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Saturday, October 04, 2008

Obama File 34 Black Radicals for Obama

Obama File 33 here

In previous posts I have looked at the Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS)and its offshoot organisation, Progressives for Obama.

The two organisations unite all the main radical strands behind the Obama movement. Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), Communist Party USA (CPUSA), Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS), former members of the ultra radical Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and its terrorist splinter the Weather Underground.

Several of these currents came together in the mid 1990s to form the New Party. Barack Obama joined the New Party in Chicago in 1995 and recieved their support and endorsement in his successful 1996 Illinois State Senate race.

In June 1998, radical black activists including many key leaders of the New Party came together in Chicago to form a new organisation-the Black Radical Congress (BRC).

According to BRC documents

It seemed to us the idea of bringing together the varied sections of the Black radical tradition - Socialists and Communists, revolutionary nationalists, and radical Black feminists and womanists - was long overdue. We began talking with others about the idea and possibilities for such a gathering.

In March of 1997, some 70 activists from more than twenty cities across the country came together in Chicago to begin planning for a Black Radical Congress. Those who gathered reflected a broad spectrum of the radical tradition. Participants came as individuals but represented connections to groups ranging from New Afrikan People's Organization, Black Workers for Justice, The Labor Party, The Communist Party, The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, African American Agenda 2000, The Chicago Ida B. Wells Forum and the Committees of Correspondence.

This group agreed to host a Black Radical Congress and constituted itself as the continuations committee...Three subsequent national meetings of the continuations committee were held in Washington, D. C., in May of 1997, in Atlanta in September, 1997, and most recently in New York City in January of 1998. A "Call for the Congress" was drafted and issued with the names of over 100 conveners.

Some of those who endorsed the call and have participated in the process include: Abdul Alkalimat, Bill Fletcher, Jr., Manning Marable, Leith Mullings, Barbara Ransby, Barbara Smith, Cornel West, Salim Muwakkil, Charlene Mitchell, Angela Y. Davis, Amiri and Amina Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Sam Anderson, Evelynn Hammonds, Julianne Malveaux, Jarvis Tyner, General Baker, Ahmed Obafemi, Cathy Cohen, Robin D. G. Kelley, and many others...

The BRC organisers issued a call to support their project

Sisters and Brothers, we stand at the edge of a new century. The moment for a new militancy and a new commitment to the liberation of all Black people, at home and abroad, has arrived. Let us build a national campaign toward the Black Radical Congress, setting in motion a renewed struggle to reclaim our historic role as the real voice of democracy in this country. Spread the word: Without struggle, there is no progress! Now’s the time!

The Struggle Continues: Setting A Black Liberation Agenda for the 21st Century

Those answering the call included;

Akbar Muhammad Ahmad (Instructor of African-American history & political science, Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland)

Abdul Alkalimat (League of Revolutionaries for a New America)

Amina Baraka (CPUSA)

Amiri Baraka (Unity & Struggle newspaper, affiliated with the CPUSA for a number of years in the late 90's/early 2000s)

Debbie Bell (CPUSA)

Lisa Brock (Chicago,wife of Committees of Correspondence leader Otis Cunningham)

Humberto R Brown (Afro Latino Network; Ida B. Wells-W.E.B. Du Bois Network, alleged CPUSA)

Linda Burnham (Women of Color Resource Center, Berkeley, CA, from a Communist Party family, close to Committees of Correspondence)

James E Campbell (Retired educator, Committees of Correspondence)

Angela Y Davis (Professor, University of California at Santa Cruz; Committees of Correspondence, former CPUSA vice presidential candidate)

Michael Dawson (Chicago)

Bill Fletcher, Jr. (Labor activist and writer, Washington, DC, affiliated with "Crossroads" publications and "Transactions" Maoist group in the early 1990's, leading DSA member)

Arturo Griffiths (African-American Human Rights Foundation, Washington, DC, editorial board of CPUSA theoretical journal Political Affairs)

Gerald Horne (Professor of African-American studies, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, editorial board of CPUSA theoretical journal Political Affairs)

Gerry Hudson (Executive Vice President, Local 1199—National Health & Human Services Union, New York City, Close to DSA)

JJ Jobnson (DC 1707, AFSCME, New York City) CPUSA

Robin DG Kelley (Historian, Africana Studies, New York University; Ida B. Wells-W.E.B Du Bois Network, formerly with the Communist Workers Party, latterly close to CPUSA

Manning Marable (Co-chair, Committees of Correspondence; Ida B. Wells-W.E B. Du Bois Network)

Togi Marshall (Washington, DC, alleged CPUSA)

Denice (Dee) Myles (Chicago, CPUSA)

Charlene Mitchell (Co-chair, Committees of Correspondence; staff, Local 371, AFSCME, former CPUSA presidential candidate)

Leith Mullings (Professor of Anthropology, City University of New York Graduate School; Ida B. Wells-W.E.B Du Bois Network, was in CPUSA, close to CCDS)

Salim Muwakkil (Chicago, writer for the DSA linked magazine In These Times).

