The text below is machine transcribed.
He everybody it's me Josh and for this week's Sy S K Lex, I've chosen how the Black Panther Party worked, and I think you probably know why I did.
I know a lot of people listen to stuff. You should know as an escape from the rest of the world, from the terribleness of news and politics and all of that stuff, and we get that and we're actually grateful that we can provide that kind of distraction for people under normal circumstances.
But these aren't normal circumstances and right now is not a time to be distracted and it's definitely not a time to be silent, and so I hope that you will listen to this episode about the history of the struggle for civil rights in human rights that black people in America have had to undertake, and then it helps. You understand better. The struggle that's going on in America right now, and I know that a lot of people who listen to sof, you should know, don't necessarily agree with this. Politically, that's fine! We get that that's wonderful too, but we don't have to agree politically to agree that human rights matter for everybody and right now, every single one of us, every single one of you listening to my voice right. This moment has a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something about it, to stand up and to use your voice to help other people be treated equally and make this country a better place.
You can argue with that.
More people having more human rights can only make America a better place.
Just being a stuff. You should know. Listener means that you love to learn.
Well. Now is a really really good time to learn about what life has been like all of these years for people of Color in America - and I hope you will, I hope, you'll open your hearts and your minds to all the people who are trying to teach us right now.
Thanks for listening and thanks for listening, welcome to Stuff You Should Know a production of iHeartRadio, how stuff works hey and welcome to the podcast, I'm Josh Clark and there's Charles W Chuk Bryant. It's just the two of us no producer today, wer producer free, just the two of us.
We can take it if we tried.
Let's try chuck you and I right.
I think we're both pretty excited about this one yeah this. This is going to be a good one. I love my history, as do you sure, especially contemporary history and especially history, that I didn't get taught in high school.
I don't remember learning much about the Black Panthers, no in high school, none!
So, Charles you didn't know much about the Black Panthers. I didn't either little bit yeah.
I would guess we were probably in about the same the same boat. You know I went to college yeah. I don't recall learning much in college about them either, but I guess I mean I knew a little bit here. There's some of the highlights, but it was.
It was in researching that I realized like just how much if you, if you don't actually go research it just how how completely wrong a lot of this stuff is and not just in detail, but in like overall tone does she know, like you, get the idea that the black panthers were nothing but like racist terrorists who basically wanted to kill all whites and take over the White House, not true, no, no, not really, and after further digging. It turns out that a lot of that image that that most people have today who don't really know much about the Black Panthers.
That idea comes from a misinformation and smere campaign carried out very purposefully by the FBI back in the and S. yes by boy I mean, let's just call him divisive at ha the risk of smearing someone, but has there ever been a more devisive individual in this country? Perhaps well, who knows now, but j Edgar Hoover Yeah, I mean my God FBI Director for life.
I mean I want to say we should do a podcast on him, but it would definitely be a two parter because he worked for a hundred and eighty seven years.
Well that we, I should say that smever campaign - and there was a lot of other stuff to that campaign as well beyond just smearing, but it had a name coin, Telpro, counter intelligence program yeah and that an and of itself deserves its own one or two parter episode. Two Yeah I mean at one point: Jed Garhoover came out in the news and said that the Black Panther Party was the single greatest threat to the United States of America right and this was during the Vietnam War.
I mean it for the uninformed.
Like you said people you know, thought all right well, and it was not. Coincidentally, from that point forward is when the cops really were like all right. We can.
We truly don't have to even respect civilirity liberties. At this point right, we can go in and shoot people in their sleep right. Exactly and what's crazy chuck is when he said that it was less than three years after the Black Panther party was formed yeah.
So let's go back to the beginning, actually we'll go back before even the founding of the Black Panther just provide some context right, yes, so this is the roughly the tail end of the Jim Crow era right right before right at the new deal era, and if you were black in America, your experience whether it was in the South Hor, it was just even more openly and overtly hostile or in the the cities of the north.
You were probably just statistically speaking.
