[sixties-l] Re: The Black Panthers

From: Art McGee (amcgee@igc.org)
Date: Tue Jun 13 2000 - 00:04:12 CUT

  • Next message: David Horowitz: "Re: [sixties-l] Re: The Black Panthers"

    > Ah, the illogic of the left. The Panthers began as a street gang and
    > ended up as a street gang but somehow in between they transformed
    > themselves into an uplifting vanguard of the revolution -- until of
    > course the evil empire's dirty tricks.... Get a life.

    It appears that your bitterness at the death of your friend
    has put you on a crusade which has led you down a path of
    intellectual dishonesty. Mind you, I have no opinion either
    way as to whether the Panthers killed that person, but
    rather, I only ask that the organization be viewed in it's
    totality, and not as a mere caricature. This is the problem
    with all of your so-called analysis, it isn't analysis, it's
    just distortions or outright lies.

    > Forget the ideological claptrap in your next comment
    > (lumpen and all that) and explain how white leftists like
    > you,

    I'm Black, thank you very much, so you can drop the "Slim
    Shady" routine.

    I know what your next thought is, "...oh, he must be one of
    those upper-class or elite Negroes who has led other Black
    people astray..." Wrong again. I grew up working-class and
    still consider myself working class, or at the most lower

    Wait, I bet you've got one more thought "Oh, this is one of
    those Negro apologists for the Panthers, who's still living
    in the past and reminiscing about their glory days..." Wrong
    again. I'm only 30. When I was growing up, I knew very
    little about the Panthers other than the caricatured or
    stereotyped basics.

    > explain how Huey Newton's brother Melvin (to take one lumpen example
    > among many I could cite) became a professor, a law abiding professor who
    > at least in his personal life seems not to have raped, beaten, or
    > otherwise abused anyone. I could name you a dozen Panthers I knew, who
    > worked in the Panther school and who also were not given to lumpen
    > excess.

    Was this supposed to refute some argument I made? Sorry, but
    you're arguing against something that doesn't even exist, a
    typical right-wing trick. In fact, you have actually made a
    point that I was about to bring up, the fact that
    irrespective of whatever wrongs the Panther "leadership" may
    have committed, this says NOTHING about the ideals or
    behavior of the general membership, or the masses of people
    who supported them.

    In other words, let's say that all the Panther leadership
    were completely evil, and should have been tried and all of
    them given the death penalty. This doesn't say a damn thing
    about the need for radical social change in this country,
    nor does it says anything about the goals of the Black
    Freedom Movement as a whole. All it says is that those folks
    were fucked up, and we need to try again, this time without
    the criminal behavior. It does NOT say that revolution isn't
    needed, it does NOT say that the Black Freedom Movement has
    no purpose, it doesn't say anything other than that.

    > I thought Stalinism was passe, but you seem to regard
    > people -- or at least dark-skinned people, as sociological
    > stick figures who have no control over their own actions.

    Once again, this is a false argument that has no basis in
    fact. Besides the fact that I am Black, and not the
    paternalistic white person who seem to think I am "Mr.
    Mathers", Mr. Henderson already made the point about
    fascinated that the moderator is such a stickler for
    personal attacks, but lying outright in front of everyone on
    the list has no consequences. This list will never gain any
    true credibility if it continues in this manner.

    > Also, while we are on the subject of "deep thought," kindly explain to
    > me what a non "Machiavellian" interepetation of "by any means necessary
    > would be."

    When Malcolm said "by any means necessary", he didn't mean,
    for example, that you could go out and start using violence
    and shooting people just because you felt like it, or for
    your own personal gain. What he meant is that if people were
    not going to respect us as human beings, by unleashing dogs
    on us while involved in peaceful protest, or lynching us, we
    had the right to kill the dog or that person, if necessary.
    This is basic self-defense and self-preservation instinct.
    He also meant that you should use whatever means were at
    your disposable short of violence first, but if that didn't
    work, you had a right to defend yourself.

    The problem is, it sounded shocking to most because they
    didn't expect Black people to "hit back" at the time.

    > Mr. Henderson's purpose is to obuscate to save leftists like you from
    > having to confront the crimes of your movement and really think.

    I didn't see any obsfucation in Mr. Henderson's review, only
    a complexity that you seem unwilling or unable to grapple
    with, mostly because of your personal bitterness.


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