Well, what I didn’t want to comment on was the political campaign. I didn’t want to enter into that. The reason is simple: I thought that I was being used as a prop in a very dishonest narrative — and I didn’t want to be part of the narrative and I couldn’t find a way to interrupt it. Anything that I said was going to feed that narrative. So I felt that part of this was the demonization of me — certainly that I’m some kind of toxic agent that has to be feared.
The second thing, and perhaps more important, is that I was being used to try to bring down this promising new leader by the old tactic of guilt by association. The idea that somehow — and this is deep in the American political culture — that if two people share a bus downtown, have a cup of coffee, have several conversations, that somehow means that they share an outlook, a perspective, responsibility for one another’s behavior. And I reject that. That guilt by association is wrong and we shouldn’t buy into it.
-William Ayers, in an interview with Salon.com’s Walter Shapiro.