It was likely that you were poor that you probably had routine, especially if you were a black man, especially a black man under a certain age, that you were routinely mistreated, harassed, beaten or possibly, murdered by police, and there was a tremendous amount of racial tension as a result right yeah, not just up north. I mean we're talking pretty much any major city right and but especially in the south and the south.
Actually, there was a guy whose name was Robert Williams, and he was a NLACP leader in North Carolina and he wrote a book back in. I think on thous nine hneen sixty five and he called it negroes with guns and advocated blacks, arming themselves and carrying out violence in self defense.
In the face of this racial mistreatment, right yeah and he williams actually kind of cotified or in shrine into a book form this idea. That was pretty predominant among southern blacks. It was like look this. This is stuff is real and we need to defend ourselves yeah and that idea spread a little bit to the cities here, an there and it germinated in the minds of a couple of guys, a couple of college kids in Oakland named Bobby Seal and Hughy Newton, yes, and they officially formed it - was called the Black Panther Party for Selfdefense. Initially, it was eventually truncated in Oakland, Ne Housand, nine hundred and sixty six and theyre Wa. You know we'll go through their because they had ike sort of a roller coaster, ride of as far as what they did as a group and as a party but initially kind of the whole thing was self defense. We need to defend ourselves against police brutality.
T and this nonviolent civil rights movement is, is Great. We Love Martin Luther King Junior and what he's doing, but it's going too slowly and, in the meantime, we're getting beaten and killed in the streets by law enforcement.
So we need to do something. We need to be proactive and do something about that right. Exactly Robert Williams may have written the book, but that the the guys who formed the Black Panthers Seal and Newton, they wone of the first black rights group to advocate militancy. Although again you have to point out like they advocated violence and self defense, not aggression, right yeah, which is why they specifically chose the Black Panther as theire.
I guess you say Mascod, but as their name that's cot makes it sound like a baseball game or something right. But there's a quote here from Bobby Seal Cofounder and he said that Heuwi Newton said you know the nature of a panther.
I looked it up. If you push it into a corner, that panther is going to try and move left or right to get you to get out of the way.
But if you keep pushing back into that corner sooner or later, that Panther is going to come out of that corner and try and wipe out who keeps oppressing in that corner and that was sort of the idea like hey, listen, we're trying to sidestep we're trying to do the right thing. But if you keep coming at us, then we're going to defend ourselves yeah.
Exactly and again they weren't the first people to come up with this and they looked around and kind of surveyed. The black rights movements that were around there were - and they kind of said this one works a little bit, but that part of it doesn't work or this with this one.
We don't agree with, but it's a nice sentiment like the mlk nonviolent civil rights movement.
They, like you, said they said this - isn't working. It's not happening fast enough for it's not happening at all, and some other groups and people like Stokley car, Michael and Hrat Brown, who were the heads of the nonviolent student Coordinating Committee, were some of the first black leaders to publicly break with mlk's nonviolent theory and say no.
We need to meet violence with violence.
Malcolmex was another one, and malcomx probably had the biggest influence on the Black Panther ideology than anybody else yeah.
He advocated black militancy that included violence.
He advocated black self sufficiency and dignity, but he didn't necessarily say you.
You were only going to advance with the helps of other blacks. We need to exclude whites or other races from our struggle, and the the Black Panthers is specifically Hughy Newton and bobby seal really identified with that, and that was actually that became one of the hallmarks of the black panthers that they were willing to work with other, like minded groups regardless of race, oh yeah, so that's a that was kind of a big one that I wasn't aware of that. I learned from this and then the the other aspect of malcholmexs that really formed like one of the foundation keystones of the Black Panther ideology is that it wasn't race. That was the problem.
It was class. They were basically avowed, Marxists right that yeah, the central, the the central issue that created the struggle was was class, was capitalism and that the white establishment and the police and the government were keepers of the capitalist structure and that same capitalist structure was keeping the Black Pan the black people in America down and so to get to rise up to become self sufficient to get that chance that they needed to grow and advance themselves. They had to get rid of the capitalist structure itself Yeah. They were very much into the socialist ideal and one of the first things they did was.
