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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Elizabeth Louise Sanders VS The Angry Panther

Back in '67 Liz had the pleasure of doing an interview with Bobby Seale for The Full Circle. She and Bobby got along famously. After she did the interview Bobby asked her to go with him to meet Huey, who had been against Bobby doing the interview because he feared that the interview might be slanted. The Full Circle, for all intents and purposes, was a "white" paper, after all, with two white people working on it and The Black Panthers were perceived by a large chunk of society, both white and black, as the scary black militant group with guns so, just as those involved in the anti-war movement were subject to unfair treatment by the media, so it was with the Panthers only more so because it was the '60's and these were angry black guys with guns...Oh my! (Rolls eyes emphatically). Liz, of course, was not about to put any sort of slant on the interview because she wasn't a narrow minded fool and when it came to interviews, she put out what she was given. Here is a back track moment giving you that first meeting:

    '“You are never going to believe who called wanting an interview with you!” Jack all but shouted as I walked through the door.
     “Who?” I shouted back.
     “Bobby fucking Seale! He heard about you thanks to Asshole Abbie and he wants to come to L.A., to your house, for an interview. Do you understand how big this is? A Black Panther wanting to do an interview with a white girl for a white paper? This is huge!”
      “When?” I asked, taking a little note pad and a pen out of my purse.
     “This Sunday.”
     “Three days? You are giving me three days to prepare an interview for Bobby Seale? Christ almighty, Jack!” I responded in irritation. “I’ve never met a Black Panther face to face. I have no idea what to say or, more importantly, what not to say. Where does he want to do this?”
     “I told you already, your house.”
     Suddenly Julie spoke up, alarm in her tone. “You want to let a Black Panther into our house?” She questioned.
     “Hey, better Lizzy do it there than in Oakland or Compton or Watts.” Chris declared from behind the counter.
     Jack just stood there shaking his head. “Liz, you’ve done a lot of risky shit. Some of it has been my fault. I ask you to do crazy things some times. I’m telling you, this aint one of those times. I talked to the guy on the phone for almost two hours. He’s a groovy cat. You have nothing to fucking worry about. Interview him like you would anyone else. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions. That’s the whole point.”
     I nodded. If Jack thought I had something to worry about he would tell me. I know now that my initial nervous reaction was due to ignorance. All I knew of the Black Panthers was what most white people knew of them at the time…or thought they knew. It was a group of blacks with big guns and every single one of them despised “whitey”. Being white myself this was obviously a combination that made me slightly uneasy. But I knew that if that were really the case Jack would have at least given me a head’s up. Instead he sang Bobby’s praises for about twenty minutes. The guy was very intelligent, into rapping about the world and change, he had great ideas, and he was polite. That’s all I had to go on before I met him but somehow it was enough. “Classes start Tuesday.” I said offhandedly. I looked through the clothes racks that the shop was well known for. “I suppose you’ll need the interview by Monday.”
     “Yeah but all I need you to do is bring it up and drop it off. Don’t worry. I will do everything else and Tuesday morning the September issue will be sitting on the counter of head shops everywhere.” He and I were the only people left downstairs. Perhaps that is why he asked softly, “Why did you leave like that, Lizzy? What the hell happened?” Just thinking about the dream made me shiver but I told him all about it. I recounted every detail. At the end his only reaction was, “Wow! That’s really heavy shit! Do you think it means something?”
     “It was just a dream but it was so damned real! And the feeling I had from it…I don’t know.” That was the last time I ever discussed the nightmare that ended my summer dream. Sure, I thought about it later. But never again did I talk about it.
     On the way home Julie said wistfully, “So, our last year of college. Can you believe it? That we’ve already come this far, I mean?”
     “It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long since we crossed the state line. Then on the other hand sometimes it seems like it’s been an eternity.” I replied, my eyes focused only on the highway.
     “I’ve been thinking a lot, Lizzy, and…I don’t know what I’m going to do after graduation. Have you thought of that at all?”
