From: Trevor Loudon at http://www.newzeal.blogspot.com
**Reprinted with Trevor’s permission**
Why Was Obama’s “Brain” Valerie Jarrett So Happy to Hire Communist Van Jones? Was it Fate?
Or Is She Obama’s “Handler”?
Obama File 83 here
Why was President Barack Obama’s friend and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett so happy to recruit Bay Area communist Van Jones to the White House?
Van Jones’ radicalism was well known on the US left. His links to STORM and Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism were no secret.
Why would Valerie Jarrett be happy about a socialist advising her friend and president?
It is now well established that Barack Obama was linked to the Hawaiian Communist Party network through his boyhood/teenage mentor Frank Marshall Davis.
It is also well known that after moving to Chicago, Obama linked up with the local communist networks.
Manning Marable, a leader of the 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…”
It seems that Valerie Jarrett is simply following a family tradition-one of promoting up and coming radical politicians.
In the late 1940s Valerie Jarrett’s future father in law, Vernon Jarrett was a rising activist and journalist on the South Side of Chicago.
Vernon Jarrett worked in the South Side Community Art Center and on the black run Chicago Defender newspaper.
The Communist Party had several cadre in both organizations, including a covert member, the black poet and journalist Frank Marshall Davis.
Jarrett and Davis also had a third organisation in common-Communist Party dominated Citizen’s Committee to Aid Packing House Workers-which in 1948 was “organized to support the united packing-House workers of America C.I.O. now on strike“
The letter above is dated April 12, 1948. Note that CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) was at the time a communist controlled labor federation.
To the left is a partial list of Citizen’s Committee to Aid Packing House Workers officials.
Note the names Oscar C. Brown (Treasurer) and Louise T. Patterson (Assistant Treasurer), F.M. Davis and Vernon Jarrett.
To confirm the connection, below is a close-up of the organization’s publicity committee. Note that it is chaired by Vernon Jarrett and includes Frank Marshall Davis.
That the Citizen’s Committee was communist influenced is beyond doubt.
Louise T Patterson was the wife of Illinois Communist Party vice-chairman William Patterson and a prominent Party member in her own right.
Further down the page was list of the organization’s “Food and groceries committee”. Named among them was Ishmael Flory, a leader of the Illinois Communist Party from the late 1930s until his death in 2004.
Oscar C Brown-later a famous jazz musician under the name Oscar Brown Jnr, was also at the time a Communist Party member. He joined in 1946 and was expelled around 1954.
In 1948 Vernon Jarrett left his job as journalist at the Chicago Defender to start a black oriented radio show “Negro Newsfront” with Oscar Brown.
Late the same year Frank Marshall Davis moved to Hawaii where he was active in the underground Communist Party. At one point, like many of his comrades Davis became a Democratic Party official.
Later in 1970, Frank Marshall Davis met and mentored a fellow future Democrat-Barack Obama.
Vernon Jarrett was clearly on the left and possibly, like his colleague Frank Marshall Davis, a covert member of the Communist Party.
Vernon Jarrett went on to become the Chicago Tribune’s first black syndicated columnist and was a founder of the National Association of Black Journalists.
According to a Washington Post obituary May 25th 2004.
Mr. Jarrett continually shone a light on African American history and pertinent issues in Chicago and throughout the country. He 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 decision to run for the Chicago mayoralty and remained a key supporter through 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 Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).
DSA member and socialist historian Paul Buhle, wrote in a 1992 article for the Encyclopedia of the American Left;
Communists also gained from long-standing political contacts in the black community. Victories of black mayoral and congressional candidates with decades — old ties to the CP — a short list would include Coleman Young and George Crocket in Detroit, Gus Newport in Berkeley, and somewhat more ambiguously, Harold Washington in Chicago
Washington was actively involved in Communist Party fronts, including the US Peace Council and the Chicago Committee on Southern Africa, right up to winning the mayoralty-with Party support. After victory he stacked his administration full of communists, socialists and sympathisers to create one of the most far left administrations in US history-cut short only by his pre-mature death in 1987.
