ON-Lion Letter
Saturday, June 4, "marked the 44th anniversary of Angela Davis's acquittal on charges of murder, kidnapping and conspiracy," begins a June 6 Wall Street Journal op-ed by Roger Kimball.  "Remember Angela Davis?  I asked several of my younger colleagues:  No one under 35 had heard of her.  But the former Black Panther, recipient of the Soviet Union's Lenin Peace Prize, and two-time vice-presidential candidate on the Communist Party ticket with Gus Hall, was once a household name.  That was enough for the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, which last Thursday bestowed on Ms. Davis the 2016 Sackler Center First Award, 'honoring women who are first in their fields.'"

Kimball is president and publisher of Encounter Books and editor and publisher of The New Criterion, both of which are substantially supported by The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee.

"Elizabeth A. Sackler, chairwoman of the Brooklyn Museum and scion of Alfred M. Sackler, who made a large part of his considerable fortune marketing the painkiller OxyContin, introduced the evening," according to Kimball in "Angela Davis and Radical Chic 2016."  "In her introduction, Ms. Sackler said that the name Angela Davis, 'the embodiment of all we hold dear,' is 'synonymous with truth.'  Really?

"After a middle-class upbringing that included college at Brandeis (where she fell under the spell of the Frankfurt School Marxist guru Herbert Marcuse) and postgraduate work in Europe, Ms. Davis emerged as a doyenne of the violent, revolutionary fringe of 1960s radicalism," he writes.  "In 1970 she became romantically involved with George Jackson, a career criminal and Black Panther serving time in Soledad Prison for armed robbery.

"Jackson was one of several prisoners implicated in the murder of a prison guard," and after a bloody courthouse melee in which four people were killed during the trial, "Davis fled and went underground," Kimball continues.  "The FBI apprehended her in New York some months later.  'Free Angela' argues that she was prosecuted because she was a Communist and black.  In fact, she was prosecuted as a material accessory to murder.

"How," Kimball asks, "did she get off?  In part, for the same reason that O.J. Simpson got off:  celebrity, edged with racial grievance mongering.  There was also the temper of the times.  When she was apprehended, a hue and cry went around the world -- especially in precincts hostile to American interests.

"Angela Davis travels the world these days collecting honors," Kimball concludes.  "She once supported the Soviet invasions of Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan while refusing to speak up for political prisoners in socialist countries.  Now she champions the Occupy and Black Lives Matter movements and derides the police and capitalist West, mouthing radical slogans that, if acted upon, would destroy the civilization that coddles her."
Actions: E-mail | Permalink |