Was Margaret Sanger A Racist?

(Editor’s note: this piece originally appeared at VisionAndValues.org.) 

When I write about Margaret Sanger’s May 1926 speech to the women’s chapter of the KKK in Silverlake, New Jersey—as I did again recently—liberals get upset. They accuse me of distortion and even making up the whole thing. Many of them cannot find it within themselves to condemn this sordid moment. One writer in the Huffington Post, who was highly unimpressed with me, went so far as to assert that the KKK “was almost a mainstream group then, if still clandestine.”

Well, maybe or maybe not, but it was still a rather hideous group. Can we not agree on that? This unending desire by the left to defend utterly everything about Planned Parenthood and its founder, Sanger, no matter how ugly, really is quite astonishing.

Read: Black Pastors Protest Margaret Sanger at Smithsonian

Read: Black Pastors Protest Margaret Sanger at Smithsonian

This same person who read my column went to pages 366-67 of Sanger’s 1938 autobiography—as I recommended doing—and accused me of “cherry-picking” from that material. I must say, I am pleased simply to see that some liberals are actually going to those pages. They have been in existence for 77 years now. It is high time that liberals read them. I’ve begged them to read that disturbing passage; and, alas, some of them are—though they’re usually motivated, it seems, to criticize me rather than Sanger. To avoid further accusations of cherry-picking this material, I’m herein reprinting the entire Sanger passage for readers to dissect themselves:

Always to me any aroused group was a good group, and therefore I accepted an invitation to talk to the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan at Silver Lake, New Jersey, one of the weirdest experiences I had in lecturing.

My letter of instruction told me what train to take, to walk from the station two blocks straight ahead, then two to the left. I would see a sedan parked in front of a restaurant. If I wished I could have ten minutes for a cup of coffee or bite to eat, because no supper would be served later.

I obeyed orders implicitly, walked the blocks, saw the car, found the restaurant, went in and ordered some cocoa, stayed my allotted ten minutes, then approached the car hesitatingly and spoke to the driver. I received no reply. She might have been totally deaf as far as I was concerned. Mustering up my courage, I climbed in the back and settled back. Without a turn of the head, a smile, or a word to let me know I was right, she stepped on the self-starter. For fifteen minutes we wound around the streets. It must have been towards six in the afternoon. We took this lonely lane and that through the woods, and an hour later pulled up in a vacant space near a body of water beside a large, unpainted, barnish building.

My driver got out, talked with several other women, then said to me severely, “Wait here. We will come for you.” She disappeared. More cars buzzed up the dusty road into the parking place. Occasionally men dropped wives who walked hurriedly and silently within. This went on mystically until night closed down and I was alone in the dark. A few gleams came through chinks in the window curtains. Even though it was May, I grew chillier and chillier.

After three hours I was summoned at last and entered a bright corridor filled with wraps. As someone came out of the hall I saw through the door dim figures parading with banners and illuminated crosses. I waited another twenty minutes. It was warmer and I did not mind so much. Eventually the lights were switched on, the audience seated itself, and I was escorted to the platform, was introduced, and began to speak.

Never before had I looked into a sea of faces like these. I was sure that if I uttered one word, such as abortion, outside the usual vocabulary of these women they would go off into hysteria. And so my address that night had to be in the most elementary terms, as though I were trying to make children understand.

In the end, through simple illustrations I believed I had accomplished my purpose. A dozen invitations to speak to similar groups were proffered. The conversation went on and on, and when we were finally through it was too late to return to New York. Under a curfew law everything in Silver Lake shut at nine o’clock. I could not even send a telegram to let my family know whether I had been thrown in the river or was being held incommunicado. It was nearly one before I reached Trenton, and I spent the night in a hotel.

Those who have accused me of cherry-picking criticize me for not underscoring statements from Sanger like “hysteria,” “aroused,” and “weirdest.” Actually, I have noted those words when writing about this; and those words (I believe) actually further make the case against Sanger. They demonstrate that she knew that this was an extreme group. She clearly is intimidated somewhat. In fact, note Sanger’s comment about letting her family know that she hadn’t been thrown into the river. This suggests she understood that this was a rather violent group, right? What gave her that hint? The illuminated crosses? The KKK’s history of lynching black people?

Most notably, there are no regrets here articulated by Sanger. And there’s also no indication of what she said that so thrilled the KKK sisters that they proffered a dozen invitations to her to speak again. If what she said prompted such an enthusiastic reaction, we ought to be able to safely assume it was consistent with their values. Moreover, all of this is, flatly, indefensible. No, not “any aroused group” is a “good group.” Could you imagine a prominent conservative speaking to the KKK and then telling the New York Times, “Hey, to me, any aroused group is a good group, and so I accepted an invitation to speak to the Klan.” Would even one liberal in America accept that?

