One of the more fascinating aspects of history is the truth found in the axiom “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” So I knew that in time, my people would respond to the recent rise of law enforcement officers’ terrorist activities. It was a moment that I eagerly awaited as it would serve as a significant sign that an important aspect of our history had returned. The recent rise of politicized armed Black militias’, for purposes of self-defense and preservation, is little more than an extension of an often ignored, if not forgotten, aspect of the storied history of African-American activism.
As a historian, I find it amazing that the oppression that birthed the founding of America by luminaries such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are still occurring today. This recent rise of African-Americans arming themselves against marauding police officers reminds the politically astute of similar moments where Black activists ‘picked up the gun’. The spirit of the Deacons for Defense and Justice and the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense are all reflected with these recent decisions by Black activists to ‘pick up the gun’ for self-preservation purposes. Obviously, this recent rise of armed, yet politicized, Black activists is greatly influenced by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale decision to create the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in Oakland, California, on October 15, 1966. I smiled when a recent article announced the creation of the Huey P. Newton Gun Club; I am absolutely certain that the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense Minister of Defense would smile at that show of respect.
Despite what many white opponents, as well as scared Negroes, seek to dismissively brush away, the Huey P. Newton Gun Club is operating out of this nation’s oldest tradition of resisting tyranny and embracing the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness ‘by any means necessary.’
During a recent debate regarding this matter, I was confronted by a self-righteous American patriot who relied solely upon recycled rhetoric and banter as he attempted to prove an illogical point. I have learned that such moments reach absurdly ridiculous levels when such individuals find themselves on the losing end of the debate. This verbal contest was no different as my opponent who had become exasperated by my logic and frustrated at his inability to sway an attentive audience relied upon an old racist dodge; the shouting of “If you don’t like it here, well then go back to Africa.” I was well prepared for this statement; I knew that he would eventually spew it at me. Put simply, I was familiar with this road and therefore prepared to counter what was for him a last ditch effort to win the debate.
My preparation allowed me to coolly retort, “You wouldn’t tell that to George Washington.” Stunned at my retort, the middle-aged white man just stormed off as even he was aware that it was Washington, this nation’s first President, and beyond that its initial hero, who when faced with a lesser degree of oppression than what African-Americans are facing today from a tyrannical British government led his people in ‘picking up the gun’ to declare war and expel the British from what they were now terming their land.
So I applaud this group of individuals who are following in this nation’s founding fathers footsteps and refusing to stand idly by while their brothers and sisters are being slaughtered by a tyrannical out of control police force that reminds one of the British troops that stormed this land nearly 250 years ago. The Huey P. Newton Gun Club has decided to boldly take a stand and refuse to allow Black people to be murdered in the streets. And for that reason, they should be celebrated; because after all, they are merely following the example of those (Huey P. Newton, Robert F. Williams, George Washington, and Patrick Henry) that came before them. So I take this moment to honor, the Huey P. Newton Gun Club for being so steadfast, honorable, and patriotic.
James Thomas Jones III
© 2014 Manhood, Race, and Culture