In 1970, Angela Davis was charged with aggravated kidnapping and first degree murder in the death of Judge Harold Haley, and the FBI director J. Edgar Hoover made her the third woman to appear on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitive List.
Dr. Robert Paquette, Ph.D., a prize-winning historian who co-founded the independent Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, reports that the former leader of the Communist Party USA and retired professor was invited to a “peace-oriented” college for its Martin Luther King Day celebration — after progressives complained about a more conservative option being considered.
He cites this event as another good example of leftist domination on American campuses.
For Martin Luther King Week, [Elizabethtown College] hosted a conspicuous guest whom, it was claimed, would identify with the College’s commitment to “non-violence, human dignity, and social justice.” A committee had formed; a decision was made: For the grand celebration of the ideal of peace, the College rolled out the red carpet for none other than Angela Davis.
Described today as a “comprehensive institution” of higher education, Elizabethtown College has a modest endowment and fewer than 2000 students. It purports to combine instruction in the liberal arts with “experiential learning” in order to achieve the goal of instilling in students “independent thought, personal integrity and social responsibility.” Ample evidence exists to inculpate Angela Davis in murder.
Paul Gottfried, an impressively erudite scholar and emeritus professor at Elizabethtown College, has called his institution to account, not just for bringing Davis to campus, but for the shamelessness of advertising her as some sort of latter-day Quaker quintessence preaching values extracted from the Sermon on the Mount.
As it turns out, Professor Gottfried and Angela Davis had the same mentor: the influential Frankfurt school Marxist and New Left guru, Herbert Marcuse. “Although both of us may have admired this polymath [Marcuse],” wrote Professor Gottfried, “I became a scholar of German philosophy” and she became “a very disruptive communist revolutionary. The idea that this lady has ever advanced peace,” Gottfried added, “is so laughable as to be ridiculous. She has spent the last 40 years inciting violent revolution or apologizing for communist mass-murderers like Stalin or Mao.”
Paquette concludes that the event such as Davis’ appearance help continue funding the progressives and allow them to promote their agenda on American campuses.
With access to a steady stream of dollars, campus radicals and their administrative and trustee accomplices do more than put at risk the very ethos of their own institutions. They serve to subsidize and elaborate a national network of left-wing political activists. When these well-paid folks come to campus, what can only be described as concerted mendacity goes into the making of how they are packaged to malleable undergraduate audiences whose knowledge of history often runs at low ebb.