Monday, December 28, 2009

A Work in Progress: Frank Marshall Davis' Communist Influence on Barack Obama

a work in progress frank marshall davis communist influence on barack obamaThese four articles tell you all you need to know, and maybe some things you don't want to know, about President Barack Obama's youthful mentor and friend, Communist Frank Marshall Davis. Mr. Davis was a close friend of the Dunham family.

Links to articles about Davis and Obama are below, followed by remarks from leaders in the Communist Party USA about Obama. To read the complete articles, click the titles.

The mainstream media refused to discuss this connection in any meaningful way during the presidential campaign. Even now they refuse to touch the subject. Maybe they approve because he's a Democrat? They would have sung a different tune if Barack Obama had been a Republican candidate. This connection would have been front-page throughout the campaign.

Rethinking the History and Future of the Communist Party
by Gerald Horne
Political Affairs Magazine
In any case, deploring these convictions 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 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, a people who have been the least anticommunist and the most left-leaning of any constituency in this nation – though you would never know it from reading so-called left journals of opinion. At some point in the future, a teacher will add to her syllabus Barack’s memoir and instruct her students to read it alongside Frank Marshall Davis’ equally affecting memoir, "Living the Blues" and when that day comes, I’m sure a future student will not only examine critically the Frankenstein monsters that US imperialism created in order to subdue Communist parties . . .

Obama's Communist Mentor
by Cliff Kincaid
It was in Chicago that Obama became a "community organizer" and came into contact with more far-left political forces, including the Democratic Socialists of America, which maintains close ties to European socialist groups and parties through the Socialist International (SI), and two former members of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), William Ayers and Carl Davidson.

Frank Marshall Davis, alleged Communist, was early influence on Barack Obama
By Toby Harnden in Washington
Maya Soetoro-Ng, Obama's half-sister, told the Associated Press recently that her grandfather had seen Mr Davis was “a point of connection, a bridge if you will, to the larger African-American experience for my brother".

In his memoir, Mr Obama recounts how he visited Mr Davis on several occasions, apparently at junctures when he was grappling with racial issues, to seek his counsel.

A view of Obama through the communist's lens:

Unity and Struggle of Politics
By Erica Smiley, Communist Party USA
Aside from electing a Communist president, running a Communist presidential candidate for the purposes of raising our advanced demands would also be un-strategic in this period. Again, our goal is to remove the Ultra-right from power right now, and currently we can only do this through the Democratic Party.

This election is not about progressive Democrats vs Blue dogs, and it isn’t even about how progressive Barack Obama is or can be. This election is about an overwhelming majority of Americans’ frustration with the direction the Ultra-right has taken our country into. This election is about turning a corner in the fights for working people. And working people understand we can do that best with a Democratic majority in Congress and a Democratic president.

A New Era Begins
By Sam Webb, National Chair, CPUSA
First published 02/06/2009

We can disagree with the Obama administration without being disagreeable. Our tone should be respectful. We now have not simply a friend, but a people's advocate in the White House.

If the answer is that U.S. capitalism is entering a period of long-term stagnation then the economic recovery plan must include not only a sizeable and sustained economic stimulus, but also far-reaching political and economic reforms in order to restructure the economy along new lines. One without the other is not enough. Both economic stimulus and political-economic restructuring are necessary if U.S. economy is to have any chance of resuming a developmental growth path that is robust, sustainable (in a double sense: economically and environmentally) and favors the interests of the working class and its allies.

If this is the case, the Obama administration and the broad coalition that supports him will almost inevitably have to consider—and they already are—the following measures:

* Public ownership of the financial system and the elimination of the shadow banking system and exotic derivatives.

* Public control of the Federal Reserve Bank.

* Counter-crisis spending of a bigger size and scope to invigorate and sustain a full recovery and meet human needs—something that the New Deal never accomplished.

* Strengthening of union rights in order to rebalance the power between labor and capital in the economic and political arenas.

* Trade agreements that have at their core the protection and advancement of international working-class interests.

* Equality in conditions of life for racial minorities and women.

