Happy Anniversary Panthers — And You Call Yourself a Panther?: The Hate-Filled Dead-End Road that Cultural Nationalist Routinely Travel

It is amazing that the same problems afflicting the African-American protest community 50 years ago remain prevalent to the present day. I am confident that most people think that I am referring to the dogged refusal of America’s leading cancers — prejudice, bigotry, discrimination, and racism — to excuse themselves from “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
If those are your thoughts, you are going to be disappointed to learn that I am not alluding to the pernicious evils mentioned above as I am attempting to address an ever-present danger found within the black activist community. The evil I speak of is the continuing tendency of Cultural Nationalists to haphazardly denigrate and mischaracterize all whites as a monolithic population whose sole political priority is to retard African-American politico-economic progress.

I am honest by relating that I have yet to find the words to express my frustrations with the manner that the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense’s legacy of racial progressivism has been co-opted and revamped to fit the needs of contemporary “activists.” Unfortunately, the activists mentioned above are absent a political platform capable of addressing the pernicious evils affecting the black community. The alluded to individuals believe that an integral part of revolutionary politics is not political mobilization or economic solidarity, rather they seek to advance their understanding of the black agenda via “hate-speech.”

Make no mistake about it, the re-surfacing of imagery intentionally designed to stir up memories of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (BPPSD) by individuals lacking even a superficial understanding of either the Panthers political platforms or historical experiences has needlessly marred the Panther legacy for counter-revolutionary self-serving purposes. The legacy left by Huey, Bobby, Eldridge, Kathleen, Lil’ Bobby, Bunchy, Fred, Geronimo, Elaine, and those who made up the Panther cadre deserve so much more than what contemporary manifestations of the Panther Party are providing.

What makes the denigration of the Panther image so painful is that if those behind the many attempts to resurrect the Panthers had taken a moment to study BPPSD ideology, they would have quickly discerned that Huey P. Newton opposed any effort to characterize other activist communities, including the white community, as being monolithic. Those who have studied Huey realize that he was not only a genius but also used that mental acumen to in a wise and judicious manner. Consider for a moment, that the Panthers, at the behest of Eldridge “Papa Rage” Cleaver, forged an alliance with the Peace and Freedom Party, a group of white radicals, because it served the interests of the Party at that particular moment. The Panthers are a great example of the utility of alliances and coalitions with like-minded groups, regardless of their race/ethnicity. Those who disagree with the above assertion know little about both the Panther legacy and the black struggle for racial equality.

Unfortunately, phrase-mongering rabble-rousing Cultural Nationalists who are quick to speak, yet slow to study, are not only comfortable spewing vitriolic hatred, but also often encouraged to do such by adoring audiences. Little do they know, that such a backward political stance stunts their political power as it alienates all around them regardless of race, class, or gender.

I have dealt with Cultural Nationalists long enough to know that they will both ignore and deny an easily accessible historical record that proves that inter-racial alliances were a hallmark of the BPPSD. It is for this population that does not mind existing under a yoke that is equal parts illogical and shockingly uninformed that I include the following quote by BPPSD co-founder Huey P. Newton.
According to Newton, the African-American activist community “…must also be able to realize that there are white people, brown people, red people, yellow people in this world who are totally dedicated to the destruction of this system of oppression, and we welcome that. We will always be open to working with that.

I am quite confident that luminaries of the African-American freedom struggle such as Newton, Hampton, Baldwin, Du Bois, and King are rolling over in their graves at the ascension of a black political platform that rests upon nothing more than divisive hate-filled rhetoric. Put simply; such rhetoric not only fails to represent black leaders who came before us, but also guarantees that none of the previous mutually beneficial alliances that aided our community in its pursuit of liberation are possible today. Contemporary so-called black leaders have efficiently placed themselves in a box of irrelevancy that they cannot escape.
Despite the euphoria that many of these new activists feel after hearing a profanity-laced rant against some yet to be identified “white man,” the truth of the matter is that such rhetoric serves as a highly imperfect substitute for a well-thought-out political agenda. Not to mention that such hate-speech has yet to move the struggle forward one iota. Trust me when I say that it never has and it never will.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2017