Aside from the KKK speech, another item is often cited by Sanger critics as evidence of her alleged racism. It’s another troubling Sangerism that her admirers on the left feel compelled to defend. In a December 10, 1939 letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble of the Eugenics Society, in the context of discussing the Negro Project, which she developed in concert with white birth-control reformers, Sanger wrote: “We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out the idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

Read: Sins of the Father: Abortion, Birth Control, and the ACLU

Read: Sins of the Father: Abortion, Birth Control, and the ACLU

What does the disturbing statement mean? It has been typically interpreted in two opposing ways: 1) Sanger admirers argue that she was saying “We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population” because, in fact, she did not want to exterminate the Negro population; and 2) Sanger detractors argue that she wanted to keep quiet her (alleged) desire to (indeed) exterminate the “Negro population.”

Okay, so which is it? The letter doesn’t say. But as for those with a negative interpretation—including Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece Alveda King, the website BlackGenocide.org, the group of black pastors who currently want Sanger’s bust removed from the Smithsonian, and numerous other African-Americans that I could list at length—it’s rather easy to understand their sensitivity to a critical interpretation.

This we can say with absolute certainty: Margaret Sanger spoke to a women’s organization affiliated with the KKK, and she started the Negro Project to bring birth-control information and clinics to impoverished southern African-Americans. Moreover, the Planned Parenthood founder unequivocally preached a creed of “race improvement,” which meant refining the gene pool and controlling and limiting the reproduction of human beings whom she thought weakened the human race. She clearly saw “Negroes” as among those members of the human race whose reproduction she wanted to control. And there is no doubt that the KKK, being absolute racists, would have lauded that.

Was Sanger plotting to eliminate all blacks? Of course, not. But she was plotting to control the reproduction of blacks and of the human race generally. She was a racial eugenicist. Was she a racist-eugenicist? Be careful. Really, even Margaret Sanger’s abortion views are not entirely clear. That is something that I’ve also written about many times for years.

What else can be said for certain about Sanger and race? If the person we’re describing here was a prominent conservative rather than a progressive icon, this would be grounds for liberals to completely discredit and outright destroy that conservative. Liberals should reconsider their views of Sanger and what she has wrought.

Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. His latest book is 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative. His other books include The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mentor and Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

Resting Place Of A Humble Man … Remembering Bill Clark, Reagan’s Right-Hand Man

William P. Clark died two years ago this month. When he passed, I wrote a tribute here at The American Spectator, aptly titled “Bill Clark’s Divine Plan.”

For those unfamiliar with Judge Clark, he was, simply put, Ronald Reagan’s architect for the take-down of the Soviet empire during a crucial stint (1982-83) as national security adviser. He had been Reagan’s trusted aide dating back to the Sacramento years, where he was Governor Reagan’s chief of staff. It is hard to understate Clark’s kinship with Reagan and his role, though no one sought to understate the role more than Clark himself. It took me a long time to convince Bill Clark to let me tell his story, to let me write his biography, and even then I never really convinced him. Unfailingly the most humble man that I (and many others) ever met, he tried to talk me out of the project right ’til the moment it was copy-edited, bound, packaged, put on delivery trucks, and sitting in Barnes & Noble. Someone had to relate the story of Clark’s fascinating life, given that he himself refused. He was the only major Reagan figure who would not write a memoir, passing up a slam-dunk big book deal in the 1980s. He left the Reagan administration at the height of its (and his) power, quite literally riding off into the sunset to his beloved ranch in central California. The ranch was all he ever wanted.

Bill Clark’s remarkable life ended on August 10, 2013, twelve years after I first met him inside the gorgeous little chapel that he built high on a hill outside Paso Robles, California. It was there, in August 2001, that I interviewed him on the faith of Ronald Reagan, which became a book (God and Ronald Reagan) that he really appreciated, knowing that Reagan biographers had ignored or dismissed this core aspect that Clark knew was the heart and soul of Ronald Reagan. That had started something that led to, among other things, a discussion of Clark’s own faith story. Really, Clark’s biography is inescapably just that—a faith story.

Clark passed away at 6:00 AM California time that August 10, 2013, just as the sun was rising at the ranch so dear to his heart. The 81-year-old had been ailing for a long time—a protracted battle with Parkinson’s disease. He suffered terribly in those final months. He used to quip, “the good Lord gave Parkinson’s to saints like John Paul II and my father, and now he has gotten around to giving it to sinners like myself.”

Michael Reagan emailed me immediately after receiving news of Clark’s death: “I have lost my father for the second time… Good bye friend.”

The funeral Mass was all so fitting. Held at Clark’s chapel, it was packed with loyal former Reaganites, Cabinet members, Clark staffers from the National Security Council, and leaders from the pro-life movement that Clark supported so earnestly. There were more priests and nuns than you could count. During Communion, they sang “Be Not Afraid.” Those are words not only of Christ in Scripture but that Pope John Paul II exhorted to the people of Poland in June 1979. Clark loved that moment. He and Reagan met with John Paul II in June 1982, where they discussed their mutual goal of taking down the Soviet empire. At the end of the Mass, Clark’s body was carried out of his chapel for the final time, sealed in a plain pine coffin.

That was the last time I was near Bill Clark’s remains—until two weeks ago, which brings me to why I’m writing today.

