Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib extended birthday wishes on Tuesday towards Angela Davis, a former member of the Black Panthers and communist party.
Tlaib tweeted “Happy Birthday” with a picture of her, Davis and Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. Tlaib also included a quote attributed to Davis’ book, “Freedom Is A Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine And The Foundations Of A Movement.”
“I fear that if we don’t take seriously the ways in which racism is embedded in structures of institutions, if we assume that there must be an identifiable racist…who is the perpetrator, then we won’t ever succeed in eradicating racism,” Davis wrote.
Happy birthday to Dr. Angela Davis!
“I feel that if we don’t take seriously the ways in which racism is embedded in structures of institutions, if we assume that there must be an identifiable racist who is the perpetrator, then we won’t ever succeed in eradicating racism.” pic.twitter.com/x5b4wgDs8g
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) January 26, 2021
Davis is a political activist and used to be part of the Black Panthers Party, according to The Associated Press. Davis ran for vice president on behalf of the Communist Party U.S.A in 1980, according to The New York Times.
Davis also identified herself as a communist in 2018, according to the Liberation School.
Davis was acquitted in 1972 for alleged conspiracy, murder and kidnapping, according to The New York Times. Davis had been on the FBI’s “10 Most Wanted” list and authorities across the country were searching for her.
Davis had been charged for the allegedly aiding Jonathan Jackson, who transported guns into a courtroom and provided them to three convicts, according to The New York Times 1972 report. Jackson and the convicts took the judge and three female jurors hostage in an attempt to break out of the courtroom.
Davis’ name was registered to the guns Jackson used, linking her to the crime, according to the 1972 New York Times report. The judge, two convicts and Jackson were killed in a shooting afterwards.
Davis is also a distinguished professor emerita at the University of California Santa Cruz, according to the school website.
Tlaib’s office, Davis and the University of California Santa Cruz didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.