Sunday, February 14, 2016

BLACK PANTHERS VERSUS WHITE HISTORY


Any black person, activist in nature, that has advocated shooting back when shot at by white people has been identified as "violent" in school textbooks for decades. And those textbooks, mostly approved of and put together in Texas by descendants of (more recently) slave-owning, southern, white people, have been spreading these rumors forever.The falsehoods are spread by the addition and omission of certain adjectives and verbs, for the most part.


For example, white controlled main stream newspapers would often write: 


"Black Panthers advocate shooting white people" or "Black Panthers advocate shooting police officers" 
instead of 
"Black Panthers advocate shooting back at violent white racist people whenever they attack us"  or "Black Panthers advocate using their second amendment rights to stand guard when racist, white police officers accost black citizens, seemingly without provocation" 

And the white newspapers racism-e-raced story would be the story that found its way into textbooks. And these are the stories that 40 and 50 year old white adults choose to believe right now and have passed on to their children.

That is, white people lied about and e-raced racism in their day-to-day lives in favor of believing in their own superiority, which e-raced racism and the motives of white violence from newspapers, which e-raced racism and motives of white violence from history textbooks.

And they want us to believe they haven't heard a single word on the subject since. Hence, the confusion about Beyonce's nod to the Black Panthers during the Superbowl Halftime celebration. 


And when a white textbook author liked a historical black activist but not their willingness to defense themselves or that black activists willingness to outright say 'white people are doing bad' thing X, they only selectively repeat that black activists ideas. Martin Luther King, for example, is selectively quoted. 

When Ida B Wells' story is told by white people, the part where she talks about telling black people to leave the city of Memphis because of a lynching and move to Oklahoma may or may not be omitted. But the fact that one of the things that made she liked about Oklahoma is that the black people there had rifles standing in the corner's of their homes is most definitely omitted. Her anger at white people of Memphis taking away black people's guns immediately following a lynching men guilty of running a grocery store that was successfully competing with a white store is omitted too because black anger all by itself is scary.
 

And all this e-racing of white violence also e-races the motives of people like The Black Panthers, Malcom X, and Ida B Wells essentially saying, "We need to physically defend ourselves when white people attack us due to our skin color."

White violence against people of color in United States History has been so successfully erased that white people appear to have no idea that the horrific actions of the terrorist group ISIS on people around the world have been visited upon black people by white racists in this country over and over again and ignored anomaly by the white majority over and over.






Anything that gives off the slightest whiff that black people
could respond just like white people do
to being attacked is altered or made milder.
I've known the story of lynching since I could read, maybe before. I'm not sure how much my parents could protect me from this information when I was walking through the room when recent history images of white police officers using attack dogs on black people for demonstrating were flashing across the television screen of the room I was in. I am assuming they couldn't protect my mind from the knowledge of the violence of white racism anymore than white people could stop their young children from knowing that 9/11 was happening while 9/11 was in progress on 9/12, 9/13, and 9/14 etc.


So yes, I've known about lynching since I was very young. But I haven't read extensively on lynching, by accident while reading an Ida B Wells biography, until recently.  For instance, I did not know that

- hanging wasn't necessarily the primary method of "lynching" a black person. Since I was a young girl, I thought "lynching" meant wild group of white people hanging somebody outside the law. Lynching though,  has a specific definition that doesn't necessarily involve hanging at all. It seems that hanging was a method of displaying the body afterward. 

 -Lynching was not linked to black men raping white women as much as we think. Ida B Wells found that black men lynched were only ever accused 1/3 of the time. And the link above says lynching was only linked to rape 1/4 of the time (link above may be including black women victims?) 

-torturing the person slowly as they died, burning them alive, etc was a regular part of the entertainment. I knew that this kind of thing happened.  I've seen this in photos. But now that I've read about a number of lynchings that Ida B Wells investigated, I am understanding that this was the normal progression of events-- not the more flamboyant lynchings white people executed on black people


-White people taking body parts as souvenirs after the lynching was done? I can't be sure from reading only one or two biographies, but this  probably was not "just part" of the more flamboyant lynchings white people executed black people.  It seems that souvenir taking after torture was the normal progression of events for white people that attended these things. 

Keep in mind that black people living closer in time and place to these events didn't have to read about these things happening. They saw people being dragged off to be lynched for themselves. They were beaten or killed when they tried to fight a white mob off; Those that survived told the story. They heard from a friend why their next door neighbor is dead and how she screamed when she was taken. They heard from a friend why the black store they used to shop at is now a shelled husk of  a building and how the black owners wound up shot dead.

