[Marxism] Black Panther Party was Scope and Limits of Theory: ....BlackBloc...

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Sun Jul 4 10:26:28 MDT 2010

Louis Proyect wrote:

> Carrol Cox wrote: 
> > (This, incidentally, was _exactly_ the principle put forth by the Black
> > Panther Party for Self-Defense, as indicated by the veryname of the
> > Party, yet the Panthers have been periodically dismissed on this list as
> > so man adventuriests or ultra-leftists.) [clip]
> It was at first, but then became an "off the pigs" nightmare.

This is nonsense, culled from the capitalist press. It probably has no
more basis in fact than the myth of spitting. And it certainly comes
from those who had no direct personal relationship with the Panthers.

Jan drove to the Panther Headquarters in Chicago to pick up two members
& bring them to Bloomington for a meeting. (The steel door to their
headquarters was pockmarked with bullets.) They did not chat about
offing thepigs, they just looked tense and nervous as hell (especially
when they met cop cars) uintil they were well beyond the Chicago city
limits, when they began to relax. SNCC workers from Mississipi visited
Bloomington showed analogous signs; they were tense the first two days
of their visit, relaxed for the next few days, and begin to get tense
again as time for their returnneared.

After the assassination of King there was _no_ rioting in those
neighborhoods where either the Panthers or SNCC had done extensive

Fred Hampton spent the last few months of his life giving essentially
the same speech at all the black high schools in the Chicago area: an
analysis of what was wrong with Weatherman. (This has longer term
political signifcance but I'll develop that on some other occasion.)

Why was Mark Clark in Chicago to be murdered along with Hampton? Well,
it seems that young would-be black thugs often read the same media that
Lou gets his information from, and from that  media they found out that
the Panthers were a bunch of tugs going around offing the pigs. And they
said to themselves, Hey, that's for me. And this was cluttering the
ranks of the Panthers with unwanted members. So they had a purge of the
membership. Mark Clark from the Peoria Panthers was up there being
interviewed as part of that over-all invesitigation of the membershp and
a pruning of undesirables.

The Panthers regularly cooperated with the "white" anti-war movement.
This warm relationship between a Black organization and white radicals
was probably their final sin in the eyes of the FBI and triggered the
heavy repression that fell down on them.

In several different forums in 1969 Jan & I pleaded with people to do as
little as pass a resolution condemning repression of the Panthers. No
dice. The white liberals in B/N didn't want to dirty themselves with the
association. Whad did the SWP do in respnse to the repressive actions of
the authorities against the Panthers?


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