Clark and I had talked a number of times about where his earthly remains would one day find their final resting place. He and his family had considered burying him just outside the chapel, which would have been appropriate, or maybe even inside the chapel, or at the very least on the ranch property. But all of these options Clark must have considered too immodest. So, instead, Clark’s body was taken to a very tiny, very remote cemetery a few miles down the road near the almost-nonexistent little desert town of Shandon, California.

And so, I visited the burial site for the first time two weeks ago. And what’s there—or, really, what’s not there—seems worthy of some closing thoughts on Clark’s death.

There can’t be more than a hundred non-descript little tombstones in the cemetery. The front of the place looks like a picture out of the Old West, a mere wire-fencing gate with a red sign that in white lettering says “SHANDON CEMETERY.” It’s just off Cemetery Road. In the distance is California’s Highway 46.

The cemetery is situated on a mere acre of land. It was not even indexed until the year 2000. In September 2006 a group of 15 students from Liberty High School in nearby Paso Robles (roughly 20 miles west), where Clark’s law office was located, did a survey of the grave sites, took photographs, and sought to document its GPS coordinates. They were directed by two history teachers from the school. If Bill Clark was looking one last time to remove himself from the limelight and any attention at all, he pulled it off with great success.

Indeed, I had to search to find his headstone. It was brutally hot, easily 100 degrees, with the yellowish-brown grass as dry as the heat and air. Watching out for rattlesnakes, as Clark had always warned me to do when walking around this area of the world, I finally found the grave.

At Clark’s headstone—aside that of his beloved wife, Joan, who preceded him in death—was a fallen over vase with some dried up flowers. A few inches from that was a Gatorade bottle with some water in it. I stood up the vase and futilely filled it with what water was left inside. That was about all there was to do. There was not another person in the cemetery.

I momentarily thought to myself that Bill deserved more recognition than this, but I just as quickly realized that this was not only what he wanted, but a perfect symbol of who he was and how he wanted to be remembered.

I left Clark’s gravesite and began making my way west and then south down California’s Highway 101. I was in California for, among other things, research at the Reagan Library, where I eventually landed a few days later. There at the Reagan Library, outside the research room, and just a few yards from a giant chunk of the Berlin Wall, is Ronald Reagan’s burial site. It isn’t majestic either. It isn’t ornate. It’s simple and unostentatious. And that’s likewise fitting, because Reagan, too, was extremely humble. It is, however, very nice, polished, prominent, and certainly much more majestic than Clark’s final resting place. It is, after all, a president’s burial site at a federal presidential library. It is not inappropriate.

But when I saw Reagan’s headstone this time, which was not the first time, it immediately prompted a mental comparison to Clark’s. The much-less-resplendent resting place of Clark is absolutely how Clark would have wanted things, playing a remote second to the man he loyally served in their mutual effort to defeat the evil that was Soviet communism.

And on Reagan’s headstone are these words: “There is purpose and worth to each and every life.” That aptly fits Reagan’s highly positive outlook of humanity. It’s a good statement for remembering Reagan. But it’s also good for remembering Bill Clark. Clark ultimately had a grand purpose in his life, and had a grand worth to his life as well. Yet, amid all of that, Bill Clark always felt himself grandly unworthy.


The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Black Pastors Protest Margaret Sanger At Smithsonian

Margaret Sanger is a saint in the feminist church. She is a charter member of the progressive hall of fame. Liberals revere this woman who preached “race improvement” and denounced what she called “human weeds,” “morons,” “idiots,” “imbeciles,” and the “dead weight of human waste.”

Hillary Clinton glows that she is “in awe of” Sanger. She said so in 2009 upon receiving Planned Parenthood’s “highest honor” that year: its coveted Margaret Sanger Award. Likewise effusive was Nancy Pelosi when she proudly accepted the award in 2014.

Speaking to Planned Parenthood a year earlier, Barack Obama, America’s first African-American president, hailed the organization founded by this racial eugenicist committed to creating a “race of thoroughbreds” and purging America’s “race of degenerates.” “Thank you, Planned Parenthood,” and “God bless you,” said Obama to a giddy crowd of ecstatic pro-choice women. The president commended Planned Parenthood’s “extraordinary” and “remarkable work.”

The love by liberals for Planned Parenthood and its founder knows no bounds. A professor blogging at the New York Times argues for placing Margaret’s mug on the $20 bill.

And alas, no less than the Smithsonian, America’s museum, boasts a handsome bust of Sanger in its stately National Portrait Gallery. Margaret is there enshrined in the Smithsonian’s vaunted “Struggle for Justice” exhibit.

This brings me to my reason for writing here today: a group of African-American pastors are demanding the removal of Sanger’s bust from the Smithsonian.

“Perhaps the Gallery is unaware that Ms. Sanger supported black eugenics, a racist attitude toward black and other minority babies, an elitist attitude toward those she regarded as ‘the feeble minded;’ speaking at a rally of Ku Klux Klan women; and communications with Hitler sympathizers,” states the letter from Ministers Taking a Stand. “Also the notorious ‘Negro Project,’ which sought to limit, if not eliminate black births, was her brainchild.” The pastors quote an infamous December 1939 letter from Sanger to Dr. Clarence Gamble of the Eugenics Society, where, in the context of discussing the Negro Project, Sanger wrote: “We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out the idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

The succinct, powerful statement from the pastors adds: “Despite these well-documented facts of history, her bust sits proudly in your gallery as a hero of justice. The obvious incongruity is staggering!”