They realized they needed sort of foundation on which to build upon something easily digestible that people could could look at and could read and understand what they're all about so very smartly early on. They came up with a very specific what they called their ten point program, what we want and what we believe and they wrote this out - we're going to read them in a second, but they wrote thim out and then immediately printed them on a thousand sheets of paper and set up an office and started passing these things around this office was in Oakland, which is where you know. I think we already said where they founded Uhuh, and you know they basically quit their jobs. Every member of the Black Panther Party was a full time.
I guess you could say employee, but fulltime worker member yeah member yeah, and they gathered their paychecks. The few guys at the very beginning and rented an old shop storefront base and started handing out this ten point program yeah they did and you want to go over the program. First Yeah we might as well just go ahead and read all ten.
So everybody knows what we're talking about right number: one: We want freedom, we want power to determine the destiny of our black community.
We believe that black people will not be free UNTI. We are able to determine our destiny.
YEAP number two: We want full employment for our people.
We believe that the federal government is responsible and obligated to give every man, employment or a guaranteed income.
We believe that if the White American businessmen will not give full employment, then the means of production should be taken from the business men and place in the community so that the people of the community can organize and employ all of its people and give it a high standard of living number three. We want an end to the robbery by the White Man of our black community.
We believe that this racist government has robbed us, and now we are demanding the overdue debt of forty acres and two mules number four. We want decent housing fit for shelter of human beings. We believe that if white landlords will not give decent housing to our black community, then the housing in the land should be made into cooperative to their community, with government e can build and make decent housing for its people yeah, and this that was a big one and, as you'll see a lot of what they were after was just like the ability to live in a neighborhood where you could have a decent school in a decent place to live and a chance at work like it wasn't some radical thing that they were after you know, they just wanted the same opportunities, basically yeah, and I mean I said earlier that if you were living, I an you were black and living in America. In the S, the chases are Youre poor. Thirty, two percent of all black people.
All black people in the United States were living below the poverty line, one housand nine hundred and sixty six wow. Seventy one percent of the poor living in metropolitan areas were black and in one thousand nine hundred and sixty eight two thirds of the black population lived in ghettos, wow, so yeah like, of course, it makes sense that their agenda is, we want to just get to get to basic normal and right go from there all right number. Five.
We Want Education for a people that exposes the true nature of this decadate American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in present day society yeanumber six. We want all black men to be exempt for military service.
This is a big one.
We believe that black people should not be forced to fight in the military service to defend a racist government that does not protect us.
We will not fight and kill other people of Color in the world who, like black people, are being victimized by the white racist government of America yeah, and you know later on in theyre during the Vietnam War. They actually some of them travel to Vietnam and kind of found a common ground with the North Vietnamese right very interesting.
Is it my turn? It is number seven. We want an immediate into police, brutality and murder of black people.
Pretty much speaks for itself yeah, but part of that was that they they point out that the second amendment to the Constitution guaranteed the right to bear arms and that's going to be a big big part. Oh Yeah of the Black Panther Party, they were they're, credited historically, is being basically the ones who pointed to the Second Amendment and said: Hey were advocates of gun, rigts Yeah Wat, we'll get to all that it gets pretty juicy but number eight. We want freedom for all black men held in federal state, county and city prisons and jails.
It says that they believe that all black people should be released from prison because they have not received a fair, an impartial trial, number nine. We want all black people when brought to trial to be tried in court by a jury of their peer group or people from their black communities, as defined by the Constitution of the United States number ten. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace and, as our major political objective, a United Nations supervise plipisite, to be held throughout the black colony, in which only black colonial subjects will be allowed to participate for the purpose of determining the will of black people as to their national destiny.
