Muhammad Rasheed - [ARTICLE] Birmingham Civil Rights Institute cancels plan to honor Angela Davis
Jeff Pinner - Looks to me like they chickened out when donors got antsy.
Muhammad Rasheed - Yeah, but WHY did they get antsy?
Kelly Erickson - From what the article said, having named the award for a non-violent activist, maaaaaybe they got antsy because she doesn’t have a fully non-violent past? She was acquitted of any role in the Marin County Courthouse situation, but people still remember her for it. But it’s not like they didn’t know who she was when they gave her the award, so saying she’s not worthy of Rev. Shuttlesworth’s namesake prize at this point seems odd, and frankly sad.
More likely they got antsy because others got antsy, and loud. Breaks your heart to think of an institute in a place where people died for civil rights being antsy over potential protesters’ whining.
“Civil Rights Institute scared to stand their ground and stick with what they believe in the face of spurious attacks like Dr. King and Rev. Shuttlesworth used to” might be a more accurate headline.
Richard Nathan - What the hell? I will have to Google this. What is wrong with Angela Davis?
Muhammad Rasheed - Angela's anti-racism agenda is incompatible with the business models used by the sponsors, and they felt that by honoring her in such a way it would formally legitimize her body of work, and thus obligate them in some way to actually make meaningful change.
They said, "Nah."
Jeff Lipton - To many, she is associated with the shoot-out at the Marin Civic Center (Angela Davis - Arrest & Trial | Wikipedia). That might be an additional reason.
Muhammad Rasheed - I’m very aware of the incident. Dr. Davis provided the fire arms used in the aggressive protest using an armed kidnapping theme to bring maximum awareness. It went awry when—as the protesters drove away with their party—the police recklessly opened fire at the group.
Because of a California law technicality, Davis was pinned as a direct suspect, and J.E. Hoover decided to make her the symbolic face of the entire event. It looks like the decision to have the police shoot up the party of protesters and their hostages was a deliberate order to prevent the effectiveness of the high-risk, but brilliant social awareness scheme from having the desired effect.
From the establishment’s perspective, it was significantly less expensive to cause that ensuing carnage and spin the incident with typical white supremacist propaganda, than to allow the young protesters to hold all the cards with such a bold move.
Since Dr. Angela Davis was found innocent of the charges against her, there was no reason for her not to be celebrated as the powerful civil rights figure she was. It was clear that none of the protesters who planned and executed the Marin Civic Center incident intended for anyone to be seriously injured, they merely wanted to bring maximum awareness to their very worthy cause to effect much needed change for their people. The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute withdrew their invitation to celebrate her because they feared this formal legitimizing of her work would inspire the next generations of protesters to also risk such bold, counter-establishment awareness moves. Dr. Davis showed she didn’t want the war—she wanted the change—but she wasn’t shy about fighting for what she believed in if necessary either. The establishment wanted to neutralize that message in favor of an impotent peaceful, non-violent protest model it would be easier to ignore.
Tom Deyoung - You support kidnapping a judge?
Muhammad Rasheed - In general, like for daredevil fun, or the thrill of criminality? No.
Do I support outside-the-box, potentially high-risk protest efforts to effect MUCH needed change to a white supremacist society that the anti-Black systemic racist government has proven to be more than happy to protect with assassinations? Yes.
MEDIUM: Scanned pen & ink cartoon drawing w/Adobe Photoshop color.
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