California Senate Bill 426, by Sen. Steven Bradford, Los Angeles Democrat, requires the California State University “to establish the Dymally Fellows Project, to be operated out of the Mervyn M. Dymally African American Political and Economic Institute at the California State University, Dominguez Hills.” The bill appropriates $300,000 in public funds “to develop and implement the project.”
According to his senate bio, the CSU Dominguez Hills grad “currently serves on the board of the Mervyn M. Dymally African American Political and Economic Institute, a non-partisan public policy think tank.” Katy Grimes of the California Globe cautioned that Bradford’s bill is “ethically dubious, since he is authoring a bill to give his own organization money.” As Grimes also discovered, that was hardly the only ethical issue at hand.
The current executive director of the Dymally institute is Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad, who runs a Twitter feed that includes “some questionable hashtags.” Under #CrackerChronicles, Dr. Samad sent out tweets such as “Degrees matter. Race still matters more. Employers take note!!!” Another tweet hailed a speech at Cal State Dominguez Hills by Angela Davis, the African American who in 1979 was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize by an all-white, all-male Communist dictatorship. Angela Davis twice ran for vice president with the Communist Party USA under white Stalinist Gus Hall.
Grimes also noted a link to Samad’s Twitter feed from his biography page on the Dymally Institute’s website, “appearing to give his personal feed and personal views CSU approval.” And “the uses of #CrackerChronicles, which many could consider to be racist and hostile, would seem to suggest that Dr. Samad may not be the best person to lead a state-funded higher education institute.” Others agreed, for different reasons.
The Carson-Torrance branch of the NAACP urged CSU Dominguez Hills to remove Samad, the Daily Breeze reported, “because of past sexual harassment allegations against him.” For local NAACP president Vincent Burr, “there is no place in civil society or the workplace for individuals like Mr. Samad, who uses his position of power to intimidate anyone, specifically women, through sexual provocation.” Burr wondered if the appointment showed “due diligence” over Samad’s “baggage,” which included a 1990 conviction for loan fraud and a lot more that Burr failed to mention.
According to The HistoryMakers website Anthony Asadullah Samad was born in 1957 in Brooklyn, graduated from Cal State LA in 1980, then earned a master’s degree in public finance from USC in 1983. At Claremont Graduate University, Samad earned master’s in political econom and PhD in political science. His books include Souls for Sale: Diary of an Ex-colored Man and Saving the Race: Empowerment Through Wisdom.
Samad also serves as host of the Urban Issues Forum of Greater Los Angeles. In June of 2015, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan was the guest speaker at an Urban Issues forum “hosted by Anthony Absadullah Samad.” Farrakhan was in town to speak at Holman United Methodist Church, where he contended that Los Angeles was “ground zero” for a nationwide assault on black men and communities of color by militarized police forces.
In an April 2016 Final Call article headlined “America’s drug war and its Black victims,” Samad explained, “America has created an environment, particularly as it relates to race, that makes us think we’re overly paranoid and downright crazy when we see certain things. And when we have enough sophistication to know what it is, when we see a construct that is not normal appear, they try to convince us that it is coincidence.”
In an undated BlackNLA piece, possibly from 2003, Samad wrote, “Minister Farrakhan once said, in a lecture, that envy is the mother of murder, meaning envy breeds jealousy which breeds acts of deceit and betrayal of trust. So-called friends quickly become enemies, and their intentions become transparent.”
Anthony Asadullah Samad is also a columnist for blackcommentator.com and when Illinois Sen. Barack Obama was contending for the presidency, Samad supported an endorsement by Louis Farrakhan because “no single individual has done more, in the post-King era, to articulate, in a sustained way, the plight of the masses as has Minister Farrakhan.” Samad also addressed “Obama’s personal spiritual leader, the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, and his association with Farrakhan.” As Asadullah Samad explained, “both Farrakhan and Wright have given non-hostile critiques of Judaism, and neither has advocated attack on Israel - yet both have been labeled ‘anti-Semitic’ for their comments.”
In the view of Louis Farrakhan, as Stanley Crouch explained in the Village Voice in 1985, “the white man was a devil ‘grafted’ from black people in an evil genetic experiment by a mad, pumpkin-headed scientist named Yacub. That experiment took place 6000 years ago. Now the white man was doomed, sentenced to destruction by Allah.” And according to the Nation of Islam, “the first devils to roll off Yacub’s assembly line were the Jews.”
By all indications, Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad is still all-in on Minister Farrakhan. Despite his Nation of Islam connections, sexual harassment charges and racist tweets, Sen. Bradford and Cal State University are all-in on Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad. As Katy Grimes wonders, “Will Democrats look for a new director for this program, or perhaps a different California State University to house it?”