[sixties-l] Where Are All the Panthers? (fwd)

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Date: Tue Apr 23 2002 - 14:44:07 EDT

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    Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2002 19:51:26 -0700
    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    Subject: Where Are All the Panthers?

    Where Are All the Panthers?

    By Dan Flynn
    FrontPageMagazine.com | April 22, 2002

    Editor's note: This article is part of a weeklong series of reports from
    the Black Panthers' 35th anniversary reunion held last weekend in
    Washington, DC.

    The Black Panthers held their 35th anniversary reunion at the University of
    the District of Columbia this past weekend. As evidenced by the gathering's
    nearly vacant workshops and sparsely populated main sessions, a lot of the
    Panthers weren't able to make it.

    Where were all the Panthers?

    Eddie Conway of the Baltimore branch of the Black Panther Party couldn't
    make the gathering. For the past 32 years, Conway has been serving a life
    sentence for murdering a policeman and attempting to kill another cop.

    Anthony Jones, a Philadelphia Black Panther, was absent from the reunion.
    He got caught up in a bank-robbery more than a generation ago in which
    someone was murdered. He's now serving a life-sentence as well.

    Assata Shakur, perhaps unable to obtain a visa, remained in Cuba rather
    than catch-up on old times with her comrades. Shakur murdered a New Jersey
    patrolman in 1973. In 1986 she escaped from prison and fled into the arms
    of Fidel Castro.

    Although Wesley Cook was unable to attend, he had the courtesy to send
    several emissaries, including his crackpot lawyer, Elliot Grossman. The
    teenage minister of information for the Philadelphia branch of the Party
    now goes by the name of Mumia Abu-Jamal and calls Pennsylvania State
    Correctional Institution at Greene home. In 1981, Abu-Jamal murdered police
    officer Daniel Faulkner. In the intervening years he has become a hero to
    the Left.

    H. Rapp Brown didn't make the reunion either. Like Cook, he's since changed
    his name. He now goes by Jamil Abdullah al-Amin. Like Abu-Jamal, al-Amin
    delayed the seemingly obligatory act among Panthers of murdering a
    policeman until well after the Party had ceased to exist.

    David Rice and Ed Poindexter of the Omaha, Nebraska branch of Panthers
    weren't in DC for the gathering either. They've been in prison for the last
    32 years. In 1970, Rice and Poindexter instructed a juvenile associate to
    plant a bomb in an abandoned house. On instructions the youth called the
    police and reported a woman screaming inside the house. Larry Minard, one
    of the officers who arrived at the scene, stumbled upon the bomb and was

    Romain "Chip" Fitzgerald, a Southern California Black Panther, must have
    sent his regrets too. Fitzgerald, whose death sentence was overturned when
    the Supreme Court outlawed capital punishment, is incarcerated in
    California. His supporters label him the longest serving political prisoner
    in the United States. His detractors simply call him what he is: a murderer.

    With these and many more Panthers either dead or wasting away in jail, who
    actually showed up to the meeting?

    A woman named Sister Sheeba presided over large portion of the proceedings,
    declaring, "We have a little rat-faced boy in the White House who stole the
    election." Foul-mouthed Pam Africa attended, but failed to show up to
    conduct her workshop. She shouted to a cheering audience later in the
    conference, "I am a revolutionary without a motherfuckin doubt." The New
    Black Panther Party made their presence known, donning all-black military
    costumes and shouting "All Power to the People" at opportune times.

    Other than Bobby Seale and Kathleen Cleaver, few of the conference speakers
    or attendees had anything to do with the Black Panthers. Most were
    Generation X wannabes or graying radicals attempting to relive a nostalgia
    that they never experienced.

    The next time the Black Panthers hold a reunion, they might want to try
    hosting it at a venue where actual Black Panthers might be able to
    attend^Ślike a jail.

    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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