On May 2, 1967, a group of young African-Americans traveled to Sacramento, California with the intention of peacefully expressing their disgust with the recently proposed legislation of California Assemblyman Donald Mulford. Mulford’s “Panther Bill” was aimed Huey and Bobbyat removing the guns that members of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense were using during their vaunted “Panther Patrols”; the group’s very first community service activity. On the above date, thirty Panthers arrived at the State Capitol, scared the crap out of then Governor Ronald Wilson Reagan, and then watched as Panther co-founder Bobby Seale read Executive Mandate #1 before a mesmerized conglomerate of news media that would broadcast the day’s events and unintentionally spread the Panther image throughout the nation.

History has recorded the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense to be the Vanguard of America’s highly-volatile 1960s political scene. Put  simply, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was a lightning rod for criticism and political repression. Despite such realities, the Panthers executed their State Capitol protest absent chaos or mayhem; a reality that is in many ways shocking as the Panthers were opposed in all that they did by a hodgepodge of law enforcement agencies: Oakland Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, not to mention the State of California and the U.S. Government.

I bring these realities to the forefront to highlight the difference in response that law enforcement agencies have when it comes to the activism of an organization such as the Black Panther Party, an organization that actually embraced a ‘rainbow coalition’ of not only people but also causes, and a rag tag group of avowed racists such as the Traditional Workers Party.

In case you have not heard about the Traditional Workers Party protest at the California State Capitol, this white supremacist group attempted to have some form of protest to articulate their racists’ views, however, they were confronted by an opposition force that attempted to mute their message. Make no mistake about it, both of these groups have a Constitutional Right to articulate their message, regardless of how detestable it may be, however, a major line was crossed when members of the Traditional Workers Party went well beyond political debate and according to Andrea Combs “Those Nazis just rushed over stabbed a couple of young men and then ran away. We didn’t see any cops chasing them, either.”

Unfortunately, law enforcement authorities related that they had not made any arrests as a result of the stabbings; two of the victims were African-American males. Opposing protestors’ anger increased after learning that officers had taken members of the Traditional Workers Party into the State Capitol to protect them from others.

Although I am certain that whites in general, and law enforcement agencies in particular do not care about such matters, however, theirSelma 3 repeated murder of Black people in American streets and eagerness to protect white supremacists against hurt or harm only adds to a preexisting perspective of personal bias and favor toward such organizations. It personally reminds me of an assertion made by ardent segregationist J.B. Stoner in a communication to Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad that there would come a time when white supremacists were in charge of police departments, judicial systems, and mainstream political parties.

I applaud whites who have the courage to take a principled stand against the racist filth that we see so often from groups such as the Traditional Workers Party or emanating from a Presidential hopeful. What others fail to realize is that their failure to speak against such organizations and individuals simultaneously leads racists to believe that you are in their camp and pushes anti-racists to the same conclusion.

Although it may be a bit inconvenient and burdensome, it is important for good people to stand upon some principle, regardless of their race, gender, or sexual orientation. Yes, Americans will disagree upon political matters; however, it is extremely important that we remain civil throughout the entire process. Not to mention there must be an equal application of the law and protection from law enforcement agencies.

Considering the historic actions of law enforcement agencies in regards to African-American activists, I am most certainly dreaming about equal protection under the law when it comes to Black Lives. Apparently, J.B. Stoner was correct in his summation of the future and we as a nation are simply too afraid to admit it.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016.


Happy Anniversary to the Panthers — Bobby Seale — Chairman of the Black Panther Party — on Assassination of Police Officers

December 26, 2014

We Do Not Assassinate Policemen.

We, the peaceful protesters, DO NOT ASSASSINATE POLICEMEN. And those who do, and those who chant to support such negativity are stooping to the low level of a racist fascist mentality.

