Frank Marshall Davis, alleged Communist, was early influence on Barack Obama
New details about a black poet in Hawaii who was a key early
influence in Barack Obama's life can be revealed by The Telegraph.
By Toby Harnden in Washington
24 Aug 2008
Although identified only as Frank in Mr Obama's memoir Dreams from My
Father, it has now been established that he was Frank Marshall Davis,
a radical activist and journalist who had been suspected of being a
member of the Communist Party in the 1950s.
Mr Davis moved to Honolulu from Chicago in 1948 with his second wife
Helen Canfield, a white socialite, at the suggestion of his friend
the actor Paul Robeson, who advised them that there would be more
tolerance of a mixed race couple in Hawaii than on the American mainland.
A bohemian libertine who drank heavily and loved jazz, he became
friends with Stanley Dunham, Mr Obama's maternal grandfather in the
1960s. Mr Davis died in 1987 at the age of 81, five years before Mr Dunham.
"He knew Stan real well," said Dawna Weatherly-Williams, a close
friend of Mr Davis "They'd play Scrabble and drink and crack jokes
and crack jokes and argue. Frank always won and he was always very
braggadocio about it too. It was all jocular. They didn't get
polluted drunk. And Frank never really did drugs, though he and Stan
would smoke pot together."
While his mother was in Indonesia during part of his teenage years,
Mr Obama lived with his white grandparents. Mrs Weatherly-Williams
said that the poet was first introduced to the future Democratic
presidential candidate in 1970 at the age of 10.
"Stan had been promising to bring Barry by because we all had that in
common - Frank's kids were half-white, Stan's grandson was half-black
and my son was half-black. We all had that in common and we all
really enjoyed it. We got a real kick out of reality."
Maya Soetoro-Ng, Obama's half-sister, told the Associated Press
recently that her grandfather had seen Mr Davis was "a point of
connection, a bridge if you will, to the larger African-American
experience for my brother".
In his memoir, Mr Obama recounts how he visited Mr Davis on several
occasions, apparently at junctures when he was grappling with racial
issues, to seek his counsel. At one point in 1979 Mr Davis described
university as "an advanced degree in compromise" that was designed to
keep blacks in their place.
Mr Obama quoted him as saying: "Leaving your race at the door.
Leaving your people behind. Understand something, boy. You're not
going to college to get educated. You're going there to get trained."
He added that "they'll tank on your chain and let you know that you
may be a well-trained, well-paid nigger, but you're a nigger just the same."
It has also been established that Mr Davis, who divorced in 1970, was
the author of a hard-core pornographic autobiography published in San
Diego in 1968 by Greenleaf Classics under the pseudonym Bob Greene.
In a surviving portion of an autobiographical manuscript, Mr Davis
confirms that he was the author of Sex Rebel: Black after a reader
had noticed the "similarities in style and phraseology" between the
pornographic work and his poetry.
"I could not then truthfully deny that this book, which came out in
1968 as a Greenleaf Classic, was mine." In the introduction to Sex
Rebel, Mr Davis (writing as Greene) explains that although he has
"changed names and identities…all incidents I have described have
been taken from actual experiences".
He stated that "under certain circumstances I am bisexual" and that
he was " a voyeur and an exhibitionist" who was "occasionally mildly
interested in sado-masochism", adding: "I have often wished I had two
penises to enjoy simultaneously the double – but different –
sensations of oral and genital copulation."
The book, which closely tracks Mr Davis's life in Chicago and Hawaii
and the fact that his first wife was black and his second white,
describes in lurid detail a series of shockingly sordid sexual
encounters, often involving group sex.
One chapter concerns the seduction by Mr Davis and his first wife of
a 13-year-old girl called Anne. Mr Davis wrote that it was the girl
who had suggested he had sex with her. "I'm not one to go in for
Lolitas. Usually I'd rather not bed a babe under 20.
"But there are exceptions. I didn't want to disappoint the trusting
child. At her still-impressionistic age, a rejection might be
traumatic, could even cripple her sexually for life."
He then described how he and his wife would have sex with the girl.
"Anne came up many times the next several weeks, her aunt thinking
she was in good hands. Actually she was.
"She obtained a course in practical sex from experienced and
considerate practitioners rather than from ignorant insensitive
neophytes….I think we did her a favour, although the pleasure was mutual."
On other occasions, Mr Davis would cruise in Hawaii parks looking for
couples or female tourists to have sex with. He derived sexual
gratification from bondage, simulated rape and being flogged and urinated on.
He boasted that "the number of white babes interested in at least one
meeting with a Negro male has been far more than I can handle" and
wished "America were as civilised as, say, Scandinavia". He
concluded: "I regret none of my experiences or unusual appetites; for
me they are normal."
According to Mrs Weatherly-Williams, Mr Davis lost touch with Mr
Dunham some time in the 1980s. John Edgar Tidwell, who wrote the
introduction to Davis's memoir and edited a collection of his work,
said that there was no mention of Mr Dunham or Mr Obama in any of Mr
Obama's Red Mentor Was A Pervert
by Cliff Kincaid
Aug 26, 2008
Covering a sensitive and explosive subject that has been off-limits
for the major U.S. media, the London Daily Telegraph is now claiming
that Communist Frank Marshall Davis was a strong influence over a
young Barack Obama for nine years of his life, rather than just four,
and was a sex pervert and pothead.
