Racism: Then and Now
Radio shock jock Don Imus’s racist and misogynistic remarks about the Rutgers Women’s basketball team ignited protest that resulted in his being taken off the air. Another radio host, Neil Boortz, called former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney a “ghetto slut.” Defenders of such of such outrages say, Hey, They do it. Just listen to gangsta rapper lyrics. Racism today has taken new shapes and forms. There are no Bull Connor police chiefs with water hoses, truncheons and dogs threatening African Americans. De jure Jim Crow is gone but de facto Jim Crow is still around.
Angela Davis is one of the iconic figures of this era. Acquitted on conspiracy charges in 1970, after one of the most famous trials in U.S. history, she went on to become an internationally renowned writer, scholar, and lecturer. She is professor emerita at the University of California at Santa Cruz. She has been in the forefront of the movement focusing on the prison industrial complex and its intersection with race, class and gender. She is the author of many books including Women, Race and Class, Blues Legacies and Black Feminism, Abolition Democracy, and Freedom is a Constant Struggle.