Thursday evening, Angela Davis will speak at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. On the university’s website, Davis is described as someone who has “devoted her life to social justice.” The bio also states that Davis “became nationally known in the 1970s.” Unfortunately, the school fails to tell readers why Davis became so well known.
On August 7, 1970, Jonathan Jackson stormed a Marin County courtroom with a pistol to free his brother and two other prisoners known as the Soledad Brothers. On their way out of the courtroom, the men took five hostages, including Judge Harold Haley, an assistant district attorney, and three jurors. They taped a sawed-off shotgun under the chin of the judge. By the time the standoff ended, the judge’s head had been blown off, three others were dead, two hostages were wounded, and one convict was wounded as well. All of the guns used in the hostage taking — including the sawed-off shotgun — were owned by Angela Davis.
In fact, the shotgun was purchased by Davis just two days before the California courthouse incident. When it was purchased, it had not been sawed-off. Davis also purchased large amounts of ammo for the weapons, including shells for the shotgun which were used to kill Judge Haley. Jackson, the initiator of the hostage taking, was the brother of Davis’s boyfriend.
Two months after Davis was placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List, she was captured in New York City, arrested, and charged with kidnapping and murder. Her campaign for freedom from prison then went national, garnering sympathy from such noted criminal justice experts as John Lennon and The Rolling Stones. Davis was acquitted at her trial in 1972, but the defense in the case never disputed that the guns used to kill the judge and the three others were owned by Davis.
Davis is a long-time member of the Communist Party — in fact, according to her Wikipedia page, she has twice been the party’s candidate for vice president (she has since left for the much more reasonable “Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism”).
When she’s not advocating for violent revolution, Davis travels the country preaching “social justice” and is an outspoken activist for the abolition of the American prison system. Her speech at UALR will reportedly be centered around these topics. She also released a book recently, entitled, “The Meaning of Freedom” — apparently she defines freedom as Communism and blowing peoples’ brains out.
In a statement to The Arkansas Project, state Senator Jason Rapert called Davis’s appearance at UALR “unconscionable:”
“I think it is unconscionable that taxpayer dollars are being utilized to host a speaker who is an avowed Communist [and who] … was closely associated with acts of violence, even though she was acquitted. Those who have used taxpayer money in this way with knowledge of Miss Davis’s background should be ashamed of themselves.”
I asked the senator if there are any reforms he might propose to ensure that this type of thing doesn’t happen again:
“We should look at more oversight. I don’t know that we can legislate good judgment, but those who were in position to make this decision should have known better. I am disappointed in their failure to understand it is not appropriate to spend over $4,000 of taxpayer money to hire a Communist to come to Arkansas and speak to college students at a public institution.”
I think it’s important to note that Angela Davis isn’t just your typical far-left lecturer–she’s not nearly as harmless as Michael Moore or even Van Jones. This is a person whom one could reasonably conclude is responsible for multiple acts of murderous violence. To echo Senator Rapert, it certainly seems unconscionable that she is now being subsidized by Arkansas taxpayers.