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Tuesday, August 19, 2008
What Kincaid Won't Tell You About Obama's 'Mentor'
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Cliff Kincaid's Aug. 15 Accuracy in Media column proclaims that the Barack Obama campaign's debunking of Jerome Corsi's Obama-bashing book "acknowledges on ... that the mysterious “Frank” in Obama’s 1995 book, Dreams From My Father, is in fact the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) member Frank Marshall Davis," insisting that the admission "can only add to growing public concern about Obama’s relationship with a Communist pawn of Moscow who was the subject of security investigations by the FBI and various congressional committees which examined Soviet activities in the U.S." In an Aug. 17 column, Kincaid complains that the Obama campaign's debunking "doesn’t identify Davis as a hard-core communist and it dishonestly edits an article about Davis to eliminate references to his admitted involvement in CPUSA activities and make the black revolutionary writer and “poet” look like a civil rights activist."

But the Obama report does something that Kincaid has yet to do: put Obama's relationship with Davis in full and accurate context. Specifically, it points out that Obama wrote in his autobiography "Dreams From My Father" that he rejected Davis' alleged radicalism. From the report:

Obama Wrote Of Frank As Someone Who “Fell Short” Of The “Lofty Standards” Of “Martin And Malcolm, Dubois And Mandela.”  “Yes, I’d seen weakness in other men—Gramps and his disappointments, Lolo and his compromise. But these men had become object lessons for me, men I might love but never emulate, white men and brown men whose fates didn’t speak to my own. It was into my father’s image, the black man, son of Africa, that I’d packed all the attributes I sought in myself, the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela. And if later I saw that the black men I knew— Frank or Ray or Will or Rafiq — fell short of such lofty standards; if I had learned to respect these men for the struggles they went through, recognizing them as my own — my father’s voice had nevertheless remained untainted, inspiring, rebuking, granting or withholding approval. You do not work hard enough, Barry. You must help in your people’s struggle. Wake up, black man!” [Dreams From My Father, Pg. 96]
Obama Wrote That “The Relationship Between Black And White, The Meaning Of Escape, Would Never Be Quite The Same For Me As It Had Been For Frank, Or For The Old Man, Or Even For Roy.” “The relationship between black and white, the meaning of escape, would never be quite the same for me as it had been for Frank, or for the Old Man, or even for Roy.”  [Dreams From My Father, Pg. 277]  

Obama Recounted Frank’s Diatribe About What Would Happen To Him In College And Then Described Frank As “Incurable” And Living In The “Sixties Time Warp That Hawaii Had Created.”  “What had Frank called college? An advanced degree in compromise. I thought back to the last time I had seen the old poet, a few days before I left Hawaii. We had made small talk for a while; he complained about his feet, the corns and bone spurs that he insisted were a direct result of trying to force African feet into European shoes. Finally he had asked me what it was that I expected to get out of college. I told him I didn’t know. He shook his big, hoary head…’Leaving your race at the door,” he said. “Leaving your people behind.” He studied me over the top of his reading glasses. “Understand something, boy. You’re not going to college to get educated. You’re going there to get trained. They’ll train you to want what you don’t need. They’ll train you to manipulate words so they don’t mean anything anymore. They’ll train you to forget what it is that you already know. They’ll train you so good, you’ll start believing what they tell you about equal opportunity and the American way and all that shit. They’ll give you a corner office and invite you to fancy dinners, and tell you you’re a credit to your race. Until you want to actually start running things, and then they’ll yank 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 made me smile, thinking back on Frank and his old Black Power, dashiki self. In some ways he was as incurable as my mother, as certain in his faith, living in the same sixties time warp that Hawaii had created.” [Dreams From My Father, Pg. 96-97]

In his eagerness to smear Obama as a communist sympathizer through his relationship with Davis, Kincaid has yet to report these statements from Obama's book that demonstrate he rejected Davis' extremist views. That, after all, conflicts with his Obama-is-a-secret-commie meme. Then again, an accurate view of Obama is presumably not what Richard Mellon Scaife is paying Kincaid to promulgate.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:12 AM EDT

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