Real peoples’ constitutional democratic civil-human rights revolution is not about a need for violence. Grass roots, middle working, poor and low income peoples revolution is about evolving and re-evolving more progressive politics, i.e., better economic parity, greater environmental ecological standards and practices, and broad social justice empowerments into the hands of the people via legislative policies and practical economic jobs programs that make humane sense. That is what peoples empowerment revolution is about.

The fact that some mentally deranged young person who shot his girlfriend, left Baltimore for New York and then stupidly shot and killed two police officers and himself has little or nothing to do with the peaceful protester’s right to demand and call for justice and indictments of specific policemen or others involved in the killings of the unarmed Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and others including black killings in Cleveland Ohio, Milwaukee Wisconsin and many cities across our USA. Nor should the killer of the two police officers in New York be any reason for that small group of protest chanters to call for cops to be killed. They are dead wrong to chant that. Such a chant begins to confuse the real social justice goal objective of the Black Lives Matter protest movement.

Months before the beginning of my Black Panther Party for Self Defense in October 1966, I remember meeting at Merritt College a Black Police officer, Sargent Williams who was recruiting young black and brown male students for the Oakland Police Department. Conversationally befriending him, I remember he gave us information about the thirty five percent white racist policemen in the Oakland P.D., how most other policemen were just doing their jobs. {Read my book SEIZE THE TIME]

Later, when we went out to “legally” observe the Oakland, SF, Richmond, and Berkeley, California police, because of the unchecked rampant police brutality and murder of Black People in those communities, not to mention their brutality on peaceful protesters, our patrolling of police was our BPP tactic. A tactic to capture the imagination of the people to better organize their electoral voting power bringing the community together. I never thought in terms of just running out and killing policemen. Never. Not me. In fact our Black Panther policy was that we will take the arrest if a policeman formally demanded it. We were not scared of the court. The courts would be a forum for us as I demonstrated in the Great Chicago Seven Conspiracy trial in 1969 of which I was the eighth defendant. And later we defendants won that case.

After the last big shootout on December 8th 1969 in Los Angeles which we won in the courts with nationwide public support, there was a young white Berkeley policeman who stole the POLICE-FBI plans to attack out Berkeley, CA BPP headquarters and gave the plans to our Lawyer, Charles R. Garry. The young policemen lost his job, but it gave us an edge when we printed these POLICE-FBI planned attacks that later was fed into the US Senate investigation against the FBI’s COINTELPRO fascist tactics. This political move stopped all the racist Fascist attacks on our BPP offices across the USA. Actually of all the Black Panther Party members who went to trial, we actually won ninety-five percent of all our court room trials.

Over the years I have become friends with many policemen beginning with some thirty odd policemen who supported and voted for me when I ran for Mayor of Oakland, CA in 1974. These were the days after the 1969 year of cross country police-FBI attacks on our BPP offices where we did defend ourselves when we were literally attacked. After my BPP era, and living in Philadelphia, PA, I became friends with some eight different police and state troopers in Philadelphia while organizing socially responsible programs at Temple University and running, yet again, youth Jobs programs (my real original forte’) in the Germantown community in Philadelphia in the 1980’s.

Today I have a Black Panther Party person who is an Honorary Deputy Sheriff complete with his badge. We, you and I, the peace loving people protesting for justice, do NOT stoop to the level of the racist mentality of indiscriminate killings and murder. And we find and support those policemen who help us get the justice we demand.

All Power to All the People
Bobby Seale: 1966 Founding Chairman &
National Organizer of the original Black Panther Party

Happy Anniversary to the Panthers — Floyd Meets the New Black Panther Party

When you really think about it, the creation of traditions is actually a very peculiar thing. I don’t think that anyone sets out to start a Bert Williams 3tradition, they just seem to appear. Consider for a moment that neither Floyd nor I planned on creating a tradition, however, there is absolutely no doubt that we have a tradition, or maybe a better word would be pattern, of meeting at a moment’s notice at some of Houston’s most unusual places.

I will let you guess whose decision it was to meet in a doughnut shop located next to a police station in Houston’s Energy Corridor.

