Words By Hip Hop Full Circle and Champ Ion over at http://www.remarxofexcellence.blogspot.com
In honor of Black History Month ending on a leap year, Champ and myself decided to end the month on a high note. While black lives may not matter to some. It most definitely matters to us. We are to be celebrated not tolerated.
I started to proceed this article with a disclaimer. But fuck that. This is how I feel. Lately, the climate of the society is pushing us all towards a state of “us versus them”, and that us could be gay vs. straight, left vs. right (politically), or black vs. white. The past few years have taught us that, the more things change , the more they stay the same. We have watched numerous black men and young black boys die by the hands of police as well as our own. That’s just the reality of the situation. But lately, there has been a surge in self awareness musically.
Some person, group, faction or entity believes this is a huge no-no. Who the fuck are we to be proud of ourselves? In Beyoncé’s Super Bowl performance, there was a lot Black Panther imagery. And many took offence to that. That’s fine, any human being on this planet can express grievances with whatever they see fit. However, you can’t complain about a message from the oppressed when you just so happen to be the oppressor. You can’t expect the downtrodden, abused, disenfranchised, marginalized, and oppressed to stay that way forever.
The commentator in the post above made it a point to emphasize that The Black Panther Party was an organization that thrived on violence to overthrow “white dominance”, her words not mine. So I assume white dominance is just the natural order of things. And therefore not fit to be challenged. I think its time we explore the true differences between The Black Panther Party and keepers of white dominance, The Ku Klux Klan.
The Black Panther Party
Founded in 1966 by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, The BPP’s main purpose was to fight social injustice. That included monitoring police behavior and brutality. This also included Free Breakfast for Children, which eventually developed into the WIC program, and community health clinics. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover called them “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country”. This couldn’t be because of the breakfast and clinics. Maybe it was May 2, 1967 when the BPP received their first media attention and showed up to state capital with 30 members all carrying weapons. There were several instances where there was violence against police. But the Panthers achieved way more losses in this situation. Nonetheless, Hoover enacted COINTELPRO (COunter INTELligence PROgram) to undermine Panther leadership. This operation included such tactics as surveillance, infiltration, perjury, police harassment and assassination.
For a few years this idea worked against the FBI’s wishes as the BPP’s popularity soared. It reached it’s peak in 1970 with offices in 68 different cities across the United States. But COINTELPRO just needed time to work. Soon after the Party’s height, numerous spats of infighting, expulsions and defections ended the BPP. So much so, that by 1980, there were only 27 members left. Huey Newton died after being shot in the face twice shortly after leaving a crack house in Oakland on August 22, 1989. So if you look at BPP in it’s entirety, there wasn’t much gain outside of feeding children and an occasional shootout with the police. And I don’t say shootout lightly, but those were situations against armed and trained men and women of law enforcement who know how to conduct themselves in such situations. Shootouts that were largely against police offers and tactical teams that were likely more interested in extinguishing more black lives than serving and protecting the people and streets they were responsible for. Sound familiar?
On the other hand…………….
In existence since at least 1865, the Ku Klux Klan has continued a reign of domestic terrorism for over a century and a half. With the sole purpose of purifying the American society, the Klan carried out some of the worst forms of domestic terrorism this country had ever witnessed. Let’s flesh that out for a second. Purify, as if the black Americans in this country at the time were some kind of residual contaminant left over from the Slave era that needed eradication? Yup, that sounds about right! In other words, the KKK
wished wishes to rid the country of the successors of the very people that built the country that they are so proud and fortunate to be in. They want to cleanse the nation of the very people who built it for them with their blood, sweat, and tears. The very people that are responsible for the foundation that allowed this nation to be the luxurious and relaxed and FREE (can’t forget the free part) nation that it is? F.O.H.
There were three different phases throughout history for the Klan in America, throughout all of them, their sole agenda was to instill fear and extend maliciousness, terror, murder, death, and oppression to any and every black person they could. One from 1865-1870s. Another from 1915-1944. And the last from 1946 to the present. That’s right the present. Donning mask and robes to hide their identities, The Klan chose to operate in such a manner to terrorize people they would be petrified of if they were alone. Never facing government backlash in the way The Black Panther Party withstood, never having a COINTELPRO operation to undermine their goal, the Klan is still in effect today. Now you can tell me I’m wrong but I doubt it, but I truly believe these guys switched from neighborhood terrorist to writing laws policing our neighborhoods, teaching and administrating in our schools, and proving to be the oppressive gatekeepers to just about every facet of American society that they seek to try and keep us out of.
Made us “straighten up” is how Georgia state representative Tommy Bolton classified the Klan’s actions. Is this how Hitler made the Jews “straighten up”? And what is the definition of “straighten up”? It’s bullshit like this and the fact that he is still in office, that makes me sad to be from this state. With that said, I bet my bottom dollar that that’s what “the majority” wants us to do; straighten up. It wouldn’t even surprise me if they were perfectly comfortable with the exact same methods. The majority of white Americans are so disillusioned, so grossly socially disconnected from black America that they think that we are all like the “thugs” and unruly members of society that they see in abundance of social media and news outlets. Stereotyping, I believe it’s called. To this day, we still are viewed as as “less thans” and “others” to validate their fears of the big bad (BLACK) boogie man that’s coming to try and take their (HA!) country form them by any means necessary.
So to wrap this article up, I was asked to write this piece about the difference between The Black Panther Party and The Ku Klux Klan. It makes me upset that I even have to explain who was responsible for more terrorism here in The United States. It makes me even madder that an artist such as Beyoncé has to face such backlash from law enforcement, who claim they won’t work her shows on The Formation Tour later this year. Is this what you get for speaking you mind in white America? Thankfully The Nation of Islam has stepped up to take up the slack of our “servers and protectors”. How can we be placed in a position to have to defend how we feel about certain matters, instead of speaking freely and moving on like so many others? I recall a few months ago when the Hacktivist group Anonymous exposed several government officials for having ties to the Ku Klux Klan, maybe we should have taken that list a bit more seriously. But to go ahead and explain the difference between the two organizations, let’s just say one was standing up for human rights and attempting to educate the masses at the same time. They also had a government operation placed upon them to implode from the inside. The other, well, they changed clothes. Hoodies and robes and burning crosses don’t hold the same weight as a stroke of the pen to push an unjust law into effect, or a “justified” murder at the hands of blood thirsty cops that gets upheld by District Attorneys, judges and certain sectors of the media. Oh, and to show you how “good” this second group is, they are trying to adopt a section of the highway right here in Georgia. The irony. Its killing me. Literally.