The following is an eye-opening presentation for Martin Luther King Unity Day. In it, long time political activist Angela Davis explores the roots of the electoral college and the death penalty in slavery. Unlike more mainstream liberals, she doesn’t catastrophize about Trump’s recent electoral victory. Instead she faults both Trump and Clinton for failing to mention even once during the campaign the working class, inequality or climate change.
She goes on to emphasize that it isn’t Martin Luther King as an individual we celebrate, but the thousands of people in the civil rights movement who did the real work. She then highlights the myriad of movements Americans have formed to resist the oppression experienced by the working class Americans. She devotes special focus to the movement to abolish prisons in a country that incarcerates more people (in absolute numbers) than any other country in the world. In her view, the majority of inmates in US prisons have been deeply traumatized in childhood. All incarcerating them accomplishes is to irreparably re-traumatize them.
The goal of the prison abolition movement is to replace prisons with a system of restorative justice,* starting with youth prisons.
Davis starts speaking at 1:09.
*Restorative justice is a system of criminal justice which focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community at large. New Zealand, which has no youth prisons, relies on a restorative justice process to deal with juvenile offenders.
I ABSOLUTELY DISTAIN ANGELA DAVIS, SHE IS ONE OF THE MOST DEDICATED COMMUNIST. I AGREE TO SOME EXTENT THAT PEOPLE WHO ARE ARRESTED ON NON-VIOLET DRUG CHARGES THAT DO NOT INVOLVE MINORS SHOULD BE GIVEN LEAVE WAY, BUT NOTHING LIKE SHE IS SUGGESTING. RESTORATIVE JUSTICE FOR WHAT, WHEN SOMEONE COMES INTO YOUR HOME AND WANTS TO ROB AND KILL YOU, THEY SHOULD BELONG IN PRISON. SHE IS ANOTHER WACK JOB. SHE WOULD LOVE NOTHING, BUT TO RELEASE EVERYONE FORM PRISON, SO THEY DO THE SAME THINGS AGAIN. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WORKING AMERICANS, SHE DOES HER LEVEL BEST TO SUGAR COAT COMMUNISM.
Futuret, as it states in the scriptures, “By their deeds ye shall know them.”
I have been following the speeches and writings of Angela Davis for years and have never seen any evidence that she’s trying to promote communism or any other political ideology. She’s always been about promoting the rights of the oppressed. Before you condemn her, I think you should actually listen to what she has to say.
It’s true that she did briefly belong to the Communist Party in the 1960s, but this was during a period when many African Americans joined the Communist Party because they had no other avenue to fight for political and economic equality.
As for the US prison industrial complex, it is totally corrupt and profit-based. It does not rehabilitate criminals, nor does it reduce violence or the threat of violence. The US has one of the highest rates of violent crime in the world, despite incarcerating the largest percentage of their population.
The majority of Americans are incarcerated for victimless crimes. And in many cases the trauma they experience in prison (or youth prison especially) leads them into a life of violent crime. All the studies bear out what Davis – the only way we are going to eliminate violent crime in the US is to get rid of prisons.
IF A YOUTH COMMITS AN ADULT CRIME AND MURDERS SOMEONE, THE YOUTH SHOULD BE PUNISHED JUST AS AN ADULT. THIS DOES NOT MEAN NEGELANCE WITH A GUN FOR AN EXAMPLE. YES, ANGELA DAVIS IS EVERY BIT OF A COMMUNIST. I DO BELIEVE THOUGH THAT PEOPLE SHOULD BE PROVEN GUILTY BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT. IF A YOUTH DELIBERATLY COMMITS MURDER, AND NOT IN SELF DEFENSE, THE YOUTH SHOULD BE PUNISHED AS AN ADULT.
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Angela Davis is a true heroine.
Too right. They definitely need to clone her.
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I read If They Come in the Morning in recent years …. cry me a river at the end.
She is a real treasure.
from France –