     “No.” I replied honestly. “With everything the way it is, I can’t think past next week.”
     “Speaking of that, what do you think Brian’s going to say about this whole Black Panther thing?”
     “I really don’t know.” I hadn’t even thought of his reaction. “It doesn’t matter, really. I’m going to do this.”
     I had been inside my little house about twenty minutes before I told him. Ross was there and Ginger as well. As soon as the announcement was made the whole house went dead silent. A pin dropping could have been heard as everyone anticipated Brian’s response. “I’m not going anywhere. When this cat comes over I’ll be right here through the whole interview. I would do the same thing if it was a white guy with a violent reputation so why should I play it any differently?”
     “That’s fine.” I replied.
     “This is going to be very interesting.” Ross said with a smile.
     It took two of the three days I had to compose questions for the most difficult interview I thought I would ever do. By Sunday morning I was on pins and needles waiting for Bobby Seale to knock on my door. My stomach was actually in knots. Around noon the knock finally came. I rose nervously to answer it not really knowing what I would find on the other side. I was quite surprised to see a nice looking man in his Sunday best. “Liz Sanders?” He asked.
     “Yep.” I answered cheerfully. “And you are Bobby Seale I presume?”
     He smiled at it was that smile that put me completely at ease. “Sure am. May I come in?”
     “Absolutely!” I stepped aside allowing him to pass. I invited him to take a seat and make himself comfortable. “Can I get you anything?” I offered.
     “Have you got a beer?”
     I returned from the kitchen with one for both of us. He thanked me before saying, “I would have come sooner but I had to go to church. You know how it is.” I didn’t, actually, but I nodded just the same. “So…I don’t really do this much. Usually Huey handles this kind of thing but because Abbie told me to talk to you I decided to come myself. What I’m trying to say is I don’t really know the mechanics of how this interview thing goes. Do we rap first and then get down to business?”
     “I like to do both when I interview people. I think it gives the interview more character because the readers don’t just muddle through the standard Q and A sort of thing. They actually get a sense of who that person is.”
     “That’s a good policy. Especially for this. I mean, there are so many misconceptions out there about what the Black Panthers stand for. The white community is afraid. The black community tends to either be wary of us or to be overzealous, wanting to join us for all the wrong reasons. We get a lot of the latter every time there’s a race war and that kind of thing. I’m afraid it doesn’t matter what we say, people are going to believe what they want to believe, you dig?”
     My god, I thought, he really isn’t much different than me. “I know exactly what you are talking about. We have the same problems with the anti-war movement. The older generation is scared shitless of what we’re talking about and the ideas we put out there and the runaways coming to California now have no fucking idea what they are getting themselves into but they are trying like hell to get into it anyway. And you can’t tell any of them the way it really is because they think they know the scene. I do have a question to ask.”
     “Sock it to me, then.” He said with a laugh.
     “Why did you want me to do this interview? Why me and why The Full Circle?”
     He looked at me straight in the eye and he said simply, “I want to bridge the gap between me and you. You got your side and I’ve got mine. They aren’t really at cross purposes at all yet they can’t seem to unite. I don’t understand it. Hoffman and I have talked about it and he don’t get it either. There’s strength in numbers. We have a common goal. The war in Vietnam has to stop. If nothing else we have that to unite over.”
     “But we are trying to stop the war peacefully. It seems like this imagine of violence surrounds the Panthers.” I was totally at ease now, mentally filing away this conversation but really getting into it.
     “That’s another misconception. Do we have guns? Hell yeah we do. But we also have a policy. Do not use violent force unless violent force is first used against you. That’s not unreasonable, is it?”
     “No.” I admitted. “In fact, it makes more sense to me than passive resistance.”
     For the next two hours we conducted the interview just like that. It turned out to be one of the most insightful, philosophical, laid back interviews I had ever participated in. Periodically Brian or Ross would pass through but Bobby and I just kept rapping. At last we covered everything we both wanted in the paper. That’s when Bobby asked, “Could you do me a favor? If you aint too busy?”
