Angela Davis on the “Racialization” of Terrorism, From Assata Shakur to Boston Marathon Bombings

Published on May 3, 2013
Watch the full interview with Angela Davis on Democracy Now! at The legendary activist and scholar Angela Davis tells Democracy Now! that the FBI’s adding of former Black Panther Assata Shakur to its Most Wanted Terrorist List exemplifies a longstanding “racialization” of terrorism in the United States, and an effort to deter the young activists Shakur has inspired today. “When the grandchildren of those who were active in the late ’60s and early ’70s are becoming involved in similar movements today, there is this effort to again terrorize young people by representing such an important figure as Assata Shakur as a terrorist,” Davis says. “Before the Tsarnev brothers were discovered to be the alleged perpetrators [of the Boston Marathon bombings], there was an attempt to present the person who planted the bomb as either a black man or a dark skinned man with a hoodie. This racialization of what is represented as terrorism is an attempt to bring the old-style racism into the conversation with modes of repression in the 21st century.”

In 1998, Democracy Now! aired the audio of Assata Shakur reading her open letter she wrote to Pope John Paul II during his trip to Cuba in 1998 after the FBI asked him to urge her extradition. Listen at…