In 1970 Angela Davis was on the FBI's most wanted list, more than three decades later she remains a vocal witness to the struggle for civil rights. This week on Utah Now, Davis will join us to discuss the legacy and the current condition of social justice in America.
In response to the previous post:
Angela Davis was indeed detained and tried for the conspiracy charges outlined above. But you fail to mention that she was eventually exonerated of all charges. It is said in some circles that the evidence against her was actually fabricated by the government; capitalizing on the manufactured fear of Communism she spoke about in this broadcast, they were able to cast her image as villain permanently to the American public (as you've pointedly demonstrated). Fortunately, by that time the legal system had largely outgrown McCarthyism, and lacking substantial evidence against her, the court acquitted her.
In honest answer to your question, no I do not remember these events because I was not yet alive. I've only read about them. I was born too late in the century to have any real investment in Communist Fear indoctrination. But perhaps it is this varied perspective that leads me to believe that fear of an ideology itself, one that is not inherently violent but merely economically and socially subversive, is a little strange. It seems to be covertly tied to something she talked about here: the confused equating of democracy and capitalism. If democracy is necessarily capitalistic, then Communism is certainly diametrically opposed. And new, innovative, and subversive ideas are always dangerous. But the danger is in the revolution, the potential for change; it does not necessarily extend directly to individuals who promote the idea. To say "The Communists killed these people," and "The Communists continue to oppress those," fails to adequately ascribe responsibility where it belongs. Particular regimes commit crimes against humanity, and they do it under many titles and banners, of which "Communism" and "democracy" are only some of the most recent. It doesn't mean that anyone who promotes the same (purported) ideology necessarily condones all acts done under its name. Perhaps many people have been abused and killed under the guise of Communism, but self-proclaimed Communist Angela Davis has killed no one.
It's actually an interesting contradiction to align her that way, because the perspective of Communism she pursues is the extension of human rights to all oppressed people in all places, under whatever kind of regime. That is primarily what she spoke about in this interview.
I think it was a great interview and I applaud KUED for bringing her on (and also applaud Doug Fabrizio for being such a great interviewer, as always). Angela Davis is a fascinating person with vast influence on progressive thought, and I was really disappointed I didn’t get to see her at the U, so thanks for streaming this online.
Posted by Jennifer Stauffer, Friday January 12th, 2007 @ 10:22 pm
Dear KUED Management:
Tonight, after a long day's work, I sad in front of the TV with a snack to enjoy something relaxing, maybe uplifting if possible. I tuned into the KUED show Utah Now with host Doug Fabrizio just introducing the planned show. To my shock, he talked about his guest, Angela Davis. Yes, the same Angela Davis I remember from the 1960s and 1970s who was a member of the radical, subversive Black Panther movement.
The two sat talking with Doug pretending he was merely talking with a school teacher or an elected official, but the woman before him, now a Phd is an admitted Communist subversive, even a terrorist. They calmly and naturally discussed her ties to the Communist party as I nearly gagged. She talked about "fear" and acted as though there is no reason for anyone to fear the international communist dynamic.
Do any of you remember the March 1970 period when Miss Angela Davis became involved with the Soledad brothers, three unrelated inmates at the California State Correctional Institution at Solewdad, California? I remember.
the three inmates-- George L. Jackson, John Cluchette, and Fleeta Drumgo-- were indicted for murdering a guard at the prison. Angela Davis became the Soledat borthers' most active champion.
Next, while a trial was underway, on August 7, 1970, in the courtroom of Judge Harold J. Haley, suddenly Johnathan Jackson endtered the San Rafael courtroom of Judge Haley with four guns. He held the courtroom at gun point. He freed James McClain, a San Quentin convict on trail for assulting a guard, and Ruchell Magee, another convict waiting to testify. Jackson gave McClain and Magee guns. Magee freed another convict, William Christmas. Then, Jackson and the three armed convicts seized Judge haley, Assistant District Attorney Gary Thomas, and three women jurors as hostages. The kidnappers wired a shotgun around the neck of Judge Haley. they fled with their hostages. A gun battle ensued with police. Judge Haley was killed by a blast fromt he shotgun around his neck. The police killed Jackson, Chrismas, and McClain. A woman juror was wounded, as was Attorney Thomas and Kidnapper Magee. A week later, District Attorney Bruce Bales charged that of the four guns brought into the courtroom by Jackson, three were purchased by Angela Davis in Los Angeles in 1968, the fourth gun was purchased by Angela Davis in San Francisco two dayas before the shoot-out.
