Posted by Jay Livingston
Last night, we held our annual induction ceremony for AKD, the sociology honor society. Sixteen students joined – that’s a pretty good number for us.
Our speaker was Gilda Zwerman (shown here talking with Peter Freund), who took us back to those thrilling days of yesteryear when the Weathermen and Black Liberation Army were taking radical and violent acts that seem almost incomprehensible now and which got them locked up in prison for a long time. Gilda has been trying to understand the process of this kind of radicalization particularly with regard to the broader social context of the late 1970s and early 1980s – the decline of the Left, the turning of government towards the right and towards repression.
I’m not sure that kids born in mid-1980s could get a sense of that context. I myself found it amazing that I and my peers didn’t just dismiss Weather ideas out of hand. Instead, even though we might not have agreed with them, we took them seriously enough to debate them long into the night.