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There Is an Unbroken Line of Police Violence in the US that Takes Us All the Way Back to the Days of Slavery’

December 15, 2014 in Blogs

By Stuart Jeffries, The Guardian

A conversation with activist Angela Davis.


‘There is an unbroken line of police violence in the United States that takes us all the way back to the days of slavery, the aftermath of slavery, the development of the Ku Klux Klan,” says Angela Davis. “There is so much history of this racist violence that simply to bring one person to justice is not going to disturb the whole racist edifice.”

I had asked the professor, activist, feminist and revolutionary, the woman whom Richard Nixon called a terrorist and whom Ronald Reagan tried to fire as a professor, if she was angered by the failure of a grand jury to indict a white police officer for shooting dead an unarmed black man, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri earlier this year. “The problem with always pursuing the individual perpetrator in all of the many cases that involve police violence,” the 70-year-old replies, “is that one reinvents the wheel each time and it cannot possibly begin to reduce racist police violence. Which is not to say that individual perpetrators should not be held accountable – they should.”

We’re talking at the Friends Meeting House in London before a memorial service to her friend and colleague Stuart Hall, the black British cultural studies theorist and sociologist, who died in February. It was Hall, she tells me, as much as her mentor, the German Jewish philosopher Herbert Marcuse, who made her think about the structural issues in any given political struggle.

Not that Davis is insensitive to the outrage over specific cases of police violence against black men, be it the riots in Ferguson, the worldwide protests over the death of Eric Garner in police custody, or Trayvon Martin. Davis focuses on the latter to make an incendiary point about the racism endemic in Obama’s America. In 2012, she …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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