Skip to comments.Obama Once Visited '60s Radicals (Weather Underground Terrorists)
Posted on 02/24/2008 8:27:17 PM PST by Travis McGee
In 1995, State Senator Alice Palmer introduced her chosen successor, Barack Obama, to a few of the districts influential liberals at the home of two well known figures on the local left: William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.
While Ayers and Dohrn may be thought of in Hyde Park as local activists, theyre better known nationally as two of the most notorious and unrepentant figures from the violent fringe of the 1960s anti-war movement.
Now, as Obama runs for president, what two guests recall as an unremarkable gathering on the road to a minor elected office stands as a symbol of how swiftly he has risen from a man in the Hyde Park left to one closing in fast on the Democratic nomination for president.
I can remember being one of a small group of people who came to Bill Ayers house to learn that Alice Palmer was stepping down from the senate and running for Congress, said Dr. Quentin Young, a prominent Chicago physician and advocate for single-payer health care, of the informal gathering at the home of Ayers and his wife, Dohrn. [Palmer] identified [Obama] as her successor.
Obama and Palmer were both there, he said.
Obamas connections to Ayers and Dorhn have been noted in some fleeting news coverage in the past. But the visit by Obama to their home part of a campaign courtship reflects more extensive interaction than has been previously reported.
Neither Ayers nor the Obama campaign would describe the relationship between the two men. Dr. Young described Obama and Ayers as friends, but theres no evidence their relationship is more than the casual friendship of two men who occupy overlapping Chicago political circles and who served together on the board of a Chicago foundation.
But Obamas relationship with Ayers is an especially vivid milepost on his rise, in record time, from a local official who unabashedly reflected a very liberal district to the leader of national movement based largely on the claim that he can transcend ideological divides.
In one sense, Obamas journey toward the cultural and political center is not unusual among national politicians. But its velocity is.
Politicians of an earlier generation had their own relationships with figures now far to their left. Hillary Rodham Clinton, for instance, interned at a radical San Francisco law firm while in law school.
On the other side of the political spectrum, many in the generation before hers shifted dramatically on civil rights. John McCain voted against creating a holiday to honor Martin Luther King Jr. and later called that a mistake.
The relationship with Ayers gives context to his recent past in Hyde Park politics. Its milieu in which a former violent radical was a stalwart of the local scene, not especially controversial.
Its also a scene whose liberal ideological features while taken for granted by the Chicago press corps that knows Obama best provides a jarring contrast with Obamas current, anti-ideological stance. This contrast between past and present not least the Ayers connection is virtually certain to be a subject Republican operatives will warm to if Obama is the Democratic nominee.
The tension between the present and recent Chicago past is also evident in some of his positions on major national issues. Many national politicians, including Clinton, have moved toward the center over time. But Obamas transitions are still quite fresh.
A questionnaire from his 1996 campaign indicated more blanket opposition to the death penalty, and support of abortion rights, than he currently espouses. He spoke in support of single-payer health care as recently as 2003.
Like many of the most extreme figures from the 1960s Ayers and Dohrn are ambiguous figures in American life.
They disappeared in 1970, after a bomb designed to kill army officers in New Jersey accidentally destroyed a Greenwich Village townhouse, and turned themselves into authorities in 1980. They were never prosecuted for their involvement with the 25 bombings the Weather Underground claimed; charges were dropped because of improper FBI surveillance.
Both have written and spoken at length about their pasts, and today he is an advocate for progressive education and a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago; shes an associate professor of law at Northwestern University.
But unlike some other fringe figures of the era theyre also flatly unrepentant about the bombings they committed in the name of ending the war, defending them on the grounds that they killed no one, except, accidentally, their own members.
Dohrn, however, was jailed for less than a year for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating other Weather Underground members robbery of a Brinks truck, in which a guard and two New York State Troopers were killed.
I don't regret setting bombs; I feel we didn't do enough, Ayers told the New York Times in 2001.
(More at the link)
Speechless CW2 Ping.
This is coming out too soon.
Yeah, well, I once attended a Gary Hart for President fundraiser.
It doesn’t make me a liberal Dem today, does it?
Mr. Obama’s relationship with these radicals may just be a bit overstated.
Consider the timing of this, this story sounds like it might have be part of the Clinton campaign as they are getting a bit desparate.
Was Gary Hart a Weather Underground terrorist?
Travis - did you see this thread? “Farrakhan praises Obama at Saviours’ Day event in Chicago” [http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1975754/posts]
Who was Obama’s mentor in Hawaii? Can you give name and cites as to his CPUSA or other party membership?
Quentin Young, mentioned in this article, was a longtime identified member of the CPUSA in Chicago, and headed a front known as the Medical Committee for Human Rights, and now heads a phone booth operation known roughly as Physicians for Health Care Reform.