According to quote from remarks by Illinois Communist Party organiser John Bachtell to a “Special District Meeting on African American Equality and Building the Communist Party and Young Communist League, Chicago”, IL September 30, 2007.
The legacy of Harold Washington’s election and his administration is in the collective consciousness not only of the African American community, but the entire city. Many of his democratizing achievements endure 20 years later.
The historic election of Washington was the culmination of many years of struggle. It reflected a high degree of unity of the African American community and the alliance with a section of labor, the Latino community and progressive minded whites. This legacy of political independence also endures…
This was also reflected in the historic election of Barack Obama. Our Party actively supported Obama during the primary election. Once again Obama’s campaign reflected the electoral voting unity of the African American community, but also the alliances built with several key trade unions, and forces in the Latino and white communities. .
It also reflected a breakthrough among white voters. In the primary, Obama won 35% of the white vote and 7 north side wards, in a crowded field. During the general election he won every ward in the city and all the collar counties. This appeal has continued in his presidential run
Barack Obama has stated that Harold Washington’s victory in 1983 was the spur that made him leave New York for a $13,000 a year job “community organizing” in South Chicago.
Vernon Jarrett was also a fan of Barack Obama. He watched his career from its early stages and became an ardent supporter.
In 1992 Obama worked for the ACORN offshoot, Project Vote to register black voters in aid of the Senate Campaign of Carol Moseley Braun. Unsurprisingly Moseley Braun also had strong Communist Party ties and was Harold Washington’s legislative floor leader.
Obama helped Moseley Braun win her Senate seat, then took it over himself in 2004-backed of course by the same communist/socialist alliance that had elected his political predecessors Harold Washington and Carol Moseley Braun.
Commenting on the 1992 race, Vernon Jarrett wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times of August 11th 1992;
Good news! Good news! Project Vote, a collectivity of 10 church-based community organizations dedicated to black voter registration, is off and running. Project Vote is increasing its rolls at a 7,000-per-week clip…If Project Vote is to reach its goal of registering 150,000 out of an estimated 400,000 unregistered blacks statewide, “it must average 10,000 rather than 7,000 every week,” says Barack Obama, the program’s executive director...
Dee Myles is a Chicago activist and chair of the Education Commission of the Communist Party USA. In 2004, after Vernon Jarret’s death from cancer she penned this tribute for the People’s Weekly World of June 5th.
Readers like me can be extremely selective of the journalists we read habitually… We are selective about the journalists to whom we become insatiably addicted, and once hooked we develop a constructive love affair without the romance… .
Such was my experience with Vernon Jarrett, an African American journalist in Chicago who died at the age of 86 on May 23. I became a Vernon Jarrett addict, and I am proud of it!
Vernon Jarrett’s career as a journalist in Chicago began and ended at the Chicago Defender, the African American daily paper. In between, he was the first Black journalist at the Chicago Tribune, and I first began to read his articles during his tenure at the Chicago Sun-Times
Jarrett’s claim to fame is that he was a partisan of the cause of African Americans in the broad democratic tradition of Paul Robeson and W.E.B. DuBois..
Robeson and DuBois were both Communist Party members. On April 9th, 1998 at Chicago’s South Shore Cultural Center, Jarrett hosted a Paul Robeson Citywide Centennial Celebration event, with his old comrade and Party sympathiser Margaret Burroughs and former Communist Party members Studs Terkel and his old friend Oscar C.Brown.
Paul Robeson incidentally, encouraged Frank Marshall Davis to move to Hawaii.
Dee Myles continues;
Jarrett was fanatical about African Americans registering and voting in mass for socially conscious candidates. He championed Harold Washington like a great warrior, and this March, from his hospital bed, wrote an article appealing to Black Chicago to turn out to vote for Barack Obama in the Illinois primaries. Obama astounded everyone with an incredible landslide victory as the progressive, Black candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for the U.S. Senate seat from Illinois. From his sickbed, Vernon Jarrett issued a clarion call, and the people responded.
