I feel there are many misconceptions among white people as far as the Black Panther Party and it bugs the hell out of me. Clearly, after watching Giuliani speak to CNN's Jake Tapper about Black Lives Matter, Mr. Giuliani doesn't know much about the The Black Panther Party or what they stood for. That being said, clearly Giuliani doesn't understand much about the Black Lives Matter Movement which is an organization I also support.
Giuliani's comments about The Black Panthers were ignorant and displayed a general misunderstanding of the movement. People often make sweeping sound bite statements without always knowing what they are talking about. That is precisely what Giuliani did on Monday. Giuliani's comments on CNN regarding The Black Panthers, I feel, unfairly and wrongly maligned the Black Panthers as cop killers when in reality the situation was much more complicated. Furthermore, as I stated above, there were a lot of positive aspects to the Black Panthers. Here is a little history lesson for white people who don't no much about the The Black Panthers.
The Black Panther Party created many community social programs including free breakfast for children and free health Clinics. They were formed in 1966 to monitor and challenge police brutality in Oakland, California. They monitored police through an armed citizens patrol meaning that Black Panther members were present when black men and women were being arrested. Members would stand at what was considered a legal distance away and watch the interaction between police and black citizens. By the way, this was in accordance with the California open carry law. I also feel its important to view the Panthers through the lens of America in the mid and late 60's and seventies when police brutality directed toward black people was rampant. Although, clearly, many of the bigoted racists attitudes on the part of law enforcement in the 60's and 70's seem to be alive and well today, sadly. Of course, I am not promoting arming citizens and I am not promoting or condoning violence. I am saying that I completely understand and applaud the Black Panthers. I get where they were coming from.
The Black Panther Party had a Ten-Point program that was beautiful. At the core of the ten point program was, and I'm para phrasing, a desire for freedom and self destiny for black people, full employment for black people, decent housing and shelter, an end to police brutality aimed at black people, exemption from military service for black people, and number 10 of the ten point plan stated, "We want land, bread, housing, education clothing, justice and peace. Perfect.
I say the The Black Panther Party Ten-Point Plan was a wonderful document and too many white people are full of misconceptions regarding The Black Panthers. Mr. Giuliani, please do your homework before spewing hateful comments before millions of people about an organization you seem to know little about.
Here is the Black Panther Party Ten Point Plan. Check it out. I applaud this document as important and positive.
What We Want Now!
- We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black Community.
- We want full employment for our people.
- We want an end to the robbery by the white men of our Black Community. (later changed to "we want an end to the robbery by the capitalists of our black and oppressed communities.")
- We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings.
- 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 want all Black men to be exempt from military service.
- We want an immediate end to POLICE BRUTALITY and MURDER of Black people.
- We want freedom for all Black men held in federal, state, county and city prisons and jails.
- 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 want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace.
Purple Walrus Press.
|Founding members of The Black Panther Party. Image from Wikipedia.|