Ida B Wells was writing a story elsewhere, out of town, when she heard about the lynching of the owners of "The People's Grocery" who happened to be friends of hers. That launched her anti-lynching crusade. Her methods of investigation and reporting would be copied by the N.A.A.C.P.  And while the N.A.A.C.P was more political(?) or accomodationist(?) in it's approach, Ida B Wells, though a founding member of that organization, believed in shooting back. 


White people were not entitled to the peaceful approach of Martin Luther King. The natural reaction to people threatening to attack you violently is to let them know you'll fight back. The main reason Martin Luther King advocated non-violence was not just because of "the rightness" of it or because white people attacking blacks weren't violent thugs. The reason Martin Luther King advocated non-violence was because: 

1) White people out-numbered black people by 6 to 1, at the very least. Blacks couldn't do anything but be wiped out in an all out war

2) Post WWII and the invention of the television set, Martin Luther King in a way similar to Ida B Wells 70 years earlier, knew he could show the world the hypocrisy and violence of this country just by standing around in large black groups asking politely to vote, sit down anywhere when riding a bus, sit down anywhere at a Woolworths lunch counter. He knew that these small requests would bring out the animal in white people on television, that it would embarrass the U.S. government as far as getting any other country to believe in the U.S. mantra "All men are created equal."
* * * * *

And  MLK's method, in my opinion, mostly worked in that it reduced some forms of overt white violence significantly.

Today, we call the police and are outraged that police do little or nothing when white racists attack sometimes. However, prior to the Civil Rights Movement it was the white police officers themselves that were throwing manure on people, throwing paint on houses so they had to be re-painted, throwing acid on cars to destroy them. And if a black person went to the police with the license plate of the police car that black person was threatened with death inside the police station.


 
 * * * * *

However, I do believe that the carrot and stick method works most effectively when the carrot and stick used separately. And while Martin was dangling the interracial harmony carrot groups like the Black Panther Party (BPP) were definitely were mostly stick where white people were concerned. And white people needed the fear of that stick to move toward Martin Luther King. White people needed to know that the alternative to peace was "eye for an eye."

Martin Luther King's method doesn't work without the old testament eye-for-an-eye backdrop of the Black Panthers, Malcom, and Ida, in my opinion.  

Yes the BPP mostly focused on pro-black ideals and did positive things for black people. That was 90% of their focus. But they were also about self-defense. The full name of the Black Panther Party was "The Black Panther Party For Self-Defense" 


White racists  and white people who read the textbooks of old think black self-defense is synonymous anti-whiteness. But that's only true if white people think of themselves as entirely made up of racists as a group. That's only true if white people think there was nothing to defend against --even back in the 1960s and 1970s when Parchman Farm (prison) was still being run like a plantation using black men arrested for things like loitering. The BPP didn't think that white was synonymous with white racist. The  BPP's 10 point program make it crystal clear that they did not believe that about all white people. 


But the BPP also made it clear that anybody who physically attacked them would meet physical resistance. The BPP also made it crystal clear that they were aware of those white people calling for peace were really calling for black people to 'just sit down, be quiet, and maybe the white racists will forget about you. It's not that bad.'

Knowing when another group, for the most part, doesn't give a damn about anybody not like their own group is not racist, sexist, or any other kind of "-ist."

And white people, who do not consider themselves racists, still do not like the idea of physical fight back from black people. Many white people don't want to acknowledge that they actually think, in the back of their minds, that they are entitled to a second round of throwing things at, spitting at, and pouring milkshakes on black people without black people responding in kind --when that's gone forever and ya shoudn'a been given that mess the first time.
 


Dear White People Drop It Like It's Hot, The Calls For Peace



BEYONCE AND CREW AT HALFTIME

You know how I know about how deep white ignorance and white entitlement runs? I know because of the way they've responded to Beyonce's Formation video and her subsequent Superbowl 50 halftime show. I know because there are so many white people --who do not consider themselves racists--  that think people like....



Ida B Wells, Malcom X, and the members of Black Panthers SAYING  'We will shoot back at you if you shoot at us.' 

is the equivalent of 

the Ku Klux Klan, a white group born as a direct result of slavery ending in order to keep the relationship between white no-longer-masters and black no-longer-slaves exactly the same as SAYING   'We will kill you if you do not stay in your subservient place. And we will even bomb your homes and your churches where four little girls are attending bible school in order to make you obey us.

'  
The statements of the BPP and KKK are not the same.

The motives of the BPP and the KKK are not the same.
  

But the motives of the predominantly white people trying to make it look like the two groups ARE ideologically identical hasn't changed.

The predominantly white group that doesn't understand black people being interested in "self defense" are descended from the same people who erased "white violent racists" from their speech, from their newspaper articles, and from their school textbooks




This ignorance is at least quasi-deliberate in 2016.

The Black Panthers were problematic for black women, and I will address that at another time because white folks are not the only ones white washing their own history, clasping ignorance to their breasts, and cherishing it. But the Black Panthers were not anti-white people.


