At the Black Studies Conference at the University of Texas, Austin, former Black panther, scholar and activist Angela Davis told attendees that she is not so “narcissistic” to say that she won’t vote for the Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton this November, the Root recently reported.
“I have serious problems with the other candidate, but I am not so narcissistic to say I cannot bring myself to vote for her,” Davis said on Friday night.
“Too much energy went into the struggle for voting rights not to go to the polls,” she added, discussing why it’s important for African-Americans to exercise their right on Election Day.
Granted, for many the thought of Davis voting for Clinton, instead of a third-party candidate is a bit surprising given that earlier this year we reported that she told Democracy Now! she couldn’t endorse either Democrat or Republican nominee.
“I don’t endorse. But let me say that, well, to be frank, I’ve actually never voted for one of the two-party—two major parties in a presidential election before Barack Obama,” she said in March.
“I still think that we need a new party, a party that is grounded in labor, a party that can speak to all of the issues around racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, what is happening in the world. We don’t yet have that party,” she told host Amy Goodman.
Not to mention, Davis had words for Clinton’s past use of the term “superpredators.”
“And, of course, Hillary Clinton should have said, “Well, I was wrong to use the term ‘superpredators.’ What I know now, I didn’t necessarily know then.” There are many ways in which she could have disavowed it. And we know, of course, that the Clinton administration was responsible, at least in part, in large part, for the buildup of what is now called mass incarceration with the passage of the 1994 crime bill,” she said.
And while her recent stance may insult or polarize other progressives, it’s important to note that Davis contemplating voting for Clinton doesn’t mean she is dialing back from her radical beliefs.
Davis is still here for the people and her politics, but given the vileness of this election and the racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia that Trump conjures up in society, one cannot deny that this election is different, different from anything we’ve ever seen in American politics. And perhaps the “keep Trump out of office by any means necessary” is the only plausible strategy that she feels she can employ this November. A strategy that continues to gain momentum, The Root notes, not just among moderates such as President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, who both recently said that not voting or voting for a third-party candidate is a vote for Trump, but among other Black radicals as well.
And real talk: For a majority of African-Americans, the alternative is pretty frightening.
Donald Trump has alluded that Blacks are “living in hell,” “we have no jobs,” “we live in war zones” like Syria and that “stop-and-frisk” (which has been deemed unconstitutional) and “law and order” are the best ways to address crime in our already overpoliced communities. Not to mention, he hired a white nationalist and Alt-Right leader to be his campaign chairman, was slow to condemn the endorsements of white supremacists and single-handedly created the Birther movement that questioned the citizenship of this nation’s first Black president.
And the list really could go on and on and on.
But is all that enough to light a fire under the African-Americans—especially the millennials—who are lukewarm about Clinton, to get them to the polls to vote for her for next month? Only the returns will tell.
BEAUTIES, what do you think? Is Angela Davis right? Is this election so different that we should abandon third-party candidates in order to keep Trump out?
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