It is now well established that Barack Obama was linked to the Hawaiian Communist Party network through his boyhood/teenage mentor Frank Marshall Davis.
It is also well known that after moving to Chicago, Obama linked up with the local communist networks.
Manning Marable, a leader of the Communist Party offshoot Committees of Correspondence for Democracy&Socialism claims that Obama “understands what socialism is. A lot of the people working with him are, indeed, socialists with backgrounds in the Communist Party or as independent Marxists. There are a lot of people like that in Chicago who have worked with him for years...”
This leads to two key questions.
A Were the Hawaii and Chicago networks connected?
B Did Obama’s connection to Frank Marshall Davis in any way influence his progress up the Chicago political ladder?
If the answer is yes to both, there are significant implications.
It means that that the Communist Party USA was watching Obama from an early age and was willing to help his political career.
Frank Marshall Davis was active in the Chicago Communist Party until he moved to Hawaii in late 1948.
I speculated in this post that Davis may have known left wing journalist Vernon Jarrett in post war Chicago. A connection would be significant because the Jarrett family has played a very important role in Obama’s rise to power.
Both Jarrett and Davis worked in the communist dominated South Side Community Art Center and on the communist influenced Chicago Defender newspaper, in late 1940s Chicago.
I have since found conclusive evidence that Davis and Jarrett not only knew each other, but worked together in another Communist Party dominated organisation-The Citizen’s Committee to Aid Packing House Workers.
“organized to support the united packing-House workers of America C.I.O. now on strike”
The letter above is dated April 12, 1948. Note that CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) was at the time a communist controlled labor federation.
To the left is a partial list of Citizen’s Committee to Aid Packing House Workers officials.
Note the names Oscar C. Brown (Treasurer) and Louise T. Patterson (Assistant Treasurer), F.M. Davis and Vernon Jarrett.
To confirm the connection, below is a close-up of the committee’s publicity committee. Note that it is chaired by Vernon Jarrett and includes Frank Marshall Davis.
That the Citizen’s Committee was communist influenced is beyond doubt.
Louise T Patterson was the wife of Illinois Communist Party vice-chairman and attorney William Patterson and a prominent Party member in her own right. Louise Patterson was still a leader of the Illinois Communist Party well into the 1970s.
Further down the page was list of the organization’s “Food and groceries committee”. Named among them was Ishmael Flory, a leader of the Illinois Communist Party from the late 1930s until his death in 2004.
Incidentally, one of the eulogists at Flory’s funeral was Timuel Black, a well known member of Committees of Correspondence for Democracy&Socialism and a long time friend and political supporter of Barack Obama.
Oscar C Brown-later a famous jazz musician under the name Oscar Brown jnr, was also at the time a Communist Party member. he joined in 1946 and was expelled around 1954.
In 1948 Vernon Jarrett left his job as journalist at the Chicago Defender to start a black oriented radio show “Negro Newsfront” with Oscar Brown.
Jarrett was clearly on the far left and almost certainly, like his colleague Frank Marshall Davis, a covert member of the Communist Party.
Jarrett worked hard promoting socialist causes including the communist controlled Progressive Party.
Vernon Jarrett went on to become the Chicago Tribune’s first black syndicated columnist and was a founder of the National Association of Black Journalists.
According to a Washington Post obituary May 25th 2004
Mr. Jarrett continually shone a light on African American history and pertinent issues in Chicago and throughout the country. He stoked the political embers in Chicago that led to the 1983 election of the city’s first African American mayor, Harold Washington.
Vernon Jarrett was a key influence in Washington’s decision to run for the Chicago mayoralty and remained a key supporter through his four year tenure.
Harold Washington defeated the Daley machine to win the mayoralty backed by a coalition led by Chicago’s Communist Party and the local branch of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).
DSA member and socialist historian Paul Buhle, wrote in a 1992 article for the Encyclopedia of the American Left;
Communists also gained from long-standing political contacts in the black community. Victories of black mayoral and congressional candidates with decades — old ties to the CP — a short list would include Coleman Young and George Crocket in Detroit, Gus Newport in Berkeley, and somewhat more ambiguously, Harold Washington in Chicago
Washington was actively involved in Communist Party fronts such as the US Peace Council and the Chicago Committee on Southern Africa, right up to winning the mayoralty-with Party support. After victory he stacked his administration full of communists, socialists and sympathisers to create one of the most far left administrations in US history-cut short only by his pre-mature death after four years in office.
I quote from remarks by Illinois Communist Party organiser John Bachtell to a “Special District Meeting on African American Equality and Building the Communist Party and Young Communist League, Chicago”, IL September 30, 2007.
The legacy of Harold Washington’s election and his administration is in the collective consciousness not only of the African American community, but the entire city. Many of his democratizing achievements endure 20 years later.
The historic election of Washington was the culmination of many years of struggle. It reflected a high degree of unity of the African American community and the alliance with a section of labor, the Latino community and progressive minded whites. This legacy of political independence also endures...
This was also reflected in the historic election of Barack Obama. Our Party actively supported Obama during the primary election. Once again Obama’s campaign reflected the electoral voting unity of the African American community, but also the alliances built with several key trade unions, and forces in the Latino and white communities.
It also reflected a breakthrough among white voters. In the primary, Obama won 35% of the white vote and 7 north side wards, in a crowded field. During the general election he won every ward in the city and all the collar counties. This appeal has continued in his presidential run.
