialist Cecil Rhodes in 1902, the scholarship offers a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree at Oxford University, a value estimated at about $30,000 a year. Bill Clinton, Bill Bradley, Byron White and Dean Rusk are among the 2,982 Americans from 305 colleges and universities who have won the award.

Mr. Boudin is not the first child of convicts to be chosen; Adam Ake, the son of a gynecologist convicted of raping patients, was in the Rhodes class of 1997. But the political pedigrees of Mr. Boudin's parents, biological and adoptive, present a contrast with that of the British imperialist who established the prestigious scholarship in his will.

"Cecil Rhodes, I don't know what would he think if he were alive today; he'd probably be horrified," Ms. Dohrn, a professor at Northwestern law school, said, laughing, in her office, where snapshots of her children at play are interspersed with the memorabilia of a radical life.

Dennis Hutchinson, a law professor at the University of Chicago who headed the Midwest selection committee, said Mr. Boudin's family did not come up at the Friday night cocktail party or the 20-minute interview Saturday morning, as the winners were whittled from 98 finalists. Those finalists had been selected from 981 university nominees.
And the other families? 09.Dec.2002 06:49

plurality plurality@hotmail.com

I read this story about the young rhodes scholar in today's Times, but couldn't find anything about what happened to the families of the cops killed by this kid's parents. I understand that cops' kids are not really important, certainly not as compared with the children of radical murderers, but still, the times is supposed to be moderate.
anyway, this kid is an innocent, but I hope his parents rot in prison. If we had a real criminal justice system, they would have been executed long ago. (Don't get your back up as this last; think about it a bit. And I haven't even mentioned the cops they killed, at least one was Black.)

Rosenberg fund for children 09.Dec.2002 13:46

MMM

 http://www.rfc.org/
This is an interesting organaztion the provides for the families of acitvists.

Project Description

The Rosenberg Fund for Children provides for the educational and emotional needs of children of targeted progressive activists, and youth who are targeted activists themselves.


Official Mission Statement

The Rosenberg Fund for Children was established to provide for the educational and emotional needs of children whose parents have suffered because of their progressive activities and who, therefore, are no longer able to provide fully for their children. The RFC also provides grants for the educational and emotional needs of targeted activist youth. Professionals and institutions will be awarded grants to provide services at no or reduced cost.


Definitions/Limitations

The RFC defines "targeted" as someone who has: lost a job; suffered physical or mental injury or disability; been harassed or discriminated against; been imprisoned; or died, as a result of their activism. "Progressive activities" are actions taken to further the beliefs that: All people have equal worth; World peace is a necessity; People are more important than profits; Society must function within ecologically sustainable limits.

The RFC is usually unable to consider grant applications outside of the United States.


Background

The Fund bears the name of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, who were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. On June 19, 1953, the Rosenbergs were executed because they refused to implicate others by falsely confessing to giving the "secret" of the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. In a letter they wrote to their sons, Michael and Robert Meeropol, just before they were killed, the Rosenbergs said they died, "[C]omforted in the sure knowledge that others would carry on after us." The RFC carries that trust forward, and ensures future generations will do so as well.

The Rosenberg Fund for Children was founded in 1990 by Robert Meeropol. Since then, it has gathered 10,000 supporters, and awarded $1,045,000 to it's beenficiaries. In a time when the Bill of Rights is under attack, the Rosenberg Fund for Children has provided assistance for and raised the hopes of children and activist families who have been targeted because they have worked to improve society for us all.

For more information, contact Amber Black, at the Rosenberg Fund for Children.

(tel) 413-529-0063 (fax) 413-529-0802 E-mail:  amber@rfc.org
116 Pleasant Street, Suite 3312, Easthampton, MA 01027

Purality Aid 09.Dec.2002 16:28

jlii

Some words to help you heal your poor sad hateful mind.


"that it is right and good to question our God, to plead for justice for all that inhabit the earth
that it is urgent to feel this; injustice done to any is injustice done to all
that we must never weary of exposing and resisting such injustice
that what victories we see are smaller than the mustard seeds Jesus praised, and they need such tender nurture
that it is vital to celebrate each victory - especially the victory of sisterhood and brotherhood embodied in loving, nonviolent community."