Miss Davis fled by plane from San Francisco to Los Angeles. She was put on the FBI's ten-most-wanted list. She was finaly arrested in October 1970 by the FBI in New York. She was with David R. Poindexter of Chicago, a man affiliated with the Communist party.
Miss Angela Davis was charged with unlawful interstate flight to awoid prosecution for murder and kidnapping. She was a conspirator in a terrible crime. The commuist party went into action to protect her. They called her a "political prisoner."
On November 21, 1970, Gus Hall, the head of the COmmunist Party in the United States, said: "the defense of Comrade Angela Davis is the most urgent task and is of key importance.....we have never had such a response from the world communist movement, overnight her defense has become a wolrd movement of great significance."
She took on the airs of a communist martyr. Eventually she went on trial for kidnapping, murder, and conspiracy. But your station brings her on as an honored guest. It was sickening. I'm not inclined to donate to KUED when you're promoting the ideas that there's nothing to fear from the Communist dynamic. 100,000,000 people have been murdered by the Communists in the 20th century alone (see The Black Book of Communism, Harvard University Press, 1999 edition, page 4). These were not deaths in war, but unspeakable torture deaths, government-caused famines, mass executions executions, gassings, etc. The Nazi haulocaust is minor in comparison to the crimes of Communism. The six professors who wrote about this tragic mass crime wave of Communism stated that Comunist regimes are "criminal enterpirsse in their very essence..."
The hidden gulags of Red China, the laogai, still execute 50,000 humans a year. Members of the peaceful Fulung Gong are still tortured and murdered by the Communist state of China to this day. www.faluninfo.net
Castro's prison Island, Cuba, is still a place devoid of freedom, the very island where Angela Davis went to be part of a communist brotherhood. She was part of the Venceremos Brigade in the spring of 1970. But you bring her on TV as an honored guest. You should be ashamed. Would you treat Hitler or Mao as honored guests?
Bliss W. Tew
Posted by Bliss Tew, Friday January 12th, 2007 @ 11:20 pm
Angela Davis was superb! Live at the U, but in your interview also. To me was an epiphany to see and hear her speak. She gave such a simple answer to a huge problem that too many times falls among the partisanship and ideological lines:” I can’t say I triumphed, when my community didn’t”.
For any person who wants to change things for better in the world, we need to revise our perception about people’s fascination with the “messiahic” role we give to certain leaders. No achievements are accomplished without every single' s person work and commitment!
Thank you for the great interview, and also thank you for giving us the half an hour, which was missing since Bill Moyer left NOW.
Activist & member of the Salt Lake City’s Human Rights Commission
Posted by Francisca Blanc, Friday January 12th, 2007 @ 11:25 pm
IP Address: 184.108.40.206
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
I really liked your program on 1/12/07 with Dr. Davis....very open and informative...Thanks
Posted by Jan , Saturday January 13th, 2007 @ 1:23 pm
Kudos on having Angela Davis on your episode focusing on Civil Rights and the upcoming MLK,Jr., holiday. She is a living legend, a tribute and testament to life-long social justice work, and lived the divide between MLK & Malcolm X. Much to your credit you got her to discuss that split in a few very interesting and insightful ways. When a grad student at the U of Oregon Convocation (fall '85) she spoke about the developing global anti-Apartheid movement, as she spoke 20+ yrs. later on your show of keeping the focus on the work of mass movements. For that is where democracy lies, esp. now in the 21st century. History is clear on this: the only way to get the state to expand human and civil rights is to protest in the streets. Unfortunately, all states know this well, fear it, but have all the major weapons at their disposal to maintain order as they see fit.
thanx for what you do,
Josh Gold, Ph.D.
Salt Lake Community College
Dept. of Political Science
Posted by Josh Gold , Saturday January 13th, 2007 @ 2:21 pm
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