She is not so beholden because the organizations to which she demonstrated loyalty, most notably the Soviet Union, are no more. They were destroyed by the people who they had oppressed for decades. An event that likely still fills her with regret.
After all, the great humanitarian was feted by the usual commie states. Fidel Castro’s Cuba was a favorite spot which she visited. After one trip she decided that “only under socialism could the fight against racism be successfully executed.”
In December 1979, about three weeks before Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan, Davis was in Moscow to receive the Lenin Peace Prize and receive an honorary degree from Moscow State University. She accepted the former with a broad smile, receiving a floral bouquet along with the requisite three kisses from the Soviet official who pinned the award onto her dress. She noted with approval that the prize bore “the glorious name of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin here on the very soil where he led the great October Revolution.” Ah, the glorious, peace‐loving, freedom‐promoting, justice‐inspiring Lenin. Davis made quite an international splash with her praise for the USSR.
Davis twice visited East Germany, more formally known as the (So‐Called) German Democratic Republic, where she received an award, the “Star of Friendship of the People of the World,” and an honorary degree from the University of Leipzig. She had a pleasant meeting with Erich Honecker, who took over the communist party in East Germany in 1971. A photo shows the two smiling broadly, lovely and loving servants of the people no doubt discussing how they could better serve the masses. She also met the Stalinist leader ousted by Honecker, Walter Ulbricht, who ordered construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961.
Of course, among the points of interests she visited was the infamous fortified barrier, where she expressed her condolences for the East German border guard who was shot by a fleeing citizen, calling the former a “loyal soldier, who sacrificed his life for his socialist country.” She promised that on her return to America she would “undertake to tell our people the truth about the true function of this border.” Alas, apparently even the East German people failed to understand the Berlin Wall’s real purpose since they tore it down the moment they could.
In fact, German workers were notoriously fickle, having revolted against the Soviet‐installed leadership in 1953. That, after all the work loyal communists had done to suppress dissent! So Honecker & Co. were forced to rule what amounted to a national prison which famously walled its people in. Around a thousand were murdered trying to escape. The last East German to be shot down seeking freedom, a 20‐year‐old restaurant worker named Chris Gueffroy, was killed in February 1989, just nine months before the border fortifications fell.
Tragically, Honecker did not enjoy as pleasant a retirement as Davis. He lost his job in October 1989. Ungrateful proletarians just did not appreciate his devotion and hard work. He reportedly wanted a crackdown against growing protests across the workers’ not‐so paradise, especially in Leipzig — ironically the same city in which Davis received her honorary degree. However, the rest of the Politburo balked: the Soviet Union’s Mikhail Gorbachev said the Red Army would remain in its barracks and East German officials could not be sure which direction their own troops would fire. Davis’ dictatorial friend found himself “seeking other opportunities,” as the saying goes.
Still, the USSR was her greatest promoter. In the Federalist author David Harsanyi noted that Davis became a focus of Soviet propaganda, with more resources devoted to her “than was being spent on propaganda directly about the Vietnam War.” Harsanyi cited Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, author of The Gulag Archipelago about the Soviet system of prison camps, who observed: “We had our ears stuffed with Angela Davis. Little children in school were told to sign petitions in defense of Angela Davis.” Soviet‐born Cathy Young remembers her elementary school class being obliged to sign postcards on Davis’ behalf.
Davis’ friendship toward the Soviet state and its Stalinist spin‐offs was no passing fancy for someone unfamiliar with the USSR as a prison state. For instance, when Czech dissidents made a moving appeal to her for assistance, she responded: “They deserve what they get. Let them remain in prison.” Davis’s spokeswoman (imagine, a proletarian heroine having a spokeswoman!) said that Davis “did not think people should leave socialist countries to return to the capitalist system.” Precisely what one would expect from a great and respected human rights activist.
Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, who consulted on Davis’ legal defense, similarly requested that she speak out on behalf of Soviet Jews seeking to emigrate to Israel. Her response? According to Dershowitz: “Several days later, I received a call back from Ms. Davis’ secretary informing me that Davis had looking into the people on my list and none of them were political prisoners. ‘They are all Zionist fascists and opponents of Socialism.’ Davis would urge that they be kept in prison where they belonged.”
Naturally, Davis has her academic defenders, who dance on pinheads while dismissing her affection for human tyranny. But even they should ask why a devoted representative of the working classes would have a secretary. What could be a more typical example of an oppressor and beneficiary of accumulated capital living off the labor and effort of the proletariat held in bondage by the capitalist system? Surely Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, or at least the “glorious” Lenin said something about this situation. How forgiving would Vladimir Ilyich be if confronted with such an outrageous example of capitalist oppression? Had America’s communist revolution actually occurred, Davis’ head also might have ended up on a pike!
Angel Davis is a model member of the tyrannical left, which seeks to destroy everyone and everything that stands in its way. Davis sanctimoniously claimed moral authority to judge others while endorsing a monstrous system which imprisoned more than a billion people, starved and impoverished entire societies, and murdered tens of millions of opponents, critics, independents, and innocents. This was no minor mistake. It was an overwhelming, debilitating ethical failure that undermined her credibility to speak even on other issues, such as racism.
America and Western societies have much to answer for. But they have acted to redress past errors and crimes, and undoubtedly will do more in the future. And they never had to wall their people in, something which Davis saw first‐hand on her visit to East Germany. But she chose to take the side of the oppressors. When it comes to communism, proponents really should have to say they are sorry. And say it again and again. As should Angela Davis, before mercifully, finally, and quietly retiring from public life.