The Communist. Frank Marshall Davis: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor


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Such is the sordid legacy of the People’s Friendship University, championed by Frank Marshall Davis mentor William Patterson.

FP: So, Patterson helped mentor Frank Marshall Davis, who, in turn, mentored Obama?

Kengor: Correct.

FP: In your book, you say that Davis’s first major Party job was editing and writing columns for the Chicago Star in the late 1940s. You found a lot of similarity in what Davis was writing and what Obama says today.

Kengor: Yes. Davis constantly bashed Wall Street, big oil, profits, GOP tax cuts, the wealthy and “millionaires.” He called for taxpayer funding of “universal healthcare” and “public works projects.” He targeted General Motors. He championed Russian foreign policy, especially at the expense of countries like Poland. I could go on and on. The similarities are chilling.

FP: Was there a particular Davis column that really struck you?

Kengor: Yes, and I use it to open the book. In a November 1946 column, Davis wrote: “I’m tired of being beaned with those double meaning words like ‘sacred institutions’ and ‘the American way of life’ which our flag-waving fascists and lukewarm liberals hurl at us day and night.” This struck me because it’s so similar to Obama’s quoting of Davis in Dreams from My Father. There, Obama quoted Davis saying: “They’ll train you so good, you’ll start believing what they tell you about equal opportunity and the American way and all that sh-t.”

When I saw that, I knew that Davis had lectured Obama with at least some of the same sentiments decades earlier in his old Communist Party writings. I found a bunch of examples of Davis trashing the American way, so much so that my initial subtitle for this book was “Frank Marshall Davis and the American Way.”

FP: Okay, when did Obama meet Davis?

Kengor: According to an eyewitness, they were first introduced in 1970. It was Obama’s grandfather, Stanley Dunham, who made the introduction. Dunham, himself a leftist, saw in Davis a potential role model and black father figure that Obama was lacking. Davis knew and influenced Obama throughout Obama’s adolescence in the 1970s, right up until he went to college. In fact, those disparaging words about the American way were Davis’s parting words to Obama before Obama headed off to Occidental College.

FP: You interview someone who knew Obama at Occidental and says that Obama was an actual communist at Occidental.

Kengor: That’s right. The person is Dr. John Drew, who I’ve interviewed at length and remain in regular contact with today. He’s totally credible, no axe to grind, no story to sell. Drew contacted me because he knew I was researching Davis. Drew sees himself as the “missing link” between Obama’s time with Frank Marshall Davis and with later radicals like Bill Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Drew himself was a Marxist at the time, and Obama was introduced to him as a fellow Marxist—as “one of us.” Drew told me about Obama’s belief in what Drew described as the “Frank Marshall Davis fantasy of revolution.” Drew, who was a more realistic, chastened Marxist, was stunned at Obama’s unwavering belief in the imminence of a Marxist revolution in the United States.

Now, for the record, if this is true, this doesn’t mean that Obama is today still a Marxist, but it would mean that he once was—and Frank Marshall Davis would have been a primary explanatory factor in Obama becoming a Marxist at the time. That’s why (among other reasons) this book on Davis needed to be done.

FP: Was Davis a national-security threat?

Kengor: The federal government thought so. In the book, I present documents from Davis’s 600-page FBI file in which the FBI repeatedly re-certifies Davis on the Security Index. That’s a very serious thing. It means that, in the event of a war breaking out between the US and USSR, Obama’s mentor could have been placed under immediate arrest. Needless to say, that’s quite unprecedented for a presidential mentor. With a mentor like that, Barack Obama should have trouble getting a security clearance for a standard, entry-level government job. Instead, Americans elected him right into the Oval Office.

FP: Incredible, that is really something.

Paul Kengor, how would you crystallize the main message/thesis of your book?

Kengor: Mentors matter. Any study of any president starts with mentors. We all know that. And yet, why have we ignored this mentor to this particular president? Well, the answer is clear from my book: Because no president in all of American history has ever had a mentor as radical as Frank Marshall Davis. No president—ever—has had a mentor who was a literal card-carrying member of the Communist Party. This obviously ought to merit our attention. My book provides that attention. It’s scandalous that it would take four years into Obama’s presidency for a book like this to be published. It’s a sign of the woeful liberal bias by this nation’s “journalists” and “biographers.” 