Amen to that.

Liberals must be baffled by this. This isn’t the esteemed Planned Parenthood foundress they learned to admire in their college classrooms. Margaret Sanger, a racist? Huh? They never heard that in American History 101. Where could these crazy charges possibly come from?

The answer is a myriad of authoritative sources. For starters, one might consult Sanger’s own words. On pages 366-367 of her 1938 autobiography, published by W.W. Norton, one of the leading New York publishing houses, she spoke warmly of her May 1926 speech to the women’s chapter of the KKK in Silverlake, New Jersey. Sanger seemed eager to speak to the group. After getting off the train, she was escorted by car along winding roads to a literal barn hidden in the country. There, the undeterred Planned Parenthood matron waited patiently for nearly three hours while her white-hooded sisters engaged in their incendiary routine. She observed “figures parading with banners and illuminated crosses. I waited another twenty minutes. It was warmer and I did not mind so much.” “Eventually,” recorded Sanger of the toasty atmosphere, “the lights were switched on, the audience seated itself, and I was escorted to the platform, was introduced, and began to speak.”

Sanger was tight-lipped regarding what she shared with the klanswomen at their rally, though apparently she was extremely successful and satisfied with herself: “I believed I had accomplished my purpose. A dozen invitations to speak to similar groups were proffered. The conversation went on and on, and when we were finally through it was too late to return to New York…. It was nearly one before I reached Trenton, and I spent the night in a hotel.”

The Planned Parenthood founder’s KKK talk was a smash hit. Not only did it go very late, after a long wait, but it earned Sanger a dozen new invitations from the klan-sisters. The KKK was quite excited about the work of Planned Parenthood’s founder.

Thus, it hardly comes out-of-nowhere when a group of African-American pastors today asks the Smithsonian: “How can a person like Sanger, who found common cause with the racial agenda of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), be ranked among true champions of ‘justice?’”

Precisely. Such words pierce the liberal heart like a dagger. As many conservatives have experienced, when you point out to liberals that Planned Parenthood aborts (by far) a disproportionate number of unborn African-American babies, they go wild with rage and name-calling. You’re apt to be reflexively called every name in the liberal playbook for raising this one. As we watch weekly the ghastly Planned Parenthood video exposé released by the Center for Medical Progress, in which Sanger’s organization’s “medical personnel” nonchalantly discuss dissecting baby parts while sipping Chianti and nibbling Caesar’s salad, bear in mind that most of these babies are African-American. Which among them might have been another Rosa Parks, Ben Carson, Martin Luther King Jr., Arthur Ashe, or even Barack Obama?

These African-American pastors know that. Indeed, they show (with a map included) that 70 percent of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics are located in minority neighborhoods. Thus, they’re undertaking their own exposé. Their letter, they say, will be but one “in a series of actions we will be taking to expose the evil of honoring Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood.”

Again, amen to that.

If liberals genuinely care about justice, they should join these African-American pastors in seeking the removal of Margaret Sanger’s bust from the “Struggle for Justice” exhibit at America’s preeminent museum.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Barack And Valerie’s Great Communist Party Marriage

In my current book, Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Family and Marriage, I write of the phenomenon of Communist Party marriages. “Theirs was the first ‘party marriage’ that I observed,” wrote Whittaker Chambers in Witness, describing the decidedly non-sacramental marriage of two of his Communist Party comrades, before writing of his own “party marriages.”

From Marx and Engels, to Herbert Marcuse and Wilhelm Reich, to Betty Friedan and Kate Millett, to Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, our comrades on the far left have bequeathed a legacy of noxious ideas on marriage and family. Their political-cultural wreckage is being felt today more than ever. In many ways, it has come to full fruition only now in a culture that gleefully redefines marriage and gives us the likes of Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett in the White House, a damaging political marriage if there ever was one. For seven years now at their home-base at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Obama and Jarrett have been politically and ideologically inseparable. Their White House wedding has fundamentally transformed the country.

Sure, Barack’s matrimonial vow might be to Michelle, but his ideological soulmate has long been Valerie Jarrett. And both Barack and Valerie hail from a truly remarkable line of mentors and family members with deep fidelity to the American Communist Party.

Those political bloodlines are so stunning, so bizarre, especially when they intersect across the generations, that people often react dismissively when presented with the information. I’ve laid out the linkages probably more than anyone, mainly in a book on Obama’s mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, who was a hardcore member of Communist Party USA (card no. 47544) and in several major articles on Valerie Jarrett for The American Spectator, the first one running about 5,000 words and appearing in the July/August 2011 print edition.

Again, the common lines are just incredible—but they are real. And the connections get even more jaw-dropping when you toss in mentors for a third leg of the political trinity responsible for two presidential terms of Barack Obama, one David Axelrod. Axelrod was also influenced by comrades with fond commitments to Communist Party circles, and specifically in rotten, politically misbegotten Chicago. I’ve written of Axelrod’s background, too, for The American Spectator, including a cover piece in the March 2012 print edition.

