There is so much that we need to learn from those who paved the way for us. At this moment where African-American males are being treated as little more than moving targets for overzealous law enforcement officers throughout the land, it is in our best interest to heed the warnings and admonishments of the revolutionary warrior class that preceded us.
So it is my pleasure to honor Black Panther Party Chairman Bobby Seale, one of the aforementioned warriors, on his born day. Although I consider it to be fortuitous to wish this beautiful brother Happy Birthday, I find it of greater utility to glean something from the wisdom that this brother has shared with those who are currently attempting to model themselves after his revolutionary example.
It is this revolutionary example that we could learn so much from today if we would only pay attention. What follows is extremely important wisdom in the current context of blatant hostility emanating from local, state, and federal level law enforcement agencies and personnel. Seale, addressing the Panther Party decision to ‘pick up the gun’, admonished that
On the one hand, the guns were there to help capture the imagination of the people. But more important, since we knew that you couldn’t observe the police without guns, we took our guns with us to let the police know that we have an equalizer.
So let us make today the day that we not only wish Chairman Bobby Seale a Happy Birthday, but also a day that we take heed to his admonishment that in light of the continual murder of African-American males that we may need to Seize The Time and embrace the aforementioned equalizer. Our conscious decision to do such would be the greatest birthday present that we could ever give our Chairman as it simultaneously signals our continuing commitment to liberation and lets him know that we are doing our best to follow his revolutionary example.
Dr. James Thomas Jones III