Congress is promoting a book club meeting in honor of Angela Davis, the radical communist activist who was involved in a California terrorist attack carried out by the Black Panthers.
The Middle Eastern and North African Staff Association, "a bicameral and bipartisan Congressional Staff Organization," announced that its first in-person book club meeting would be on Davis's Freedom Is a Constant Struggle, a 2015 book that argues that Palestinians and black Americans are part of a global struggle against police violence.
"In honor of Black History Month, our pick this month is 'Freedom Is a Constant Struggle' by Angela Davis," the group said. "World-renowned activist and scholar Angela Davis illuminates the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world."
The staff association is listed as an official "resource" by the House Office of Diversity and Inclusion. In its weekly newsletter, the office encouraged staffers to RSVP to the book club, which is scheduled for Feb. 27 at Busboys and Poets. The restaurant—whose owner has said the United States takes "marching orders from Tel Aviv"—hosted Davis herself for an event in 2015, and the domestic terrorist Bill Ayers in 2018.
Though the Middle Eastern and North African Staff Association is described as a bipartisan group, its website indicates it only has four members who are all in Democratic offices. Neither it nor the Office of Diversity and Inclusion responded to requests for comment.
Davis has long been an apologist for radical ideologies and their most violent adherents. During the Cold War, she defended communist dictators, several of whom gave her awards for her pro-Soviet activism. Davis is an outspoken supporter of Rasmea Odeh, who bombed an Israeli grocery store in 1969, and Jim Jones, the cult leader who convinced nearly 1,000 of his followers to commit suicide. She also defended the Black Panthers who tortured and killed a 19-year-old, calling them her "sisters and brothers."
Davis's involvement in terrorism reached its zenith in 1970, when Black Panther militants took over the Marin County Civic Center in California, killing four people including a judge. Davis owned the weapons used in the attack, though she was later acquitted after spending a year in jail.
Congress created the House Office of Diversity and Inclusion in 2019.