They're, basically saying we believe that black should have the power to separate from the United States from the white establishment and form their own self sufficient and respected self governing body, basically right, so they took these Te. This ten point program. They found it a newspaper called the Black Panther and they sold that for twenty five cents it got to be a very popular newspaper had a really wide circulation, and it wasn't just you know: Black Communities there were. There were all kinds of people reading this a newspaper and it kind of aside from donations and stuff from various groups. It really kind of funded. The organization was the sale, this paperright and every single issue, I believe, featured this ten point program on the inside cover and quick shout out to the artwork of Emery Douglas.
If you've ever saw, this great documentary called the Black Panthers Van Guard of a revolution yeah, I watchd that too, and this artwork from this you know, artist and graphic designer emery Douglas.
That was kind of the hallmark of the paper was just gorgeous stuff and I think he's one of those t has sort of not been lost to history, but you know I had never heard of them before.
I think he did at cover for one of the editions of Native Sun. Oh really CAS, I was looking a was like thatlooks, really familiar an yeah, that's where I saw it before is really good stuff, yeah, so chuck Wev got the ten point plan and the the original headquarters in Oakland and all of a sudden, the panther start spreading like wildfire like their ideas, because the experience was so similar as far as poverty and being harassed and brutalized by police and just generally being held down by the white establishment. Since that experience was so similar throughout all the all the major cities and even smaller cities in the United States, yeah, the Black Panther Party spread pretty quick and eventually they had something like five thousand members and remember that doesn't sound that much like that. Many people, but, like you, said to be a member, you were committed to the Black Panther Party, twenty for seven Yeahad to quit your job you had to quid school and your your life was the Black Panther party yeah. So the fact that they had fivehousand people doing that around the country is pretty nuts, but they had many many more supporters and the Black Panther newspaper eventually grew to a circulation of about two hundred and fifty thousand. It's amazing. It really is and well, I guess, we'll get back to their history after this all right. So if you want to start, if you want to start anything that you want to grow and be noticed, then - and it sounds kind of silly to talk about - but you need to be good at branding yeah, it's true and I don't know that they specifically thought about it. As branding initially, but they quickly realized that the media really ate the stuff up when these black men in in leather, black leather car coats and black turtlenecks and black barets danning shotguns with the you know the ammunition draped around their shoulder, the press ate it up, it was, it was a cool look and young black men wanted to look like this.
Black Women started growing out their afros.
It was all kind of sort of tied into the blackest beautiful movement which was sort of just the notion of embrace your blackness. Don't try to fit in and look you know, don't straighten your hair, don't try and look like white people like where your disut Dushiki grow, your affro out, be proud of who you are as a black person, embracer roots and the Black Panther Party was really tied into this, and it became a really big part of their branding and recruitment yeah.
If you were hip at this time, like you, were definitely hip to the Black Panther look, even if you hadn't adopted it yourself, you were like there's a cool cat, yeaking down the street with a bandolier bullets and a shock right, so the the the panthers that had the look. They had the offices. Now they had the newspaper and one of the first things they started doing even before they really started to spread, but those First Panther members, Hugy Newton, bobby seal and then a guy named Bobby Hutton, was their first recruit.
One of the first things they starte doing was patrolling the neighborhoods of Oakland and looking for police who had stopped black motorists rightyeah.
It was almost like a guardian angels that protected citizens from cops right. Exactly that's a really good way to put it right, so they would stand there at a reasonable distance and just openly and obviously observe the traffic stop yeah and they would shout you know at the cop any time he started to violate the civil rights of the the black driver and they were armed. They were holding shotguns oftentimes, not necessarily pointed at the cops, but in that, in that documentary we mentioned, they would talk about how like the they would kind of bring it.
This move it from side to side right kind of shifting position, and as it did it slowly was aimed for a moment at the cop and the COP got the point like yeah get it. You have a loaded shokin and it's right there and you could shoot me and some of the first, some of the first traffic stop monitoring.
Just scared the but Jesus out of the COPS Theyr, never experienced anything like this. Before yeah. All of a sudden, there were a group of young black men standing there in blackbrrays and shades at night, holding shot guns trained on them from time to time, and the cops actually responded in exactly the way the Black Panthers did.
