The President does have an unusual and complex family history. His Kenyan father, a tragic figure in his country’s history, abandoned him at birth to pursue unsuccessfully a PhD degree in Econometrics at Harvard and a leadership position in a newly independent Kenya. His American mother also abandoned him to pursue a career in Indonesia in pre-colonial anthropology. His working-class American grandparents then raised him in Hawaii where he attended a prestigious college preparatory school.
Looking at his entire life, one critic…perhaps prematurely…characterized him as follows:
1. He was thoroughly grounded in socialist ideology beginning in childhood; and
2. He convincingly misrepresented himself as a moderate pragmatist adept at concealing his radical past and incredibly disciplined in maintaining a nearly apolitical facade before the public.
Let me provide an insight into these points.
Frank Marshall Davis (1905-1987)
In Dreams From My Father President Obama refers to an individual named “Frank”…22 times in approximately twenty-five hundred words of text. Frank was a family friend, a frequent drinking partner of his grand father and Obama’s mentor during his pre-college years in Honolulu.
Obama describes him in Dreams as “an elderly [nearly 80-years old] black poet who enjoyed some modest notoriety” and whose work appeared in a poetry anthology. 2
— This statement buries a politically uncomfortable reality.
“Frank” is, in fact, Frank Marshall Davis who was a successful editor in the nation’s Negro Press, an outspoken radical journalist, a poet and a noted jazz enthusiast. 3 At the peak of his career he worked at the Chicago Star (1934-1948 ) and The Honolulu Record (1949-1957) and wrote for the American Negro Press.
As America entered World War II, Davis “turned to the Communist Party. He crossed the threshold from Progressive to Communist.” 4
The validity of this statement rests on Frank’s own words in decades of news paper commentaries, archival material made available by Congress, the FBI and Russia’s Communist International (a.k.a. the Comintern) records on the Communist Party USA.
At his turning point in September 1943 Davis presented to the National Negro Congress a poem titled “To The Red Army”…
— “Smash on, victory-eating Red warriors!
— Drive on, oh mighty people’s juggernaut!
— Grind into spreading dust the Nazi killers!…
— Show the marveling multitudes
— Americans, British, all your allied brothers
— How strong you are…
— How your young tree of new unity
— Planted twenty-five years ago
— Bears today the golden fruit of victory!”
Amongst other things Davis became known as “an unyielding basher of Harry Truman who he accused of being a neo-colonialist trying to create a new neo-fascist state in West Germany.” 5
In his writings he never publicly wavered in his sworn oath to Josef Stalin…OR…in the racial hatred grounded in his experience as a young man in America…BUT…he was careful to fuse his Communist message to his interest in joining “hands with others seriously interested in fighting racism.” 6 However, he overlooked the 70 million civilians who died around the world in Communist purges.
According to the 600-page recently declassified FBI record, he became Communist Party member No. 47544 in 1945. 7 Davis was listed on the Federal Security Index of individuals subject to immediate arrest and imprisonment in the event of a war between the United States and Russia.
BUT…he was never charged with a crime of espionage.
On December 5, 1956 he testified before the Senate Committee of Republican Arthur Watkins, the politician who pursued Congressman Joe McCarthy into retirement. Here Davis pleaded his Constitutional Fifth Amendment right to silence when questioned about his party membership and affiliation to Communist front organizations. The only known written acknowledgment of his Communist Party membership is in a letter to a female associate.
On Obama’s leaving Hawaii for Occidental College in Los Angeles, Dreams quotes “Frank” as saying…
— “Understand something, boy. You’re not going to college to get educated. You’re going there to get trained. They’ll train you to want what you don’t need. They’ll train you to manipulate words so that they don’t mean anything anymore…until you actually start running things, and then they’ll yank on your chain and let you know that you may be a well trained, well paid nigger, but you’re a nigger just the same.” 8
Occidental College & Dr. John Drew
In Dreams Barack Obama wrote about his experience at Occidental. “To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. the foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and pink rock performance poets. We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night we discussed, neo-colonialism, Franz Fanon, Eurocentrism, and patriarchy.” 9
— This is another burial of a politically uncomfortable reality.
Here we have to turn to Dr. John C Drew who “earned his Ph.D. in Political Science from Cornell and taught at Williams College. He also was a senior student at Occidental who described sophomore student Obama as “a Marxist socialist looking forward to an inevitable Communist revolution.”
He met Obama twice in 1980 through a girlfriend, Caroline Boss, who wanted to introduce young Obama to John Drew as “one of us…The young Obama was more radical than me because by that Christmas break I had stopped believing in the possibility of a Communist revolution and no longer believed a pure Communist economic and social system – one without private property or profits – was possible anymore.” 10
Today Dr. John Drew “refers to himself as the missing link between ‘Hawaii Frank’ and later Communist associates in Obama’s orbit in Chicago, including the infamous Bill Ayres”, the unconvicted and unrepentent “Bomber of the Pentagon”, Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s close family friend and trusted advisor, and David Axelrod, campaign advisor and strategist. Both of the latter had mentors with similar views and credentials as Frank Marshall Davis.
All of this has been suppressed in much the same way that today the truth about the terrorist attack on Benghazi is managed so as not to cloud the foreign affairs narrative of the President.
The Last Word?
This is the dark side of the 2008 and 2012 elections. In part it has its roots in the Cold War, the Vietnamese War, Communist and Socialist illusions, the siren calls of racial hatred and class warfare and the intense anti-colonialism of the third world.
In that third world the U.S. replaced Great Britain as the great Satin that dominates the life and steals the wealth of the Third World. The rectification of this injustice was part of the Dreams From My Father that a son pursued in Kenya…a son who did not get his chain yanked as predicted by “Hawaii Frank”.
The election will determine the course of American history. The country will have to face the consequences of its Government-created economic crisis and the financial cliff that lies ahead. This is not and should not be the Last Word on the country’s uncomfortable past.