By Al Benson Jr. On March 10, 2010 at 4:20 PM
By Al Benson Jr.
It seems that the “Windy City” has had a love affair with communism that goes back a long time. Originally, you can trace it back to 1860 when the Republican Party convention was held there--the convention that nominated Abraham Lincoln to run for president on the Republican ticket that year. There were several “Forty-Eighter” socialists, refugees from the 1848 socialist revolts in Europe, there that year for the convention and some of these socialists, such as Carl Schurz, actually helped to write the Republican Party platform in 1860. In our book Red Republicans and Lincoln’s Marxists Walter Kennedy and I have noted this. On page 61 we stated: “In chapter one we noted the close ties between radical European socialists/communists and Lincoln. In that chapter we pointed out that we are not suggesting that Lincoln was a communist, only that for some reason, these early American socialists/communists found the new Republican Party and Abraham Lincoln very attractive.” So Lincoln was nominated, ran, and won, with the help of these Forty-Eighter socialists/communists--and it started in Chicago. How fitting. You can check out information about Red Republicans and Lincoln’s Marxists on http://olesouthbooks.com
Unfortunately for Chicago, that was not the last they saw of the communists. A dispatch from Chicago to the New York Times for April 24, 1878 noted: “The Police report that the communist element here already numbers several thousands, and that many drilling places are almost nightly frequented by armed men. There are three halls on the North Side having facilities for drilling purposes, and the Superintendent of Police reports that about 4000 men drill in them every week…Superintendent of Police Hickey says that the arms used by the organizations are mostly Springfield rifles of the old and new patterns.” The dispatch also noted that the communists had sent an agent from Chicago to New York to purchase more arms and ammunition. Sounds typically communist--a little intimidation to attempt to dampen potential resistance. The Russian tanks in the streets of Budapest in 1956 accomplished the same purpose.
Another New York Times article, this one for April 21, 1879, observed: “Chicago, April 20--About 1100 Communists paraded the streets to-day, and displayed inflammatory banners. About 400 of them were armed. No disturbance occurred.” These articles definitely let you know that the Communists were busy strutting their stuff in Chicago in the 1870s. With the paranoia of Chicago’s present politicians about people in that fair city having firearms, (except for the criminals of course) it makes you wonder where the gun control freaks were in the late 1870s. Of course since those carrying the weapons were communists, I suppose it was alright.
And they continued to do so as the years progressed. The American Communist Party originated in Chicago in 1919. It stayed there until 1927, when Communist Party headquarters and their newspaper, the Daily Worker, relocated in New York. During the 1930s the Communist Party in Chicago managed to reach their biggest audiences. They organized the unemployed and protested evictions. They built alliances with people like Saul Alinsky the infamous “community organizer.” By the end of the 1930s they had influenced cultural organizations, writers, and various intellectuals who should have known better but didn’t. They even started their own newspaper, the Midwest Daily Record. As long as they could agitate among minorities, the unemployed, and other seemingly disaffected groups they had a fertile field for their class struggle techniques in Chicago. By the 1950s their influence had decreased somewhat, but they never really went away and in the 1960s their radicalism appeared afresh, only under new and different groups and not under their own name.
In fact, Harold Lasswell and Dorothy Blumenstock wrote: “From the birth of the American Communist Party in Chicago in 1919 Chicago has been one of the chief radiating centers for Communist propaganda in the United States.” Even as the Party itself seemed to wane, its influence never really did.
Trevor Loudon, an anti-Communist political activist in New Zealand was interviewed in September, 2009 and made some interesting observations. Mr. Loudon stated that: “Chicago was the birthplace of US communism--the party was founded there in 1919. Chicago and Detroit were the centers of Midwest communism into the 1930s. The communist influenced ‘Black renaissance’ movement was centered in two places--Harlem and Chicago’s South Side. Chicago’s advantage in communist terms, was that of the industrial South Side with its large working class white, black, and Latino populations was bordered by the more affluent Hyde Park area, and the thoroughly communist infiltrated University of Chicago. The Marxist academics of the UC had half a city of proletarians on their doorstep to experiment with and practice on.” Mr. Loudon noted that the goals of communists in this country were, and still are, a socialist/communist America and that the Communist Party put a strong emphasis on infiltrating labor unions, the Democratic Party, and both the US government and the “civil rights” movement. All the evidence that I’ve seen over the years tends to agree with Mr. Loudon’s assessment.