     “Sure.” I replied, lighting up a Lucky.
     “Will you come down to Watts with me? There’s some people I really want you to meet.”
      I didn’t even hesitate in saying yes. An hour later I was sitting in the parlor of an elderly black couple’s home sipping coffee, eating a piece of pie, and listening to stories about the “hard years” of the early twentieth century. The couple migrated to California from Clay County, Georgia during the Great Depression looking for better job opportunities. The more they talked of their early years in the Deep South the more disgusted I became with certain members of my race. When we got up to leave the woman, Mrs. Smith, hugged me and smiled. “You come back anytime, sugar. Be good now, Bobby.” I was touched by the experience.
    “Now,” Bobby announced as we got into my car, “I want to take you to meet Huey before he heads back up to Oakland.”
     “He didn’t really want you to do this interview, did he?” I questioned.
     “You are one perceptive little girl. No, he didn’t. He was dead set against it. He wouldn’t even come with me. That’s why I’m taking you to him.”
     Personally I thought that was a terrible idea but I kept my trap shut and I followed directions as he gave them. We ended up in front of a house that looked condemned with boards and bars on the windows. “When we go in you stick close to me, alright?”
     “Sure.” I replied softly.
     For the first time since we started talking I was worried. What the hell was I about to walk into? Bobby gave the door a sort of secret knock. Someone demanded his name. “Seale and a guest.” He called back. The door opened and Bobby looked back to make sure I was right behind him. Satisfied, he led me through. At once all eyes fell on me. There was a large living room, a kitchen, and a dining room, all out in the open and all packed with people and everyone there stopped whatever they were doing to stare me down. “Where’s Huey?” Bobby asked.
     “Upstairs.” Said a man who was sitting on the couch with a girl.
     Onward we went through the crowd, up the stairs, and into the first bedroom we came to. A couple were balling on the bed and I assumed the guy wasn’t Huey because Bobby immediately led me back out into the hallway. “Sorry about that.” He said with a sheepish grin.
     “That’s perfectly alright.”
     The next room we came to was empty. At last we found Huey with three others sitting around a table. “Bobby?” He made the name into a question as he looked at me. At that moment I felt totally intimidated.
     “Yeah. This is Liz Sanders. We got something we want you to take a look at.”
     He had asked me to bring along the notes and the Q and A. Now I knew why. “I do not have time for this shit.” Huey protested but he took the papers I handed him none the less. Bobby and I just stood there in silence and watched him read the outline of what would become the first piece on the Panthers to appear in a “white” periodical. When he finished he handed the pages back and offered me his seat. “I should have done that when you came in, Miss Sanders, and I apologize for my lapse in manners.” He then focused his attention on Bobby. “Did you just come here to show me how it went or do you want to talk about it?”
     “I want to know what you think.”
     “You want me to say that you were right, or, more accurately, that I was wrong.”
     Bobby grinned brightly, “Is that so bad?”
     Huey smiled right back. “It’s fucking rude to play against a man’s pride, Seale, but if that’s how you wanna play, fine. I was wrong. It sounds to me like this young woman is going to represent us just as we try to represent ourselves. For that, Miss Sanders, I thank you.”
     “Does this mean you’ll get off my ass, Newton?” Bobby asked with a chuckle.
     “Yeah, yeah. Now go escort this young lady back to her place and get your ass back here. We’ve got shit to do before we head back.”
     “That’s alright.” I interjected. “You can stay here. I’ll find my way back home. Go ahead and attend to your business.”
     It was Huey who spoke up. “You wanna go home alone through this neighborhood? No way. Bobby’s got plenty of money for a bus. He can see you home. Now get on out and get your ass back here.”
     When I stood up Huey shook my hand and extended his pleasure at meeting me. Only then did the three men in the room with us also speak up and say the same. I wrote out the piece for the paper in under an hour. I was very satisfied with the results. It was a good strong piece and it covered everything. I knew it would be the main focus of September’s issue and it was something both Bobby and I could be proud of.'