The Jarrett/Obama conection did not end with Vernon Jarrett’s death-it moved to a higher level.
A former Deputy Corporation Counsel for Finance and Development under Harold Washington, Valerie Jarrett continued to work in the mayor’s office into the 1990s.
In 1991, while Deputy Chief of Staff for Mayor Richard Daley, Valerie Jarrett hired Michelle Robinson, then engaged to Barack Obama.
Later Valerie Jarrett ran the finances for Obama’s 2004 Senate bid and served as treasurer of Obama’s HOPEFUND.
Jarrett became one of the Obamas’ closest friends and advisers-sometimes even described as the “other side of Barack’s brain”..
Valerie Bowman’s marriage to Vernon Jarrett’s late son only lasted five years but the Bowman and Jarrett families had been life long friends.
Valerie Jarrett’s mother, early childhood education authory Barbara Taylor Bowman also has some interesting connections.
For several years she has run the Chicago based Erikson Institute. An ealy Erikson board member was Chicago businessman and “liberal” activist Tom Ayers-father of Weather Underground terrorist leader and long time Obama colleague Bill Ayers.
Bernardine Dohrn, wife of Bill and reputedly the real leader of Weather Underground has also served on the Erikson board in recent years.
According to World Net Daily’s Brad O’Leary;
Tom Ayers served as a trustee of the Erikson Institute. The Institute distributed $46,025 in Northern Trust scholarships. At the time, the Erickson Institute Board of Trustees also included Ayers’ convicted felon daughter-in-law, Bernadine Dohrn Ayers. In addition, the Institute’s co-founder, Barbara Bowman, is the mother of close Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett.
In an obvious reference to Barbara Taylor Bowman, Bill Ayers wrote on page 82 of his book, “A Kind and Just Parent”, describing his Hyde Park neighborhood:
“Just south I see the Robert Taylor Homes named for the first head of the Chicago Housing Authority, whose daughter, a neighbor and friend is president of the Erikson Institute.”
Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn have both been leaders of the radical Movement for a Democratic Society-alongside Van Jones associates Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Betita Martinez.
Barbara Bowman was interviewed for Timuel Black’s “Bridges of Memory: Chicago’s First Wave of Black Migration-an Oral History”. Timuel Black, serves on the advisory board of Committees for Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism alongside Manning Marable and Van Jones’ mentor and friend Betita Martinez.
Timuel Black is also a long time friend of Barack Obama.
The Erikson Institute is named after pioneering child educationalist Erik Erikson, an errant disciple of Sigmund Freud and coiner of the phrase “identity crisis”.
In 1950 Erikson became a cause celebre on the left after leaving the University of California rather than sign an anti-communist loyalty oath.
Interestingly Larry Friedman, activist and author of the 1999 book “Identity’s Architect: A Biography of Erik H. Erikson” also had ties to communism and California.
Both my parents were very active in the Communist Party…So that’s very much where I picked up the activism.”
In the late 1940s, Larry’s family moved from Ohio to California, ostensibly for health reasons as Larry “was always getting sick. The real reason, as Dorothy Healy later explained to me, is the Party reassigned my father to California to organize.”
Larry friedman states that he been in contact with Erikson since the 1960s. Did the introduction come through his Communist parents?
Coincidentally Dorothy Healey, once the top communist in Southern California, later attended the 1992 founding conference of the Committees of Correspondence in Berkeley-alongside later Van Jones associates Betita Martinez, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Max Elbaum, Arnoldo Garcia and Bob Wing.
Barbara Bowman greets Barack Obama
In March this year the Communist Party’s People’s Weekly World reprinted an IPS article on the prospects for children under Obama.
Some are hopeful that the new administration of President Barack Obama, who appears focused on children’s welfare and education, will reverse this decline.
“It is important to remember that for the first time in a long time we have a person who gets it,” said Barbara Bowman, a consultant to the U.S. Secretary of Education, praising Obama for “(understanding) the importance of early childhood care and education.”
It’s almost as if it was fated that Jones’, Jarrett’s and Obama’s paths would cross.
Obama File 85 here