His mother’s son and her good friend 126

“I wouldn’t be my mother’s son if I was capable of one drop of what I have been accused of,” Jussie Smollett declared in a tone of righteous indignation after being acquitted of his malicious crimes by a corrupt court.

Who is his mother? What does it mean when he invokes her to advertise his own virtue?

She is Janet Smollett née Harris. She was a member of the Black Panthers. Angela Davis was a fellow member of the terrorist group, and they are still close friends.

A reminder of who Angela Davis is, from Discover the Networks, will reveal the ideas which these comrades embraced and the causes they served:

Angela Yvonne Davis is a tenured professor in the “History of Consciousness” program at the University of California – Santa Cruz. A former member of the Black Panther Party, she is currently a “university professor”, which entitles her to a six-figure salary and a research assistant. This income is supplemented by speaking fees ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 per appearance on college campuses, where she is an icon of radical faculty, administrators, and students. Davis has also taught at UCLA and the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Born into a middle-class family in Birmingham, Alabama on January 26, 1944, Davis attended segregated schools in that city until she enrolled at New York’s Little Red Schoolhouse (LRS), famous for its Communist faculty and student body. (Future Weather Underground terrorist Kathy Boudin attended that school during the same period as Davis).

After having been exposed to the Marxist classics at LRS, Davis moved on to a full scholarship at Elisabeth Irwin High School in New York, an adjunct of LRS. While attending these schools, she was a house guest of Herbert Aptheker, the Communist Party’s chief theoretician, and his family.

In 1961 Davis enrolled at Brandeis University, where she majored in French. She spent her junior year studying in Paris, where she came into contact with Algerian revolutionaries. Davis graduated from Brandeis in 1965 and then spent two years on the faculty of Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. She returned to the U.S. to take another teaching position at UCLA, where she worked with radical professor Herbert Marcuse.

Herbert Marcuse was one of the chief philosophers of the New Left, the 1968 student protest movements in Western countries, and the terrorist groups that emerged from them.

In 1968, as Soviet tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia to crush the “Prague spring”, Davis joined the Communist Party, voicing her belief that “the only path of liberation for black people is that which leads toward complete and radical overthrow of the capitalist class”. 

Davis supported the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia, just as she would support its invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.

In September 1969 Davis was fired from UCLA when her membership in the Communist Party became known. This resulted in a celebrated First Amendment battle that made Davis a national figure and forced UCLA to rehire her.

In 1970 Davis was implicated by more than 20 witnesses in a plot to free her imprisoned lover, fellow Black Panther George Jackson, by hijacking a Marin County, California courtroom and taking hostage the judge, the prosecuting assistant district attorney, and two jurors. In an ensuing gun battle outside the court building, Judge Harold Haley’s head was blown off by a sawed-off shotgun owned by Ms. Davis.

The way that’s worded implies there is no proof of who it was who pulled the trigger that killed the Judge. It is known that Angela Davis supplied the gun. In whose hands was it when it was used to kill? It doesn’t strain credulity to imagine it was hers. But …

To avoid arrest for her alleged complicity in the plot, Ms. Davis fled California, using aliases and changing her appearance to avoid detection.

Two months later, Davis was arrested by the FBI in New York City. At her 1972 trial, Davis presented her version of where she had been and what she had been doing at the time of the shootout. Because she was acting as her own attorney, she could not be cross-examined. She presented a number of alibi witnesses, almost all Communist friends, who testified that she had been with them in Los Angeles playing Scrabble at the time of the Marin slaughter. Prosecution witnesses who placed her in Marin were dismissed by Davis and her fellow attorneys as being unable to accurately identify blacks — because they were white.

Following the announcement of the verdict that acquitted Davis, one juror faced news cameras and gave a revolutionary’s clenched-fist salute. He laughed at the justice system, saying that prosecutors had been mistaken to expect that the “middle-class jury” would convict Davis. He and most of the jurors then went off to partake in a Davis victory party.

In 1979 Davis was awarded the International Lenin Peace Prize (formerly named the International Stalin Peace Prize) by the East German police state. This honor was given by a Soviet government-appointed panel that sought to recognize individuals who had “strengthened peace among peoples” by advancing the agendas of the Kremlin and its totalitarian regime.

Wherever the Soviets used the word “peace”, always read “Communism”.

Davis ran for Vice President of the United States in 1980 and 1984, alongside Gus Hall, on the Communist Party ticket.

Gus Hall was the candidate John Brennan voted for. The John Brennan, that is, who was appointed head of the CIA by Barack Obama.

What lessons are to be drawn from the story of the murdering Black Panthers, from the manner in which its members conducted themselves, actively assisting the enemy of their country during the Cold War between the United States and the tyrannous dictatorship of Communist Russia? Are rising generations likely to look to them as models of probity, loyalty, patriotism, veracity, decency, humanity?

The right and chilling answer to that question is, in full, no, but as political heroes, all too probably yes.