Yes, at first there were nerves and there was some apprehension stemming from the group's reputation but all in all, everything went along just fine. Then, in 1968, Bobby decided he wanted Liz to come and do an interview with a group of Panthers. All did not go so well....and this is the story of Liz Sanders VS the Angry Panther:
'The Panthers had been talking ever since the interview that I had done with Bobby. They all read it and they all appeared to like it. After Huey’s arrest there was a lot of negative publicity coming their way and now, not only was the press and news still giving them a hard time, but Bobby suspected that they were being watched. “You too, huh?” I asked. For some reason, knowing that I was in fact not alone in this gave me a quiet sort of strength.
     “Man, are you serious? What the hell are they doing following around young women? That’s just…fucked up. Maybe we shouldn’t do this after all. If the man is already giving you shit…”
     “Than a little more won’t hurt. When do you want to get together?”
     The date was set. Next weekend I was to be at Jack’s shop. Bobby and Huey (who was in between jail trips at the time) would come to get me and they would take me to where we were going. I figured it was in Oakland but past that I had no idea. I had to come alone. I was ok with that. I had been alone with Bobby once before and obviously I had made it just fine.
Everyone had dropped hints over the course of the week concerning the meeting that I was supposed to have with the group of Panthers. No one came right out and said it was a bad idea. It wouldn’t have mattered much if they would have.  It wasn’t until all of us were loaded into my car and headed back to Frisco that I started thinking about what I had agreed to do. Bobby and Huey were cool. They had treated me well when we last met and I had no reservations where they were concerned. But did that mean that all of their friends would be as accepting when I walked into their club? I couldn’t be sure. It was too late to turn back, though. That much was obvious to me. So I did what was in my nature to do at such times. I tried not to think about it.
It was Jack who tried to give me a way out. Saturday morning I was getting ready, fussing, as I usually did, over what I should wear. Everyone else was asleep except Jack, who had begun his speed high earlier than usual that morning and as I stood before the bathroom mirror putting on makeup he came in and sighed. “You don’t have to do this, ya know, if you’re not cool with it.”
       I looked at him through the glass and shrugged. “Why wouldn’t I be cool with it?”
      He shrugged right back at me. “I don’t know. I’m just…ya know…saying….”
     Turning around to face him, I gave him my coolest, calmed smile and patted his cheek. “I’ll be fine, Jack. Bobby won’t let anything happen to me. He’s too much of a gentleman. You have nothing to worry about.” Without another word he left me there wishing I could feel as sure of my actions as I had pretended to be.
         I can’t say that I was ever truly involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Obviously I felt that all people, regardless of their color, deserved the same rights and that everyone deserved to be treated with equal respect and dignity. In my years before coming out to California I had watched in horror and disgust on my parent’s black and white television as blacks were beaten and blasted by fire hoses. At seventeen I had listened on my transistor radio as Dr. King gave a speech that brought me to tears. But that was before my involvement in the anti-war movement that had all but consumed my life. Huey and Bobby I respected so when they came to pick me up I didn’t think twice about keeping the appointment I had made with them. I simply got into the car and let them take me into unknown territory.
         It took me about ten minutes after arriving with the dynamic duo to see that not everyone were like them. Some wore aggression around them the way others wore a coat. I accepted their anger and bitterness. I can’t say that I understood it. I did to a point but never fully. I had been mistreated at times because of the way I looked and the things I believed but if I had cut my hair and dressed to society’s standards, if I had stopped my involvement in the movement, all of the mistreatment would’ve been over. The people before me could never hide their race. I was hated because of choices I had made. These people were born into the hatred. That I could never fully understand.
           I had intended to sit back and do nothing except observe with a reporter’s eye unless otherwise instructed. When one of the men asked, “Huey, who the hell is she?” I only looked up with mild interest.
         “She’s a friend of Abbie’s and Bobby’s…heavy into the war movement. She’s also a reporter for a big underground paper. She did that interview with Bobby a few months back. Man, you remember.”
