- Film and television star
- Supporter of the Castro dictatorship in Cuba
- Supporter of Not In Our Name, a Maoist-created antiwar movement
- Depicts America as “one of the main purveyors of violence in this world”
Danny Glover is a film and television actor as well as a leftist ideologue who has ardently supported the dictatorial regimes of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Cuba's Fidel Castro.
Glover was born in San Francisco, California in 1947. His parents both worked for the U.S. Postal Service and were active members of the NAACP.
Glover graduated from George Washington High School in San Francisco. He briefly attended American University in Washington, DC and then transferred to San Francisco State College (SFSC), where he met Asake Bomani, whom he would marry in 1975.
At SFSC, Glover joined the Black Students Union (BSU), which staged a five-month-long strike that ultimately pressured the school into establishing its first Ethnic Studies Department. Glover recounts how his BSU membership led him into radical politics:
“A number of us in the Black Students Union ... worked in the [Black] Panthers' free-breakfast-for-children program. We also helped them organize their newspaper. Although we weren't in the party, we were all involved. I lived in a political commune for a year. We embraced a lot of struggles globally. The anti-Vietnam War movement positioned us. There were liberation struggles going on in South Africa, the Portuguese colonies, and Zimbabwe. All of those things converged into a very strong activism.”
Following his graduation from SFSC in 1971, Glover enrolled in the American Conservatory Theater's Black Actors Workshop, which exposed him to the works of South African playwright Athol Fugard. Glover would later star in the 1982 Broadway production of Fugard's Master Harold ... and the Boys, which brought him critical acclaim.
Glover made his film debut in Escape from Alcatraz in 1979. He went on to play supporting roles in such films as The Color Purple (1985); Mandela (1987); A Raisin in the Sun (1989); A Rage in Harlem (1991); How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998); and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001). Glover is most familiar to moviegoers as Mel Gibson’s partner, Roger Murtaugh, in the four Lethal Weapon films. Glover also has produced a number of movies, most of which which feature racial themes. These include Buffalo Soldiers (1997), which was about an all-black cavalry unit in the post-Civil War era, and Freedom Song (2000), about the U.S. civil rights movement.
Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, Glover publicly stated that the U.S. was in no position to pass moral judgment on the terrorists responsible for those atrocities. “One of the main purveyors of violence in this world,” said Glover, “has been this country, whether it's been against Nicaragua, Vietnam or wherever.”
On another occasion, Glover criticized Americans' “rabid [post-9/11] nationalism that has its own kind of potential of being maniacal, in some sense.”
Characterizing President George W. Bush as a racist who would gladly turn back the clock on America's post-1950s civil rights advances, Glover has said, “We must stand vigilant against Bush in these times and work with the abolitionists.”
At a February 2003 anti-war rally in New York City, Glover charged that the Bush administration was composed of “liars and murderers.”
Glover was a signatory to “The Conscience of the World,” a public letter (signed by 160 artists and performers) which condemned the War in Iraq and pledged support for Fidel Castro's Communist dictatorship in Cuba. Glover and Castro are close personal friends. According to the state-controlled Cuban newspaper Granma International, “There’s an intense relationship between Danny Glover and Havana. It was love at first sight, and not only has it stood the test of his frequent visits, but it is growing deeper and deeper, through discoveries and affinities.”
Glover also supports Not In Our Name, the Revolutionary Communist Party movement which “pledges resistance to [America's] endless war, detentions and roundups, [and] attacks on civil liberties.”
Glover is a strong backer of the socialist magazine Monthly Review, which he says “challenges us to think, inspires us to action, and makes us realize that the impossible is only difficult, not insurmountable.”
On several occasions, Glover has visited Venezuela and made guest appearances on President Hugo Chavez's television and radio talk show, Hello, President. Glover is a Board member of Venezuela's ”TeleSUR” news network, which Chavez created in 2005.
Since 1998, Glover has served as an ambassador for the United Nations Development Program. He currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Vanguard Public Foundation. And he serves as Board Co-Chair (with Harry Belafonte) of the TransAfrica Forum, which claims to “serv[e] as an educational and organizing center that encourages progressive viewpoints in the United States foreign policy arena and advocates justice for the people of Africa and the African Diaspora.”
For his work in the performing arts, Glover has received four Emmy nominations as an actor and one Daytime Emmy nomination as a director. He also has won the NAACP Image Award on five occasions.
Glover worked alongside the Marxist historian Howard Zinn, playing the role of Frederick Douglass in the stage production of Zinn’s Voices of a People's History of the United States. As of early 2008, Glover was scheduled to reprise this role in The People Speak, a television mini-series based on Zinn’s book.
In 2006 Glover joined Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Ed Asner, Willie Nelson, Lynn Woolsey, and Cynthia McKinney in staging a “Troops Home Fast” hunger strike to protest the Iraq War. The fast was performed in a relay fashion (i.e., each participant fasted for a day, then “passed” the effort to another faster). The event was organized by Gold Star Families for Peace founder Cindy Sheehan and endorsed by Code Pink for Peace.
Glover describes himself as someone who has “been an advocate for peace [his] whole life.” But in April 2006, while in London to promote an anti-death penalty play titled The Exonerated, Glover assaulted a paparazzo.
In May 2007, Glover publicly endorsed John Edwards for the Democratic presidential nomination for the 2008 election. Following Edwards’ withdrawal from the race in January 2008, Glover endorsed Barack Obama.
After a devastating earthquake struck Haiti in January 2009, killing an estimated tens of thousands, Glover said in an interview: “What happened in Haiti could happen to anywhere in the Caribbean because all these island nations are in peril because of global warming. When we see what we did at the climate summit in Copenhagen [failing to arrive at an 'environmental-protection' deal that would transfer massive amounts of money from the U.S. to the Third World], this is the response, this is what happens, you know what I’m sayin’?”
At a January 2013 event held
in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Texas A&M University, Glover told a group of students that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was instituted for the purpose of perpetuating slavery:
Glover is adamantly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances. "When I say the death penalty is inhumane," he once stated, "I mean [it's inhumane] whether that person is in a bird cage [jail] or it's Bin Laden."
“I don’t know if you know the genesis of the right to bear arms. The Second Amendment comes from the right to protect themselves
from slave revolts, and from uprisings by Native Americans. A revolt from people who were stolen from their land or revolt from
people whose land was stolen from, that’s what the genesis of the Second Amendment is.”
Over the years, Glover has made political campaign contributions to a number of political candidates, all of them Democrats. The recipients include Barbara Lee, Cynthia McKinney, Ron Dellums, Harvey Gantt, and Howard Metzenbaum.