Prexy Nesbitt (Chicago, alleged CPUSA)

Barbara Ransby (Chicago)

Joe Sims (CPUSA; Editor, Political Affairs)

Lasker Smith (Ecorse, MI, CPUSA)

Jarvis Tyner (CPUSA)

Cornel West (Cambridge, MA, DSA)

There is some continuity with this group.

Manning Marable, Bill Fletcher and Cornel West were all leaders of the New Party.

Bill Fletcher, Robin DG Kelley, Gerald Horne, Charlence Mitchell, Angela Y Davis and Akbar Muhammad Ahmed have all served on the board of Movement for a Democratic Society.

Manning Marable was elected MDS chairman in February 2007.

Manning Marable, MDS February 2007

Bill Fletcher was the initiator of Progressives for Obama, while Robin DG Kelley, Cornel West and James Campbell are endorsers of the organisation. Prexy Nesbitt is a signatory of PFO's online petition.

Many of those listed have been busily supporting Obama, directly or indirectly.

Amiri Baraka doesn't like Obama-haters

Michael Dawson spoke with Obama at a 1996 forum on Economic Insecurity sponsored by the University of Chicago DSA Youth Section, Chicago DSA and University Democrats.

Gerald Horne, who has studied the Communist Party in Hawaii was the first to publicly link Barack Obama with his boyhood mentor, long time CPUSA member Frank Marshall Davis in the CPUSA journal Political Affairs.

Gerry Hudson is now a senior official of the Service Employees International Union, which endorsed Barack Obama

Robin DG Kelley will deliver Hampshire College’s eleventh annual Eqbal Ahmad Lecture on October 15th in the Robert Crown Center. His talk will be titled "Confronting Obama: A Primer on Race and Empire for the New U.S. President."

Manning Marable strongly endorsed Obama in a January 2008 article entitled “Barack Obama’s Problem – And Ours"

Dee Myles penned this pro-Obama piece for the Illinois Communist blog.

Leith Mullings is a signatory of the February 2008 Feminists for Peace and Barack Obama petition

Salim Muwakkil is a prominent propagandist for Barack Obama.

Barbara Ransby spoke at this forum in Chicago at The Center for Public Intellectuals & The University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC)April 19th-20th, 2002 with Bill Ayers, Salim Muwakkil and Barack Obama.

IV. Intellectuals in Times of Crisis
Experiences and applications of intellectual work in urgent situations.

William Ayers, UIC, College of Education; author of Fugitive Days
Douglass Cassel, Northwestern University, Center for International Human Rights
Cathy Cohen, University of Chicago, Political Science
Salim Muwakkil, Chicago Tribune; In These Times
Barack Obama, Illinois State Senator
Barbara Ransby, UIC, African-American Studies (moderator)

Joe Sims wrote this pro-Obama article for the CPUSA's Political Affairs

Jarvis Tyner has been busily criss crossing the USA drumming up support for Obama.

Cornel West is Obama's "comrade".

There is one more significant link between the Black Radical Congress and Barack Obama. One session at the Congress was entitled;

Faith as a Weapon: Spirituality and the Role of the Church In The
Radical Movement. What are the lessons we can learn from Nat Turner,
Absalom Jones, Sojourner Truth, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and
other Black ministers as leaders in the struggle? What is the history of
spiritual motivation in the radical/liberation movement?

Panelists: Michael Eric Dyson, Cornel West, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Linda
Thomas, Kevin Tyson

Well fancy that? Obama's pastor discussing "faith as a weapon" with Michael Eric Dyson and Cornel West-both members of the Religion and Socialism Commission of Democratic Socialists of America-not to mention kevin Tyson, formerly involved with the youth wing of CPUSA.

Cornel West, (Progressives for Obama, advisor to Obama) was a strong defender of Jeremiah Wright when the pastor's extremist views became a public scandal. Likewise his comrade Michael Eric Dyson has been a strong defender of both Jeremiah Wright and a prominent supporter of Barack Obama.

So Obama's pastor of 20 years was an associate of some of the most radical communists and socialists in the US. Maybe that's where he got some of his ideas from-the ideas that Obama didn't notice.

Many of those radicals are now prominent Obama supporters.

What a tiny world we live in.

Obama File 35 here


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hopefully all these radicals and leftists drive Obama more towards the left eh Trev ;)

12:35 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Drive? He's already there Cameron.

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are always much more optimistic than me Trev!

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Come on, don't play the race card.

Material is getting dry..

4:57 PM  

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