Mr. Loudon also mentioned Vernon Jarrett, a black Chicago journalist who, with his columns, promoted Barack Obama during his run for the Illinois Senate in 2004. Loudon was also asked to identify prominent African-Americans were part of the “Chicago (Communist) network.” He observed: “In the 40s they included William and Louise Patterson, Ishmael Flory, Claude Lightfoot, Frank Marshall Davis and Oscar Brown. Vernon Jarrett (father-in-law of Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett) and future Chicago mayor Harold Washington were close to the network as was future Obama friend Timuel Black and close Obama associates, former Illinois State Senator Alice Palmer and one term Illinois Senator Carol Mosely Braun.” Sounds like lots of well-known folks in the Chicago area in earlier days had noted Marxist proclivities and those that were not outright part of the Party network were “close” to it. Note that one of those mentioned was Frank Marshall Davis, the man who was not only Obama’s mentor but a Communist Party member in both Chicago and Hawaii. Some of this information can be checked out on http://www.datehookup.com for those interested in Mr. Loudon’s observations.
And http://patriotsandliberty.com has noted: “Manning Marable, a leader of the Communist Party offshoot Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and 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’.” Frank Marshall Davis was quite active in the Chicago Communist Party--until he moved to Hawaii in 1948.
It has been postulated in some quarters that Frank Marshall Davis may well have known “left-wing journalist Vernon Jarrett” in post-World War 2 Chicago. This is because the Jarrett family seems to have played a role in Barack Obama’s rise to power. Both Jarrett and Davis worked for the communist-influenced Chicago Defender newspaper in Chicago in the late 1940s. As you can see, what went on in Communist circles in Chicago in the 1930s and 40s has had a very definite effect on the lives of all Americans in our own day.
It has also been noted on http://techrepublic.com in an article by Cliff Kinkaid for February 15, 2008 that: “Obama’s socialist backing goes back at least to 1996, when he received the endorsement of the Chicago branch of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) for an Illinois state senate seat…Obama’s stint as a ‘community organizer’ in Chicago has gotten some attention, but his relationship with the DSA socialists, who groomed and backed him, has been generally ignored… DSA describes itself as the largest socialist organization in the United States and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International.” This socialist group has “consultative status” with the United Nations. Is anyone really surprised? Given the leftist record of the UN, should we expect anything else?
Kinkaid gives us one more bit of information regarding Chicago. He says: “It is not surprising that Chicago Democrat, Rep. Jan Schakowsky has endorsed Obama. Schakowsky, who endorsed Howard Dean for president in 2004, was honored in 2000 at a dinner sponsored by the Chicago chapter of the DSA,” Gee, a Chicago politician who was loved by the socialists? Don’t go away, there are more to come.
I can remember, when we lived in Northern Illinois, we often saw Chicago politicians on the television spouting their agendas, but, of course the media never bothered to inform anyone just where on the political spectrum they were coming from. Those who had done some homework could usually spot the left-wingers among them, but most folks, educated in government schools and never taught to think, didn’t have a clue. One of them I remembered seeing quite often was Danny K. Davis. He always seemed to be shouting at someone in the sound bytes he was shown in. Usually his diatribes were reserved for anyone to the political right of Che Guevara.
According to http://newzeal.blogspot.com for December 17, 2008: “The left’s ‘long march’ through the US government, has since the recent election, broken into a jog. A good example is the appointment of long time Barack Obama friend and ally, Illinois congressman Danny K. Davis to the United States House Committee on Ways & Means--arguably the most powerful organ of the US Congress.” It seems that this committee is the one that has jurisdiction over all tariffs, taxation, and not only that, but they also oversee such programs as Social Security, Medicare, and Unemployment benefits. The article continues: “Ways & Means is already heavily influenced by members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC)--a grouping of leftist Democratic congressmen, many of whom have ties to Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) or both.” It seems that Obama and Davis hark back to when they were both members of the New Party in Illinois during the mid 1990s. The New Party was formed by more leftist activists, some from ACORN, some from the DSA, and some from the Committees of Correspondence, that breakaway from the Communist Party.
The article noted of Davis that: “Davis was then and still is a DSA member, one of the few semi-open socialists in the U.S. Congress.” Davis remained close to the Communist Party in Chicago and in 1990 he attended a fund raiser for the Communist newspaper the Peoples Weekly World. Davis applauded those at this fund raiser, who, he said, are “steadfast in the fight for justice.” Yeah, right. Show me a Communist anywhere really concerned for justice and I’ll show you a purple cow jumping over a moon made of green cheese!