Phillip Berrigan

long llive the spirit of John Brown!!! 09.Dec.2002 17:38

John Paul Cupp

the vietcong killed some blacks this does not mean that they were not a revolutionary army fighting for the national liberation of their people. it is sad that black soldiers were suckered in to that war and the one that is always around us ie could be iraq could colombia could vieques, etc.here is the point thought. despite the fact that they were objectively adventurists, which is to be taken with the times considering the popularlity of the "foco' theory, the weather udnerground were awesome as a symbol. they are excellanct role models. i know they made really really stupid mistakes and their knowldege on rascism and imperialism was very naive and idealistic, that the veitnam war only ended due to the military vicotry of the NLF and the militant spirit of their imperialist nation allies that "brought the war home" should nver be forgotten. also are you sure when you say they wu killed a blck cop that you do not mean the sla, and a black superintendant.As far as cops go they are military targets,according to the geneva convention, ie it can not be described as crime agaisnt humanity or terorism, that he government. In other words we should not repeat the stupid iealistc mistakes of the weather underground but they deserve to go down in history as heros. face it the left in imperialist countries is co-opted by aristocracy and national chauvenism. even at their worst the weathe undeground is 1,000,000,000,000 times more dedicated and effective than the portland peaceful response coalition, and the oregon peacworker or hjuman rights watch that all refer to those who make revoluion as terrorists, the same as the usa government. does any one have any contact for these comrade. we need to get them back with their families. fuck the damn cops. we should worry more about dead american servicemen who committed atrocites and genocide agaisnt civilians than about the people of colonial nations so we do not seem too subversive according to the logic of plurrality who probably is a meber of some white power peace group with a few token "negros" in it.good ones that pray for our servicemen.that don't "hate jews" the way all the radicals do. also on the rhodese scholar that guy and ian smith and to be honest tony blair are the enemy i hope this kid declines it. Long live president mugabe death to ian smith and cecil rhodes! my 5th amendment to tony blair!!!
THIS TIME AROUND WE NEED AN IFTRASTRUCTRE IN OUR ANTI-IMPERIALIST MOVMENT AND NOT A LOT OF HEROIC BRAVADO IDEALISM VOID OF MATERIAL ANALYSIS!!!
LONG LIVE THE MEMORY OF SDS AND JOHN BROWN!!!!

It don't take a weatherman 10.Dec.2002 01:19

Not John Paul

Dear J.P.,

A couple of suggestions:

1. Use some spaces 'tween your paragraphs so I can figure out what you are trying to say.

2. Boudin and Gilbert are not that hard to reach. Both were members of the part of Weather Underground that linked up with members of the Black Liberation Army in an attempt to expropriate money in 1981. It was commonly referred to as the "Brinks robbery" or the "Nyack case" and was written about extensively.
Go to any political prisoner solidarity site and you will find addresses for both, since both have maintained their political stances (and activity) while in prison. Though Boudin apologized for the killing of the police. The political action itself was generally admitted to be poorly planned, motivated more by guilt than politics, and it fell apart when a couple of people turned state's evidence (see the criticisms that J.Sakai has made in his writings).

3. It is silly to argue that Chesa Boudin should turn down the money...unless you have some other source of funds for him to attend school. Why do you assume that going to college will corrupt him? Seems like he is learning to think for himself.

4. Ian Smith and Cecil Rhodes are already dead, you don't have to call for their deaths. Unless you're gonna drive a stake through their hearts.

5. Mugabe is no friend of freedom in Zimbabwe or anywhere else. Just cause someone calls themselves 'anti-imperialist' doesn't mean that they are. Many Zimbabwean revolutionaries are horrified at the direction of the revolution there. I think you are just mouthing phrases without thinking here.

6. Similarly, you are critical of Portland Peaceful Response Coalition. Fine. It deserves almost all the scorn that you and others have heaped on it. But isn't this "objectively aiding imperialism", as you criticized someone who pointed out that there is a cult (Eastern Farmworkers Organizing Committee) organizing on Reed campus. Why is it okay for you to be critical of a group, but not okay for others to point out when a bunch of basically wack people pose as revolutionaries?

7. Finally, waving a gun, either in reality or in print, doesn't necessarily make someone either radical or effective. Neo-fascists do it also. And probably for the same reasons as a lot of wannabe revolutionaries. I don't take you for either a neo-fascist or a wannabe, but you need to lose the rhetoric and the sloganeering and start talking some sense if you're going to help the process of revolution in this country. You don't live in Albania or Zimbabwe or China or Vietnam. You live in Portland. Figure out what we can do here.

