July 8, 2008
What Barack Obama learned from the Communist PartyBy Andrew Walden
American voters must make up their minds about what Barack Obama really believes in, if anything. His recent rhetorical concessions to the center further muddy the waters. So we must look to his past teachers and associates for help in understanding the inner Obama.
In his first series of national campaign commercials since securing the delegates needed to win the Democratic presidential campaign, Barack Obama struggles to re-introduce himself. Images focus on the story of lessons learned from his grandparents and his mother, described in his book Dreams from my Father as "a girl from Kansas.... dab-smack, landlocked center of the country," in towns "too small to warrant boldface on a roadmap." Speaking in Independence, Missouri, Obama tells his audience: "patriotism can never be defined as loyalty to any particular leader or government or policy."
But there is another story to be told about loyalties and about Obama's education. A story told by Gerald Horne, contributing editor of Political Affairs, a magazine published by the Communist Party, USA. Speaking March 28, 2007 at the dedication of the Communist Party, USA archive at New York University Tamiment Library, Horne traces the downward spiral of fortune for Communists in the latter half of the twentieth century. But in the closing paragraphs of his speech, Horne suddenly becomes hopeful, pointing to the arrival of what Obama might describe as "the ones we have been waiting for."
In Hawai`i, most people are ‘hapa' (mixed) and the few blacks are ‘popolo' (Hawaiian word for a type of black berry). The poisonous attitudes fostered in the Jim Crow era simply have no context. Instead of taking the opportunity to convey a message of racial hope from the land of hapa, Obama teaches lessons about being black learned from a Communist. Handed a golden opportunity to define himself as an individual, he instead defines himself as part of a group.
Communists' interest in African-Americans stemmed from their presumption that blacks oppressed by the Democrats' Jim Crow segregation were more likely to serve Soviet interests.
Just one year after arriving, Davis spearheaded Communist efforts to take over the Honolulu branch of the NAACP. A 1949 letter sent by Honolulu NAACP Chair Edward Berman to NAACP acting National Secretary Roy Wilkins describes Davis' work:
The anthology Black Moods (pgs xviii-xxxvii) and Davis' posthumous memoir Living the Blues: Memoirs of a black poet and journalist portray Davis as a Communist Party member working with top leaders of the Party. One of Davis' poems is titled, "To the Red Army". Its concluding stanzas read:
Obama's grandparents, Stanley Armour Dunham and his wife Madelyn are another piece of the puzzle. Key details come from interviews in The Chicago Tribune and Seattle Times.
Done bouncing around Kansas, California and Texas in the years after World War Two, Stanley and Madelyn in 1955 picked up and relocated 2,000 miles from Texas to Seattle. The next year they relocated to Mercer Island specifically so their daughter, Obama's future mother, Stanley Ann Dunham could attend Mercer Island high school.
One year earlier, Mercer Island schools had distinguished themselves in a way which might have caused others to avoid them. The Chicago Tribune explains,
After intense debate, Stenhouse decided not to resign from the school board according to an April 11, 1955 account in Time Magazine.
Stenhouse was not the only leftist connected to the school. The Seattle Times explains:
Those classes prompted what Wichterman, now 80 and retired in Ellensburg, called "mothers' marches" of parents outraged at the curriculum.
Dunham thrived in the environment, Wichterman said.
She also showed her politics, wearing a campaign button for Adlai Stevenson. And despite flirting with atheism, she went to services at East Shore Unitarian church, a left-leaning congregation in Bellevue.
The Chicago Tribune mentions a description of the Dunham's chosen church as "The Little Red Church on the Hill". According to its own website, East Shore Unitarian Church got that name because of, "Well-publicized debates and forums on such controversial subjects as the admission of ‘Red China' to the United Nations...." The fact that Mercer Island's John Stenhouse, according to his 2000 obituary, once served as church president might also have contributed to the "red" label.
Obama often says his mother's "parents were non-practicing Baptists and Methodists...." At best, Obama was twisting the facts. Describing his grandfather in Dreams (p17), Obama writes:
Over thirty years later, Barack Obama would make his "only skirmish into organized religion", joining Chicago's Trinity United Church, inspired by anti-American church leader, Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
Obama April 6 infamously described his view of rural blue collar Americans while speaking to an audience of wealthy San Francisco donors:
From 50 years out, the Seattle Times describes in Obama's mother similar attitudes:
The Chicago Tribune found similar comments from Dunham's friends:
Tribune editors leave readers to wonder what was cut off by their ellipses.
Barack Obama describes his mother:
As described in Dreams from my Father, for Obama, his parents and grandparents' political views define family ties and human characteristics. But wisdom is gathered from the type of political activists Obama looks up to. Likewise, the wrong way to go about politics is defined by a certain type he looks down on. Trying to deal with reactions to his "mixed" racial background, Obama writes:
Of his time as a student at Colombia, Obama writes:
Obama's mother, on a break from her work establishing micro-credit projects in Indonesia, brings Obama's half-sister Maya Soetoro to visit him at Colombia. Obama lectures her on,
Perhaps this explains another of Obama's derisive references to his mother:
If "rational, thoughtful people" can not "shape their own destiny" then who can? Religion says God is the answer, but Obama at the time was describing himself as agnostic. If one doesn't believe in God, then there are only the choices of pure fatalism, believing in all humanity as Obama's mother seems to, or believing in an ideological substitute for religion like Marxism. Or, of course, believing in oneself as some sort of messianic figure called upon to save others.
