John Drew: Remembering young Marxist Obama Face-to-Face with Young Marxist Obama: Remembering My Days as an Anti-Apartheid Student Activist by John Drew Flipping through some old photos, I found this picture of me graduating from Occidental College on June 9, 1979. Im wearing a red arm band. My parents were probably angry at me for doing this because it spoiled the graduation photo. Nevertheless, this photo has now come in handy as significant evidence that I was doing my part to protest Occidental Colleges investments in South Africa. Moreover, it is part of the trail of documents that allows me to make the case that I was, indeed, a radical student who founded the anti-apartheid group which young President Obama spoke for a year and a half later on the Occidental College campus. My most vivid memory of my time visiting with Obama was the way he strongly argued a rather simple-minded version of Marxist theory. I remember he was passionate about his point of view. As I remember, he was articulating the same Marxist theory taught by various professors at Occidental College. Based on my more detailed studies at Cornell, I remember I made a strong argument that his Marxist ideas were not in line with contemporary reality particularly the practical experience of Western Europe. I went on to become an assistant professor of political science at Williams College in MA, and won the William Anderson Award from the American Political Science Association for my doctoral dissertation.