FP: What do you hope your book will help achieve?

Kengor: Many things, but I’ll list just a few.

First off, I want people to continue to realize that our president is the product of some remarkably radical influences, and here, in Frank Marshall Davis, was arguably the most radical of them all. Davis had an influence on Obama. We need to consider that influence.

Beyond that, I’d like liberals and Democrats to please understand that communists were not their friends. The communists considered liberals to be their useful idiots, their dupes, their “prey,” as Whittaker Chambers put it. They used them incessantly. Davis was one of those who used liberals. And then, after all that, after decades of targeting the Democratic Party, Davis ultimately infiltrated the party and even influenced its current president. It’s a remarkable story.

Finally, there were numerous American communists like Frank Marshall Davis who did horrible agitation on behalf of international communism throughout the 20th century. They were on the wrong side of history, a bloody side that left over 100 million corpses in their wake—double the combined dead of the century’s two world wars. And you know what? They never apologized.

No, instead, they cursed their accusers for daring to charge (quite correctly) that they were communists threatening America and the wider world. Not only did they get away with it, but liberals today continue to excuse and protect them. In Davis’s case, they do so to protect Obama. This is a great historical injustice. The truth needs to be told.

FP: Paul Kengor, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.

Kengor: Thank you, Jamie. And my thanks to you, David Horowitz, and everyone at Frontpage for your courage. Be not afraid.

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  • hsh

    Wow! Obama was actually a Marxist at college?! I thought he was just a liberal heavily influenced by communists, this book needs more readers!

    • Guest

      You need to go see 2016: Obama's America – Obama was mentored by this man at very young age, and he was also mentored by an Anti-Semite when he was older. 2016 is NOT an anti-Obama movie, but a documentary. Dinesh D'Souza did a wonderful job of researching this movie, and lets you draw your own conclusions. Highly recommend it for anyone who is looking for the truth, and not something spun by the so-called media…

      • Judge Holden

        Yawn………………… And just think, in a few weeks, you can call him Mr President for another 4 years.

        Obama 2012 !!!!! / Romney 1040 :(

    • Jim

      go see Obama 2016 to see more on Frank Marshal Davis. Amazing he got elected when all it takes is 20 mins researching on the internet…..so much for our investigative press………

    • marcia yiapan

      I've just come home from viewing a film that claims that Davis was actually Obama's father and it was entirely credible. The parentage by the older Obama from Kenya was a cover-up to hide Davis the communist's role. This was accomplished by the father of Obama's mother, who was a young victim of Davis. Thus the baby's birth cert. in Hawaii said "father unknown" because it was called in by the girl's father from home, where a midwife delivered the baby. Long story, but I'm now convinced. I believe the film is called "Dreams of my Real Father". Get it.

  • http://frontpage.com richard sherman

    Frank Marshall Davis is famous for two things: he was a card carrying Communist and he celebrated the pedophile lifestyle…Which or both did he mentor Obama in?

    • Steve Chavez

      Oprah admitted to being molested during her childhood and maybe Obama is hiding something that only Oprah can get out of him while he's sitting on her interview couch. She does need ratings for her cable channel, which I have deleted from my programming but I would reenter for this interview and confession.

      I haven't read about Davis "the pedophile" but I did read that Obama had gay lovers in the 90's. I would believe that even with Obama being a Communist, or the more PC "Socialist," that being a victim of a pedophile and having gay relationships, on top of snorting coke and probably bribing female and male lovers with it, on top of his smile with sexual fanged teeth, that this would be the nail in his coffin.

    • kaleokualoha

      There is no evidence that Davis "celebrated the pedophile lifestyle." You have been misled.

  • http://www.maghrebchristians.com Youssef

    Morocco indicted a cleric on Tuesday for calling for the murder on religious grounds of a local newspaper editor who urged greater sexual freedoms in the conservative Muslim country.