As with most of his decisions, even impromptu meetings such as this one had some type of some catalyst behind them. This constantly evolving catalyst determined not only Floyd’s desire to meet, but also where we would meet. If provided sufficient time, Floyd never failed to explain the why and where behind our gatherings. So I am certain that you can understand the natural questions that arose when Floyd related that he thought it would be best if we met at a doughnut shop located next to a police station.

When I received Floyd’s call requesting an “emergency meeting”, I did not hesitate to rush to the location. During our relatively brief phone conversation, Floyd related that he was already at the doughnut shop and awaiting my arrival. Apparently, Floyd had much to share.

I hurriedly navigated my vehicle down the always pothole filled street of Richmond Avenue toward the destination. Although I thought the choice of a doughnut shop was particularly peculiar, even for Floyd, I also knew that there was some logic behind its selection.

As soon as I entered the bustling business that was hilariously filled with law enforcement officers consuming various pastry treats, my eyes fell upon Floyd dressed in a black leather jacket, black beret, black slacks, and a wrinkled powder blue shirt with a torn collar.

Once I arrived at Floyd’s table in the far corner of the doughnut shop, I noticed that his signature shiny shoes were scuffed beyond belief. I made a mental note regarding the shoes because there was only one reason that Floyd’s shoes would not be impeccable, that being his involvement in some type of physical altercation with someone, somewhere.

As I sat across from Floyd, it was even more obvious that he had been on the losing side of a physical altercation. I am certain that my concern was written across my face, however, my countenance failed to dim that darn ‘foolish grin’. I had come to expect the ‘foolish grin’ as it was rarely missing from Floyd’s face. That bemused look conveyed to all who saw it that Floyd held a secret that he would never share with the outside world.

Floyd acknowledged my arrival with a slight head nod before pointing in the direction of the long line of officers waiting to place their order. Floyd flippantly commented,

I guess it is true that THEY love doughnuts.

I could only shake my head at Floyd’s humorous observation regarding the droves of officers’ crammed inside of the doughnut shop. As I settled into the simple wooden folding chair across from Floyd, he quipped,

This is just what I need, a foolproof business idea like putting a doughnut shop right next to a police station. How could you lose?

I just stared at Floyd’s shiny bald head; knowing that he would never muster the courage to start his own business. From my perspective, people like Floyd preferred to remain on the sidelines and take potshots at those who engaged in ventures that they were too afraid to tackle.

Considering that this was an unexpected “emergency meeting”, I needed for it to be a relatively brief encounter as I had other duties scheduled for the day. Although I knew that it was an exercise in futility to attempt to rush Floyd, I did try to push him toward revealing why he needed this impromptu meeting by asking,

Why are we meeting in a doughnut shop?

Considering Floyd’s prior foolishness, I braced myself for some illogical reason regarding why he selected this location. Floyd did not disappoint when he answered my query in between sips of coffee that a pretty Asian waitress had recently refilled,

This is the safest place that I know! And I definitely need protection at this particular moment.

Floyd knew very well how to pique my interest, and he had most certainly done just that by suggesting that he “needed protection”. I wondered what kind of foolishness Floyd had gotten himself into that made him feel that he needed protection?

Although the paths that Floyd could have taken to get in trouble were endless, maybe he had attempted to swindle someone out of their money or more likely he had been caught fooling around with someone’s girlfriend or wife. Prior to Floyd answering, my intuition told me that it was the latter as Floyd was always seeking to have some type of underhanded dealings with the fairer sex.

Before I could speak, Floyd jumped in and said,

I know what you’re thinking. My situation doesn’t involve a Lady and no I haven’t stolen anything. I may be many things, but a thief ain’t one of them. I was actually trying to do good this time and done got mixed up with a group of certified fools.

Now that I think about it, I blame you for this entire fix.

My only reply was an incredulous,

What? Why do you blame me, yet again, for your troubles? Hell, I wasn’t even there when whatever happened, happened.

Floyd was most certainly anticipating my response and wasted little time explaining how I led him into harm’s way.

