Yesterday was a bad day for pretty much anyone who cares about racial equality, voting rights, police violence and that vague thing we call “justice.” But leave it to the brilliant Angela Davis to turn the blow into a rallying cry to counteract violence — both institutional and intimate.
First, here’s what happened. After an intense lobbying campaign by
the police union — officially called the Fraternal Order of Police;
you’ll see why the name is important later — the senate blocked
President Obama’s nomination of Debo P. Adegbile to be the chief of the
Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Adegbile, who headed the
NAACP’s legal defense fund for years, was tarred by the police’s union,
and subsequently by Democrat and Republican senators alike, for having
helped represent journalist and Black Panther member Mumia Abu-Jamal in
an appeal of his death sentence for allegedly killed a Philadelphia
No matter that Adebgile and the team won the appeal. Or that
Abu-Jamal’s case is riddled with inconsistencies. Or that Adebgile has
been a leading champion of voting rights and civil rights for decades.