Davis’ interactions with Obama have been well documented. Kengor summarizes several biographies, articles, and Obama’s own memoir that show Davis’ significance in Obama’s life.
For example, Davis biographer¬†Dr. Kathryn Takara praised Davis’ “dedication to social justice” and wrote that “Frank handed on to Obama ‘a sense of believing that change can happen.’”
But according to Kengor, that “progressive” and “social justice” orientation was a front for the communist ends toward which he was working. Davis’ consistent claim was that his work for civil rights and racial tolerance got him labeled as a communist.
“This was Frank’s explanation for why the federal government took interest in his activities: because he was interested in fighting racism, and not for anything related to his communist activities,” Kengor writes.¬†Davis often argued that “anticommunism was a veiled form of racism.”
Davis himself wrote that he had “no intention of letting the cry of ‘communism’ sidetrack me from my goal of complete civil rights as guaranteed by the Constitution,” even as he promoted goals that differed greatly from the Constitution’s design and purpose.
Communists used the language of progessivism to “dupe” unsuspecting democrats, Kengor explains. Their explicit goal was to infiltrate and influence the Democratic Party. When the Hawaiian Communist Party officially “disbanded” in the early 1950s, Davis and others went underground.
“[T]he comrades would continue to masquerade as ‘progressives,’ except this time from within the Democratic Party,” Kengor writes.
Davis apparently succeeded. Kengor found that “Frank Marshall Davis was elected ‘assistant secretary and delegate’ to the Territorial Democratic Convention” on April 30, 1950.
“And,” Kengor adds, “it would be as a ‘Democrat’ that Frank would one day influence a future Democratic Party president.”
Davis’ beliefs, he argues in¬†“The Communist,”¬†often led the Obama mentor to advocate for Russia and against the United States.
Despite the USSR’s abuses of human rights and its eventual economic failure, Davis explicitly praised its leaders for both¬†abolishing racism and creating a free economic system.
“I salute the Soviet Union,” he wrote, “for in less than a generation abolishing a discrimination and racism as crippling as anything that ever happened in Mississippi.”
“I admire Russia for wiping out an economic system which permitted a handful of rich to exploit and beat gold from the millions of plain people who had to live a hand-to-mouth existence.”
“As one who believes in freedom and democracy for all, I honor the Red nation,” Davis gushed.