So, why am I writing now? What’s the latest in this nightmarish political soap opera?

My latest offering here is prompted by the fine work of Judicial Watch, which has obtained by FOIA request the FBI files of three crucial figures who formed Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s most intimate adviser. The three are Jarrett’s father, James Bowman, her father-in-law, Vernon Jarrett, and her grandfather, Robert Rochon Taylor. Judicial Watch has posted these documents online, and I’ve suffered through them carefully with a mix of amazement, agony, and despair for what has happened in this country. They are at once disturbing and depressing, yet further confirmation that the most politically extreme individuals who once agitated and propagandized in our blessed country were able to place their political children as high as the White House in the 21st century. For the old comrades, it simply took time for the seeds to root and flourish—and only then with the harvest made possible by really oblivious American voters who don’t understand the ash-heap of ideological baggage they’ve permitted to be brought into the country’s first house.

I’ll first highlight what’s new in the Judicial Watch cache and then delve into some further connections and insights unique to my knowledge of these individuals and their associations.

What is new is that these files show the highly disturbing level of communist work and associations by no less than three men very close to Valerie Jarrett. They show beyond any doubt that our current president—who I’ve here described as our first Red-Diaper Baby President—has been steered by a longtime leading adviser who, without question, has the classic rearing of a red-diaper baby. Beyond that, the FBI files on Jarrett’s father, James Bowman, are the single biggest revelation. I was plainly not aware of the reservoir of radical activity by Bowman. In my previous research, I could find nothing on Bowman, though I found quite a bit on Vernon Jarrett and a small amount on Robert Rochon Taylor. The Bowman material is shocking.

And finally, though I did not see the name of Frank Marshall Davis, Obama’s mentor, in these files, I’m now even further certain that Davis would have not only known these men but worked closely with each. They were all in Chicago at the exact same time and all operating in the exact same close-knit circles of the city’s Communist Party generally and of a much smaller group of African-American communists specifically. Even tinier still, they were Chicago-based African-American communist writers, journalists, Party activists, and agitators. There is simply no way—no way—that James Bowman, Vernon Jarrett, Robert Rochon Taylor, and Frank Marshall Davis did not know and work together. Unimaginable. And thus, here’s an equally intriguing thought: There is simply no way that our nation’s political-ideological first couple, Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett, have not had fond conversations reminiscing about this common ancestry. Boy, to be a fly on the wall for one of those rosy reminiscences down the old Party lane….

That said, here is a person-by-person breakdown of what the Judicial Watch material has unearthed, courtesy of the now publicly viewable FBI files, sprinkled with my own observations:

First, James Bowman. Born in Washington, D.C., February 5, 1923, Bowman eventually resided in Chicago and Denver before moving to Iran in 1955, where Valerie was born. The FBI files state that he attended Howard University from 1939-46, earning a bachelor’s degree in biology followed by a medical degree. He would work for at least two different hospitals in Washington before moving to Chicago to work for Provident Hospital. It was in Chicago that—like Frank Marshall Davis, like Barack Obama—Bowman earned his radical sea-legs and began his political path. He lived in Chicago from roughly 1947-53, precisely when Frank Marshall Davis launched his Chicago Star Communist Party-line newspaper.

Valerie’s father had numerous communist ties. He was a member of a front-group that is new to me, the Association of Internes [sic] and Medical Students, which Congress described as “an organization which has long been a faithful follower of the Communist Party line.” He was very active on the student front, including with the communist group, American Youth for Democracy, one of Frank Marshall Davis’ favorite organizations. Among other groups listed in Bowman’s file that were likewise favorites of Davis were the International Labor Defense and the awful American Committee for Protection of Foreign Born (ACPFB).

A few words on ACPFB: This group had been so extreme that the Democratic Congress’s huge “Investigation of Un-American Propaganda Activities in the United States” (published in 1944) devoted a lengthy 15-page section just to ACPFB, atop innumerable added references elsewhere in the report. Key members included prominent African-American communists Langston Hughes and Paul Robeson, the gushing admirer of Joe Stalin, plus the usual assemblage of duped liberals/progressives, ranging from theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, to the great Orson Welles, to famed movie actor Edward G. Robinson.

As the Congressional report noted, ACPFB “was founded by the Communist Party in order to exploit racial divisions in the United States for its own revolutionary purposes.” Its modus operandi was to polarize Americans along racial lines in order to advance the Soviet agenda. Closely linked to International Labor Defense, the primary (concealed) intention of ACPFB was to protect foreign communists who came to America and agitated for the Soviet Comintern. The core objective was to prevent deportation of these foreign-born communists living in America. One such figure was German communist Gerhart Eisler, who became a major CPUSA cause, and whose name was omnipresent throughout Frank Marshall Davis’s Chicago Star.

Few communist fronts so directly served Soviet interests. Quite deservedly, ACPFB was designated as a subversive group by the office of President Truman’s attorney general, Tom Clark.

