Former 60s revolutionary activist-turned-college professor Angela Davis is not feeling the cadre of candidates running for president and therefore cannot cast her endorsement behind any of them.
Davis, who once led the FBI on a cross-country chase and briefly joined the Black Panther Party, elaborated on her sentiments in a Monday interview and explained why the two-party system is irrevocably broken.
“I don’t endorse,” Davis told Democracy Now!’s. “I believe in independent politics. I still think that we need a new party, a party that is grounded in labor, a party that can speak to all of the issues around racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, what is happening in the world. We don’t yet have that party.”
Davis, who was a leader of the Communist Party USA when she was hounded and eventually apprehended by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI after her colleagues took over a California courtroom where four people were killed, is impressed by the modern movement that is forcing the candidates to speak on their issues.
“I think it’s really wonderful that Black Lives Matter activists are participating in this electoral period in this way, forcing candidates to speak on issues about which they might not speak,” Davis said.
Davis admits she is not a fan of Hillary Clinton. The retired professor from the University of California-Santa Cruz is still troubled by the fact that Clinton referred to wayward youth as “super-predators,” which she believes is a code word for young black males.
“It seems to me that if she’s interested in the votes of not only African Americans and people of color, but of all people who are progressive and attempting to speak out against the racism of over incarceration, she would simply say, ‘I was wrong then,’ that ‘superpredator’ is a racially coded term,’” Davis said. “It’s so interesting that she tends to rely on a kind of universalism that prevents her from acknowledging the extent to which racism is so much a force and an influence in this country.”
Davis doesn’t exonerate Saunders, either. She he engages in “a kind of economic reductionism” that prevents him from fully understanding and relaying information that will “enlighten us about the persistence of racism, racist violence, state violence,” Davis said.
“It seems that he does not have the vocabulary that allows him to acknowledge the role and the influence that racism has played historically,” she added. “He thinks that economic justice will automatically lead us to racial justice.”
Despite having little enthusiasm for the current presidential election cycle, Davis said she has hope that America’s future elections will pursue a more progressive agenda.
“I think we need to be looking ahead toward a very different kind of political process. At the same time, we put pressure on whoever is running,” Davis said. “So I’m actually more interested in helping to develop mass movements that can create the kind of pressure that will force whoever is elected or whoever becomes the candidate to move in more progressive directions.”
Check out the complete interview:
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