    Read more: http://www.maghrebchristians.com/2012/07/18/moroc

    Youssef

  • ★FALCON★

    The fact that so many Americans are allegedly in the dark about communism seems to be over-played, in my opinion. Most Americans are well aware of the left's association and infiltration by communists. And further, those on the left openly welcome communism. This isn't a mind blowing surprise.

    As for Frank Marshall Davis – McCarthy was right, once again. Obama was asked to be judged on those that he surrounded himself. As far as I can see, it's all been communists, and I conclude that America has been infiltrated at the highest levels by the CPUSA after their glowing endorsement in '08 and now '12.

    If the dum-dums in this country don't wake up in time for this election they may eventually find themselves in gulags – because that's where communism always ends.

    • Bert

      "Most Americans are well aware of the left's association and infiltration by communists."
      I wish this claim were true. Today so many Americans are poorly informed about current events and even less informed about history. The Republicans, as usual, are mostly inept and brain dead. They had the opportunity to educate the public about the horrors of Communism and then tie Obama to his Communist mentors. I fear that simply citing Communist influence on Obama has too little effect because to many people know so little about it. So many lost opportunities. At least FrontPageMag is doing a superb job of educating its readers.

    • jamie howell

      you're wrong, American's are also ignorant about the Commies influence and the Islamo Brotherhood influence that is growing

    • gam474

      So true spoken.

  • Johncdavidson

    I am reminded of suicidal cults that have preached to their flock the destruction of society. It is evident to me that such a cult has taken control of this country. The leader does not reside in the White House, either. He floats about spreading money to his flock creating havoc.

    Mr. Soros knows money can't buy you love but it sure can buy a lot of hate.

  • Steve Chavez

    THANK FOR THIS GREAT ARTICLE AND THE BOOK WHICH SHOULD BE HEADLINE NEWS.

    "Now, for the record, if this is true, this doesn’t mean that Obama is today still a Marxist, but it would mean that he once was…" OH COME ON! THE MAN IS STILL A COMMUNIST! Stop being P.C.! Look at who is in his "CIRCLE OF COMMUNISTS." Axelrod and Jarrett are the closest but then there was Van Jones. Let's research his other advisers and Czars. Then you have Hillary and Panetta. "IF IT WALKS LIKE A DUCK… "

    GOOGLE THIS OBAMA ARTICLE HE WROTE WHILE AT COLUMBIA IN 1983, during the Cold War, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the CPUSA and KGB teaming up to takeover Central America using university students, or Sandalistas, as dupes and useful idiots. "OBAMA SUNDIAL 1983" which is a rare, if not only, article by Obama ON CPUSA FRONT GROUPS WHO WERE APOLOGISTS FOR THE SOVIET UNION!

    The peace group in the 80's was the U.S. Peace Council headed by the CPUSA and was the main front of the WORLD PEACE COUNCIL RUN BY THE SOVIET KGB! (FPM has also had articles by "Ion Pacepa World Peace Council" where this Romanian defector was in charge of KGB propaganda directed by KGB head Yuri Andropov. Ted Kennedy even wrote Andropov a letter to seek help in defeating Reagan reelection. TRAITOR!) ONE OF THOSE DUPES WAS BARACK OBAMA, who admitted he sought out Marxist professors and this SUNDIAL ARTICLE PROVES HE SOUGHT OUT THE MOST RADICAL MARXISTS TOO!

    "THE CPUSA AND KGB DUPES IN THE 80'S ARE THE LEADERS OF THE UNITED STATES TODAY." This leads to the question: Who really won the Cold War when a Soviet dupe is now President of the United States? BUT, IS OBAMA A DUPE OR USEFUL IDIOT OR A FULL FLEDGED COMMUNIST? HE'S A COMMUNIST WHO HATES THE UNITED STATES!