They were much more hesitant to brutalize or violate the civil rights of the drivers and a lot of times they just get in their cars and leave, especially if they were on patrol alone yeah.
So that was one of the huge early foundational hallmarks of of the Black Panther party that they were openly and armedly protecting their fellow blacks from police brutality. That was, that was one of their major roles.
Yeah and the reason that they were allowed to have these guns is because one of their one of their leaders, eldridge clever, found in the California law books that I mean they call it a loophole, but it wasn't really a loophole. It's kind of right there in black and white is you are allowed to carry a gun in public on public property as long as it's not concealed right, open, carrylaw, and so they were like all right. Well, we have these guns. It says right here we're allowed to.
They would carry a gun in one hand a lot of times and then this California legal handbook in the other, and they knew it by heart. They could quote exactly the code and then you know, obviously the cops caught on the word got around what was going on and it developed all the way to the California and General Assembly.
And when you see this documentary, it's amazing man, these these Blo, the Black Panther Party marches through the building on to the floor of the California General Assembly wielding shotguns, loaded chotcuts - and you know you see all all the obviously the white legislature just sitting there like what in the world is going on, including Ronald Reagan. Well, yeah he was a governor right, it's so Ronald Reagan was the governor of the time and he is in that documentary quoted is saying, like anybody who thinks you know, carrying open loaded guns in public is, okay is out of his mind, yeah and ultimately signed a anti open, carry law that close that loophole yeah. The molferdact right so Reagan signed some guncontrol legislation, big gun control legislation in an effort to curb those patrols by the Black Panthers yeah a that's. So obviously you hear all right. Ronald Reagan. Does this, you think where's the NRA, and so I looked up. I was like W Llal right. What was just the climate at the time, apparently in the late s NRA, it wasn't until the late Ven, sn thousand nine huned, and seventy seven when a guy named Harlin Carter took over the NRA, is when they really stepped it up with the Second Amendment Rights Yeah, they were Te really a more strict version of the Second Amendment right and so the NRA was silent and obviously Reagan being very tough on guns. He had A.
I guess you could call a conversion in t s as well, and then he and the NRA teamed up together and started saying things like well, no, it's, okay! You can totally have guns right. This also happened to coincide with the breakup of the Black Panther Party yeah when tha, when the NRA and Reagan changed their stancs on gun rights. Yes, one thing you said was that it was eldridge clever who noticed loophole. It was Huwi Newton. He was the on who who, like really had that mind for law. Eldridge cleaver was much more the militant revolutionary yeah and he was already a bit of a darling in the intellectual circles.
For a book of essays, he'd written in prison called Solan ice yeah, and so he joined the Black Panther Party, pretty early on as their minister of information in large part, their official spokesman, and he brought an air of real credibility and legitimacy and got a lot of left. Leaning, intellectuals and you know, entertainment types like Brando was a big one who, as in favor of the party and supporter yeah, but they really started to pay attention to the Black Panthers. When eldridge cleaver joined yeah and his wife, Kathleen Clever, was also one of the well. We might as well go and talk about women and the Black Panther Party yeah.
You know, like most organizations at the time that it was.
It was sort of from the top dawown down a male driven organization and they did have Kathleen clever and they had a lane Brown, who was also sort of one of the higher ups, but it was still - and even they admitted it was still somewhat of a showvinistic organization, and most of the women were didn't, make it past what they called the rank and file sort of operating. The nuts involves secretary or secretarial work and just kind of making the thing go.
So it was you know on one hand, they did give women some positions of power, but never kind of at the top. Well, no there were I mean, like you said, you name, two of the big big exceptions that rule, but they were big exceptions like Kethleen clever was the first woman who was a member of the Decision Making Body and e Lame Brown took over as chair party chair, like the top official after Hughi Newton split for Cueba, one thousand nine hundred and seventy three, but, like you said most of the women in the Black Painter Party, were rank and file, but it doesn't mean that gender rolls were totally rigid in the party like, for example, you would just as often or frequently see women outarmed doing patrols of the neighborhood yeah, while men were the ones responsible for some of the survival programs. The community program that we'll talk about yeah well Brown, said they tried that and had minor successes.