He may have claimed to have left the Party, but the Party never LEFT him.
To be with Dohrn and Ayres is very important, and Alice Palmer needs to be reexamined re Obama. There were a lot of leftist groups in Chicago during Mayor Washington’s time and Obama may have been a member of one of them (later on).
When Obama was in high school in Hawaii his mentor was Frank Marshal Davis, a Communist who told Obama not to forget his people and not to start believing what they tell you about equal opportunity and the American way and all that s**t.
They were trying to “end” a war, as is Obama today. I don’t attribute their methods to Obama, just the same misguided objective.
Oh brother, are you seriously apologizing for the pure motives of Weather Underground terrorists, and making excuses for Obama palling around with them in a political scene?
You see the left is never brought to judgment for the evil it perpetrates.
“Could Obama be....SOCIALIST?”
HILLARY is the socialist. Obama is the Communist. With McCain being way to the right.... as a liberal.
Think you SERIOUSLY misread my post. I don’t attribute bombings to Obama, but he shares with them the same idiotic, misguided and immoral objective of “ending” a just war through defeat. Hope that is clearer.
“But unlike some other fringe figures of the era theyre also flatly unrepentant about the bombings they committed in the name of ending the war, defending them on the grounds that they killed no one, except, accidentally, their own members.”
The bomb killed their own members but it was intended for US servicemen. Give me a break-if it had not gone off accidently
dozens of servicemen would have been murdered.
Have been listening for the past hour plus to John Batchelor and he has been on this and Resko, etc. re Obama.
I and others have been on this info for some time.
McCain may not be our version of a 100% conservative but he is a hell of a lot better than Marxist Obama who will destroy our country period.
Time to build the bunker.
Whew....what a choice.
Ayers, Rezko Ping
McCain may not be our version of a 100% conservative but he is a hell of a lot better than Marxist Obama who will destroy our country period.”
I supported duncan too. But you are right, we have to expose osama. Go McCain, what else can we do.
Obama's Bill Ayers problem
...Jump ahead to 2000...In addition to his professoship, Ayers is The Woods Fund board chairman, and a young state senator, who like Ayers is living in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, is a fellow board member--that person of course is Barack Obama. Why any organization would have Ayers serving on their board (he's not chairman any more, but Ayers is still on The Woods Fund board), is astonishing to me and any other person with common sense. And who'd want to serve with him? That year, Ayers and Obama (who should've abstained) voted to invest $1 million in Woods Fund money into a firm run by a former boss of the then-state senator, Allison Davis. In a different business venture, Davis partnered with Tony Rezko...
Boy, just all kinds of great things about this guy coming out.
The Clinton's are not going to go down to Obama without a fight. No way will the let a political amateur win the White House after beating her. They would gladly see him lose in November in order to retain a tad of her legacy as well as his. If he wins in November, he will be more remembered for beating Hillary than McCain. Even if the ship is taking on more water, they’ll dump whatever trash they can on Obama in order to make their buds in the media cover it and ask questions about , even after the primary is considered over.
Here's a picture of Obama, with Raila Amolo Odinga, in Kenya, in August of 2006:
A year later, in August of 2007, Raila Amolo Odinga signed an agreement with Sheikh Abdullahi Abdi to implement Sharia law if Odinga were to win the Muslim vote:
Kenyan Christians could be subjected to Sharia lawNow, a mere five months later, we've got Odinga supporters burning and hacking Christians to death:
Concerns Raised Over Alleged Vow to Enforce Islamic Law in Kenya
Children torched in Kenya churchThis, of course, is the same Raila Amolo Odinga who claims to be Barack Hussein Obama's cousin:
In broad daylight, a crowd of Kenyans set a church filled with hundreds of terrified families on fire and listened to their screams as flames engulfed them. According to witnesses including police and a Red Cross volunteer, those who escaped the Assemblies of God Church in Eldoret, about 300km west of Nairobi, were hunted down with machetes; others hid inside pit latrines...
The December 27 presidential election was narrowly won by the incumbent, Mwai Kibaki, amid allegations from defeated challenger Raila Odinga that the vote was rigged.
The violence is the worst Kenya has witnessed since a failed coup in 1982.
With Mr Kibaki belonging to Kenya's largest tribe, the Kikuyu, and Mr Odinga to the second-largest, the Luo, the violence has taken on a distinctly ethnic hue, with tit-for-tat killings and targeted arson attacks.
"What I saw was unimaginable and indescribable," said the director of the Kenyan Red Cross, Abbas Gullet, after visiting several of the worst hit areas of western Kenya. "This is a national disaster."
Those massacred in the church were mostly Kikuyus...