The Telegraph article alleges that Davis was a bisexual engaged in
"sordid" sexual activities and had repeated sexual encounters with a
In an article headlined, "Frank Marshall Davis, alleged Communist,
was early influence on Barack Obama," writer Toby Harnden confirms
everything Accuracy in Media has been reporting since February about
the mysterious "Frank" in Obama's book being Communist Party USA
(CPUSA) member Frank Marshall Davis. Harnden is the Daily Telegraph's
U.S. Editor, based in Washington, D.C.
The word "alleged" in the headline is misleading, since there is no
doubt that Davis, who was investigated by the FBI and various
congressional and official inquiries, was a CPUSA member. In fact, as
AIM has documented, Davis was involved in the CPUSA or its front
activities, before, during and after World War II, and became a
member of a secret communist apparatus in the 1950s after the CPUSA
in Hawaii was reorganized on an underground basis. Davis died in 1987.
"Although identified only as Frank in Mr. Obama's memoir Dreams from
My Father, it has now been established that he was Frank Marshall
Davis, a radical activist and journalist who had been suspected of
being a member of the Communist Party in the 1950s," Harnden reported.
Davis wasn't just a "suspected" communist but a key CPUSA member
involved in an important Soviet-sponsored network. The communists had
targeted Hawaii largely because of its strategic location and
importance to the U.S. defense effort. The CPUSA, which was
controlled by the Soviet Communist Party, was receiving funding from
the Soviet Communist Party through KGB channels as late as the 1980s.
Lies from the Washington Post
But while the London paper is reporting explosive new information
about Davis and his relationship with Obama, the Washington Post on
Sunday, August 24, published a 10,000-word article, supposedly on
Obama's years in Hawaii, and never once mentioned Davis. Even though
the Post advertised the article as being about Obama's "formative
years" in Hawaii, the lengthy piece by David Maraniss, an associate
editor at the paper and Pulitzer Prize-winner, completely ignores the
fact that Davis was Obama's mentor and adviser for a significant
number of those years.
This is so despite the fact that Maraniss claims in the article and a
video to be familiar with the contents of Obama's book, Dreams From
My Father, where the mysterious "Frank" makes numerous appearances
and gives Obama advice on matters ranging from race relations to
college and his life in the U.S.
Asked about this striking omission in his Post article, Maraniss told
AIM that "My reporting conclusion was the role of 'Frank' had been
hyped out of all proportion, both by Obama himself in his book and
some others later. He did not play a role in really shaping Obama."
This "conclusion," of course, fails to let the readers decide, based
on what Obama and others have reported. And he does not explain how
he came to this conclusion.
Clearly, this is liberal pro-Obama media bias by omission. It is
designed to keep the public in the dark about the role of a CPUSA
member in shaping Obama's worldview. Such a cover-up is necessary to
get Obama elected.
Indeed, the Post Maraniss article is deception on a greater scale
than a recent Associated Press article, which examined Davis's role
as Obama's mentor and adviser but ignored his CPUSA activities.
As we all know by now, "Frank" was initially "established" to be
Frank Marshall Davis by Gerald Horne, a writer for a CPUSA
publication, who boasted about the relationship that Davis had with
Obama. Horne's remarks were brought to our attention by New Zealand
blogger Trevor Loudon. Former associates of Davis in Hawaii confirmed
The Relationship Begins
Based on these sources, AIM had confirmed that Obama's white
grandfather, Stanley Dunham, picked Davis because Obama's black
father had abandoned the family and Dunham thought Obama needed a
black father-figure. AIM also confirmed that Davis was Obama's mentor
during the critical years 1975-1979.
Harnden claimed in a preceding article that Obama was introduced to
Davis in 1970 when he was only nine years old. This would mean that
Davis was an influence over Obama for about nine full years, until
Obama was 18 and went off to college.
Harnden quotes Dawna Weatherly-Williams, a friend of Davis's, as
saying that Stanley Dunham brought Obama to meet Davis in the autumn
of 1970. She "was chatting with him [Davis] that late autumn
afternoon as Dunham and Barry [Obama] approached," Harnden reports.
Some accounts say that Obama returned to Hawaii in 1971. But Harnden
tells me that the Punahou School, the coeducational college
preparatory day school in Honolulu that Obama attended from 1971 to
1979, was adamant that Obama took his entrance examine in autumn
1970. "It's possible he briefly went back to Indonesia before
actually starting at the school," he said.
But whether it was 1970 or 1971, this adds several years to the
amount of time that Davis was exercising influence over Obama. This
is enough time to have made it into a Washington Post 10,000-word
account of Obama's years in Hawaii. But Maraniss deliberately decided
to ignore it.
Harnden also reports that Davis and Dunham smoked marijuana together.
Dawna Weatherly-Williams said that "Frank never really did drugs,
though he and Stan would smoke pot together," the paper said.
Obama, of course, also admits that he used marijuana and cocaine in his youth.
Citing passages from Obama's own book, Dreams From My Father, which
was published in 1995, Harnden demonstrates how Obama went to "Frank"
for advice about racial issues, college, and other matters at
critical periods in his life. Clearly, the relationship between them,
as concluded by many observers, was strong. But Maraniss of the Post
decided to deliberately ignore it.
This may have something to do with the fact that the Post chairman,
the late Katharine Graham, began her career as a journalist for the
San Francisco News using labor leader Harry Bridges, a CPUSA member
and Frank Marshall Davis associate, as a news "source." This fact is
acknowledged in an obituary of Graham on the official Post website.
The Post Company and the paper today are run by members of the Graham family.