I was that right, yeah and the documentary she said that was sort of what she tried to do is reverse some of the roles, and she said there was still kind of largely a sexist attitude and which was a problem within the organization, because you can't be that true community organization, if you have that oppression going on within your own group, well in a gender sense, yeah, and especially if you know women are the ones who are doing a lot of the actual work like something like fifty to seventy percent of panther membership was female yeah one point so yeah you got to respect the people who are actually doing the work, or else you got an arrogance problem at the top yeah, and we should mention to that. Katheene cleaver is a professor right here in Atlanta at our own amry university yeah.
What law professor yeah? Yes, she wanted to get a lot O gree from Yale and after years of living in exile, which well get to all right. So you mentioned this survival programs and if you don't know what that is, you might be saying like what in the world is Josh talking about.
They had their police brutality program. So that's kind of what made the news was patrolling the streets with these guns, keeping the cops and check and by the way we should mention that they're, the ones who came up with the term pigs as a drugatory term for police officers yeah from their it first appeared in their newspaper and it Caughtd Hom, pretty quick yeah, so that was that was kind of what they made the news for it first, but I think especially Heghi Newton realized early on that they can make a real difference in the community if they get these social programs going that you know, they're not being taken care of their schools are bad. These kids don't have access to like good food even and they read that you know Scien scientifically speaking, that a good breakfast is has a big impact on how a child learns throughout the day.
So they started this breakfast program where they would give.
I mean, I think at one point: They were feeding like twenty thousand children free breakfasts around the country.
Every day, every day, every morning, twenty thousand children around the country who otherwise would have gone to school hungry and stayed hungry the whole day.
Eight breakfast, because the Black Panther party fed them every day every school day around the country. That's insane yeah, they started medical clinics. Free clinics called the People's Free Medical Center.
They offered vaccines, testing for diseases, treated basic illnesses, cancer screenings. Basically, these social services that White America fully enjoyed - or I should say wide America - of a certain class, fully enjoyed and started offering up these programs, which kind of became one of the hallmarks of the party yeah they weren't. Just this militant group trying to you know, keep cops and check any longer.
No, no, then that was a huge huge.
I mean that was as big, if not bigger than their their militant objectives is serving the community through these survival programs too right absolutely and they funded these programs largely through donations, which they would go out and solicit from the community around the cities. Right, yeah, and apparently, if you at least didn't give something, if you were like no, I'm not giving you a dime, the panthers would would out you in their newspaper and call for a Boycut of your business that you know saying like you, these guys care so little that they won't even chip in a dollar for kids to have a free breakfast yeah.
So they had like a real.
They had a pretty serious organization going by this time that was directed again, not just that patrolling police and fighting police brutality, but also at serving the community yeah one of the cool things they did was. They started the Oakland community school yeah. That was a lame brown yeah and it was kind of her passion project and it was. It was pretty much free to students and they had they had small classes, they taught poetry, they taught foreign language and current events. They taught Yoga like all these things, that the black community had. Never you know had access to black history is obviously a big part of it. They had my Angelu and Rosa Parks and other civil rights leaders come in and speak at the school and it operated for nine nine years from seventy three to eighty, two and Catheine clever. Has this one great story that she told on CNN about one young man who came to join the party, because you know he wanted to get a gun and be on the patrol. They handed hi a stack of books and he looked at him and said I thought you're going to arm me and they said back to him. I just did pretty good yeah. She dropped the micrat after yes, she absolutely did, but that I mean that directly relates to.