         “Why is she here?” The man asked, clearly not appreciating my presence.
        Huey fixed him with a glare and replied simply, “Because we want her to be.”
        The man nodded, replying, “That’s cool, man.”
     I thought the issue was settled. About ten minutes later the cat came over and sat down beside of me. I looked at him and smiled. He didn’t smile back. It was then that I realized he was only looking for a fight. “Look around you, little girl. You scared to be here?”
      The question sounded unreasonable to me. “Why should I be scared?”
     “A little white girl like you in a room full of black men? In the back of your mind you gotta be thinking anything can happen. Isn’t that what society’s taught you?” The man asked.
       “Society taught me to graduate, get married, have kids, and keep my goddamned mouth shut. There’s a lot that society taught me that I forgot to take notes on. Sorry.” I replied mildly.
         The man laughed. “For a white girl, you got spunk. I like that. So what’s with this paper Huey talked about?”
        Obviously the cat hadn’t caught the interview with Bobby. Either that or he was goading me into something. “It’s exactly what Huey said, an underground anti-war, anti-establishment paper.”
        “You see the war for what it is?” He asked.
         I looked at him. The glint of defiance was in his eyes. “What do you mean?”
       “It’s a black issue, you know. Black men shouldn’t be dying over there!” He declared vehemently.
          “That’s bullshit!” I declared right back. “It’s a national issue! None of our men; black, white, red, yellow, brown, or purple should be over there! This isn’t our war and that has nothing to do with a soldier’s skin tone!”
         “No Vietnamese ever called me nigger!” The man recited the unofficial anti-war slogan of the Panthers.
        “Yeah, and no Vietnamese ever spent two hundred years robbing women like me of our basic human rights just because we have tits. Women are over there too, ya know. Does that make the war a feminist issue?” I questioned, getting angry. I didn’t notice that the room had gone quiet around me.
       “Little girl, you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.”
     “I was just about to say the same to you!” I spat out. “You sit there and say you want equality, you want to be treated the same as a white man. I respect that and I agree with all of my heart that you deserve that. As a woman who grew up hearing I had no choices because I was female I can almost sympathize with you on that. Yet here you are asking for equality while you are trying to divide yourself from me because you are black and I am white. That would be the same as me crying out for women’s rights and equality and then expecting a man to work and pay for me or pull out my chair at dinner. You cannot have it both ways!”
       “You got any black cats you call friends?” The man asked.
        “One of my best friends is a black man.” I replied.
       “Would you let him sleep on your couch? What about your bed? Would you take him home to your white mama?”
         “Jimi spent the last five days on my couch. My boyfriend would have more to do with keeping him out of my bed than our difference in skin tone would, and if for some reason he ever wanted to meet my mother I would gladly haul his ass out to Ohio.”
       “Jimi? You talking about Hendrix?” The guy narrowed his eyes, his face showing disgust.
       “The one and only.”
       “He aint nothing but a fucking Uncle Tom!”
       That was it for me. “You don’t fucking know him! You don’t know anything about him so kindly keep your mouth shut! He’s dealt with the same bullshit as everyone else in this room only he got it just a little more because what’s worse than being black? Being black and Cherokee. You think you’ve got problems? Try that one on for size! Just because he doesn’t act like a black version of the Klan, that doesn’t make him a fucking sell out! You asked me if I would ever take a black man home. Let me ask you this. Would you bring a white woman home to your mama?”
        “Why? You offering?” He questioned with a smile.
     “That’s right. Avoid the question. You are every bit as racist as the white folks that you are fighting against. That’s the difference in you and Jimi. Ignorance! You don’t want equality! What you want is just another form of hatred!” I stood up, ready to go. My back was to my adversary as I told Huey, “I’ll do an interview with you and Bobby and anyone else you would like to bring along to the shop tomorrow. If tomorrow doesn’t work, we can try again for next weekend. Thank you for inviting me here but I think I should go. I’ll hitch back to the Haight.”