    "When the Wall fell, we cheered, THEY cried. When the Twins fell, we cried, THEY cheered." "They" are our Communists who wanted the U.S. to fall as REVENGE FOR THE FALL OF THE WALL, THE IRON CURTAIN, AND THE SOVIET UNION, a country they loved more than their own. OBAMA IS NOW CREATING THE CONDITION$ FOR OUR DOWNFALL! He thinks in his warped mind that when this is accomplished, HE WILL BE A HERO TO THE WORLD! Peace Prize. Arab Spring supporter/Israel hater. Putin's friend. Meets Muslim Brotherhood but can't meet with Republicans. Muslim apologist and fake Christian and Mormon cult rhetoric. CONNECT THE DOTS!

  • jscottu

    What is interesting to me is the many, many times during the last 100 years that the left has tried to “laugh off” dire predictions which later came true. Start with the income tax. It was a 1 percent tax…only on the richest Americans. When opponents warned “what’s to keep this income tax from going up and up until it reaches 10 percent on most workers?” The reply from the left…”you trouble-maker…you rabble-rouser…the income tax will NEVER go as high at 10 percent”.

  • Chiggles

    I hope Spyridon doesn't meet with some kind of fatal "accident" because of this.

    • delores

      Bet THAT is NOT his real name, guy!!

  • Challenger

    Years ago in 2008, I wrote a personal assessment of how I believed the Obama coup came into being. I believe it was hatched in the minds of those Communists who were beat up bad and went into hiding following the McCarthy hearings. Rather than throw in the towel, they sat down and devised a much more diabolical plot that has now come to fruition in their "Trojan Horse" creation, Obama. In devising the counterattack, the Communists swore together that next time they would be more sophisticated, methodical, and patient in executing the plan. They would carefully lay a foundation by first softening up the underbelly of America by infiltrating various institutions such as public education and organized labor to build a base of 'useful idiots.' The plan has taken decades to carry out. Their creation, who currently goes by the name of Obama, is not an accident or just a supremely lucky guy who through star convergence wound up in the WH. He is their groomed, featured, surrogate. There is much more to be told about the Obama story than what is currently in the public domain.

  • kasandra

    Excellent article. Gee, do you think if a Republican Presidential candidate had as a mentor for seven years someone who was a member of the KKK the media would have noticed it. To paraphrase James Carville, "It's the media, stupid." Even Norman Thomas' grandson Evan once estimated that favorable media coverage (and/or negative coverage of the Republican candidate) increases the Democrat vote total by something like 15%. Unless and until this changes and the media start covering Obama, his background, his friends and his policies in a more even-handed matter, it's simply a steep uphill struggle for anyone who opposes him.

    • stevefraser

      Correct….the GOP needs to go on full scale assault mode against the media,…..at every opportunity (interviews, talk shows) ATTACK the media for being little more than propaganda for Obama: and have a few obvious examples (bill ayers, O's school work, Soros, various O appointments covered up, various O statements).

    • kaleokualoha

      There is no evidence that Davis was Obama's mentor.

    • Rammah

      Most of the media never mention that the KKK was the military arm of the democratic party..

  • DonaldYoungsRevenge

    Jamie, you need to visit with and hang out with the entire Sheriff Joe Arpaio investigative organization. They are neck deep into the scandal of the century and possibly the Constitutional scandal of the century and you are missing it. Front Page has been in the battle but refuse to come out of the fox hole and fight. You can write books about all the fraudulent activity that has been going on since Obama decided to run for political office.

    When he decided to enter the world of politics his enablers knew he needed to register with the Selective Service in order to be eligible to hold public office. He wasn't registered and therefore had to fraudulently register and Sheriff Joe and his team busted him. Susan Daniels and Albert Hendershot have proven that Obama has been using a fraudulent SS#, it was flagged by E-Verify several times and now the SS Admin has taken the number down. The SS Admin said they never issued that SS# to Barack Hussein Obama. How can that be since it appears on his many Tax Returns and his land purchase in Chicago. Something is seriously wrong here Jamie and you and the folks at Front Page need to get on this. David Horowitz of all people should know was a hardcore Communist is capable of especially if he is connected to one of the most frugal domestic terrorist of all time Bill Ayers and the Communists David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett.

    • Maxie

      ". . . Jaime and [sic] you and the folks at Front Page need to get on [the Arpaio investigation]."

