Barack Obama and Frank Marshall Davis

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Aug 12, 2008 5:42 PM
An AP piece in the Washington Times today discusses the young Barack Obama's relationship with poet Frank Marshall Davis, and Davis' influence on him.

It's instructive to note that the piece points out, "In spite of his writings, Davis scholars dismiss the idea that he was anti-American."   Interesting that the clarification would be needed.  At the very least, Davis was a radical. According to a piece in the African American Review, Davis was also a member of the Communist Party of the USA.

In some sense, it seems that Davis played something of the role of mentor, or even father-figure, in Barack's early life.  And therein lie the seeds of a troubling pattern.

Barack's "father figure" in his maturity was Jeremiah Wright -- a man who clearly espoused anti-American views.  Now we learn about Frank Marshall Davis.  Barack's relationship with Davis makes it more difficult to believe that his interest in Jeremiah Wright was completely unrelated to the substance of Wright's ideas.

How much has the radicalism of Davis in his early years, and Wright's, later on, influenced Barack?