Barack Obama has stated that Harold Washington’s victory in 1983 was the spur that made him leave New York to move to Chicago.
Vernon Jarrett was also a fan of Barack Obama. He watched his career from its early stages and became an ardent supporter.
In 1992 Obama worked for the ACORN offshoot, Project Vote to register black voters in aid of the Senate Campaign of Carol Moseley Braun. Unsurprisingly Moseley Braun also had strong Communist Party ties and was Harold Washington’s legislative floor leader.
Obama helped Moseley Braun win her Senate seat, then took it over himself in 2004-backed of course by the same communist/socialist alliance that had elected his political predecessors Harold Washington and Carol Moseley Braun.
Commenting on the 1992 race, Vernon Jarrett wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times of August 11th 1992;
Good news! Good news! Project Vote, a collectivity of 10 church-based community organizations dedicated to black voter registration, is off and running. Project Vote is increasing its rolls at a 7,000-per-week clip...If Project Vote is to reach its goal of registering 150,000 out of an estimated 400,000 unregistered blacks statewide, “it must average 10,000 rather than 7,000 every week,” says Barack Obama, the program’s executive director...
Dee Myles is a Chicago activist and chair of the Education Commission of the Communist Party USA. In 2004, after Vernon Jarret’s death from cancer she penned this tribute for the People’s Weekly World of June 5th.
Readers like me can be extremely selective of the journalists we read habitually... We are selective about the journalists to whom we become insatiably addicted, and once hooked we develop a constructive love affair without the romance...
Such was my experience with Vernon Jarrett, an African American journalist in Chicago who died at the age of 86 on May 23. I became a Vernon Jarrett addict, and I am proud of it!
Vernon Jarrett’s career as a journalist in Chicago began and ended at the Chicago Defender, the African American daily paper. In between, he was the first Black journalist at the Chicago Tribune, and I first began to read his articles during his tenure at the Chicago Sun-Times
Jarrett’s claim to fame is that he was a partisan of the cause of African Americans in the broad democratic tradition of Paul Robeson and W.E.B. DuBois...
Robeson and DuBois were both Communist Party members. On April 9th, 1998 at Chicago’s South Shore Cultural Center, Jarrett hosted a Paul Robeson Citywide Centennial Celebration event, with his old comrade and Party sympathiser Margaret Burroughs and former Communist Party members Studs Terkel and his old friend Oscar C.Brown.
Dee Myles continues;
Jarrett was fanatical about African Americans registering and voting in mass for socially conscious candidates. He championed Harold Washington like a great warrior, and this March, from his hospital bed, wrote an article appealing to Black Chicago to turn out to vote for Barack Obama in the Illinois primaries. Obama astounded everyone with an incredible landslide victory as the progressive, Black candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for the U.S. Senate seat from Illinois. From his sickbed, Vernon Jarrett issued a clarion call, and the people responded.
The Jarrett/Obama conection did not end with Vernon Jarrett’s death-it moved to a higher level with his famous daughter-in-law Valerie Jarrett.
A former Deputy Corporation Counsel for Finance and Development under Harold Washington, Jarrett continued to work in the mayor’s office into the 1990s.
In 1991, while Deputy Chief of Staff for Mayor Richard Daley, Jarrett hired Michelle Robinson, then engaged to Barack Obama.
Later Valerie Jarrett ran the finances for Obama’s 2004 Senate bid and served as treasurer of Obama’s HOPEFUND.
The relationship is more than professional-Jarrett is regarded as one of the Obamas’ closest friends and advisors.
According to Take Political Action May 24th 2008;
“She’s always been the other side of Barack’s brain.” That’s how an Obama insider described Valerie Jarrett as an Obama campaign aide announced Thursday night the former CTA chief and current Habitat Co. CEO is taking on a larger role to help her close friend win his White House bid.
The development comes as Jarrett, a charter member of Sen. Barack Obama’s kitchen cabinet, has been formalizing her portfolio and stepping up the pace within the past few weeks as a top advisor within the campaign.
Though she will be part-time, Jarrett will be one of the most visible and powerful African-Americans in the top rungs of the Obama operation...
Today Valerie Jarrett serves as one of three Senior Advisors to President Obama. She is Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement, and Chairs the White House Commission on Women and Girls.
Frank Marshall Davis works closely in communist causes with Vernon Jarrett in Chicago. Davis moves to hawaii where he eventually meets and mentors a young Barack Obama. Then Obama moves to Chicago where his career is promoted by both Davis’s old colleague Vernon Jarrett and the Communist Party. Vernon Jarrett’s daughter-in-law employs Barack Obama’s fiance, befriends the family and becomes one of President Obama’s most trusted advisors. The Communist Party throws its entire weight behind Obama’s presidential campaign.
Are we expected to believe that this is all mere coincidence?
Would there be an Obama/Jarrett relationship today, if there had been no Frank Marshall Davis/Jarrett connection through the Communist Party of post war Chicago?
What role, if any, has the modern Communist Party USA played in fostering that relationship in more recent times?
The Communist Party USA continues to back their “friend” Barack Obama.
How deeply has the Communist Party been involved in advancing Obama’s political career-through the Jarrett family, or by other means?
The answers to these questions will have major implications for the future of what’s left of the free world.