Your kids require you most of all to love them for who they are, not to spend your whole time trying to correct them.

— Bill Ayers

The most fantastic Bill Ayers quotes that are new and everybody is talking about

Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon.

44

I get up every morning and think, today I'm going to make a difference.

Today I'm going to end capitalism. Today I'm going to make a revolution. I go to bed every night disappointed but I'm back to work tomorrow, and that's the only way you can do it.

40

The only path to the final defeat of imperialism and the building of socialism is revolutionary war.

38

Guilty as hell. Free as a bird. America is a great country.

34

You need to find a way to live your life, that it doesn't make a mockery of your values.

33

I'm not so much against the war as I am for a Vietnamese victory.

I'm not so much for peace as for a U.S. defeat.

28

I was indicted on two federal conspiracies.

My wife was on the Ten Most Wanted list. That's what fascism was going to look like. That's what it did look like.

16

The first thing I did [in Michigan] was join a picket line of a pizzeria in Ann Harbor in 1963 that didn't allow African Americans to eat there.

9

Now teach-ins are fairly common or they become common place.

But in 1965, the Students for Democratic Society in Ann Harbor organized the first teach-in. The way it happened was that we were advocating for a strike that we advocated that the faculty should strike in solidarity with the Vietnamese struggle.

8

To me, activism requires you to try very hard to open your eyes to the world as it is. See as much as you can, knowing that whatever you see is going to be partial. That you possess a partial consciousness in an infinite and expanding universe.

6

I wanted a racially just society. I wanted to end wars. I wanted to end white supremacy. I wanted to create a world that was based on egalitarianism, sharing, racial justice.

5

In some ways a mark of good parenting is that you don't try to make your children into little knockoffs of yourself. None of us went into business. None of us became powerful people like that. All of us pursued our own passions and our own interests. One of my brothers was filmmaker. One of my brothers was a teacher. My sister was a librarian.

5

About Bill Ayers

Quotes 189 sayings
Profession Professor
Birthday October 16

I wish I had been wiser. I wish I had been more effective, I wish I'd been more unifying, I wish I'd been more principled.

5

I wasn't part of John Kennedy's vision of the world, or Lyndon Johnson's.

I thought of them as anti-Communist imperial monsters.

4

Now you may like the images of long-haired hippies running in the streets throwing tear gas canisters, but we didn't end the war. And that's what we set out to do. What was not ended by the anti-war movement was ended by the Vietnamese. That's our shame.

4

[John] McCain seemed to be winking to the Right, and [Barack] Obama seemed to be winking to the Left. Neither one of them - if McCain had been elected we'd still be where we are on gay rights.

3

We have sex education - I'm for it, I'm not against it.

But any curriculum should recognize that it's young people's job to invent it themselves. You're not going to teach them; they're going to reinvent it.

3

I don't buy the whole mythology of the sixties. I think I'm an intergenerational person.

3

You cannot live a political life, you cannot live a moral life if you're not willing to open your eyes and see the world more clearly. See some of the injustice that's going on. Try to make yourself aware of what's happening in the world. And when you are aware, you have a responsibility to act.

3

I proposed a law that every country where the U.

S. has a military base - those people should be allowed to vote in the American election.

3

The responsibility for the risks we posed to others in some of our most extreme actions in those underground years never leaves my thoughts for long. The antiwar movement in all its commitment, all its sacrifice and determination, could not stop the violence unleashed against Vietnam. And therein lies cause for real regret.

2

In a wild and diverse democracy each of us should be trying to talk to lots and lots and lots of people outside of our own kind of comfort zone and community, and that injunction goes even further for political leaders. They should talk to everyone, they should listen to everyone, and at the end of the day they should have a mind of their own.

2

I'm different in the sense that every minute of every day, I change.

I'm thinking. But the basic principles that have powered me forward are still there. They're not different.

2

Part of the fun of writing, touring, teaching, is engaging with real people about all of it: what to do now, how to build a movement, of approaches to teaching, of parenting - it's exciting to be in that dialogue.

2

When I was young, communism, which had a certain allure to me, was clearly a failed experiment in the Soviet Union and in China. And yet, anti-communism was as bad.

1

There's something so remarkable in the intensity of taking care of somebody who can't take care of him or herself. And then watching that little person bloom into adolescence.

0

It felt to me like I was living my life in a way that didn't make mockery of my values. That's what I intended to do. So, that became a very radicalizing proposition for me.

0

I wish I knew as much about anything today as I knew about everything when I was twenty.

0

The idea that you live your life in phases - I've never bought that.

I feel like I'm the same person who sat in at the draft board in 1965, I'm the same person who joined a fraternity, I'm the same person who got an MFA at Bennington, and I'm the same person who founded Weather Underground. My values are still intact.

0

That's where we all kind of were in the mid-1960s.

Students for a Democratic Society grew from a small group of socialists at the university of Michigan into a national organization, and in many ways, its growth was driven by the Vietnam War.

0

Nothing is more boring than some old person going on and on about the way things used to be.

0

Teaching has always been, for me, linked to issues of social justice.

I've never considered it a neutral or passive profession.

0

The [Vietnam] war's gone on for three years.

And we'd thought we'd ended it because we'd done exactly what we were told and what we told ourselves we'd had to do. We had a majority. We were against the war and this created a crisis for democracy and a crisis for the antiwar movement.

0

Certainly my parents were Dr. [Benjamin] Spock-driven parents. So they were tolerant.

0

The US is indeed a terrorist nation. ...It's also the greatest purveyor of violence on earth over the past half century, and the foremost threat to world peace today.

0

I suffer from a genetic flaw, which is that my mother was a hopeless Pollyanna.

0

Writing a memoir has a particularly excited sense of narcissism.

0

I more or less shared the view that life should be lived.

0

I don't think of myself as a particularly nostalgic person.

0

Injustice anywhere is an assault on all of us. That means that we all can get busy.

0

There was a sense of palpable relief that George [W.

] Bush was leaving and that the Republicans had slipped back and that was a wonderful feeling.

0

I was a good liberal in some sense at that point.

I wanted to end a war. I wanted to support the civil rights movement.

0

In a world as out of balance as this world, everyone can find something to do.

And the question isn't can you do everything; the question is, can you do anything?

0

Every relationship is an experiment and what one learns from it is so fascinating.

0

I'd been arrested many times by then.

I'd been an organizer, so many things had changed over those three years [from 1965 till 1968].

0

I would say for the young: Don't be straight jacketed by ideology.

Don't be driven by a structure of ideas.

0

I was arrested in 1965 for opposing the war in Vietnam.

There were 39 of us arrested that day. But thousands opposed us. And the majority of the people in the country supported the war then.

0

In terms of my own behavior and activity, the funny thing about regrets and saying "I'm sorry," is that there's so much I would do differently and want to do differently moving forward.

0

Martin Luther King was only an activist for 13 years and every year he changed and every year he became more radical. By the end he was calling for revolution. People don't know this because they go to too many prayer breakfasts on his birthday.

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