Finally Obama's mother convinces him to see the film Black Orpheus with her and Maya. (p124) Obama writes:
Ideology and politics also emerge in Obama's description of Stanley Armour Dunham -- Ann's father and Obama's grandfather -- in Dreams from My Father:
But Obama looks down on him as well. With his grandmother pushing him to enroll in college, Obama demands:
The Hawai`i to which Stanley Armour led his family was an even greater sanctuary than tiny Mercer Island. The 1950s had been a bad decade for mainland Communists but in Hawai`i things were looking up. Gerald Horne explains:
The Hawai`i district of the International Longshore Workers Union was headed by Communist Party member Jack Hall, one of the Hawai`i Smith Act defendants. The ILWU international union was headed by Communist Party member Harry Bridges. The ILWU controlled the Hawai`i Democratic Party. The "revolution of 1954" elections put Hawai`i Democrats in control of the Territorial Legislature ending 52 years of rule by the Republican "Haole-Hawaiian alliance."
Introducing Black Moods, editor John Edgar Tidwell recounts Davis' numerous Communist Party affiliations and then writes:
Arriving in Honolulu in 1948, Frank Marshall Davis was almost immediately at the center of all the action. Dr Kathryn Waddell Takara writes:
These contacts were arranged by leading Communist Party members on the mainland. Takara writes:
Years later, Obama would trace Davis' steps in reverse, leaving Honolulu on a journey which, after college, would lead him to Davis' old stomping grounds in Chicago where he signed on as a community organizer with a group modeled on the teachings of one-time Communist Party fellow traveler Saul Alinsky. Just as Davis quickly made contacts in Honolulu, Obama would launch his first Illinois Senate race with key backing from former fugitive Weatherman terrorists Bill Ayres and Bernadine Dohrn and Rev Jeremiah Wright.
Obama won the State Senate seat in 1996 after being hand-picked by the outgoing incumbent, Alice Palmer. Palmer was an executive board member of the US Peace Council, US affiliate of the World Peace Council, a communist front group founded by Stalin in 1948 and funded by the USSR. She attended the Peace Council's 1983 international meeting in communist-ruled Prague, Czechoslovakia. Palmer headed the Black Press Institute. An article the Black Press Institute submitted to the CPUSA newspaper Peoples Daily World, described Palmer in 1986 attending the 27th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and coming away "favorably impressed".
The Honolulu Record was founded and edited from 1948-58 by Koji Ariyoshi a Smith Act defendant and Communist Party member who worked with Mao Zedong in China during WW2. It was financed by payments from all Hawai`i ILWU locals. The Record played an integral role in the transformation of organized labor into political power resulting in the Democrats' takeover of the Hawai`i territorial legislature.
Two years after the Record folded, the Dunhams arrived in Honolulu. They quickly became friends with Frank Marshall Davis. Stanley Ann Dunham met Barack Obama Sr in a Russian language class at the University of Hawai`i.
The Chicago Tribune explains:
Abercrombie is described by Hawaii Reporter editor Malia Zimmerman as "D-Hezbollah" for his weakness on terror and anti-Israel record in Congress. Today he represents Honolulu in the US Congress and is a member of the Socialist-founded Congressional Progressive Caucus.
In Dreams, Obama relates that during his years at Honolulu's elite Punahou School, he sought out his grandfather's friend Frank Marshall Davis in "the house with the wobbly porch and the low-pitched roof." (p 89-98)
Obama describes Frank as preparing him to attend college -- ("What had Frank called college? An advanced degree in compromise.") -- in a political way:
Frank describes "the price of admission":
And then Frank pronounces the modern version of the one key concept which the Democratic Party, under slavery, segregation, and civil rights, has sought to ingrain in the mind of every black person:
A few days later Obama left Hawai`i for Occidental College in Los Angeles.
The world of Frank Marshall Davis no longer exists. When Obama got to college, instead of finding "compromise" he found it overrun with leftists. The Soviet Union is gone. Bereft of Moscow gold, the Communist Party is a shadow of its former self, "wedded to lost hopes". Mercer Island is now home to real revolutionaries -- billionaire Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Obama's mother died in 1995. She spent most of her latter years establishing micro credit banking in Indonesia and other countries so the poorest third world women could become independent small businesspersons, not socialist slaves.
As he grew and changed, Barack Obama seems to have learned to discard and look down upon the actions and attitudes of the family members he has grown up with, searching for something superior in which to believe. Only his long-absent father seems to have inspired the dreams of his adulthood. That his father has left behind a published record of an embrace of communist policies may or may not have played a role in Obama's embrace of his father's African identity and his literary embrace of his father's dreams.
Certainly, socialists and leftists have flocked to embrace Obama's candidacy. His campaign even hosts a page for Marxists/socialists/communists for Obama, albeit with a disclaimer at the bottom. And the Communist Party USA backs Obama's candidacy.
What remains from Marxism in America is a desire to appropriate the wealth of some and distribute it to those who did not earn it in the name of "fairness," and the arrogant belief that politically correct ideology denotes superiority and the right to wield political power.
Marx theorized a broad uprising of the proletarian masses to create a socialist society. Later American theorists like Frank Marshall Davis saw blacks as a revolutionary vanguard. In advanced countries, followers of Marx have devolved into Gramscian propagandists. Arrogant nihilists, they seek not to lead, but to confirm their false sense of superiority to themselves by spreading confusion and doubt.