It is no surprise that ACPFB remained the one group that Frank Marshall Davis embraced through his final stages of life. They were two peas in a pod. No other front so perfectly identified with Davis’s interests and public work, especially his shameless race-based political agitation on behalf of Moscow.

And so, James Bowman, according to his FBI file, likewise was involved with this group in some capacity, the details of which are not clear.

More specifically, Bowman’s file also refers to his involvement with the Abraham Lincoln School in Chicago, where Frank Marshall Davis not only taught at the time but also met his future wife, Helen, who was also a Party member. And most alarming, Bowman’s file states that he was in communication with a paid Soviet agent named Alfred Stern, identified as “one of the principal subjects in the MOCASE,” which was a Soviet espionage ring in the late 1950s run by Jack and Myra Soble. After being pursued for espionage in the United States, Stern in 1957 fled to the USSR and later settled in Prague, finding safe haven behind the Iron Curtain. He would serve as an adviser to Fidel Castro while living in Cuba for a time. He died in Prague in June 1986.

Finally, James Bowman appears to have been under special surveillance by the federal government because of his negative involvement with the European Recovery Program—i.e., the Marshall Plan. Most of the documents in his file list precisely the ERP as the subject of interest. A number of the documents are printed not only on letterhead from FBI headquarters, but apparently come directly from J. Edgar Hoover himself, including, for instance, a February 28, 1955 Hoover-signed memo and a March 2, 1955 “AIRTEL” cable from Hoover that is copied to a list of over a dozen of the highest-level bureau officials, including Clyde Tolson. Though I cannot be certain, they seem to suggest Hoover’s possible personal knowledge of Bowman.

This ERP/Marshall Plan association is very intriguing, and troubling. One of the most insidious forms of Communist Party agitation in the 1940s and 1950s was to frame the Marshall Plan as a form of vile American imperialism. It was the Kremlin line, pushed by Stalin and Molotov and mimicked by Communist Party USA. One of the worst peddlers of this line was Frank Marshall Davis, who characterized the Marshall Plan in his columns as a “device” to maintain “white imperialism.” The plan, by Davis’s rendering, was a disgusting “oppression of non-white peoples everywhere,” a slavery purchased by Secretary of State Marshall’s “billions of U.S. dollars… to bolster the tottering empires of England, France, Belgium, Holland and the other western exploiters of teeming millions of humans.”

Again, this was insidious, a crass communist smear of a historic act of American generosity, but it was what American communists like Davis, being loyal Soviet patriots, were pushing. Was James Bowman doing the same thing? I cannot tell from what Judicial Watch has released in his FBI file, but I can say that Bowman’s work for or position on the Marshall Plan was the item of special concern to the FBI.

In sum, Valerie Jarrett’s father had quite a political history, one that raises numerous questions.

Alas, one of Bowman’s comrades in his FBI file described him as a “healthy liberal.” Yeah, right. Just like Valerie and Barack are a couple of moderates.

Second, Vernon Jarrett. Likewise portrayed by the left as a mere liberal/progressive, Vernon Jarrett was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, June 19, 1918. He, too, ended up in Chicago in the tumultuous 1940s.

Valerie’s later father-in-law is aptly described by Judicial Watch as having been a “big-time Chicago Communist.” How big? Vernon Jarrett, like Frank Marshall Davis, was actually placed on the federal government’s Security Index. This meant that he could have been immediately detained or arrested in the event of a national emergency, such as a war breaking out between the United States and USSR—out of fear he would fight for the wrong side. That is no small accomplishment. It took some pretty prodigious anti-American activity to end up on that list.

According to the FBI file, Vernon Jarrett was a member of the Communist Party from at least 1946 through 1948. His file is so filled with communist groups and activities that it makes your head hurt. One 20-page FBI report, dated November 20, 1950, contains (on page 15) a claim from one informant “of known reliability” that Jarrett was even part of a “1946 Fund Drive” for the Communist Party.

If that claim is accurate, then Valerie’s father-in-law was not only a member of the Communist Party but helped raise funds for it.

Vernon Jarrett wrote for the Chicago Defender, a left-wing newspaper, and was even fired from the Defender in 1948 because of his blatant communist activities. Frank Marshall Davis also wrote for the Defender at this time, one of many places where he interacted with Valerie Jarrett’s later father-in-law. Other such places were American Youth for Democracy, the International Workers Order, the Progressive Citizens of America (which was an excellent magnet for communists to dupe naïve Hollywood liberals), the Progressive Party, the Civil Rights Congress, and ACPFB. In most to all such cases, Jarrett would have worked with Frank Marshall Davis and also with James Bowman, Valerie’s father. They were all in the same organizations in the same city at the same time, all portraying themselves as merry “progressives” when, in truth, they were hardcore communists. One more group where Jarrett worked with at least Davis (I’ve seen no evidence of Bowman in this group, at least not yet) was the communist-controlled United Packinghouse Workers Union, where the two worked on the publicity committee together.

