Monday, April 26, 2010

Ask The Panthers What Would Happen If The Teabaggers Were Black

There's been a lot of hue and cry from the 'white' wing about Dr. Tim Wise's 'Imagine If The Tea Party Were Black' post that's been linked to at blogs across the Blackosphere.

Some of the dismissive comments from the defenders of whiteness call it 'speculative' and tried to shout Wise's conclusions down since it didn't jibe with their vanilla flavored conservaworldview.

But it ain't 'speculation' what the reaction of whiteness and the Feds would be to an armed group of Black people calling for radical change to the system. All you have to do is pick up the history books and go back to the 1966 formation in Oakland of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense.

The BPP got the attention of California state legislators when they began exercising their rights under California law to openly carry loaded shotguns as part of their confrontational defense tactics against police brutality.

On May 2, 1967 in protest of the Mulford Act, a proposed law to ban public displays of loaded firearms, 30 armed Panthers traveled to Sacramento and legally sauntered into the Cali state Capitol building with loaded shotguns.

Thanks to their brief merger with SNCC, the rapid expansion of the BPP into major cities across the nation amassing a half million members in the process, and the fact riots against our negative treatment started occurring in many cities in 1965 and you can see how jittery the Black Panther Party made the powers that be.

The Panthers also gained support in the Black community thanks to their successful survival programs offering free breakfasts for children, free clothing distribution, classes on politics and economics, free medical clinics, lessons on self-defense and first aid, transportation to upstate prisons for family members of inmates, an emergency-response ambulance program, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and testing for sickle-cell anemia.

The BPP Ten-Point Program called for changes that made them even more threatening.

1. We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our black community.
2. We want full employment for our people.
3. We want an end to the robbery by the capitalists of our black community.
4. We want decent housing fit for the shelter of human beings.
5. We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present-day society.
6. We want all black men to be exempt from military service.
7. We want an immediate end to police brutality and murder of black people.
8. We want freedom for all black men held in federal, state, county and city prisons and jails.
9. We want all black people when brought to trial to be tried in court by a jury of their peer group or people from their black communities, as defined by the constitution of the United States.
10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace.

The exemption from military service was replaced in 1972 by a demand for completely free health care for all black and oppressed people.

Of course, the reaction to the mushrooming popularity of the Panthers in the African American community had to be stopped. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover in September 1968 described the Black Panthers as "the greatest threat to the internal security of the country' and targeted them for 'neutralization' by the FBI's infamous COINTELPRO program.

Thanks to armed clashes with the police, infiltration, steadily dropping membership numbers and other COINTELPRO shenanigans the power of the BPP was broken by the mid 70's.

So no, don't doubt for a minute that the reaction of the media and conservafools would be quite different if the teabaggers were all Black instead of racist sore loser white people with deficient spelling abilities hatin' on President Obama.

1 comment:

modest-goddess said...

think you for providing such a concrete example