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Cal State Los Angeles prof: Yesterday’s ‘slave catchers’ are today’s police officers

At a Cal State Fullerton conference yesterday on “intersectionality” and discrimination, a professor and Black Lives Matter organizer said that today’s police officers are the “slave catchers” of prior generations.

According to the Daily Titan, Cal State Los Angeles’s Melina Abdullah told those in attendance “You literally have a target on your back. That is what policing was founded on and that is what it evolved out of. So the former slave catchers or paddy rollers, they were called slave patrols.”

Those old slave patrols, she said, evolved into today’s “patrolmen,” and thus important “because the roots of the police go deep.”

It’s also why she believes in the abolition of police departments.

Abdullah was joined by local activist Cristina Flores of the group “Copwatch,” and host Donna Nicol, Cal State Fullerton women and gender studies professor.

From the article:

“In a nutshell, intersectionality is those multiple identities that you embody and how those things, not only give you meaning or define who you are, but also intersect in what is called the multiplier effect of oppression,” Nicol said. …

“Growing up, I always kind of saw it. You start seeing it, and in academia you figure out that there is this word that everyone keeps throwing around: intersectionality,” Flores said. “My parents are undocumented, we really are working-class poor families, so you always see how all those identities get augmented and the power that they have in regards to how the systems of power are structured here in the United States.” …

“I think it is really important as we think about Black Lives Matter as a global movement, we understand that it also has local roots. Black Lives Matters was born in Los Angeles three and a half years ago. It was just regular folks who decided when George Zimmerman was acquitted in the killing of Trayvon Martin, that we had to do things differently than we have been doing,” Abdullah said.

A professor of Pan-African Studies, Abdullah’s bio says she is a “womanist scholar-activist – understanding the role that she plays in the academy as intrinsically linked to broader struggles for the liberation of oppressed people.”

Professor Abdullah was the Cal State LA faculty member who last May blasted conservative commentator Ben Shapiro — who is Jewish — as a “neo-KKK member” and “part of the conversation about ‘anti-blackness.’”

Read the full story.

MORE: Cal State-LA mulls blocking conservatives from speaking on campus

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