          Suddenly Huey’s eyes were behind me and I turned around to see the guy I had been talking to holding a gun. There was no fear in me, only anger. “That’s right. Shoot me and prove that everything the ignorant backwoods bastards say about you is true. That will really help your cause!” I spat out.
         The man lowered his gun and smiled. “Shit! I aint gonna shot you! I was just guarding the door.”
        Suddenly Huey spoke up, saying to all, “Me and Bobby’s going to take this young lady back across the bridge. When we get back shit’s going to be dealt with in here!”
        I didn’t protest when Bobby led me out by my elbow. As soon as the door was closed behind us Huey began to apologize. “I never expected things to happen like that. I’m sorry. That one’s a loose cannon, ya know? He’s a real angry cat. I figured he would be cool since you showed up with us. I was wrong. I apologize.”
       I looked down and I realized for the first time that my hands were shaking. “It’s alright. What happened wasn’t your fault and there was no harm done, really.”
    “I don’t want you to think the wrong thing because of this. We aint about that kind of violent nonsense.”
       “I know that.” I replied with honest passion.
      Suddenly Bobby began to laugh. Both Huey and I looked at him as he draped his arm around me. “Man, he didn’t know what the hell to say to you, Lizzy. This is one little girl who can hold her own, can’t she?”
       Opening the driver’s side door, Huey chuckled. “She sure as hell can!”
       The drive back to the shop was a quiet one on my part. Huey and Bobby chatted in the front seat but I was lost in my thoughts. The events that had taken place during that meeting had my mind working, trying to figure out if either of us was right in the argument that we had had. It was something I was often trying to figure out in those days, who was right and who was wrong and if we would ever truly know the difference.'
Now, let me explain (as I seem to do a lot in this blog) the entire point of this scene. Like Liz VS the Feral Feminist (which will be the next blog since I forgot it some time back and it is along these same lines), this wasn't some attack on The Black Panthers. The Panthers, in the '60's, were a group that empowered people who needed empowerment. They came together and gave a sense of strength to black people who had been through a great deal of shit, who were fighting like hell to be treated like human beings (something no person should have to fight for as it should simple BE for all human beings but that is another post for another  time).  The Panthers were there to demonstrate that this sort of shit did not have to be tolerated.  That was the original idea from what I've read and the interviews I've seen. But, like the anti-war movement, somewhere along the line that began to change. Hostile people with guns can make for tricky situations. It wasn't just in the Panthers as the hippies had their share of crazies that came as time progressed (think The Weather Underground). The longer these movements went on, the more people got pissed off. But none of that pertains to why I wrote this. I wrote it because I am a person that believes in justice. If I had my way, everything in life would be fair for every person. That will never happen but as a writer I do have the ability to address certain things that do not sit right with my sense of right and wrong. Reverse racism to me makes no sense...anymore than fighting against oppression by oppressing those who fight with you (again, the next blog's happy lesson). Yes, of course the guy in this scene had every right to carry that chip on his shoulder, to be pissed because Liz was there, and to act the way he did. But in the end, if we all went around turning tables instead of fixing what's wrong, would anything ever change? When you hate those who hate you, what are you really accomplishing? And though I used the Panthers (or rather one Panther in particular) to demonstrate this, this isn't just a race thing. It goes out to anyone...ANYONE...who has ever been hated for who they are and chose to hate back instead of fighting back. And in case you are wondering, here was how the situation ended between Liz and the Panther:
'Before I could go upstairs to investigate, a sleek black Cadillac pulled up in front of Jack’s shop and we watched as six black men in the typical outfit of the Panthers piled out of the car. Huey and Bobby were at the fore of this group and I smiled as they came in. My smile turned to a frown when I noticed that one of the guys was the same one that I had my disagreement with the night before. “Hey, Lizzy. Jack.” Bobby gave my partner a nod of acknowledgement. “I don’t want to rush you but something came up so we’ve only got about two hours to do this…”
     “That’s fine. Follow me.” I announced, going up the stairs to the only space available for an interview.
