A publication of the Radical Philosophy Association

RPA Statement in Support of Angela Davis

Angela Davis deserves the Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award

by Brandon AbsherJanuary 18, 2019

The Radical Philosophy Association (RPA) expresses its continual and determined support for Angela Davis, as do the undersigned. On January 5th, 2019, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) rescinded its conferral of the Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award to Davis due to her long-time commitment to the cause of justice in Palestine. Davis’ record as an advocate of human rights is unassailable and she is clearly more than deserving of the award.

It appears that the BCRI caved to pressure from outside groups that target anyone who expresses views critical of the Israeli government or its policies. The idea that any government or its policies are beyond reproach is fundamentally anathema to the cause of human rights. Furthermore, the deliberate conflation of criticisms of the government of Israel with anti-Semitism serves, not to defend, but only to undermine respect for human dignity. In a time of rising fascism and white nationalism, we certainly take the issue of anti-Semitism very seriously. But solidarity with Palestinians and criticism of the Israeli government is not anti-Semitic.

In her statement on the matter, Davis has insisted on the indivisibility of justice. That is, the demand that the United States recognize the human rights of black people is only partial if it is not understood as part of a broader demand for the rights of all oppressed people globally. As Martin Luther King, Jr. insisted “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The truth of this sentiment is illustrated well by the facts that American police have received training from Israeli police forces and President Trump has referred repeatedly to the Israeli wall separating Jerusalem from the West Bank as an inspiration for his border wall. In any case, the demand for human rights – for justice – must always be universal.

Angela Davis has long been a source of inspiration for members of the RPA. She was a keynote speaker at our conference in 2008 and currently serves on the editorial board of the Radical Philosophy Review. Her example of courageous and outspoken opposition to injustice has been a guiding light for many of us in our professional and civic lives as philosophers. She is the living embodiment of a publicly engaged philosopher at the forefront of the struggle for a better world. Davis deserves the Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award and we condemn those who withdrew her nomination.

