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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Obama-file 15 Socialist Octagenarians for Barack

Obama-file 14 here

Barack Obama is a creation of the Chicago far left.

He is the product of a radical alliance that elected Chicago's Marxist mayor, Harold Washington in 1983 and Illinois' socialist Senator Carol Moseley Braun in 1992.

That coalition still exists and has backed Obama since his first Illinois State Senate race in 1996.

Though nominally a Democrat he has long been supported by Chicago members of the Communist Party, its offshoot, the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism and the equally extreme Democratic Socialists of America.

Two of Obama's Chicago comrades have supported him for many years. Both are octagenarian icons of the Chicago far left. They move in the same circles and have crossed paths in many campaigns.

One has backed off in disappointment at Obama's movement to the "right". The other still stands behind his man.

Dr Quentin Young is a leading national campaigner for "single payer"- socialised medicine.

Young has been active in Chicago socialist circles since the 1930s. In the 1960s he was Martin Luther King's personal physician.

In the early 1980s Young was a leading member of Harold Washington's inner circle and was rewarded with the post of President of the Chicago Board of Health.

In 1992 Chicago Democratic Socialists of America awarded their most well known member with their highest honour-the Debs Award

You have been there in the struggles for Civil Rights, for social and economic justice, and against all forms of discrimination. You were there in 1951 to fight against discrimination in Chicago medical institutions. You were there in 1983 for Harold Washington to win the mayoralty. You were there when Carol Moseley Braun announced her intention to run for the U.S. Senate. You have demonstrated your understanding that trade unions are a social force for Progress and Justice in our country.

Quentin Young at the 1992 Debs dinner

For you dedication in the fight for universal and comprehensive health care for all and for your lifetime commitment to change our society to the better, the Debs - Thomas - Harrington Dinner Committee hereby presents to you its annual award this First Day of May, 1992.

In the 1990s and early '00s Obama and Young were politically on the same page.

Obama also advocated "single payer" health. As a state Senator Obama and another leftist colleague and state representative William Delgado presented the The Health Care Justice Act to the Illinois House and Senate.

According to blog Thomas Paine's Corner

Barack Obama is quite familiar with the concepts and the specific merits of single payer. Back in the late 1990s, when he was an Illinois State Senator representing a mostly black district on the south side of Chicago, he took pains to consistently identify himself publicly with his neighbor Dr. Quentin Young.

He signed on as co-sponsor of the Bernardin Amendment, named after Chicago's late Catholic Archbishop, who championed the public policy idea that medical care was a human right, not a commodity. At that time, when it was to his political advantage, Obama didn't mind at all being perceived as an advocate of single payer.

In an interview with Healthcare Now Quentin Young explains his changed relationship with Barack Obama.

"I knew him before he was political,” Young says of Obama. “I supported him when he ran for state Senate. When he was a state Senator he did say that he supported single payer. Now, he hedges. Now he says, if we were starting from scratch, he would support single payer.”

“Barack’s a smart man,” Young says. “He probably calculated the political cost for being for single payer – the shower of opposition from the big boys – the drug companies and the health insurance companies. And so, like the rest of them, he fashioned a hodge podge of a health insurance plan.”

Young said that the last time he spoke with Obama was in early 2005. In January 2005,Obama voted to confirm Condoleeza Rice as Secretary of State.

“When I heard about the vote, I wrote him a letter,” Young said. “I told him I was disappointed in him. Rice was the embodiment of everything that was wrong with this administration. So, he called me back and he said – why didn’t you pick up the phone and call me? And he said – do you think Bush would ever send to the Senate a nominee for Secretary of State who I could vote for? I said – you are the Constitutional lawyer. It’s about advice and consent, right? You should have denied him your consent.”

Young says that none of the leading Democratic Presidential candidates supports single payer.

Dr. Young is looking for an alternative.

One who is not looking for an alternative is Chicago historian, Timuel Black, A long time friend and admirer of Barack Obama.

Young Timuel Black became interested in socialism in the 1930s inspired by Communist Party street speakers Claude Lightfoot and Ishmael Flory.

