Activist, author and professor Angela Davis delivered the keynote address at last week’s UC Santa Cruz Martin Luther King, Jr. convocation, where she touched on all of the hot topic issues plaguing not only the Black community but also the nation as a whole.
One of the most important things to do, she said, is to establish connections with people throughout the world, many of whom are fighting the same struggles. She offered the example of non-English speaking Belgium citizens who were participating in Black Lives Matter protests.
She said that it’s also important to remember that revenge in deaths such as Michael Brown and Eric Garner is not the answer.
“Would it had been better if he’d served 10 years?” she asked, referencing the police officer who shot Oscar Grant in 2010 and who only served one year in prison. “Would that have indicated that we were moving in the direction of eradicating racist police violence?”
Though police violence against Black men is nothing new (“There has been an unbroken line of racist police killings since the era of slavery”), she said that the extreme police militarization against people of color can be traced back to the war on terror, which decreed prejudice against Muslims.
It is up to us, she said, to stand up and fight the injustice.
“Speak out against economic exploitation, against war, against the destruction of the environment, against anti-Muslimism and anti-Semitism, against gender bias and homophobia, for access to good organic non-GMO food, for free health care and free education for all,” she said.