op-ed: angela davis: ‘unbroken line of police violence in the us takes us back to the days of slavery’

December 15, 2014

Check out this interview with Angela Davis, published yesterday by The Guardian. The interview took place in London before a memorial service for black British cultural studies theorist and sociologist Stuart Hall, and sees political activist Angela Davis discussing an array of topics – most relevant, the current state of the United States policing and prison system and history behind it. Explore some excerpts from the interview below, and check it out in full HERE.

By Alexander Aplerku, AFROPUNK Contributor

“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.”

Professor Cornel West recently said that the US still has in effect a “Jim Crow criminal justice system” that “does not deliver justice for black and brown people”. Davis agrees. “You have this huge population of people who come up against the same restrictions that the Jim Crow south created,” she says. The segregation laws that existed until 1965 in the American south, where she grew up, might have gone but, as Davis points out, racist oppression remains.

“The massive over-incarceration of people of colour in general in the US leads to lack of access to democratic practices and liberties. Because prisoners are not able to vote, former prisoners in so many states are not able to vote, people are barred from jobs if they have a history of prison.”