It seems as if the previously mentioned Vernon Jarrett had quite a bit to do with getting Harold Washington to run for mayor in Chicago. According to http://romanticpoet.wordpress.com for 6/1/2009 it is noted that: “He (Jarrett) 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 to run for the Chicago mayoralty and remained a key supporter thought 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 the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)…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. The article went on to note that after his election, Washington went on to pad his administration with a full complement of socialists, communists, and various other fellow-travelers and in so doing he ended up with “the most far left administration in US history. This bacchanalia of leftism was only cut short by his premature death.
Interestingly enough, Harold Washington, that darling of the Chicago left, also won a spot in the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame http://www.glhalloffame.org Although this doesn’t necessarily add up to his being a sodomite it shows that he was friendly to and supportive of their cause and he worked politically to further it.
Then, there were William Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dohrn, who were both terrorists in the Weather Underground during the 1960s. Were they ever prosecuted for their terrorism? Not really, and now Mr. Ayers is a professor at the University of Chicago. They are a prime case of terrorists who followed the advice of “getting haircuts, joining the establishment and running for Congress.” Ayers joined the establishment and gained a position whereby he could help to tear down what this country was founded upon--and he is a close friend of Barack Obama. In fact, Ayers and Dohrn hosted Obama’s first known political gathering in their home back in 1995.
And there is David Axelrod, Obama’s campaign strategist. According to http://www.freerepublic.com for October 30, 2008: “Barack Obama’s chief campaign strategist David Axelrod, once worked for a man who was an identified member of the Communist Party USA, a registered agent of the Soviet Union and a paid disseminator of Soviet black propaganda. This man went on to become a chief Chicago political fixer who helped elect communist linked politicians including the late Chicago mayor Harold Washington and former US Senator Carol Mosely Braun. The individual in question was the late Chicago lawyer David Simon Canter (1923/2004). Cantor was born in Boston, and his father, Harry J. Cantor was an activist with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). The next step for him, naturally, was to become secretary of the Boston Communist Party.
Axelrod seems to have learned from his former Communist boss. He worked in the political campaigns of such leftist worthies as John Edwards, Chris Dodd, and the inestimable Rahm Emanuel, yet another Obama henchman. Axelrod’s strategy was to market to the public a persona rather than dealing with substantive issues--in other words, all blow and no show--and who, honestly, would want to show the public where the left was really coming from. That kind of information needed to be kept under wraps and slathered over with lots of political glitz. Which is just what he did with Obama. He promoted “change” without telling you what the change was going to be all about (the removal of whatever freedoms you had left). Axelrod’s family was certifiably leftist. His mother, Myril, had been a writer for PM, a left-wing tabloid-type publication that was published in New York from 1940-48.
An article on http://www.traditionalvalues.org for March 5, 2008 accurately observed that: “Clearly, Chicago has been a hotbed of leftist political activities for decades. Saul Alinksy successfully trained hundreds of radicals who are now in positions of power--including both Senator Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Clinton. Chicago was also a hotbed of Marxist Black Power activities during World War 2...Chicago is also an area heavily influenced by Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan, who has personally endorsed the candidacy of Barack Obama to become our next president…” Under pressure, Obama later rejected the endorsement, but only for political reasons, not personal ones. I’d be willing to bet he has no real problems with Farrakhan personally.
There has even been a book written about all this--Red Chicago, by Randi Storch, who is an associate professor of history at the State University of New York College at Cortland. It was published by the University of Illinois Press. I have not read this book, having only seem a short review of it, but I had the feeling from that review that Ms. Storch had written a book that sought to present a more “human” face to Chicago Communists for her readers. If so, I’m glad she wrote it and not me. I would not have quite been up to such a thorny task. But the fact that she even wrote it displays how much the Marxist mindset had and has permeated the city of Chicago.
I could go on and on with this. There is, literally, enough material out there to write at least one more book on this and there is no way I can cover it all in this article. At best, I have touched a few high spots--not nearly enough, but enough to give readers some idea of how much Marxism and its leftist cousins have influenced Chicago and the country--all the way from Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama. Chicago has, indeed, been the Communist paradise of the Midwest and the country is much worse off for that sorry situation.