When I read old copies of the Chicago Star a few years back for my book on Frank Marshall Davis, I do not recall coming across the name of Vernon Jarrett, who the FBI file describes as a frequent “free lance writer for Negro publications,” especially in Chicago’s left-wing ones. I would bet my house, however, that Jarrett wrote for Davis’s newspaper under an alias, which was common for communists. (To cite just one instance, the famed author Arthur Miller, a communist, wrote for communist publications under at least two pseudonyms.)

Tellingly, one of Jarrett’s close political pals, Metz Lochard, was among the investors in the so-called “Progressive Publishing Company” that in September 1948 bought the Chicago Star from Frank Marshall Davis, clearing the way for Davis to immediately move to Honolulu, where he would continue his Party work there and eventually embrace a young man named Barack Hussein Obama.

It was glorious Chicago, where the American Communist Party was born in September 1919, that was the political fairyland that made these arrangements possible.

Bringing this back to Valerie Jarrett and her immediate kin, there were so many connections between her later father-in-law, Vernon Jarrett, and her father, James Bowman, that I’m prompted to wonder if the two comrades introduced their son and daughter, respectively. Was Valerie’s marriage to William Robert Jarrett, Vernon Jarrett’s son, a Party marriage of some sort? I concede my ignorance of how Valerie and her husband met (they divorced after only a few years), but I can say that their parents surely knew one another in Chicago’s Communist Party extended family.

In fact, the circle of commie match-makers was wider still: Vernon’s wife, Fern Jarrett, according to informants quoted in the FBI file, was also a Communist Party member.

Finally, Robert Rochon Taylor. The maternal grandfather of Valerie Jarrett was the first African-American head of the Chicago Housing Authority. His wife, Dorothy, born in Berkeley, California, was active in Planned Parenthood, the organization founded by racial-eugenicist Margaret Sanger, who, as I’ve written about here before, spoke to the KKK in 1926 and had hideous racial views and programs.

In my past research, it was not clear to me if Robert Taylor was a communist or a liberal/progressive duped and exploited by communists. I did not have enough information. The information secured by Judicial Watch, however, shows Taylor to be another serious communist.

A March 18, 1955 AIRTEL cable, included among the declassified FBI documents, connects Robert Rochon Taylor (as well as James Bowman, his son-in-law) to Alfred Stern, the Soviet agent accused of espionage who fled to the Communist Bloc. The cable states that Taylor “had been in contact with Stern on a number of occasions.” Another document, an FBI memo dated April 22, 1955, states that Taylor “had numerous contacts with Alfred K. Stern.” More than that, a March 31, 1955 AIRTEL cable describes Taylor as a “former business partner of Alfred K. Stern.”

The files also reveal Taylor’s connections to the likes of William Patterson, the prominent African-American communist—who was a mentor to Frank Marshall Davis, Obama’s mentor—and to the Abraham Lincoln School.

I had already suspected Taylor’s link to Patterson, before reading the Judicial Watch material. A few years ago I found the name “Robert R. Taylor” of Chicago in Congress’s 1944 report “Investigation of Un-American Propaganda Activities in the United States.” On pages 609 and 2,100 of the voluminous report, Taylor was flagged for his participation in the “Arrangements Committee” that organized the July 1939 Chicago Conference on Race Relations. Congress investigated this conference because of the presence of nationally known communist figures, including William Patterson, who was also on the Arrangements Committee.

Taylor’s FBI file confirms and amplifies such relationships. It lists him as no less than a member of the advisory board of the Chicago Civil Liberties Committee, a front-group which Frank Marshall Davis frequently worked for, and, interestingly, as a “member of the Sponsoring Committee for a reception of Howard Fast” that was held in Chicago in November 1944. The Fast item is a definite red flag—figurative and literal. Howard Fast was the illustrious Stalin Prize winning “journalist” who was the most common op-ed contributor to Frank Marshall Davis’s Chicago Star.

Overall, the Judicial Watch collection has less on Taylor than it does on James Bowman and Vernon Jarrett, but what it does contain is eye-opening.

So, to sum up, what should we make of all of this? Historically, it is quite valuable. But how politically relevant is it today?

I’ll conclude with my usual caveat essential for liberal readers and their flare for knee-jerk reactions: No, none of this—obviously—means that Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett are closet card-carrying members of the Communist Party, even as their political ancestors literally were.

Yet, we can say this: These two political soulmates are farther to the left than any ideological couple ever to run the White House, making Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt look like right-wingers by comparison. Why is that? Do we care to ask, to try to ascertain? The answer isn’t rocket science.

If you want to understand how Barack and Valerie got so far to the left, or, better, started so far to the left, then you need to look—as any historian would—to their biographical-political ancestry, and especially to some common roots in Chicago, original home of the American Communist Party and the political home of men like Frank Marshall Davis, James Bowman, Vernon Jarrett, and Robert Rochon Taylor. To ignore these radical backgrounds in the intellectual development of Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett would be downright stupid, and would constitute the kind of willful blindness that liberals eagerly impose upon themselves when they dare not want to expose the nasty skeletons in the “progressive” closet.

