Free Essay: The Rising Danger of the New Black Panther Party
The New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (NBPP) is a political outfit for the Blacks based in the United States. It was founded in Dallas, Texas in 1989. However, it is not the official successor to the Black Panther Party. Members of the original Black Panther Party have always contested the legitimacy of this political organization. In the 1960s, the Black Panther Party was very popular and regarded as a symbol of counter cultural practices. The party eventually disputed the Black Nationalism and branded its black racism. Owing to this, it emphasized more on socialism instead of racial exclusion (Seale, 1997).
The party initiated various community-based programs that were aimed at poverty alleviation, improvement of health standards, and enhancing its image to the public. Some of the party’s favorite programs included free breakfast for children and citizen’s patrol. However, the operations of the party were frequently hindered by the violence acts by members and increasing opposition to the police (Westneat, 2005).
The New Black Panther party had various rights to self-determination. The party introduced a Ten-Point Platform Program, which outlined the organization’s basic needs and addressed the grievances of the Blacks living in the United States. The Blacks still faced oppression long after the abolition of slavery. Besides, the program also acted as a manifesto that advocated for the end of oppression and satisfaction of needs. The members of the party self defense through revolutionary ideas and dedication to its goal of impacting change.
The Black Panther Party at first had a vision and served to express the needs of the people who are disadvantaged in society and shielding them from oppression. After the party was established, there was determination that its objectives would significantly impact awareness among the people and encourage them towards working to achieve their freedom. The Americans realized that their system of government was not just oppressive to them but the entire world. Such a government would not peacefully prevail without repression since the Black Panther Party was committed to serving the people.
Many radical groups have gradually campaigned for self-determination rights for black people. Those who criticize the NBPP argued that it is inherent with the original goals of the Black Panther Party. It is termed as a hate and racist organization (Curtis, 2006), especially, because it is anti-Semitic and anti-white. Many claim that the party frustrates the efforts of achieving equality among other groups.
The Black Panther Party was initially focused on military action and this attracted violence. The members ran their operations as per a Californian law that authorized the carrying of weapons like rifles or guns provided that it was openly displayed but not pointed towards another person or people (Pearson, 1994). The law also allowed people to chant at the police in public. In fact, this law brought about transformation in the history of violence.
The party was initially in reclamation for traditional and masculine gender roles for the blacks. The resistance that they showed has been branded highly masculine because of the use of guns and violent attacks in demonstration of manhood. Several scholars and publications reported that the female members of BPP had a role of standing behind their men and supporting them in their activities. However, the use of guns although was purposely for self-defense was later criminalized and could not be justified.
In 1969, the Black Panther Party newspaper reported that women and men were considered as equals and members were required to treat females as of a similar ability. This was a significant change since women had always been regarded as subordinate members (Linda, 2009). Besides, the Deputy Chairman of the party convened a meeting where he rubbished sexism. Since then, the party began looking at sexism as an act against revolution.
This was followed by the adoption of an ideology on womanism. The party adopted this ideology in consideration of the experiences of black women in the US which confirmed that sexism was less oppressive unlike racism. Womanism originated from a mix between Black Nationalism and the vindication of women. It was impacted by placing racism, and struggles within a community ahead of matters of gender (Janiece, 2008).
The concept of womanism was justified through their ideology that traditional beliefs did not perceive race and social class in denouncing male chauvinism and was still part of the white oppression. Contrary to certain feminist perceptions, womanism enhanced the opinion that men were not superior to men. The idea was that they only hold various positions in families and communities. Thus, womanism argued that men must work together with their female counterparts towards the preservation of African-American cultures and communities (Janiece, 2008).
The key objective of the BPP was to avert police attacks through the local departments. Besides, the party worked together with similar groups like Asian-American, American-Indian, and Third World organization with similar ambitions. They realized that the American government was quite corrupt and oppressive with regards to their colonial activities on other countries. Therefore, it was better placed in leading a revolution towards ending such racist systems and creating a just and fair society.
The Black Panther Party was not only committed to pursuing its goals but also political agenda by allowing its members to seek appointments to offices and parliament. Besides, it also acted as an economic movement since it recognized the differences in the system. The members worked with like-minded groups towards achieving equal rights and appreciating their hard work. The party established community-based programs like health services and free breakfast for children. The Black Panther Party was aimed at making sure that there is equality for all.
Curtis Austin. Up Against the Wall. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2006
Janiece L. Blackmon. I Am Because We Are: Africana Womanism as a Vehicle of Empowerment and Influence. Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Polytechnic Institute ,2008.
Linda Lumsden. Good Mothers With Guns: Framing Black Womanhood in the Black Panther, 1968–1980., J & MC Quarterly 86/4, Winter 2009.
Pearson Hugh. The Shadow of the Panther: Huey Newton and the Price of Black Power in America. De Capo Press, 1994.
Seale, Bobby. Seize the Time (Reprint ed.). Black Classic Press, 1997.
Westneat, Danny. Reunion of Black Panthers stirs memories of aggression, activism. The Seattle Times, 2005.
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