Woman speaking out to counter reports excusing behavior of ex-domestic terrorist
JERUSALEM – Speaking out as William Ayers becomes an increasingly controversial figure in the presidential campaign, a woman charges the former Weather Underground radical locked her in his attic apartment when both were college students and intimidated her into having sex with his brother and his black roommate.
The woman, Donna Ron, told WND Ayers declared to her during the 1965 incident at the University of Michigan that if she didn’t sleep with his roommate, it would mean she was a bigot and a racist.
“I was terrified. People underestimate terrorism by psychological intimidation. I felt like I was being held prisoner,” recalled Ron, an American who now resides in Israel.
Ron told WND the alleged incident occurred during her freshmen year at the university, where she became attracted to anti-war activism. She had been friends with Ayers for about two months. Ayers later earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan.
Ron says she supports Sen. Barack Obama and hopes her charges don’t affect his bid for the White House. She’s involved in a socialist kibbutz movement in Israel.
Ayers did not return a WND request for comment.
Ayers helped form an education organization chaired by Obama, and the two later served on a non-profit board and appeared together at various speaking events. Obama launched his political career with a fundraiser at Ayers’ home in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, where Obama also lives.
Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has brought up Ayers on the campaign trail this week, charging Obama had been “palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.”
Ayers, now a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has admitted to involvement in the bombings of U.S. governmental buildings in the 1970s, including the U.S. Capitol in 1971. He told the New York Times in an interview released Sept. 11, 2001, “I don’t regret setting bombs.”
‘Young ideologues on the make’
Ron previously recounted the alleged incident in a column published in 2006 by FrontPageMag.com:
It was at the Undergraduate Library at the University of Michigan on a Friday night in November 1965. … Billy Ayers was standing on the first floor and started talking to me.
I thought he was cute. There seemed to be jovial kind of instant connection between us. … Despite the caution I’d learned about young ideologues on the make, I was charmed by Bill Ayers and by his savvy talk of politics and the children’s school he was involved with.
He asked me to go to a party with him and I did. I have a vague memory of the house where the party was and the people there. I think he got quite drunk and I suppose I drank too. I remember walking home with him. He was very open about himself and told me he was one of five children and that he was from Chicago and that his father was rich.
I felt comfortable with Bill. Throughout my life I had always had a friendly buddy-kind of connection with certain boys and felt that I was developing such a connection with him.
I remember going back to his attic apartment – he describes it in his book “Fugitive Days.” He had a roommate – a black man who was 23 and married with children. There was a couch, a table, a stereo and a sink in the room. There were two beds – Ayers’ and his roommate’s on each side of the attic wall. I slept with him there.
I came there a few times to talk and to listen to his LPs. I especially loved Glen Yarbrough’s album “Come Share My Life.” I met Bill’s roommate who also worked at the children’s school. I also met Bill’s younger brother Rick. Bill was a year older than I and his brother was a year younger. He spent a lot of time at Bill’s apartment.
What I do recall is that when I was getting ready to leave Ayers told me I couldn’t go until I slept with his roommate and his brother. At this point Bill and I had slept together just once. I was sexually inexperienced, having had only one serious boyfriend with whom I had recently broken up.
At first I thought Ayers was joking. I got up; and went to the door. He moved quickly to block me at the doorway. He locked the door and put the chain on it. I went to the couch and sat down and told him that I had no intention of having sex with his roommate and his brother or him.
He said that I had no choice but to do as he said if I wanted to get out of there. He claimed that I wouldn’t sleep with his married roommate because he was black – that I was a bigot. I had gone to school with black kids and had them as friends all my life. I couldn’t believe he was saying that to me.
I felt trapped. I had to get out of the situation I was in and because he was so effective a guilt-tripper, I also felt I had to prove to him that I wasn’t a bigot. I got up from the couch and walked over to the black roommate’s bed and put myself on it and he f—–d me.
Ron wrote that while having sex with Ayers’ roommate she “went totally out of my body,” a description commonly used by rape victims.
“I floated beside myself on the outside and above the bed looking at this black stranger f— me angrily while I hated myself,” she wrote.
“After that I had to go lie down on Bill Ayer’s bed for his brother to screw me. Rick Ayers was a decent person, unlike his brother, and couldn’t go through with it. He started and stopped and let me go. I also thought I had to let Bill screw me but at that point he unbolted the door and I left.”
‘There was no way out’
Ron said she did not immediately report the incident, because she was in shock, and because in the 1960s the term date rape did not exist.
She said she felt like she was “psychologically raped” by Ayers.
“I felt like I was being held prisoner,” she told WND. “I remember sitting on the couch and he kept badgering me and stood over me. At the time, it was clear for me there was no way out if I didn’t do what he wanted me to do.”
She told WND her experience caused her enormous trauma and psychological suffering and that she has undergone years of therapy.
“One of my friends recently pointed out to me how the experience actually colored my life and caused me to do all sorts of things,” she said.
“What had happened affected my ability to trust in a relationship with a man, and I didn’t have a close relationship again for a long time,” said Ron.
Ron said she eventually moved to Israel, where she is now involved in non-profit resource and program development, and was not aware Ayers had reestablished himself as a respected teacher and leader in education in Chicago until he published his memoir, “Fugitive Days,” in 2001.
She said she was compelled to speak out this week only after reading multiple media reports she said attempted to excuse Ayers’ behavior during his Weathermen years.
“How could people accept him back into society as if he did nothing wrong? He may still be having a detrimental influence on people. I have many concerns about speaking out, but I think people need to know who Bill Ayers really is,” she told WND.
‘I feel we didn’t do enough’
Ayers, as WND has reported, was a key member of the Weathermen, a band of revolutionaries who declared war on the U.S. government and the free enterprise system during the 1970s, and has written about his involvement in bombing the New York City police headquarters in 1970, the Capitol in 1971 and the Pentagon in 1972.
He told the New York Times in an interview released Sept. 11, 2001, “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.” He posed for a photograph accompanying the piece that shows him stepping on an American flag.
Ayers last month wrote on his blog he still feels not enough was done to oppose the Vietnam War, although he clarified, “I don’t think violent resistance is necessarily the answer, but I do think opposition and refusal is imperative.”
Ayers’ wife, Bernadine Dohrn, also has served on panels with Obama. Dohrn was once on the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted List and was described by J. Edgar Hoover as the “most dangerous woman in America.” Ayers and Dohrn raised the son of Weathermen terrorist Kathy Boudin, who was serving a sentence for participating in a 1981 murder and robbery that left four people dead.
The charges against Ayers and Dohrn were dropped in 1974 because, as the New York Times reported, “it was ruled the government’s case was based on illegal wiretaps.”
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