Beginnings of a Radical

Beginnings of a Radical

Rick Moran

Where do you suppose Barack Obama’s first public speech was given?

1. Chamber of Commerce?

2. Woman’s Club?

3. Jaycees?

4. Toastmasters?

Sorry. None of the above.

According to Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit, Barack Obama gave his first speech before an offshoot of the Students for Democratic Society (SDS) which had morphed into the Weather Underground.


Barack Obama’s first public speech was at an Occidental College event sponsored by the Students for a Democratic-Society a militantly leftist organization. 60’s radical Tom Hayden played a pivotal role both as founder and as principal author of this student group’s basic manifesto, the “Port Huron Statement.” This document condemned the American political system as the cause of international conflict and a variety of social ills — including racism, materialism, militarism, and poverty.

Barack Obama does not include his time at Occidental College on his resume but old friends and former teachers remember his role in protesting college investments in firms doing business in South Africa during the apartheid era.

Tom Hayden wrote this on Barack Obama at the far left Common Dreams website recently:


I didn’t see him coming. When I heard of the young state senator with a background in community organizing who wanted to be president, I was at least sentient enough to be interested. When I read Dreams of My Father, I was taken aback by its depth. This young man apparently gave his first public speech, against South African apartheid, at an Occidental College rally organized by Students for Economic Democracy, the student branch of the Campaign for Economic Democracy [CED] which I chaired in 1979-82. The buds of curiosity quickened. Soon I was receiving emails from David Peck, an organizer of the Occidental rally, who now is coordinating Americans in Spain for Barack Obama.

Ah, yes. The good old days. Hanging around with all the buds from SDS and the Weather Underground before such doings, if discovered, could cost him votes. Then he threw them under the bus.

But back then, Obama was hip to that scene.


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