The New Black Panther Party is the Old Black Panther Party. A rant from a black woman from Tampa, Florida, blames the Republican Party, the Party that “hates black people” (her words), for the violence that’s going on in the city. She ended her rant on a “black power” radio station with this threat: Our “Feet Will Be On Your Motherf***ing Necks.”
Revolution has almost always been a tool of the Left. Mao Tse Tung’s revolutionary manifesto that “power grows out of a barrel of a gun” is a leftist slogan. Leaders of student movements in the 1960s used the rhetoric of violence to further their anti-establishment cause. Carl Oglesby, president of the ultra-leftist Students for Democratic Action (SDS), said, “Revolutions do not take place in velvet boxes. . . . Nuns will be raped and bureaucrats will be disemboweled.”
A keynote speech at a 1962 SDS convention praised the freedom riders, not for furthering civil rights but rather for their “radicalizing” potential, their “clear-cut demonstration for the sterility of legalism.” It is not by “learning the rules of the legislative game that we will succeed in creating the kind of militant alliances that our struggle requires. We shall succeed through force — through the exertion of such pressure as will force our reluctant allies to accommodate to us, in their own interest.”
Tom Hayden, a former SDS organizer and strategist, intoned the following in 1967: “Perhaps the only forms of action appropriate to the angry people are violent. Perhaps a small minority, by setting ablaze New York and Washington, could damage this country forever in the court of world opinion. Urban guerrillas are the only realistic alternative at this time to electoral politics or mass armed resistance.” Hayden went on to serve in the California House of Representatives.
The August 24, 1967 issue of The New York Review of Books carried an article by Hayden that stated:
“The role of organized violence is now being carefully considered. During a riot, for instance, a conscious guerrilla can participate in pulling police away from the path of people engaged in attacking stores. He can create disorder in new areas the police think are secure. He can carry the torch, if not all the people, to white neighborhoods and downtown business districts. If necessary, he can successfully shoot to kill.
“The guerrilla can employ violence effectively during times of apparent ‘peace,’ too. He can attack, in the suburbs or slums, with paint or bullets, symbols of racial oppression.
“These tactics of disorder will be defined by the authorities as criminal anarchy. But it may be that disruption will create possibilities of meaningful change. . . . Violence can contribute to shattering the status quo, but only politics and organization can transform it.
Today’s Black Panthers and those that support them believe, along with the Occupy Movement, that violence can lead to social, economic, and political utopia. We thought we saw an end to such madness in the 1960s and early 1970s. The class warfare rhetoric of this administration has reignited the belief that violence might be justified for a righteous cause.
This is just the beginning. The slogan of the New Black Panther Party is FREEDOM OR DEATH.
- Quoted in Os Guinness, The Dust of Death: The Sixties Counterculture and How It Changed America Forever (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1994), 112. [↩]
- Thomas Kahn, “The Political Significance of the Freedom Riders,” in Mitchell Cohen and Dennis Hale, eds., The New Student Left (Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press, 1966), 59, 63. Quoted in Rothman and Lichter, Roots of Radicalism, 13. [↩]
- Quoted in Methvin, Rise of Radicalism, 505. Quoted in Methvin, Rise of Radicalism, 505. [↩]
- Quoted in Riot Makers, 51. [↩]