I think point number five on the ten point agenda where it says that they want education for people that that teaches them about themselves. That gives them a knowledge of self. It said that if a man doesn't av knowledge of himself in his position in society in the world that he has little chance to relate to anything else, yeah which is exceptionally true, yeah, so you've got all these programs. I think they had like sixty five programs, what they called survival programs in place, and it wasn't until apparently, these programs we're starting to really roll and get the attention and support of a lot of people outside of the communities, even that the FBI led by Jaagehoover, gave its full attention to the Black Panthers and they set about trying to destroy the Black Panther Party. We yeah, I mean hoover. Ironically, these social programs are what scared him the most, because he knew that. That's how you're going to get white liberals on board on this cause, yeah, which is exactly what happened.
I mean, like you, said they weren't.
They didn't shun the help of the white man by any means they like went armin arm with these white lefties, basically watch the documentaries it looks like today. There's you know these college sdudes with beards yeah. They look like modern, hipsters yeah and worked Arman arm and at one point they even got together. Who was the Apalachan Group, the Young Patriots Yeah?
It's just like you see this video of these black militants like given handshakes and hugs to these Appalachian White Appaelatch, and I mean rural white people right who all seem like they were like.
We have the same problems and we can just get together and it is just crazy, especially in today's climate, all these years later to see that happening back then yeah I mean they were in favor of anybody regardless as long as they shared, you know, kind of the same sentiments or the same struggle in one thousand. Nine hundred and Seventy Hugh Newton became the first black leader that ever publicly support gays and Lesbians Yeah. That was a huge deal too yeah absolutely yeah. Well I mean the point was like you know, the the problem wasn't race. The problem was this class strugle, and you know everybody of a certain socioeconomic status O or who is a worker yeaas being held back? You know, so you were saying: Hoover was worried about those social programs. Yes, there's a quote from a letter that he wrote to an FBI agent who objected to targeting the survival programs as part of Coin Tel Pro Yeah Hoover said you state. The bureau should not interfere in program such as the breakfast for children, because many prominent humanitarians, both white and black, are interested in the program as well as churches, which are actively supporting it.
You obviously have missed the point, and his point was that you don't leave those programs alone because they have support outside the community. You target them because they have support outside of the community, that that was the real threat in Belev more than black men patrolling the streets with shotguns.
That was a problem for local law enforcement, and the FBI was worried about it. But more the point. They saw that as such a flashpoint, a potential flashpoint that they could get the police to shoot and kill arm black men on the street with with impunity, yeah think that they could deal with. That is what they understood was meeting violence with violence. What they didn't know how to deal with aside from completely subverting and sabotaging it was generating good will throughout the community through these social programs. So therat was the real threat to hoover in his eyes, amazing.
So at this point the party at the top had gotten a little.
The foundation had gotten a little loose due to a couple of things going back in time, a little bit a few years before Heghi Newton was arrested and convicted of killing a police officer which Iton one hand it sort of removed, one of the one of the pieces of the foundation which made it a little bit weaker at the top. On the other hand, it really got people around this free, Hughi Newton campaign, yeah, that was clever's phrase, yeah, free Hughei, yeah and again the White Liberals got on board and it kind of swept the nation that basically Hughi Newton was involved in a shoot out with the cops and was they thought wrongfully, imprisoned and kind of railroaded through the system, and so in one since it sort of galvanized the movement in another. Any time one of the leaders is is operating out of jail, then that's that's not good, and he wasn't the only one.
Actually, I think all three of the original bobby seal was in and out of jail a couple of times - and I think by this point two clever had fled the country to avoid jail and ended up in Algeria. He did so back in one thuand, nine hundred and sixty eight as part of a patrol cleaver and Bobby Hutton, who was the first recruit of the Black Panthers and by this time was the treasure of the Oakland Chapter.
They were part of a patrol that ended up was pulled over by two cops and those two cops ended up dead and everybody in the car fled and Hutton and clever, fled to a basement where they got in a shootout for ninety minutes with police and the police threw in teer gas and the Tiar guests, I guess exploded and caught the basement on fire yeah.
So eldredds cleaver and Bobby Hutton decided that they were going to surrender, so they came out with their hands up unarmed and they cope, surrounded them and shot Hutton in the head. Just executed him right there on the sidewalk, yeah and cleaver was taken to jail, Ye, mad bail and right. When he made bell he's like see you yeah, he split. He went to Cuba because Fidel Castro was a long time and big supporter of the Black Panther Party, sure there's apparently still one of them.