Odinga says Obama is his cousin
Obama urges talks in phone call to Kenya's Odinga
...Odinga told the BBC radio that he had spoken twice with Obama, whose father was from Kenya and like Odinga was a member of the Luo tribe, and added that he and Obama are relatives.
"He called me twice yesterday to express his concern and to say he is also going to call president Kibaki so that Kibaki agrees to find a negotiated satisfactory solution to this problem," said Odinga.
"Barack Obama's father is actually my maternal uncle," said Odinga, who is battling to overturn disputed presidential elections which have plunged Kenya into turmoil...
Amid allegations of vote-rigging, violence erupted 10 days ago leaving 600 people dead and 250,000 displaced and sending diplomats scurrying for a political solution to the crisis...
That's one I missed. Source?
Obama graduates as editor of harvard law review, is courted by every major law firm in the country, has no wealth, and decides to be a “community organizer” in south side chicago.
How far out of the mainstream do you think he is??
“Unfortunately, this only matters to a few of us. Most people in the street have no idea what this is about and most of those who do, such as the media see it as a positive.”
I would imagine that most people under the age of 40 think that the Weather Underground is the name of a website about the weather.
Wow! Turns out that Obama is a daggone red. Well, he can pack sand.
No not overstated. He has not moved to the center. He is just too smart and he knows the MSM will protect him.
He wrote about it in his own book. He calls him Frank.
Davis reportedly was influenced to move to Hawaii by Paul Robeson (CPUSA), who he knew in Chicago. [source]. I've read much of Robeson's FBI files and don't remember ever seeing Frank Davis. The labor movement was big in Hawaii about that time (with Jack Hall) but I haven't seen any evidence that Davis was active in that. Davis also married a white woman so I wonder if that might have not been some of the attraction of Obama, dealing with interracial biases.
Below are some more acquaintances mentioned in a book review:
Livin' the Blues: Memoirs of a Black Journalist and Poet. By Frank Marshall Davis. Ed. by John Edgar Tidwell. (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1992, xxxii, 373 pp. $27.50, ISBN 0-299-13500-4.)
Frank Marshall Davis (1905-1987) was a political activist, editor of African-American newspapers, and author of four volumes of poetry. He developed a considerable reputation in Chicago and Atlanta in the 1930s and 1940s, before moving to Hawaii and obscurity in 1948. There was a brief flurry of fame in the late 1960s and early 1970s when this "mystery man," as he was labeled, was taken as a father figure by black nationalists. The publication of his autobiography five years after his death is, in a sense, part of the recent effort to recover some of the "lost" figures of African American literature, history, and culture. He himself largely completed the book in 1973 but could never interest a publisher in it.
Livin' the Blues is as much a social history of early twentieth-century black America as it is a life story. Davis vividly describes the worlds of business, politics, sports, music, literature, and the military. He knew, or knew much about, such figures as Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, Louis Armstrong, Oscar DePriest, and Angelo Herndon and Ben Davis, Jr., of the Communist party. In addition to being a journalist, he worked as a publicist at various times for the major political parties, taught the nation's first history of jazz course, and was active in left-wing literary organizations.
One of the noteworthy aspects of such an active public life is that both Davis and John Edgar Tidwell, the book's editor, define Davis repeatedly as a loner with a racial inferiority complex. They insist on this perhaps because the text itself does not clearly lead to such a conclusion. There is no question that Davis encountered discrimination growing up in Arkansas City, Kansas. He generally seemed to get along well with white children and teachers, however. More important in some ways is that he was exposed to central aspects of black culture, including religion and secular music, especially blues and jazz. This dichotomy of hostility and enrichment is evident throughout his story. But it is his individuality, assertiveness, social and political engagement, and wit, rather than his isolation and inferiority, that are most obvious.
The emphasis on the negative aspects may be based on the need to justify the decision to move not only off the mainland but out of the mainstream of political action at the very moment the civil rights movement took off. Both Davis and Tidwell are at pains to insist that this is not the case, but in fact Davis chose to live in a place he called a kind of racial paradise at the time that the battle he had been urging so courageously for so long had finally begun. In the end, despite Davis's candid style and Tidwell's admirable editorial efforts, it is on these political and moral grounds that Frank Marshall Davis remains one of the "mystery men" of African-American history.
Obama’s Communist Mentor
See also post above.
I see now there are several threads related to the Kincaid article:
Duh! Perhaps I need to read my own links. Yes--he was involved in the labor movement in Hawaii, specifically the ILWU to begin with. The RED Trials in Hawaii were in 1951 (and the "Free the Hawaii Seven" movement). Davis arrived in 1948.