The BPP made their aims and attitudes clear with their 10 point program. Anybody who has not read it or read about the Black Panthers as written about by numerous people without a Black-Panther-Wanna-Be card in their back pocket is willfully trying to erase the white racism of the past and the white racism of the present just like their foremothers and forefathers did.


a still from "Formation" - Video below





10 point program on next page


On October 15, 1966, Newton & Bobby Seale drafted the Ten-Point Program [or Ten-Point Party Platform]. It established the direction and goals of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense.



NUMBER ONE 
WE WANT FREEDOM; we want the power to determine the destiny of our black community.

NUMBER TWO 
WE WANT FULL EMPLOYMENT FOR OUR PEOPLE. That's what the brothers and sisters out on the block tell me. I say whats happening? They say, I need a job, that's what's happening. I say right on, so do I, maybe we can work together.


NUMBER THREE
WE WANT AN END TO THE ROBBERY BY THE WHITE MAN OF THE BLACK COMMUNITY. Wait a minute, that doesn't sound right. Not everybody ripping off the black community is white, A lot of them are black. We're not anti-white, we're anti-wrong. Let's do a little revision on number three and just say that WE WANT AN END TO THE ROBBERY BY THE CAPITALISTS OF THE BLACK COMMUNITY. Capitalists, can you put that in upper case? I'm not sure how you spell it; I think it stats with an A C.
1966 BPP Platform #3


NUMBER FOUR
WE WANT HOUSING; WE WANT SHELTER, WHICH IS FIT FOR HUMAN BEINGS. A lot of people running around town don't have a roof over their heads. The rain comes down they get all wet up. It's a simple human need, to have a roof over your head when the hard rain fall and the hard rain is definitely gonna fall just like the Bob Dylan song say.


NUMBER FIVE
Any suggestions? You want education? What kind of education do you want? An education which what? Reveals the true nature of this decadent American society? That's what I thought you said. WE WANT AN EDUCATION WHICH TEACHES US OUR TRUE HISTORY AND OUR ROLE IN THE PRESENT DAY AMERICAN SOCIETY. Put a semi-colon in between the first part and the second part cause a lot of young people will be reading the ten points; we don't want to be accused of bad punctuation.


NUMBER SIX
I think we should deal with Vietnam cause thats going on and just say straight up - WE WANT ALL BLACK MEN TO BE EXEMPT FROM MILITARY SERVICE. How can you have a black man going over there to fight a yellow man for the white man who stole his land from the red man? That makes a nice rhyme but no political sense whatsoever.


NUMBER SEVEN
We dealt with Vietnam, I think we should deal with Oakland and just say - the murder of black people. STOP THE MURDER OF BLACK PEOPLE. I got vamped on by some pigs on my way over here this evening. That's right, I call them pigs cause a pig is a rather lowlifeted animal. Pig had the audacity to ask me what I'm doing with my gun, I said pig what you doing with yours? You know, tonight's pig is tomorrow mornings bacon. That's why I could never be a black Muslim - I love my bacon to much.


NUMBER EIGHT
WE WANT ALL BLACK MEN IMMEDIATELY RELEASED FROM FEDERAL, STATE, COUNTY, CITY JAILS AND PENITENTIARIES. That's right, because their constituitional right have been violated. They have no been tried by a jury of their peers, so let them go free.


Let's elaborate on this for 
NUMBER NINE
AND JUST SAY THAT WHEN BLACK PEOPLE ARE BROUGHT TO TRIAL IN THIS COUNTRY WE WANT THEM TRIED IN A COURT OF LAW NOT OUT ON THE STREET BY SOME PIG BUT IN A COURT OF LAW BY A JURY OF THEIR PEERS AS SPECIFIED BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. It's a simple constitutional right to be tried by your peers.


NUMBER TEN
Let's do a summation; this will be the last one, ten out of ten. Now what do we want? WE WANT LAND, BREAD, HOUSING, EDUCATION, CLOTHING. I know you want, a black leather jacket; don't worry we gonna get you one. LAND, BREAD, HOUSING, EDUCATION, CLOTHING, JUSTICE? Always looking for justice. Went to death row looking for justice, and that's just what I found, just us. LAND, BREAD, HOUSING, EDUCATION, CLOTHING, JUSTICE, AND WE WANT SOME PEACE. Yeah, I got your peace; rest in peace.



READ MORE: BLACK PANTHERS TEN POINT PROGRAMhttp://zinnedproject.org/materials/black-panthers-ten-point-program/

READ MORE: BLACK PANTHERS PLATFORM (AND VIDEO IN FEB 2016)http://www.pbs.org/hueypnewton/actions/actions_platform.html