You are always saying, Floyd you need to read more and help people out if you can, blah, blah, blah. Now I dare you to say that you don’t! God will strike your black ass down right now! Well, I followed your advice to read more and help others. I subscribed to not only your blog (www.ManhoodRaceCulture.com), but also have begun religiously reading your work.

Although I was still puzzled about what Floyd was trying to convey, things became much clearer when he reached into the black leather briefcase that he often carried and retrieved an editorial I had written months prior. The piece focused upon a group of African-Americans in Dallas, Texas, who were attempting to re-create the Vanguard of the Black Power Era; The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.

As Floyd began to talk, I thought that the most prudent thing that I could do was sit back and listen. One thing became immediately clear, Floyd was eager to talk.

You know how you are always talking about helping the community and stuff like that?

I nodded my head affirmatively.

Well, that is what I decided to do. You know how you are always saying that our community needs to take care of its own and whatnot? Well, I went down to join a group that I already knew a thing or two about, the Black Panther Party.

That tidbit of information brought significant clarity to this entire situation, at least when it came to Floyd’s dress; it explained why he was wearing a black leather jacket during this sweltering July heat wave that Houstonians endure on an annual basis. Desperate to hold in my laughter, I asked Floyd the following,

So you went and joined the Black Panther Party?”

It was at that moment that Floyd finally diverted his attention from the doughnut shop’s front door that he had been watching like a hawk and transformed his gaze into a belittling side-eye look that communicated his utter disgust with me.

You do know that I was a Panther? Yes, I worked with Huey and Bobby on several community service projects. The free breakfast Huey and Bobbyprogram, I was there! The free grocery program, I was there! Sickle Cell Anemia testing, I was there! The killing of Lil’ Bobby Hutton, I was there! Free Huey campaign, I was there! The killing of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, I was there! Assata Shakur’s escape from prison, well I was supposed to be there but they left before I arrived.

Although I doubted Floyd’s claim that he was present at each of these events, however, I was too intrigued to disrupt his flow.

So I thought that I would be a natural fit for the New Black Panther Party. If nothing else, I could advise these youngsters on how we did things during the Black Power Era. Boy was I wrong!!!!!! Those damn fools, and yes I do mean damn fools, have absolutely nothing in common with The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense that I used to belong to. In fact, they need to change their name to something other than the Black Panther Party because it’s false advertising.

With each passing sentence, Floyd became increasingly agitated. As expected, he found a way to blame me for his negative experience. Apparently, in one of my columns, I referred to the New Black Panther Party as “the re-incarnation of the original Panthers.”

Apparently it was my use of the word re-incarnation that led Floyd astray. Floyd took my characterization of the group literally and assumed that they were seeking to replicate the original Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale led Black Panther Party for Self-Defense’s political platform and community service activities.

Floyd jabbed his stubby little fingers in my direction as he angrily charged, “Re-incarnation? Re-incarnation? Man, them niggas have nothing in common with the Black Panther Party that I belonged to.

I let Floyd continue.

First off, it is bad enough that they not only do not have any community service programs, these fools don’t have any plans to develop any. From what I could tell, they simply plan to march around with their guns and try to scare white folk.

It was obvious that none of them niggas had even a basic understanding of what the Panther Party stood for, neither Huey P. Newton nor Bobby Seale were avowed racists. Hell, we worked with anyone, regardless of race, creed, or color. All that we required was for them to be fighting against oppression.”

Having entered into full theatrical mode, Floyd was speaking loud enough for the entire doughnut shop filled with law enforcement officers to hear his woes. I looked in the direction of the officers assembled in the room as a way of giving Floyd a non-verbal suggestion to lower his voice; however, it failed miserably as Floyd became even louder.

“Hell, them crazy niggas are the reason that I chose to meet at this doughnut shop. You know that I just hate to see people making a DALLAS PANTHERSfool of themselves, so I attempted to explain to ‘the Panthers’ the error in their ways. What thanks did I get for my contribution? Man, those nuts tried to jump on ol’ Floyd. Look at the collar of my shirt, man. And this was my good shirt.

By the time I was able to escape from these fools, yes, you heard me right, escaped. I had to take off running down the street to get away from them; they were chasing after me and yelling that they were going to kill me if they ever saw me around there again.