      You must be kidding? Here's a quoye from the Kengor interview:

      "With a mentor like that, Barack Obama should have trouble getting a security clearance for a standard, entry-level government job. Instead, Americans elected him right into the Oval Office.

      FP: Incredible, that is really something."

      What's incredible is that anyone at FP thinks, at this late stage, that Kengor's comment "is really something."
      Really something? Well, yeah! Where have you been?

    • He's done a lot, but

      David Horowitz is hopeless on this, just like he was when Barry's birthplace came under question, and whether Barry qualified as a natural born citizen. He contemptuously waves off all of these serious concerns, because he's still a red-diaper baby at heart, just like Barry, and infatuated with the idea that a "black" man is president. Don't count on any personal strong words or deeds from David Horowitz in support of the work of Sheriff Joe anytime soon, or ever. He won't commit to it.

      • Maxie

        ". . . he's still a red-diaper baby at heart, just like Barry, and infatuated with the idea that a "black" man is president."

        Wrong.

  • Steve Chavez

    LOOK TOO AT WHOSE IN HILLARY'S "CIRCLE." Huma Abedin, Anthony Weiner's wife, who is surely gaining every National Security secret on the Middle East as she can.

    COULD HILLARY, BILL AND HUMA GET A SECURITY CLEARANCE TOO? Maybe we need to start vetting the people who are still hiding in the Communist closet but member of the Democrat Party and entering, and being appointed too, high level departments when if they applied for these jobs, they would not get past the first interview!

  • mrbean

    Few people realize how strongly Bill and Hillary Clinton collaberated with Card Carrying Communists. In 1968 as a student at Oxford who rarely attended any classes and Bill Clinton led anti American pro North Vietnamese protests in London as a marshal sponsored by the British Communist Party. He also evaded the draft and should have been prosecuted – but Senator Fullbright intervened. When Norway joined NATO he traveled to Oslo, Norway paid for by the British Communist Party to protest NATO and Norway's joining during the the height of the cold war with the USSR. From Norway he traveled to the Moscow in the Soviet Union and to Prague Czechoslovakia with all his expenses paid for by the Chezch Communist Party. Then there was the dropping off of suitcases of cash at the whitehouse bey Johnny Cheung a Chinese Army Agent in 1996. When he left office he sold pardons for millions of dollars deposited to his so called library fund (a money laundering operation).

  • mrbean

    And Hillary Clinton's Communist connections. Professor Tommy "The Commie" Emerson, her mentor at Yale, got Hillary Rodham first job assigned to the CPUSA financed defense lawyer Charles Garry in the Black Panthers Bobby Seale murder trial. The defense was funded by the Communist Party USA. Professor Tommy "The Commie" Emerson also got her her law internship as the personal law clerk to Robert Truehaft, the head of the CA CPUSA and the Chief Counsel for the entire Communist Party USA. She not only worked for him as his law clerk for a year, but lived with Trueafts, who were both carding carrying CPUSA members. When she applied for officer candidacy for the Department of the Navy JAG program after she graduated from Yale she was rejected by the Department of the Navy for as an "unfit as an officer candidate" because of her fellow traveler activities with CPUSA members and the radical SDS at Yale. Her fabricated story about her eyesight being the reason for rejection is sheer nonsense.

  • Michael Beck

    This is an interesting and very enlightening interview. But I am constantly dismayed with the misuse of the word "radical". To be radical is not, in and of itself, bad. It's how you focus your radical intention that makes radicalism right or wrong. Remember that Jesus was quite radical as were the people who mutually pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor in order to get out from under the thumb of England. We should really strive to be more accurate in our use of the most eloquent (in my opinion) language ever spoken.

  • tagalog

    Spyridon Mitsotakis could be another Herb Romerstein? Wow!

  • Humpty Dumpty

    Heather has two Mommies, and Barry has two Daddies.

    One Daddy ditched little Barry, the other Daddy did him.

  • keyesforpres

    Not only was Davis Obama's mentor, he is probably his real father.

    • Bronson

      Methinks so. And that means Obama is a NBC and thus validly holding office would it not?