* Democratic public takeover of the energy complex as well as a readiness to consider the takeover of other basic industries whose future is problematic in private hands.

* Turning education, childcare, and healthcare into “no profit” zones.

* Rerouting investment capital from unproductive investment (military, finance and so forth) to productive investment in a green economy and public infrastructure.

* Changing direction of our nation’s foreign policy toward cooperation, disarmament, and diplomacy. We can’t have threats, guns and military occupations on the one hand and butter, democracy, goodwill, and peace on the other.

* Full-scale assault on global warming.

* Serious and sustained commitment to assisting the developing countries, which are locked in poverty and misery.

Are we there yet?


  1. The reason "mainstream media refused to discuss this connection in any meaningful way during the presidential campaign," is because fraudulent "opposition research" by Kincaid and Hamden have no more credibility than Iraqi sources such as "Curveball," who lied about Iraqi WMD. Why do you post that Frank Marshall Davis was Obama’s “mentor”? Because conservative firebrand Cliff Kincaid said so? "Dreams From My Father" belies that myth.

    It's a pity Americans are so easily hoodwinked by this right-wing disinformation, just like we were duped regarding the Iraqi threat. But even today, some Americans would rather believe fully discredited lies than admit they were duped. They don't have the courage to admit their mistakes. For everyone else: "Follow the evidence."

    Although Obama's book indicates "Frank" was a family friend who offered him advice on racial issues, Obama wrote that Davis "fell short" and his views were "incurable." Obama did not even visit Davis for three years before going to college. Obama's book proves that Obama did not consider Davis to be a "wise and trusted counselor," which is the standard definition of "mentor." They are mutually exclusive. By what creative definition can Davis be considered his "mentor"?

    By exaggerating evidence that Davis advised Obama, yet ignoring evidence from the same source that Obama did NOT Frank to be a wise and trusted advisor, those who claim Davis was Obama's "mentor" are as dishonest as ex-D.A. Mike Nifong. The "Nifong Syndrome" is the stacking of evidence by ignoring evidence that does not fit one's agenda.

    By portraying Davis as Obama's mentor, despite conclusive evidence to the contrary, fraudulent "opposition research" by Cliff Kincaid and others permeates the blogosphere. Their travesty of journalistic ethics demonstrates that they are unreliable sources of information on the Davis-Obama relationship. As the epitome of contemporary propaganda, Cliff Kincaid may be a worthy successor to Reich Minister Joseph Goebbels.

  2. Aloha Kaleokualoha,

    No, the reason the mainstream media didn't (and doesn't) cover the Davis connection was/is because they are comrades in arms. There is no doubt, whatsoever, that Frank Marshall Davis was influential in the life of young Obama. Barack may or may not have bought into everything Davis advocated, but his influence on Obama's thinking plays out daily in Obama's decision-making processes.

    And speaking of "Dreams From My Father", since the book was predominantly penned by another communist comrade, Bill Ayers, one can hardly claim the book "belies that myth" that Davis was Obama's mentor. You all are, after all, comrades in arms. You think, feel, and act on the same principles. See and and

    Taking a page from your book, it's a pity Americans are so easily hoodwinked by your left-wing disinformation.

    Cliff Kincaid has responded to your claims of "ignoring evidence" with this:

    Last but not least, you, Kaleokualoaha, are the son of Frank Marshall Davis (, and with that comes certain biases.

    If you share your father's political sympathies, one would think that you'd be keen to admit to them, and keen to say that Obama advocates for similar ideals, unless, as a son, you don't like the idea of sharing your father with a usurper of his affections.

    Your analogy with Goebbels is truly over the top.

  3. Kaleokualoha:

    Aren't you the person who states that he is the son of the "Frank" in question???

    Whether yes or no, your reliance on the proved (and admitted) fraud of the information in "Dreams ..." shows your "creative" agenda. Why rely on a book known to be a lie (and even who authored it)?

    Here are STILL two of the most informative short videos about BHO and his agenda (and, therefore, apparently yours): Three Little Words Merry Christmas OmeriKa!!