Black Panther 21 demonstration, New York City 1970
This week's syndicated column:
I tweeted recently about shocking news in the Daily Caller that Attorney General Eric Holder, as a Columbia University student and leader of the Student Afro-American Society (SAS), participated in the armed takeover of a vacant campus ROTC office. The takeover lasted five days in the spring of 1970. The online news site added: “Department of Justice spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler has not responded to questions from the Daily Caller about whether Holder himself was armed – and, if so, with what sort of weapon.”
Holder himself has acknowledged participating in a separate takeover of a college dean’s office until SAS demands were met – for starters, transformation of the ROTC office into the Malcolm X Lounge. The Columbia Daily Spectator of April 23, 1970, published the group’s reasons, including: “Columbia’s general contempt toward the beliefs of black students,” “Columbia’s lack of concern for the welfare of black people,” “the general racist nature of the American society” and “the right of black self-determination.”
SAS also demanded a “Black Institute” to “house a black studies program, an all-black admissions board, all-black faculty members, administration and staff,” the Daily Caller says, quoting African-American studies professor Stefan M. Bradley.
This program of black separatism dovetailed with the revolutionary movements of the time. “You must become a cohesive union,” radical lawyer William Kunstler told an enthusiastic student audience at Columbia on April 8, 1970, “who will achieve by any means necessary the end, or at least the halt, of racism, private property and the domination of one sex over another.”
The SAS got its Malcolm X Lounge, which student Barack Obama would frequent a decade later. The rapid introduction of politically conceived, takeover-forced minority studies departments at Columbia and elsewhere followed, de facto segregating campuses to this day.
That same semester, Holder’s Afro-American student group also had declared its “full support of the Black Panther Party as a vanguard organization for the liberation” of black people, the Columbia paper reported on March 12, 1970. Earlier, New York City police had arrested 21 Black Panther Party members, charging them with plotting to bomb various New York establishments, including a department store and a police station. The SAS, other campus revolutionary groups and leftist professors were quick to sponsor “teach-ins” and raise bail for the “Black Panther 21.”
Suddenly, Holder’s “Black Panther blind spot,” as the Washington Times has called the attorney general’s failures to prosecute black radicals, is no longer such a mystery. Holder sympathized with the Panthers then; he seems to sympathize with them now.
So about that tweet of mine: “Holder’s radical past comes out. Jaw-dropping. Even lawless campus thuggery no bar to becoming AG. (Weather Underground’s Bill) Ayers 4 SecState?” Then, seven delayed-reaction minutes later, it dawned: “Oh, I forgot – we already have an old Panther supporter as SecState!”
Sure enough, back in the spring of 1970, while Eric Holder (Columbia ’73) was occupying buildings and supporting Black Panthers in New York City, Hillary Rodham (Yale Law School ’73) was actively monitoring and supporting the defense of eight Black Panthers accused of murder and torture in New Haven. Quite a nexus of revolutionaries, the Obama Cabinet.
Anyone else from the barricades? Too old for the New Left, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta nonetheless has leftist credentials, including a long-term association with Hugh De Lacy, a Communist Party member and contact of notorious communist agents. As a U.S. representative, Panetta wanted most-favored-nation status for the USSR and the Eastern bloc, and he opposed Ronald Reagan’s anti-Sandinista policy. Not surprisingly, the future CIA-director-turned-Pentagon-chief was also supportive of the Institute for Policy Studies, a pro-Soviet think tank in Washington.
Yes, this is old, old news. But have these top Obama administration leaders at Justice, State and the Pentagon ever disavowed or even explained their affinities for violent revolutionaries and sworn enemies of the Constitution? Have they ever been asked? No.
This epic blackout struck me anew with the release this same week, also by the Daily Caller, of unedited video of a racially demagogic speech then-Sen. Obama gave in 2007. Listening to the man who became president rationalize the L.A. riots was bad enough, but the narrative of racist federal neglect he presented to his black audience was disturbing. It sounded so much like themes his attorney general and secretary of state supported long ago as student radicals – nothing like Obama’s 2008 campaign slogans of “post-racial” and nonpartisan “change.”
At age 51, Barack Obama is certainly too young to have been a 1960s student militant, but he was mentored by a coterie of bona fide revolutionaries, including communist organizer Frank Marshall Davis and Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers. Then, of course, there is Obama’s black separatist minister for 20 years, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who, by the way, gets a generous shout-out in the revisited Obama speech. After Wright’s animus toward the USA became common knowledge – for example, his notorious “God damn America” sermon – Obama famously cut official ties with Wright, but that just seems like window dressing. It all is.
A radical left message lives and beats at the heart of the Obama administration. It makes me wonder: Will these chickens ever come home to roost?
Left, Pro-America protestors, Central Park, NYC 1970; Right, Pro-Panther protestors, New Haven 1970
Columbia protestors, 1970