      • Holy Mackerel!

        Yes, a Natural Born Catamite. (see post by Humpty Dumpty, above.)

  • https://www.facebook.com/ttbreunig Timothy T. Breunig

    People need to do background research and study where the twisted value system came from and realize who barry really is.

  • kaleokualoha

    There is no evidence that Davis discussed politics or economics with Obama, much less any evidence that he discussed socialism. There is no evidence that Obama or Gramps were even aware of Davis's CPUSA involvement. Kengor's propaganda is par for the course in the Conservative Disinformation Network

    Kengor previously misrepresented Davis in an earlier column for so-called "Accuracy In Media." He claimed that the NAACP's Roy Wilkins directly criticized Davis regarding the 1949 Honolulu NAACP incident. It was a total fabrication, which suggests that his research is seriously flawed.

    • TransitDave

      Perhaps you missed the part where the writings of FMD and speech rhetoric of Obama were compared.

      • kaleokualoha

        Any such comparison does not prove they discussed politics or economics. Correlation does not imply causation.

        • allonsye

          What does common sense say given the associations past and the ideological speeches [Obama] present indicate? One need only reflect upon their own associations past and the willingness to admit the influence to ones thought and ideology. Obama certainly does not reflect the teachings of Madison or influence of Reagan in his speeches.

          • kaleokualoha

            "Common sense" is the source of fallacious reasoning, such as the illusion that correlation implies causation.

            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's book proves that Obama did not consider Davis to be a "wise and trusted counselor," which is the standard definition of "mentor." By what creative definition can Davis be considered his "mentor"?

            Further, according to "Dreams," Obama visited Davis only twice on his own after visiting with Gramps: once to discuss his grandmother's bus stop incident, and three years later before leaving for college. When could any "communist" training, or opportunity to influence Obama's thought and ideology, occur?

            "Truth is generally the best vindication against slander." – Abraham Lincoln

  • Pat Toth

    Dear Lord, Please let all my friends read and believe this. I pray that they are not so deceived that they can no longer see the truth. Help them to see. Amen.

  • marge

    There is a video that states he is Barack's real father. I thought he only met his real father one time. I am confused does anyone have the answer?

  • barb

    Open your eyes. And while you are at it, tame your filthy tongue!

  • may

    There is a film entitled “Real Dreams From My Father” by someone with the last name of Gilbert who claims Frank Marshall is Obama’s real father. Goes into it at length.

  • sonnymoon42

    And Hillerys' a communist too

  • sonnymoon42

    and a lier

  • sonnymoon42

    and doesnt' even ware a americen flag pen

  • sonnymoon42

    becuase they hate our freedoms

  • sonnymoon42

    and want's us to be socialests' too

  • Charles.Douglas

    INQUIRY: Can the man "acting" as "Presi9dent Of U.S. be IMPEACHED? I think not!
    With respect to legislation, Can this man VETO or SIGN INTO EFFECT any legislation made ready for a President signature?
    Is it appropriate for the costly time of the Supreme Court to be spent to consider the constitutionality of legislation the lacks the approval signature of a citizen of Indonesia?
    While a student attending Columbia U. , what passport did the man now acting as President, Soetoro, a.k.a. Obama, show when he made a visit to a foreign country where, at the time, all Americans were forbidden by law to visit?

  • Gary Aminoff

    I sympathize with Paul Kengor’s expectation that the American people will realize that Obama was mentored by a communist, Frank Marshall Davis. I think many already know it.

    Sadly, my concern is that the American people won’t care. Many Americans don’t consider communism a threat, and in fact, consider some of its aspects desirable. Americans have not been taught for at least two generations of the danger of communism or of the benefits of capitalism and free markets. I think that there is no truth about Obama that will come out that will change how a substantial number of Americans will continue to support him. They are not interested in truth or facts. They have their opinions and perceptions and will not let anything that contradicts that affect them.

    • Deltarose

      Sadly, your probably right

  • FtheLeft

    there is no opposition to the democrats (communist party) they have control of our schools therefore communism just hasn’t been done right yet – f’n morons!!!!