Cory Wimberly - University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Lila Wakeman - University of Kentucky
Brandon Absher - D’youville College
David Rouse - University of Virginia’s College at Wise
Gabriela Arguedas-Ramirez - Universidad de Costa Rica
Debra Nails - Michigan State University
Matthew Wilson - Ball State University
Margaret McLaren - Rollins College
Michael Principe - Middle Tennessee State University
Tarleasia Thompson
Lexi Turner - Goldsmiths, University of London
Jennifer Eagan - California State University, East Bay
James Mitchell - Cal State East Bay
David Kim - University of San Francisco
vinicius duarte - Goldsmiths University
Kelsey Borrowman - Villanova University
J Everet Green - Mercy College
aa Valdivia - UC Davis, CSUEB
Mecke Nagel - SUNY Cortland
Charles Reitz
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Jason Beyer - Illinois Valley Community College
Lisa Schwartzman - Michigan State University
Shannon L Griffin - Independent Scholar
Valerie Broin - California State University, Stanislaus
G Fourlas - Hampshire College
Patty Schwartz
Erik Parsels
Steven Runyon - Cal State University-Maritime Academy
Grant Silva - Marquette University
Fred Evans - Duquesne University
Jason Del Gandio - Temple University
Christopher Robinson - Clarkson University
Rich Daniels - Oregon State University
Abdelhamid Dalia - California State University of Bakersfield
Joseph Fahey - Manhattan College
Kim Hall - Appalachian State University
David Mertz
Tanya Loughead - Canisius College
Joseph L. Walsh
Eric Swenson - Former University of Washington
Joseph C. Spencer - Bridgewater State University
Rafael Vizcaino - Rutgers University
Katrina Vandeven - Western Illinois University
Naomi Scheman - Emerita, University of Minnesota
Ann Ferguson - University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Nanette Funk - Professor Emeritus, Brooklyn College, City University of New York
Elizabeth Victor - William Paterson University
Dessie Clark - Michigan State University
Frank Thompson - University of Michigan
Alice Crary - University of Oxford
Sandra Raponi - Merrimack College
Andrew Bond - Bakersfield College
Erin McCarthy - St. Lawrence University
Caleb Ward - Stony Brook University
Jean-Marie Makang - Frostburg State University, Maryland
Harry van der Linden - Butler University
Ann Dolinko - North Central College
Drucilla Cornell - Rutgers University, Emerita
Andrew Lugg - University of Ottawa
Jane Kneller - Colorado State University
Rick Elmore - Appalachian State University
Maura McCreight - CUNY Graduate Center
W. Mark Cobb - Bucks County Community College
Amy Reed-Sandoval - University of Texas at El Paso
Peter Amato - Drexel University
Shari Stone-Mediatore
Tony Smith - Iowa State University
Barrie Karp, PhD
Virginia Held - City University of New York
Doug Allen - The University if Maine
Anne Pomeroy - Stockton University
Michael Howard - University of Maine
James Sterba - University of Notre Dame
Steph Butera - University of Memphis
Cecilea Mun - Independent Scholar
Joy Kroeger-Mappes- Frostburg State University
Arun Chandra - The Evergreen State College
Christine J. Cuomo - University of Georgia
Fulden İbrahimhakkıoğlu - Middle East Technical University
Joseph Levine - University of Massachusetts Amherst
Jo-Ann Pilardi, Emerita -Towson Univ., MD
Claudia Leeb - Washington State University
Helen Lauer - University of Dar es Salaam
Linda Bell, ret. - Georgia State University
Melissa Mosko - Canisius College
Prof. Paul Forster - University of Ottawa
Bob Stone - Center for Global Justice
Joan Braune - Gonzaga University
Andrew Lamas - University of Pennsylvania
Mauren Gonzalez Jones - Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica.
Jo Anne Ford - University of California, Berkeley
Shannon Buckley - University of Guelph
Shyam Ranganathan - York University
Rebecca Kukla - Georgetown University
Richard Schmitt
Emanuela Bianchi - New York University
Mario Sáenz - Le Moyne College
Courtney Childs
Adriel M. Trott - Wabash College
jean gregorek - Canisius College
Sebastian Purcell - SUNY Cortland
Jonathan Karpf
Inese Radzins - Pacific School of Religion
Joan C. Callahan - Professor Emerita, Universit of Kentucky
Dr. Agus Wahyudi - Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia
Tom Jeannot - Gonzaga University
alex cruse - University of California, Berkeley alumnus
Lior Levy - University of Haifa
Michael Losonsky - Colorado State University
Emily Parker- Towson University
Juliet Araujo - Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts
Matthew Palombo - Minneapolis College
Dr. Jena Jolissaint - South University
Theodore Schatzki - University of Kentucky
Adam Burgos - Bucknell University
Justin Pearl - Duquesne University
Jack Marsh, University of St. Andrews
Daniela Dover - UCLA
Janine Jones - UNC, Greensboro
Maurice Hamington - Portland State University
Lisa J. McLeod - Guilford College
Sarah Tyson - University of Colorado, Denver
Larry Udell - West Chester University
David Schweickart - Loyola University Chicago
Ronald Aronson - Wayne State University
Shelley Park - University of Central Florida
Gertrude Postl - Suffolk County Community College
Forrest Perry - Saint Xavier University
Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, PhD - Vanderbilt University Divinity School | Activist Theology Project
Karsten Struhl - John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY)
Lillian Taiz - Cal State Los Angeles
Anna Malavisi - Western Connecticut State University
gerardo colmenar - U.C. Santa Barbara
Sharon Elise - Calif State Univ San Marcos
Nick Braune - South Texas College (Emeritus)
Alison M. Jaggar - University of Colorado at Boulder
Joel Reynolds - UMass Lowell
Frieder Otto Wolf - Freie Universität Berlin / Institut für Philosophie
Matthew McIlhenny - Independent Researcher
Anton K. Jacobs - Divine Word College
Kristyan Kouri - Cal State Northridge
Harry Targ - Purdue University
John Abromeit - SUNY, Buffalo State
Clayton Morgareidge - Lewis & Clark College
Sonya Charles - Cleveland State University
Christa Hodapp - University of Massachusetts Lowell
Edie Pistolesi - California State University Northridge
Victoria Wilson - BA, BSN, MSN, FNP-C
Falguni A. Sheth - Emory University
Simon Truwant - University of Leuven
Melissa Burchard - University of North Carolina, Asheville
Senem Saner - CSU Bakersfield
Andrew Dilts - Loyola Marymount University
Richard Peterson - Michigan State University
Talia Welsh - University of Tennessee Chattanooga
Ruthanne Crapo Kim - Minneapolis College
Jeffrey Gauthier - University of Portland
Justin Paulson - Carleton University
Zahel Ortega - Philosopher and Organizer of Sound
Cliff Durand - Center for Global Justice
Ian Olasov - City University of New York
Desiree Melton - Notre Dame of Maryland University
Crista Lebens - University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Sally Haslanger - MIT
Tiffany Montoya - Purdue University
Ali Kashani- San Francisco State University
Osiris Sinuhé González Romero - Leiden University, The Netherlands.
Taylor R. Genovese - Arizona State University
Jennifer Nagel - University of Toronto
Nathan Eckstrand - Fort Hays State University
Mlado Ivanovic - Grand Valley State University
Christopher Helali - Dartmouth College

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