---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2002 09:45:47 -0700
From: radtimes <email@example.com>
Subject: Panther Leader Seale Confesses
Panther Leader Seale Confesses
By Dan Flynn
FrontPageMagazine.com | April 23, 2002
Editor's Note: The radio show on which Bobby Seale and I appeared and which
he refers to in this partial confession was hosted by Pat Buchanan and Al
From. Far from "busting [my] butt," Seale conceded both on air and off that
what I was saying about Panther criminality was right. But he contended
that it was all Eldridge Cleaver's fault and/or that he (Seale) knew
nothing about it at the time. Seale is correct that when Newton, Elaine
Brown and other Panthers murdered Betty Van Patter, he was no longer a
member of the party. He had been beaten up and sodomized by Newton and had
disappeared for more than a year because he was afraid for his life.
On the other hand, while Bobby Seale was in jail in 1969 and 1970, waiting
trial for his role in the torture-murder of Panther Alex Rackley, a party
member named Fred Bennett had an affair with Seale's wife and got her
pregnant. Fred Bennett was subsequently murdered. Like more than a dozen
other murders committed by the Black Panther Party in its heyday, Fred
Bennett's murder remains unsolved. I'm sorry to see that Seale is still
blaming law enforcement ("Cointelpro") for his crimes. I 'm happy on the
other hand that he has seen fit to admit part of the truth. I look forward
to the day when he is ready to tell the whole truth and nothing but.
"COINTELPRO is still here," Bobby Seale told an audience at last weekend's
Black Panther reunion. "They still tap my phone to this day."
Clearly Seale still retains some of the paranoia of his Panther days. Much
of the ideological baggage of the 1960s, however, he's left behind.
Seale, to the shock of some in the audience, declared, "Race is bullshit!"
He ridiculed Nation of Islam theories that maintain that an evil scientist
created whites in a laboratory. After the human genome project was
complete, Seale remarked that he realized that humans are actually more
than 99% alike. Seale labeled the preoccupation with Marxism by many
radicals as an exercise in "intellectual masturbation." The revolution he
now seeks, he proclaimed, has nothing to do with violence. He's abandoned
the Panthers' past enthusiasm for guns as well. "I don't think you need
guns," he remarked. "I don't see the relevance of guns."
The University of the District of Columbia audience witnessed Seale
honestly address some of the lawbreaking committed by his fellow Party
members. Seale declared, "I love Huey, but Huey used to do some crazy
stuff." Seale recounted how Newton used to lurk for prey outside of the
emergency room of an Oakland hospital. When patients were rushed into the
emergency room from cars, Newton would steal from the abandoned vehicles.
At another session, Seale candidly discussed the botched robbery of a gas
station by a Panther.
Despite his willingness to reevaluate past Panther dogma and frankly
confront misdeeds by individual Panthers, there are some aspects of the
Black Panther Party that Seale clearly did not want to revisit.
"David Horowitz wants to paint all the Black Panther Party, as he puts it,
as 'Black Panther murderers,'" Seale responded to this writer's query about
Panther crimes alleged by Horowitz. "He can't do it. He's angry."
The specific allegations made by David Horowitz, and relayed to Seale last
weekend, involve Black Panther leaders embezzling funds and murdering a
potential whistleblower, Betty Van Patter. Seale didn't deny the
allegations. In fact, everything that he said^×other than obligatory
condemnations of Horowitz as a liar^×supported Horowitz's charge.
"Supposedly, Huey Newton, or Elaine Brown or somebody, had taken $100,000
And Huey Newton did serve six months in jail for personal use of $100,000,"
Seale admitted, adding, "Remember, this was all after I left the Party."
Van Patter, who served the Party in an accounting capacity, uncovered
severe financial improprieties by the Panthers. On December 13, 1974, Van
Patter disappeared. Her dead body, head caved in, would later turn up in
San Francisco Bay.
Seale allows that things were getting out of hand in the Party by the mid
'70s. "I wanted to stop the Black Panther Party," the graying radical
confessed. "I had stumbled on Huey Newton abusing cocaine at the
time^×viciously. I stumbled on him trying to take over the drug trade
operation in Oakland, California." Seale admitted that Newton attempted to
shake down pimps and drug dealers, and as a result, the ne'er-do-well
population of Oakland took out a contract on Newton's life. "I was very,
very pissed," Seale maintains. "If I stayed around, I probably would have
killed Huey myself."
Later, Seale offered a tacit acknowledgement that the Panthers probably did
indeed kill Van Patter. David Horowitz, he remarked, is "probably still
feeling guilty because he left Betty Van Patter there." If the Panthers
didn't kill Van Patter, what would Horowitz have to feel guilty about?
Despite offering no dispute to the substance of Horowitz's specific charge,
Seale still felt compelled to deny that his old ideological comrade was
right. "I got David Horowitz on a live radio show and balled his butt out
about every lie he told in his books."
"David Horowitz cannot write us out of history like that," Seale
proclaimed. "He can try all he wants." The Panthers, as Seale correctly
recognizes, cannot be erased from our cultural memory. Yet it's not David
Horowitz, but the unflattering truth, that secures the Black Panthers a
place of infamy in the annals of history.
Dan Flynn is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia and author of
the forthcoming Why the Left Hates America (Prima Forum). This Saturday,
organizers of the Black Panther Reunion kicked him out of their conference.
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