I am telling you that they are a bunch of nutty niggas; one of them fools had the nerve to say that I was an FBI informant sent by J. Edgar Hoover. Doesn’t that Brother know that J. Edgar Hoover been dead since 1972? It is the twenty-first century and those damn fools are still talking about Hoover and the Counter Intelligence Program.”

By this time, the entire doughnut shop was looking our way as an energized Floyd theatrically accentuated each syllable of his story by pounding his fist on the small black and white table separating us.

Although I thought that the entire episode was hilarious, I resisted the growing urge to burst into laughter with all of my might. Everything from Floyd’s torn collar, his ill-fitting Panther uniform, which he most certainly wore during his initial stint with the Party, to his choice of meeting place now made sense. Floyd had thoroughly convinced himself that members of the New Black Panther Party were going to honor their threat to kill him.

Floyd could tell by the look on my face that I was particularly amused by his failed attempt at becoming a modern-day Black militant.

Although I thought the story was hilarious, there was a significant part of me who considered it unfortunate that he had such a negative experience. I did my best to reassure him that the New Black Panther Party was not a real threat to his personal safety; however, there was no dissuading him from such thoughts. Floyd truly felt that his life was in danger from what he termed a group of “nutty niggas”.

As I rose from my seat and prepared to exit the doughnut shop, a frightened and pitiful looking Floyd requested that I remember this story just in case, as he put it, “I meet an untimely demise.” I simply shook my head, slapped Floyd on the shoulder and told him, “I will see you later” while doing my best to hold my laughter in.

Fortunately, I managed to hold it until I got outside.

Excerpt from the book,

Foolish Floyd: The Life and Times of an African-American Contrarian (Volume 1)

Available at Amazon

©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016

Happy Anniversary to the Black Panther Party: Why We Call Them Pigs: Huey P. Newton Explains the Black Panther Party’s Use of the Term Pig

I have always considered it extremely important to understand each and every aspect of the Black Power Era. Anyone who has studied this era will tell you that the language used by the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was not only used to convey a message but also intended for that message to be delivered with laser-like precision. Considering the Panther Party’s never-ending conflict with law enforcement agencies at the Federal, State, and local levels it is not surprising that Huey P. Newton’s cadre would have their unique way of referring to law enforcement personnel that was often behaving lawlessly.

While researching my book, Creating Revolution as they Advance, I came across the following explanation and justification for the use of the term “Pigs” by Black Panther Party co-founder Huey P. Newton.

We thought up new terms for them. At first I figured that the reverse of god – dog – would be a good epithet, but it did not catch on. We tried beast, brute, and animal, but none of them captured the essential quality we were trying to convey…Eldridge showed us a postcard from Beverly Axelrod. On the front was the slogan “Support Your Local Police”; there was a sheriff’s star above the phrase, and in the center of the star a grinning, slobbering pig. It was just what we were looking for. We began to show policemen as pigs in our cartoons, and from time to time used the word. “Pig” caught on; it entered the language…

“Pig” was perfect for several reasons. First of all, words like “swine,” “hog,” “sow,” and “pig” have always had unpleasant connotations…”Pig” has another point in its favor: in racial terms “pig” is a neutral word. Many white youths on college campuses began to understand what the police were really like when their heads were broken open during demonstrations against the draft and the Vietnam War. This broadened the use of the term and served to unify the victims against their oppressors. Even though white youths were not victimized in the same way or to the same extent that we were, they nonetheless became our allies against the police. In this case the ruling circle was not able to set the victims against each other, as the racists in the South had done by setting poor whites against Blacks.

Huey P. Newton, Revolutionary Suicide

Committed to investigating, examining, and representing the African-American male, men, and manhood by offering commentary regarding the status of Black Men and Black Manhood as it relates to African-American Manhood, Race, Class, Politics, and Culture from an educated and authentic African-American perspective aimed at improving the plight of African-American men and African-American Manhood in regards to Politics, Culture, Education, and Social Matters.

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