The son is now called Troy Garity. A few years ago he married Simone Bent who is of African descent. It has been reported in the May 9th issue of The New Yorker that Tom Hayden honoured his son's marriage in the following manner:
As the evening progressed, the parents of both the bride and groom made speeches. Speaking off the cuff, Garity's father, the political activist and politician Tom Hayden, who was Fonda's second husband (neither parent want Troy to bear the weight of a famous last name), said that he was especially happy about his son's union with Bent, who is black, because, among other things, it was "another step in a long-term goal of mine: the peaceful, nonviolent disappearance of the white race."
Tom Hayden wants the white race to disappear. Not all the races - just the white one.
Why? The likely answer is that Tom Hayden sees the world through a left-liberal lens. Liberals assume that autonomy, or the power to do as we will, is the good that defines us as human. Therefore, if one group has more such power than another (if it is "privileged") then it is denying human equality in the most literal sense.
Left liberals have a theory as to why such inequality exists. They believe that the dominant group is socially constructed to win for its members an unearned privilege. Because whites were dominant when such theories were being formed, whites (and particularly white males) were assumed to be the source of inequality, injustice and oppression in the world.
If the left-liberal theory were correct, then you can see why Tom Hayden would want whites to disappear. Whiteness, in the left-liberal theory, is simply a pathway to privilege (or supremacy) which causes others to be treated as less than human.
You can see this left-liberal mindset at work in Hayden's book discussing his own identity (Irish on the Inside: In Search of the Soul of Irish America). Hayden grew up in a middle-class family of Irish descent but of mainstream white American identity. But when he became a political activist in the 1960s, he turned back to an Irish identity:
After a decade in the civil rights movement, I associated being "white" with either supremacy or emptiness. Then, in 1968 ... I saw marchers in Northern Ireland singing "We Shall Overcome" and, in an epiphany, discovered that I was Irish on the inside.
But there's a problem. If the Irish are white, then they too must be classified as "supremacist" according to the left-liberal logic. Which then makes them illegitimate.
So Hayden is very keen to keep the Anglo-Saxons as the villainous privileged supremacists. He warns the Irish against assimilating into the white mainstream, preferring them instead to help defeat the whites by assimilating into coloured minority groups.
Because the Irish harbor a racial memory, however fogged by amnesia, of what it means to be treated as nonhuman, there still remains the possibility of Irish solidarity with people of color. When the Irish leave whiteness, there goes the neighborhood.
....To be genuinely Irish is to challenge WASP dominance and to assimilate ourselves not only into advanced Western societies but also into the non-white, non-English speaking world. (p.6)
Why not identify with whiteness? Because Hayden believes that those who identify as white do so to embrace privilege, just as the Ulstermen in Northern Ireland identify with Britain for their own advantage:
To identify with the Union with Britain - as with whiteness - is to embrace economic, political and cultural advantage. (p.7)
Here is Hayden once again proposing a "deeper" Irish assimilation not with the white mainstream but with a coloured multicultural America:
a deeper assimilation will mean assimilation into the nonwhite world with whom we share a common experience of colonialism, starvation, poverty and threats of extinction.
The only alternative to this reassessment will be our shallow incorporation into the Western establishment. Then we will lose the historic opportunity to play a meaningful role in the emergence of multicultural America. (pp. 29-30)
Finally there is this from Hayden:
In our long day's journey toward success, Irish Americans are in danger of becoming lost souls ... We can reap the privileges of being white or, remembering the shame of being classified as simians [i.e. as nonhumans] and asking what is whiteness but privilege?, we can transcend the superficiality of skin color to join in solidarity with the majority who are darker than ourselves. (pp.268-269)
It's clear that Tom Hayden's wedding speech to his son was meant sincerely. It was not spoken as a throwaway line; it reflects Tom Hayden's deeply held beliefs about how the Irish in America should act morally in the world to bring about justice.
But look at where Tom Hayden's left-liberalism has brought him. He wants the Irish to assert themselves as an ethny, but to do so as non-whites - in fact, to do so by assimilating into the non-white peoples of the world. But this is, at its heart, a denial of Irish ethnicity, one which ultimately would leave little trace of the Irish in the world.
And look at what he writes of whiteness: "what is whiteness but privilege?". That's the left-liberal theory in a nutshell. Being a white American has no meaning at all to Hayden apart from its connection to privilege or supremacy.
Left-liberalism is not exactly a subtle instrument when it comes to issues of identity. The culture, the achievements and the sacrifices of whites in America are all smashed into oblivion with the idea that whiteness was constructed as a means to privilege.
For something to survive, it's little use trying to appeal to those who already operate with the left-liberal assumptions. The assumptions have to be brought into the light of day and criticised.