Davis himself recalls that even before he left for Hawai'i, "[Paul Robeson] and [Harry] Bridges who was head of the ILWU and the CIO in the Pacific Region, suggested that I should get in touch with the Honolulu Record and see if I could do something for them."
When Davis became a columnist for the Honolulu Record...
...in [Davis's] own words, "Not long after arriving in Hawai`i, I began writing a regular weekly column for the Honolulu Record, supported mainly by the ILWU membership, and was openly friendly with its leadership." This was hardly a career move, since "The Record, of course, was not financially able to add me to its payroll." But Davis felt an affinity with Koji Ariyoshi and Ed Rohrbough, "who were its editorial mainstays" (Davis 1992, 323), and since the Record was created to provide an alternative perspective to the news, Davis found it to be the medium through which he could critique the socio-political structure of the Territory of Hawai'i and keep in touch with the common people. When Ariyoshi offered him a column, which became known as "Frankly Speaking," therefore, Davis couldn't resist.
The Second World War
At Manzanar, [Koji] Ariyoshi met and married his wife, Taeko Ariyoshi, and sought an opportunity to help the war effort. The opportunity presented itself in the United States Army Military Intelligence Service, where Ariyoshi signed on as a language specialist. Through the course of his service, he was transferred out of Manzanar to India, Sri Lanka, and to Burma. It was while he was stationed in the British Colonies, that Ariyoshi witnessed what he believed to be the inequality of the colonial system. His final transfer of the war led him to China and exposed him to the Communist movement.
The Dixie Mission
Koji Ariyoshi spent the majority of his time stationed at the Dixie Mission in Yan'an, where he met and interacted with both Chinese and Japanese Communists, chief among them Mao Zedong and Nosaka Sanzo. His primary duty in Yan'an was to learn more about the Communist activities to train Japanese prisoners of war, translate Japanese source materials, and develop Allied propaganda targeting the Japanese. In China, Ariyoshi had first hand experience with the positive differences between the peasants under the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communists, and came away with an appreciation for what Communism, or at least, progressive Socialism could accomplish.
Post War Life
Ariyoshi returned to Hawaiʻi in 1948 and inspired by the progressive Japanese language paper, Hawaiʻi Hochi, started a labor-oriented newspaper, the Honolulu Record. As editor, Arioyshi lambasted labor conditions for the working class, the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, and other social inequalities in the islands. His socialist stance achieved two things; first, it bolstered the growth of the local labor movement, as well as the Democratic Party in Hawaiʻi; second, at the height of the Second Red Scare and McCarthyism, he and six other Nisei were arrested under charges of attempting to overthrow the American government under the Smith Act. The case later became known as the Hawaiʻi Seven. Ariyoshi remained only one night in jail and after release, persisted in his writings to defense the stances of the Record. He was found guilty by the court, but on appeal found innocent of all charges against him.
The word was in fact correct, for Davis's initial contacts with Hawai'i all had extremely strong ILWU ties. Paul Robson's (sic) own Hawai'i acquaintances, which he passed on to Davis, insured that "when I came over, one of the first things that I got involved with--well, I met all the ILWU brass, Jack Hall and all of them, and I went--they had both of us over to various functions for them--Harriet Bouslog was also a good friend" (Davis 1986a, 5:29-30).
Star Bulletin, 1999.
ATTORNEY Harriet Bouslog, a feisty advocate for ILWU strikers and other working people at a time when it was unpopular and unpolitic, is credited with playing a part in changing Hawaii from a near-feudal society led by powerful landowners. ... Florida-born Bouslog was the rare woman lawyer when she was admitted to the Hawaii bar in 1941. After working for the International Longshore and Warehousemen's Union in Washington, D.C., during World War II, she was recruited to return to Hawaii in 1946 to defend 400 union members charged under a century-old law against unlawful assembly and riot for their picket line activity. ... In the 1949 ILWU dock strike, Bouslog challenged the mostly Caucasian makeup of the grand jury that indicted Asian workers, which led to reform in the constitution of jury. ... She was part of the defense team for the "Hawaii Seven" who were convicted under the Smith Act of conspiring to teach the violent overthrow of the U.S. government -- convictions later overturned by a federal appeals court. Bouslog and her law partner Myer Symonds represented the underdog throughout their 30-year association ...
...the "Landmark Cases" book describes the successful suit against the Attorney General for trying to list the Guild as "subversive" -- National Lawyers Guild v. Brownell, and the effort to disbar Hawaiian Guild lawyer-- In re Harriet Bouslog Sawyer, and many other landmark cases handled by Guild lawyers, from Ernest Goodman and Arthur Kinoy, et al. to Paul Harris and Marc van der Hout, et al...
I assume you’ve seen Beckwith’s page on Obama?
It looks like it has been reworked. Will have to look for new content.