     “So, what direction would you like this interview to take? Do you want a typical q and a or did you have something else in mind?” I asked as I sat across from Bobby, Huey, and the angry guy on the sofa. From my vantage point on the floor looking up at the guy with the sunlight coming in I realized that this man was really just a boy, about Eric’s age. Suddenly my frustration towards him melted away.
     “First, before we start anything, my friend Jesse here has something he wants to say to you.”
    The angry cat finally had a name and that, along with his age, made him more than just some pissed off guy. I looked at him and I wondered if I should tell him that it wasn’t really necessary. I could’ve handled the situation differently myself but I had also chosen to run my mouth. “Miss Sanders, I apologize about last night. It aint really you, you know, it’s just…the situation of it all. Still, no matter what color your skin is you’re still a lady and my grandmamma taught me better than that. I shouldn’t have disrespected you like I did.”
     I accepted this with a nod and I tried to make an apology of my own. “Apology accepted. I acted like a bitch last night myself. I’m sorry for that. I wasn’t exactly acting like a lady.” With that I stuck out my hand as a peace offering and I smiled as he shook it.
After that it was business as usual. I never got the names of the other three men who came along and the guys pretty much conducted the interview. All I had to do was record what they had to say and ask a question now and then when I was unsure of something or I felt there needed to be more detail. The interview was different from the one that I had done with Bobby, the atmosphere serious instead of casual. I heard about Huey’s legal troubles and how the Feds were following everyone, black or white, that was involved in the movement. I heard about plans for rallies and protests. I heard about Dr. King and what he was up to. And at the end I turned off my tape recorder, we said our goodbyes, and I sat down to work on the articles that I needed already for the month of March.'
See? Why hate when you can fight back? And why let differences divide us when you can put them aside and find your common ground. Because we all have something that can bring us together. But if you never bother looking how the hell are you going to find it?

What the Black Panther Party was trying to accomplish (taken from http://www.stanford.edu/group/blackpanthers/history.shtml):

Black Panther Party
Platform and Program

"What We Want,
What We Believe"

October 1966 Platform

1. We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black Community.
We believe that black people will not be free until we are able to determine our destiny.

March 1972 Platform

1. We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black and oppressed communities.
We believe that Black and oppressed people will not be free until we are able to determine our destinies in our own communities ourselves, by fully controlling all the institutions which exist in our communities.
2. We want full employment for our people.
We believe that the federal government is responsible and obligated to give every man employment or a guaranteed income. We believe that if the white American businessmen will not give full employment, then the means of production should be taken from the businessmen and placed in the community so that the people of the community can organize and employ all of its people and give a high standard of living.
2. We want full employment for our people.
We believe that the federal government is responsible and obligated to give every person employment or a guaranteed income. We believe that if the American businessmen will not give full employment, then the technology and means of production should be taken from the businessmen and placed in the community so that the people of the community can organize and employ all of its people and give a high standard of living.
3. We want an end to the robbery by the white man of our Black Community.
We believe that this racist government has robbed us and now we are demanding the overdue debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules was promised 100 years ago as restitution for slave labor and mass murder of black people. We will accept the payment as currency which will be distributed to our many communities. The Germans are now aiding the Jews in Israel for the genocide of the Jewish people. The Germans murdered six million Jews. The American racist has taken part in the slaughter of over twenty million black people; therefore, we feel that this is a modest demand that we make.
3. We want an end to the robbery by the capitalist of our Black and oppressed communities.
We believe that this racist government has robbed us and now we are demanding the overdue debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules were promised 100 years ago as restitution for slave labor and mass murder of Black people. We will accept the payment in currency which will be distributed to our many communities. The American racist has taken part in the slaughter of over fifty million Black people. Therefore, we feel this is a modest demand that we make.
4. We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings.
We believe that if the white landlords will not give decent housing to our black community, then the housing and the land should be made into cooperatives so that our community, with government aid, can build and make decent housing for its people.
