At what point did The Black Panthers go wrong?


February 5, 2004, 07:31 PM
I understand that this was a militant group, but does history have a double standard for the black man to have armed himself under oppression?

Who would argue against a group arming itself, and defending itself, when LEO and Government are violating their Constitutional rights?

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February 5, 2004, 08:12 PM
Comparing those pathetic wanna-be terrorists to the Founders? Wow, that's just.... damn. I think I'll go :barf: now.

:banghead: :fire: :cuss: :scrutiny:

February 5, 2004, 08:15 PM
they went wrong when they started killing people
there are many acceptable alternatives (see Dr. M L King) to try before you must resort to that

Art Eatman
February 5, 2004, 08:17 PM
Guns weren't all that much of an issue, except for the M16s they stole from National Guard armories.

The BP rhetoric ("Off the Pigs!", etc.) when coupled with the socialist nonsense was where they went wrong...No movement built on hate can ever go right.


Malone LaVeigh
February 5, 2004, 08:24 PM
Some time after the FBI assasinated some of the best and brightest such as Fred Hampton, and several others were imprisoned, either on trumped-up charges (e.g., Geronimo Pratt) or not (Eldrige Cleaver and Huey Newton). Newton came out of prison to an organization that had been decimated by police and FBI repression. He was little equipped at that point in time to be much more than a gangster. Drugs took a tremendous toll after that.

David Hilliard wrote an excellent book on those years entitled This Side of Glory. I would recommend it if you really want to understand what was going on. The striking thing is that these were very young men and women with very little in the way of preparation in the form of education or community to draw from. There were always those among them who were basically gangsters. Yet some of them managed to articulate serious greivances with the system in those days and tried to model a self-sufficient, community-based solution.

February 5, 2004, 08:41 PM
Bin Laden manages to articulate serious greivances with the US quite well too. Whether or not the perceived greivances are true or not, terrorism isn't the preferred method to achieve social change. The only difference between the Black Panthers and Al Qaeda is the excuses they use to justify the killing of innocent people.

Malone LaVeigh
February 5, 2004, 08:58 PM
Bin Laden manages to articulate... Notice you chose to ignore the part I wrote about solutions. I'm not excusing any illegal plots any of them might have had. Like I said, there were bad elements from the begining. But most of the terrorism was directed AT them, not the other way around, and it was done by agents of our government.

February 5, 2004, 09:10 PM
I wasn't implying they didn't start out with good causes or the government didn't screw them over. When Bin Laden first went to Afghanistan to fight the Russians, his intentions were good also. However, the point at which the Black Panthers went wrong is the same point Bin Laden went wrong, when they decided to use terrorism and murder to acheive their goals.

February 5, 2004, 10:17 PM
Yeah, old Ronald Reagan used them as an excuse to pass the strictest gun control California had seen (yet) - the Mumford Act.

Jim March
February 6, 2004, 12:58 AM
From everything I can tell, they started out OK. Police racism at that time (1965 - 67) was utterly out of control.

The Watts riots of 1965 drove the point home, and was what really led to the Panthers. Immediately after in the LA area, black activists tried following the LAPD around with cameras trying to document what was really happening. They did so unarmed, and were beaten/jailed immediately.

THAT experience caused the Panthers to mix cameras and weapons in Oakland, once Newton did some basic reading about how the California gun laws of 1965/6/7 really worked.

The police response (and soon, FBI too) involving framing people. Things went completely bonkers after that.

But let's go back a sec: how many of THOSE ON THIS FORUM examine the weapons laws of the states we live in, esp. strict areas like California, and learn how to absolutely maximize our self defense options without breaking the law, and then push those rules to the firewall?

I know I sure do. And that's *exactly* what Newton did circa 65/66.

That is NOT the action of a "bad actor". It is in fact exactly what a basically HONEST person does, it's what 98% of the people right here do.

I wouldn't be so quick to cast stones at the initial motives of that bunch.

February 6, 2004, 01:50 AM
Excellent, and very exucational, post Jim.

Jim March
February 6, 2004, 02:20 AM
Let me clarify something: yes, even that far back there were a few bad actors in the Panthers...a few "reformed gangsters" whose level of actual reform varied, some commies (see note below) and the like.

Hey, ANY bunch is gonna have some weirdos, we're no different in that regard.

But I stand by what I'm saying about Newton and the core group circa 65/66.

(Note on the commie connection: socialist thinking in Berkeley/Oakland in that period was rampant. Still is, really, but it was a "new fad" about then. Mao was doing all sorts of propaganda but the news on how crazy the "cultural revolution" really was hadn't gotten out...and then there's the 'Nam issue. Well at one point, one of the Panthers found a dirt-cheap (possibly free) source for Mao's "Little Red Book" and sold 'em in Berkeley at a huge capitalistic markup :) to raise money. They were actually tickled stupid to be able to put one over on the idiot Berkeley college kids by selling "revolutionary materials from real revolutionaries" was killer marketing :D. The "Little Red Book" sales connected them to radical Marxism in the public eye when in reality, it was classic capitalism at work and they weren't otherwise all THAT commie as a group.)

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