Black became an active unionist in the late 1930s and associated with Communists and Trotskyists.

On joining the US Army in WW2 Black was denied officer training because military intelligence claimed he had secretly joined the Communist Party-a charge Black still denies.

After the war, Black's activities were monitored by the Chicago Police Department's anti-radical "Red Squad", for many years.

Black was active in the Communist Party infiltrated Progressive Party in the late 1940s.

Later he served as Assistant Coordinator of the National Teacher Corps, the Teachers Committee for Quality Education and the Congress of Racial Equality.

He became president of the local chapter of the allegedly communist controlled Negro American Labor Council.

In the early 1980s, Timuel Black led the campaign to register 250,000 voters to help elect Chicago mayor Harold Washington.

Black also held leadership roles in the Justice Coalition of Greater Chicago and the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights. Recently he has been active in the anti Iraq war, Peace Action Committee.

In the 1970s, Timuel Black was involved with the annual Chicago Debs Day Dinners, the highpoint of of Illinois socialist calendar.

At that time the dinner was run by remnants of the Socialist Party USA. After 1982 the event was taken over by the newly formed Democratic Socialists of America.

Timuel Black helped sponsor the event in 1970 (with well known writer Saul Bellow), 1976 and 1977.

At the 1989 Debs Dinner, Timuel Black presented an award to ex-communist DSA member Milton Cohen, while featured speaker was DSA member Quentin Young.

The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Alderman Danny K. Davis, a DSA member, current US Congressman and associate of Barack Obama.

DSA leader Carl Marx Shier also presented an award to DSA member William Winpisinger.

Given his company on the podium and his history with the event, Timuel Black was very likely also a DSA member.

Certainly Mr Black has not abandoned socialism.

Timuel Black currently serves on the advisory board of the Communist Party breakaway organisation, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism alongside former communists such as black radical Angela Davis and leftie folk singer Pete Seeger.

CCDS has long worked closely with DSA and there is considerable cross membership.

Another CCDS advisory board member Manning Marable is a former DSA leader, while yet another, linguist and activist Noam Chomsky, is currently also a DSA member.

Timuel Black has known Barack Obama since at least 1996. That year he he attempted to mediate a dispute between leftist Illinois State Senator Alice Palmer and her anointed successor Obama.

Alice Palmer had allegedly promised Obama the seat if she was successful in a run for the US Congress.

She wasn't successful, but Obama refused to stand aside and went on to win the seat unopposed-after getting all his opponents (including Palmer) disqualified on voting technicalities.

"I liked Alice Palmer a lot. I thought she was a good public servant," Obama said. "It was very awkward. That part of it I wish had played out entirely differently."

His choice divided veteran Chicago political activists.

"There was friction about the decision he made," said City Colleges of Chicago professor emeritus Timuel Black, who tried to negotiate with Obama on Palmer's behalf. "There were deep disagreements."

Despite the mess, Timuel Black became and remains an admirer of the ambitious young politician.

For most Americans, the 2004 Democratic National Convention was their introduction to Obama. However, another friend, South Side historian Timuel Black, said he was impressed with Obama's intelligence.

"My first impression was this was a very, very brilliant young man," Black said.

Black said Obama's biggest obstacle would not be from whites, but from blacks.

"The biggest thing he has to face is the accusations by some blacks that he is not black enough," he said. "He has to overcome that without being so black that he alienates potential white supporters."

Timuel Black addressed a largely black audience at the Woodson Regional Library auditorium on Feb. 11, 2007.

Speaking of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign he said;

“Obama is the test of how deep racism is in this country...Barack is the recipient of the struggle of other generations...That means that you feel proud of your ancestors, your successes...(Obama), based on the opportunities that were opened to him by others, is in the position to prove to the world whether the United States of America is a true democracy, or is a continuing hypocrisy.”

Fine words.

Unfortunately Barack Obama's political heritage comes not from the struggles of Black America, but from the street agitators, back-room dealers and influence pedlars of Red Chicago.

Obama-file 16 here


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