By NORMAN P. CARLSON
From 1965 to 1970, when I was a graduate student at Purdue University, the New Left was active on campus. I attended all its meetings and events. I collected and read all its literature. I got acquainted with any activists who gave an opportunity. And I listened. These people had big plans to radically change the world and the course of history.
Nearly all of them were white and American. Many were from comfortable or well to do urban homes.
One of the most striking things about them was they had almost no coherent or specific ideas of what the world they wanted to bring about would be like. Some thought it would be a world where computers did all the work. They thought that would be possible immediately in 1968 if capitalists would stop preventing it.
But mainly they were just interested in destroying the world. That was to be accomplished by ''The Revolution," which they talked about all the time. Gradually the pacifist anti-war and more intellectual liberals dropped out. The ''Weather Underground'' formed when the leaders decided it was time to stop talking and start killing.
Before the 1968 Democratic National Convention, I attended an SDS on-campus meeting. The announced purpose of the meeting was to enlist people to go to Chicago and riot outside the convention.
Mark Rudd, soon to become one of those Weathermen, addressed the group of around 150 students, all white except one Japanese American. The riots in Chicago, he told us, were intended to trigger the worldwide Revolution. He introduced a black companion. ''The object of The Revolution,'' said this young man, ''is to kill all of the white people.'' I filed a report and I remember the name of the local secretary I had asked to accompany me. So I can back that up.
Another Weathermen leader, William Ayers of subsequent Obama fame, a bit less ambitious, is quoted as saying they would need to kill just 25 million Americans. Neither Rudd nor Ayers is one bit repentant today.
You want racism? That's racism. Don't tell me Mitt Romney calling Neil Armstrong an American is racism.
Norman P. Carlson is a Busti resident.