History Lesson: Black Panther Party Mistakes According To Huey P. Newton.



(ThyBlackMan.com) There are few things that disturb me more than misconceptions regarding the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. I take the alluded to offenses personally for a host of reasons.

  • The Panthers were a major part of my “radicalization”
  • I believe that Huey P. Newton, with all of his flaws, was an absolute genius
  • I spent the bulk of my graduate career studying the Panthers.
  • The organization co-founded by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale were the subject of both my Doctoral Dissertation and initial monograph — Creating Revolution as They Advance.

These are the major reasons that I cringe when I hear contemporary “revolutionaries” espousing ideologies and conclusions of Panther history that fail to illuminate important lessons learned by the Vanguard group of America’s sixties protest scene.

I experience little discomfort in stating that many, certainly not all, of those claiming revolutionary status are little more than bumbling fools fumbling the teachings of Panther luminaries such as Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, and Fred Hampton. Oftentimes it appears that the only resemblance of many of these modern day Panthers with the original Panthers is found in their dress. Those that I reference have no understanding of revolutionary politics.

There is no more succinct example of how far from the mark self-proclaimed revolutionaries are positioned than a recent exchange between a pseudo-Panther and myself.

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The alluded to verbal exchange revolved around my decision to attend church service. According to my opponent, church attendance was a waste of time and anyone who did so was little more than a fool. Although tempted to allow this “brother” to maintain his dubious position, something inside of me was unwilling to allow him to move forward with a cloud of ignorance hanging over his black beret and leather jacket.

I decided to issue a counter-attack with a rudimentary question that anyone moving in the name of The Black Panther Party should know. The question was,

My brother, what did Huey P. Newton cite as the organizations biggest mistake of all?

This brother, decked out in the traditional outfit of the Oakland Panthers, stammered a non-sensical answer regarding not using their guns more. Immediately after such incoherence he angrily posited,

You tell me, since you know so much!!!!!!

My response was a short quip of;

The biggest mistake that the Black Panther Party made, according to Huey P. Newton, was alienating and thereby distancing itself from the Black Church.

As I expected, the pseudo-Panther standing in front of me had no response other than insults and expletives that further exposed his inadequacies.

It has always amazed me when people profess to be working for “the liberation and salvation of the Black nation” that they foolishly forget to study the liberation process that a long list of Black leaders expounded on in their writings and activism.

Any in-depth reading of history informs truth-seekers that disorganized individuals are no match for well-developed institutions resting on caches of politico-economic power that they are determined to not only maintain, but also expand.

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One needs to look no further than the moments following the unjustifiable murder of a Black person (man, woman, or child) by a law enforcement officer. Such events invariably lead to an emotionally fueled reaction by a disorganized and largely unconnected group of individuals who do their best to issue an attack against a well-established institution (city government, police union, city council) words of venom or unenforceable threats. The opponents of enraged, yet largely powerless Blacks understand that once their emotionalism subsides the feeble challenge will as well.

Those seeking to uplift Black America must learn that their efforts are best spent in the building of independent institutions capable of defining, advancing, and protecting the interests of Black America; a tactic that is a far-cry from the emotionalism that most Black protestors wield as a dull sword against an opponent completely covered in armor.

Finish story here; History Lesson: Black Panther Party Mistakes According To Huey P. Newton.