Angela Davis is one of the pioneers of the abolition movement from whence all the calls to #DefundThePolice come. Her nuance re: voting for Biden (which all of us progressive-radicals dread doing at this point) is reasonable, sensible and damn worthy of your respect.
Part of the challenge of this moment (and this platform) is that neither encourages us to contextualize ppl or their bodies of work. You out here standing in a house she and her comrades built for us, acting like you’re the most radical thing popping.
In 2017-2018, ppl were all ‘trust Black women,’ cuz anybody with sense knows that whatever *is* functioning in this broken republic is entirely due to Black women’s pragmatism in the voting booth, which it turns out, does not undercut our capacity for radical vision.
Anyway, what I know for sure, is that anybody who doesn’t think Angela Davis’ political calculations are a worthy guide in these extreme and exasperating times, aren’t (as my grandmother used to say) worth the salt put in bread.
This is what I mean: why is it that a pragmatic call from Davis re: Biden when we are under damn near fascist rule in a pandemic is taken as betrayal from a trusted one, rather than wise counsel from one who loves us and has shown that love repeatedly?
It’s a real question. As an educator, I really struggle with some of the knowledge problems of this moment. And this feels like a knowledge problem. Like, I don’t agree with white ppl and conservatives angry over the death of their ‘expertise.’
But we do have issues with confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance on the left. We don’t always integrate new information well. We hear points of divergence (from ppl with radical receipts) as an assault on our senses. It’s super interesting.
Anyway, now I’m just asking my nerdy questions about epistemology and propaganda, and all that stuff and threading them it for ease. But my main argument is contained in tweets 1-4. Lol.
I think a lot about how the problem of false equivalence shows up on the Left. Cuz part of the resistance to voting Biden rides on the back of an argument about how since he’s part of the establishment, he isn’t that different from 45. It’s BS of course.
The radical left made similar claims in 2016, and now 130K Americans are dead that would otherwise be here but for different leadership. That isn’t our fault. But there are material consequences when we fail to make distinctions that count. And folks are doing it again re: Biden.
I heard Davis when she said that a Biden vote enables us to be on our own side, because he can be pushed. That’s not a sell-out position. It’s a lucid one given our being on the brink of straight fascistic rule. Cuz Trump + Barr + McConnell have to be stopped.
So anyway, part of what Davis models for us is the symbiosis between formal politics and protest. The protests have cemented the demand for the move left. But just like in the LBJ admin, a lot of our left political gains will come from a centrist leader. And that’s ok.
That’s it y’all. I’m working on a new book so let me get back to that. Thanks for coming to my morning brain dump.
You can follow @ProfessorCrunk.
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