Black Panthers

Maoist Internationalist Movement mim3 at
Sat Sep 16 11:10:20 MDT 1995

On Sat, 16 Sep 1995, Jamal Hannah wrote:

> MIM said:
> > The Black Panthers quoted Mao and upheld Mao as clearly as
> > could be done in the English language. Not only did they
> > run articles from Mao's press in China, they quoted the CCP
> > on Maoism's role verbatim. On Jan. 4th, 1969, they quoted
> > some Mexican comrades favorably: "Without Marxism-Leninism,
> > Mao tse-Tung's Thought, there is no and will never be
> > socialism in any country."
> Sure, the Black Panthers (BP) ran Maoist articles
> and identified with some Maoist politcs.  They also
> supported the Viet Namese struggle (Viet Nam was
> more friendly to the USSR than China, wasnt it?), and the

MIM replies: China supported Vietnam too at the time
we are talking about 1966-1969. There was no difference
between the Black Panthers and Mao on that.

> personal convictions of many poor black Americans who had
> no connection to Mao at all.   And yes, one could characterize
> the BP as "internationalists".  I dont see anything wrong with
> that.  My point is that the BP was not _primarily_ Maoist..
> it would be alienating to the experiance of the poor American
> Blacks to be expected to wholeheartedly take everything
> the Chinese said at that time.  Perhaps one could say the
> BP were "%10 Maoist".. but if they were "pure" Maoist they would

MIM replies: This is all assertion. People should read the documents.
And you can't tell how much the Black Panthers have borrowed from
Mao unless you have read Mao. For a start on that problem I'd
recommend getting the MIM lit on the subject.

Huey Newton told many audiences and had them chanting that they
only needed two things, the Red Book (Mao) and the gun. Does
that mean the Black Panthers were only "50%" Maoist because
one of two items was not a Mao book?

> I think it would be falling into the "Mao Personality Cult" for MIM
> to insist that any significant revolutionary group from the past was
> "truly a Maoist group ...even if they didnt realize it".

MIM replies: OK, I've seen enough of this on this Marxism List
to call it out: why is it that every time I refer to Blacks apart
from the white workers, people start saying the Black communists
"didn't realize it"? Were "vague" and "misguided" etc. It's not
just this one post, but this post echoing others.

The Black Panthers were consciously upholding Marxism-Leninism, Mao
Zedong Thought from their beginnings in 1966 to the time they were smashed.
True the group that claimed the Black Panther name after its
original leaders were removed by the pigs or otherwise driven away
from the party--that organization was much more eclectic; furthermore,
no party ever perfectly upholds the line it is trying to uphold.
Nonetheless, Jamal Hannah is just far from the mark on this question.

Pat for MIM

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