In short, if you want to understand just how and why our political first couple’s politics are so skewed left, and where Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett fully came from, you need to stop and gaze at this ideological car-wreck along their road to the White House. Their work at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is the consummation of lifetimes of political-ideological experience. The influence of these figures in their early lives can indeed be overstated, but they should not be understated. It would be ludicrous to ignore these disturbing backgrounds as if they were completely inconsequential.

All of this matters. Liberals, in their hearts, know that it does. If, say, a George W. Bush and Karl Rove had had political ancestors with this kind of baggage tilted to the extreme right, every liberal in America would know about it and would have used it to torpedo Bush’s election to the White House.

And yet, the saddest thing of all is that the vast majority of Americans generally, let alone liberals, could not give a damn about this. Their eyes are willfully covered as they pull the lever. And as they remain blind, the fundamental transformation of America continues.

This article originally appeared at The American Spectator

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Larry Flynt’s Endorsement Of Hillary Clinton: No Laughing Matter

“I’m endorsing Hillary Clinton for president.”

So declared Larry Flynt, founder of the Hustler magazine empire that has made millions photographing nude women. Flynt proffered his enthusiastic endorsement in an interview with Bloomberg.

Flynt’s endorsement of Mrs. Clinton, a feminist icon, is ripe for ridicule and taking shots at the Clintons, of whom Flynt has long been a big supporter. It would be easy to simply mock it. That, however, would be a mistake. Behind Flynt’s endorsement of Mrs. Clinton are some serious issues and concerns.

Among them, Bloomberg noted Flynt’s “animating impulse”: the future of the Supreme Court. “If Hillary gets in,” explains the Hustler publisher, “chances are she’s going to have an opportunity to appoint two, maybe three justices … and we could shift the balance there.”

No question about that. The structure of the high court relates to how Flynt is permitted to do “business.” But even then, there’s more to the story.

I was forced to dig into the tawdry Flynt-Clinton relationship in my 2007 book on Mrs. Clinton, “God and Hillary Clinton.” In that book, I detailed a scarcely acknowledged fact concerning the Clinton years—namely, that Bill’s presence in the Oval Office was a boon for the porn industry.

This was captured in an excellent 2002 PBS documentary called “American Porn,” done by Frontline. It quoted Mark Cromer, producer of the X-rated Hustler Video: “When [Bill] Clinton comes in,” said Cromer of Clinton’s arrival at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, “it’s definitely blue skies and green lights and fat bank accounts.”

The green light was directly traceable to the Clinton administration. In the 1980s, the porn industry was on the defensive, targeted by the Reagan administration, notably the vigilant efforts of Attorney General Ed Meese. Then, in the early 1990s, federal porn prosecutions suddenly halted with the arrival of the Clinton administration and its “different priorities” under President Clinton’s Justice Department. “Under Attorney General Reno,” noted Frontline, “federal prosecutions slowed dramatically, and the obscenity task force effectively went out of business.”

The Hustler “empire” was so ecstatic with Bill Clinton that Larry Flynt went to bat for him during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, investigating the sexual lives of the president’s opponents. So busy was Flynt that Washington Post columnist Michael Kelly christened him “the president’s pornographer.”

Flynt is the first to gratefully admit that the porn industry enjoyed a resurrection under Bill Clinton, until things soured again for a time under George W. Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft. Flynt, not coincidentally, despises Bush.

That’s another subject. As for Hillary Clinton, however, Flynt is again excited. And his excitement relates to a crucial factor: abortion. It’s the elephant in Flynt’s living room, and strikes at why this Flynt-Clinton thing has serious larger political-cultural implications.

Larry Flynt and his industry need abortion badly. And there’s no one more extreme in supporting legalized abortion than Hillary Clinton. In my book on Mrs. Clinton, I laid out her striking stridency, going all the way back to her Arkansas gynecologist and friend, William F. Harrison, the state’s leading abortionist, who snuffed out the lives of literally tens of thousands of unborn babies. I interviewed Harrison for the book. He adored Hillary and her zealousness for “abortion rights.”

Hillary is now well beyond being zealous. Her statements in recent years, especially her horrific remarks on the Hobby Lobby case, reveal her as fanatical on abortion.

Of course, that’s what Larry Flynt and the porn industry need in the White House. When one of his female “performers” accidentally gets pregnant, Flynt wants her to head to a Planned Parenthood clinic. Many of his male consumers likewise want abortion legal, to free them of certain moral responsibilities. They’re depending on Mrs. Clinton to keep that spigot flowing.

Never mind, of course, that this blatant sexual objectification and exploitation of women for purely selfish male-centered reasons ought to infuriate feminists like Mrs. Clinton. For radical feminists, however, Flynt is tolerated because he supports their high priority: legalized abortion. Indeed, feminists forgave so much of Bill Clinton’s sexual conduct for the same reason. This was unforgettably and crudely expressed in 1998 by journalist Nina Burleigh, who covered the White House for Time. I will not quote her graphic comment; but, in short, she fully defended Bill Clinton’s sexual ruination of very young women (interns, no less) “just to thank him for keeping abortion legal.”

Obscene? Yes. But that’s Larry Flynt’s racket. He is banking on a President Hillary Clinton being good for him and his industry. And that’s no laughing matter.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth