Thursday, November 4, 2010

I have chosen the website of a group calling themselves the “new black panthers”. They were started in 1989 and are now run by a man called Dr. Malik Zulu Shabazz. They claim to be carrying on the work of the original ‘Black Panthers’, “The New Black Panther Party understands that the organizing tactics and strategies of the Black Panther Party were relevant and revolutionary and can be applied in the 21st Century to great success in our community”, “With the rise of the Tea Party, the white-right and other racist forces. With gun sales nationwide at an all time high amongst whites, with a mood that is more anti-Black than any time recent, it is imperative that we organize our forces, pool our resources and prepare for war! He seems to openly favour the militancy of the original black panthers, or of Malcolm X. There have been various allegations in the American media that the new black panthers allegedly intimidated voters at a polling station in Philadelphia using batons, and preventing them from voting. The new black panthers deny that they stopped, or attempted to stop anyone from voting. Yet it seems the American media seems to be trying very hard to discredit this group. Quotes from American websites describe Dr. Shabazz as a “radical, anti-Semitic, and racist”. However, on an interview in this website;

Which is a website for African American art and literature, he is described as a “freedom fighter/activist/attorney”. I find it interesting that the civil rights movement is still going on 50 years later, and clearly people such as the new black panthers think they have much more still to fight for. The question is whether the tactics of the black panthers are still relevant today. It’s clear from this interview on Fox news that they think not;

Even the surviving members of the original Black Panther party condemn the new Black Panther party, saying they have no claim on the party’s name, and saying that they “denigrate the Party's name by promoting concepts absolutely counter to the revolutionary principles on which the Party was founded. Although they do state that they believe African Americans to be in a worse position now, than they were when the party was originally formed in 1966.

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