RESPONSE TO COMRADE NOT JOHN PAUL 11.Dec.2002 15:13

John Paul Cupp commie_jp@yahoo.com

I am not of the opinion that the wu compare favorably to the national liberation movements of the era, but i think it is important to understand the era and huge amount of national chavuenism in the left. today it is even worse. national chauvenism in imperialist nation is terrible. The
point is that revolution is coming from the third world not the first, and that the periphery is to be watched closesly.
Their is no point in conceling one's open solidarity with those struggling against imperialism. This includes armed groupings such as the farc-ep, npa, and all fations (including the islamic ones) that are objectively fighting zionism and imperialism.however i do not have the narrow romaticizism of armed struggle that you suggest and instead see it as something efffective only when subserviant to a a larger movement. In other words solidarity with the mass civil organizations first and foremost even if criticism occurs. Now then I am not an adventurist. I think a lot of che guevara but i am not advocating a "foco". the problem with the wu and groups like them is that they did not develop an infrastructure and were consiquintly easy to smash. we need to work hard and tirelessly this time around,and keep plugging away. it is NOT however adventurism to open defend the various movement both subjectively and objectively fighting against imperialism. This includes the "black listing" of both individuals the the united states has taken upon itself to label as terrorists.their is a cool interview with the anti-imperialist camp on teh subject if you are interested just send me your e-mail.here is the answer briefly to you three main question.
1 the cpusa (provos)is objectively superior to the portland peaceful response in that it has a consistant line in solidarity with oppressed people and their right to wage revolution. THe pprc purges any discussion on the topic. I favor such broad mobilizations as the pprc, but I THINK IT IS TREASONIST TO ABANDON THE FLAG OF ANTI-CAPITALISM AND ANTI-IMPERIALISM IN ORDER TO BE INVOLVED IN SUCH MASS MOBILIZATIONS. ALSO THE VENCERAMOS CAN NOT BE WHOLELY BLAMED FOR THE SLA AND THE VENCERAMOS DECLARED BEFORE THE WORLD THEIR SUPPORT FOR THE CUBAN, CHINESE AND VIETNAMESE PEOPE AS WELL AS OHTER FIGHTING FOR COLONIZATION AT GREAT RISK AND OUT OF UNYEILDING ETHICS.
2 HAVE SOME VERY GOOD INFO ON THE BLACK SQUATTER MOVEMENT, IN ZIMBABWE WHICH I SUPPORT 100%. MY ONLY HOPE IS THAT IT GOES FURTHER. MUGABE MADE A BELIEVER OUT OF ME WHE HE GRILLED TONY BLAIR IN SOUTH AFRICA. WATCH NAMIBIA REAL CLOSE IT COULD BE INTERESTING OVER THEIR,TOO.
3 I AM NOT SUGGESTING THAT THE PERSON IN QUESTION TURN DOWN THE RHODES SCHOLAR PRIZE, THOUGH I PROPABLY WOULD.
4 I AGREE THAT WE ARE IN PORTLAND AND NOT ALBANIA. I HAVE A TREMENDOUS RESPECT FOR HO CHI MINH AND GENERAL GIAP AS WELL AS MAO AND FOR THE ZIMBABWE CHIMARINGA THAT ON MY OPINION IS STILL ONGOING. NOW THEN BEIGN THAT WE ARE IN PORTLAND I SEE THE BEST OBJECTIVE PLAN OF ACTION TO BE.
1.STRUGGLING AGAINST RIGHT OPPUERTUNISM IN GRASS ROOTS MOVMENTS AND PUSH A PROLONGED STRUGGLE TO USE THEM AS EXTENSIONS OF THE GREATER STRUGGLE AGAINST CAPITAL AND IMPERIALISM.
2 CREATION OF A CULTURE OF RESISTANCE. THIS IS MOSTLY IN PLACEW. THE ATTEMPT NOW SHOULD BE TO INSTILL A SENSE OF SELF-DISCIPLINE AND PROTRACTED THINKING.
3 ACTIVE STRUGGLE AGAINST PACIFISM. OPEN SUPPORT FOR THE RIGHTS OF OPPRESSED PEOPLE TO SELF-DETERMINATION. THIS IS ALSO ACTIVE AND COMBATIVE EFFORTS AGAINST THE "LEFT" WHEN IT IS CO-OPTED
4 SUPPORT OF UNITED FRONT TACTICS IN VISIBLE PRACITICE. THAT IS CONNECTIN WITH THE PEOPLE IN DAY TO DAY REALITY WHILE SIMULTANIOUSLY ADVOCATING
REVOLUTION OPENLY AND BEING CRITICAL OF PACIFIST OPPURTUNIST TRENDS.
I HAVE MORE THOUGHTS ON THE SUBJECT AND SOME THINGS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST COMRADE"NOT JOHN PAUL". MY E-MAIL IS ENCLOSED ABOVE. DOES THIS ANSWER ALL YOU QUESTIONS. I WILL WORK ON MY TYPING SKILLS. I TYOE FAST BUT HAVE LEARNING DISABLITY THAT MAKES IT HARD,A DN THEIR IS NO SPELL CHECK ON INDYMEDIA.
JP