July 8, 2008
By Andrew Walden
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 Hawaii was an African-American poet and journalist by the name of Frank Marshall Davis, who was certainly in the orbit of the CP (Communist Party) -- if not a member -- and who was born in Kansas and spent a good deal of his adult life in Chicago, before decamping to Honolulu in 1948 at the suggestion of his good friend (and Communist Party member) Paul Robeson. Eventually, he befriended another family -- a Euro-American family -- that had migrated to Honolulu from Kansas and a young woman from this family eventually had a child with a young student from Kenya East Africa who goes by the name of Barack Obama, who retracing the steps of Davis eventually decamped to Chicago. In his best selling memoir ‘Dreams of my Father', the author speaks warmly of an older black poet, he identifies simply as "Frank" as being a decisive influence in helping him to find his present identity as an African-American...."
|Star-Bulletin file photo|
This collection of materials was identified as
communist propaganda by a customs official, during
a December 1956 Senate subcommittee hearing here.
"I (Berman) was at one of the election meetings at which one Frank Marshall Davis, formerly of Chicago (and formerly editor of the Chicago Communist paper, the Star) suddenly appeared on the scene to propagandize the membership about our ‘racial problems' in Hawaii. He had jut sneaked in here on a boat, and presto, was an ‘expert' on racial problems in Hawaii. Comrade Davis was supported by others who had recently ‘sneaked' into the organization with the avowed intent and purpose of converting it into a front for the Stalinist line....
...Already, scores of Negro members were frightened away from these meetings because of the influx of this element. Only by a reorganization with a policy that will check this infiltration, can we hope to get former members back into a local NAACP branch. We are going to have to have that authority over here-otherwise you'll have a branch exclusively composed of yelping Stalinists and their dupes-characters who are more concerned about the speedy assassination of Tito (Yugoslav communist dictator who had just broken with the USSR) than they are about the advancement of the colored people of these United States."
Smash on, victory-eating Red warriors!
Show the marveling multitudes
Americans, British, all your allied brothers
How strong you are
How great you are
How your young tree of new unity
Planted twenty-five years ago
Bears today the golden fruit of victory!
Drive on, oh mighty people's juggernaut!
Hear in your winning ears
Shadow songs of your departed comrades
Telling you, "Be avengers and kill our killers
And when you have struck the last foe to the ground
Then drop their fascist dreams below hell!"
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.
"In 1955, the chairman of the Mercer Island school board, John Stenhouse, testified before the House Un-American Activities Subcommittee that he had been a member of the Communist Party."
One respite (from Americans Stanley Ann Dunham looked down on) was found in a wing of Mercer Island High called "anarchy alley." Jim Wichterman taught a wide-open philosophy course that included Karl Marx. Next door, Val Foubert taught a rigorous dose of literature, including Margaret Mead's writings on homosexuality.
"As much as a high-school student can, she'd question anything: What's so good about democracy? What's so good about capitalism? What's wrong with communism? What's good about communism?" Wichterman said. "She had what I call an inquiring mind."