4. We want decent housing, fit for the shelter of human beings.
We believe that if the landlords will not give decent housing to our Black and oppressed communities, then the housing and the land should be made into cooperatives so that the people in our communities, with government aid, can build and make decent housing and the land should be made into cooperatives so that the people in our communities, with government aid, can build and make decent housing for the people.
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.
We believe in an educational system that will give to our people a knowledge of self. If a man does not have knowledge of himself and his position in society and the world, then he has little chance to relate to anything else.
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.
We believe in an educational system that will give to our people a knowledge of self. If you do not have knowledge of yourself and your position in the society and the world, then you will have little chance to know anything else.
6. We want all black men to be exempt from military service.
We believe that Black people should not be forced to fight in the military service to defend a racist government that does not protect us. We will not fight and kill other people of color in the world who, like black people, are being victimized by the white racist government of America. We will protect ourselves from the force and violence of the racist police and the racist military, by whatever means necessary.
6. We want completely free health care for all Black and oppressed people.
We believe that the government must provide, free of charge, for the people, health facilities which will not only treat our illnesses, most of which have come about as a result of our oppression, but which will also develop preventative medical programs to guarantee our future survival. We believe that mass health education and research programs must be developed to give all Black and oppressed people access to advanced scientific and medical information, so we may provide ourselves with proper medical attention and care.
7. We want an immediate end to police brutality and murder of black people.
We believe we can end police brutality in our black community by organizing black self-defense groups that are dedicated to defending our black community from racist police oppression and brutality. The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States gives a right to bear arms. We therefore believe that all black people should arm themselves for self defense.
7. We want an immediate end to police brutality and murder of Black people, other people of color, all oppressed people inside the United States.
We believe that the racist and fascist government of the United States uses its domestic enforcement agencies to carry out its program of oppression against Black people, other people of color and poor people inside the United States. We believe it is our right, therefore, to defend ourselves against such armed forces, and that all Black and oppressed people should be armed for self-defense of our homes and communities against these fascist police forces.
8. We want freedom for all black men held in federal, state, county and city prisons and jails.
We believe that all black people should be released from the many jails and prisons because they have not received a fair and impartial trial.
8. We want an immediate end to all wars of aggression.
We believe that the various conflicts which exist around the world stem directly from the aggressive desires of the U.S. ruling circle and government to force its domination upon the oppressed people of the world. We believe that if the U.S. government or its lackeys do not cease these aggressive wars that it is the right of the people to defend themselves by any means necessary against their aggressors.
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.
We believe that the courts should follow the United States Constitution so that black people will receive fair trials. The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives a man a right to be tried by his peer group. A peer is a person from a similar economic, social, religious, geographical, environmental, historical and racial background. To do this the court will be forced to select a jury from the black community from which the black defendant came. We have been, and are being tried by all-white juries that have no understanding of the "average reasoning man" of the black community.
9. We want freedom for all Black and poor oppressed people now held in U.S. federal, state, county, city and military prisons and jails. We want trials by a jury of peers for all persons charged with so-called crimes under the laws of this country.
We believe that the many Black and poor oppressed people now held in U.S. prisons and jails have not received fair and impartial trials under a racist and fascist judicial system and should be free from incarceration. We believe in the ultimate elimination of all wretched, inhuman penal institutions, because the masses of men and women imprisoned inside the United States or by the U.S. military are the victims of oppressive conditions which are the real cause of their imprisonment. We believe that when persons are brought to trial that they must be guaranteed, by the United States, juries of their peers, attorneys of their choice and freedom from imprisonment while awaiting trials.
10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace. And as our major political objective, a United Nations-supervised plebiscite to be held throughout the black colony in which only black colonial subjects will be allowed to participate for the purpose of determining the will of black people as to their national destiny.
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.That, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly, all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
 
*Source: The Black Panther. 23 Nov. 1967:3.
 
10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice, peace and people's community control of modern technology.
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
*This document transcribed from The Black Panther Intercommunal News Service May 13, 1972: p. B of the supplement to the newspaper.






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