Social media has been set afire with news that Angela Davis told an audience she has “serious problems” with Trump but is “not so narcissistic to say I cannot bring myself to vote for her,” meaning of course, Clinton. Davis was speaking yesterday to the Black Studies Conference held at the University of Texas in Austin.
That’s a peculiar formulation. Maybe Davis could explain for our enlightenment what narcissism has to do with electoral choices. Perhaps she could also elaborate on why she does not have “serious problems” with Clinton on several scores.
Davis is renowned as a revolutionary which means a lot of different things to different people. But generally people who identify as such do not vote for capitalist politicians, particularly corrupt & venal ones. Davis however called herself a “passionate” supporter of Obama as he entered his second term. Everybody has to be allowed some illusions–even whoppers like that, since in his first four years Obama had already betrayed almost every one of his campaign promises–most notably about war & Guantanamo.
But Davis should have no illusions about Clinton. After all, Davis is a scholar & just wrote a book titled “Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, & the Foundations of a Movement.” She has also long been involved in prison reform. So it’s unlikely she is unaware of the disaster of welfare reform under Bill Clinton & championed by Hillary. It’s far-fetched to think she wouldn’t be aware of the massive incarceration of Black youth for minor offenses, often including life sentences without the chance of parole for smoking a joint–also under the Bill Clinton presidency & championed by Hillary. And for heaven’s sake, Davis must be well-informed about Clinton’s monstrous associations with Israeli apartheid. Everybody else in the world knows because Clinton boasts about them. Certainly Clinton’s vaunted association with Kissinger must also trouble Davis.
So once again, can Davis explain to us what narcissism has to do with any of that? It seems to have less to do with personal psychology than shoddy scholarship or stinking rotten politics.
In March, Davis swore on Democracy Now not to endorse a candidate because she believed in independent politics. But then in June when she was given the Sackler Center award at the Brooklyn Museum, she told the audience, including Elizabeth Sackler & Gloria Steinem, that “We have to defeat Trump by any means necessary.” That’s a cagey way of endorsing Clinton & played well with that audience.
Incidentally, Elizabeth Sackler is the daughter of Arthur Sackler who with his two brothers Mortimer & Raymond made billions off pharmaceuticals including falsely peddling OxyContin as non-addictive which created an epidemic of addiction & overdoses in the US. The three brothers had & their extended family continues to have involvement with Israel, including bankrolling the medical school at Tel Aviv University since 1964. Certainly Elizabeth Sackler can’t be held accountable for her family’s investments & largesse but it would be interesting to know if she is part of that.
Davis has a lot of political cachet & authority. She’s regarded as an icon, a model, a paragon of political principles. So what’s with the back-handed endorsements & this narcissism crap?
It’s worse than regrettable that Bernie Sanders, Noam Chomsky, & Angela Davis waste their political authority shilling for a two-bit shyster politician who will cause immense suffering to millions of people.
(Photo is Davis by Michael Tran/Getty Images)