AMATA Shaqure, I believe who is I living still in exile in Cuba today, who's a Black Panther but ALDRID's clever. I guesse idn't, like the climate, ended up with Kathleen Clever in Algeria and formed the the international chapter of the Black Panther Party and that's where they would receive dignitaries from like the north, Vietnamese government right or from Cuba or any kind of left leaning Revolutionary Group would come meet them there, and that was enormous because alllike, basically no other black liberation or blackrights movement group had genuine legitimate international support. The Black Panthers did and in the eyes of the world that boosted their credibility just through the roof. Oh Yeah, all right, so there's a bit of a, I don't want to say power vacum, but light leadership bacum because of the the various top original founders being away from Oakland, either in jail or Algeria or in and out of jail, and it could have potentially been filled by young man out of Chicago named Fredhampton, and we will get back to fred story right after this all right. So Fred, Hampton by all accounts from this documentary in my research, seemed like he could have been. The Bobby Kennedy of the Black Panther Party. Well put, he was vivacious, he was a great speaker.
He was you know he would. He would give these speeches and just galvanize people. He had a great personality and he was really getting kind of the movement back on track again in a big big way when he was pretty much and Liin an say, pretty much when he was politically assassinated by the FBI and Chicago Police Department yeah, he was executed for sure.
So what ws? One thousand nine hundred and sixty nine yeah December fourth, is when the the raid went down.
So it's something like for am sometime in the wee hours.
The cops kicked in the door of Fred, Hampton's house or the house where he was staying and ninety bullets.
I think I shaught ninety also saw a hundred. Ninety bullets were shot fired from the Chicago Police Department, and one bullet was shot by the Black Panthers and that bullet was shot when the body guard to Fredhampton his name was mark, Clark was shot and killed and dropped the shock and he was holding in it, went off yeah, and we should mention to. This was one of many many what they called raids after hoover. I issued that edict that they were the the largest and I'm sure there was an internal memo as well, which we don't know about, but when he issued that edict that they were the most threatening group to the United States democracy, it was pretty much open season and they carried out these raids. All over the country were essentially cops. Would just kick in doors guns, blazing yeah shoot. First, ask don't even ask questions yeah, but this one was a little more, even even worse, it was even more pronounced, because this was targeted. This yes exactly and it was targeted specifically for Fredhampton and it kind of falls in line with this part of Coantelpro or coin Telpro.
This one of the the foundation of cointell pro was that it sought to prevent the rise of a Black Messiah that could consolidate yeah the masses, and that was Fredhampton right. Well, he definitely fell in that Wa so was Mlk, so was malcolmax right. Basically, any black leaer that was assassinated definitely fell within that so and Fred Hampton did as well for sure.
So he was assassinated not by the FBI but by the Chicago PD, but the Chicago Peti were able to carry out a targeted raid, because the FBI had supplied them with a map drawn by one of their informants of the apartment. Fredhampton was staying in yeah and it was under the guise of they have a stash of guns in there which they did have a stash of guns and ammunition in there, and that was the excuse. They use to go in and shoot him in bed while he slept yeah and if you are questioning whether this was actually an attempt on Fred Fredhampton's life. Those ninety bullets that were fired most of them went into Fredhampton and three people who are sleeping in the same bed as Hampton where he was shot and killed.
We're not hit by bullets at all yeah, including is eight and a half month pregnant girlfriend yeah, who they grabbed by the hair and threw into the other room, tore her rob open, and you know the story of the cops was: was they knocked on the door were denied entry?
Then they opened the door and there was a woman aiming a shotgun at them later on ballistics test. They did everything and basically figured out that was one hundred percent sham. All the bullets were were found ballistically to have gone into the apartment, none going out of the apartment through the walls, and you know in this documentary they interview a few of the people that ere in there and they were just like it was mass murder.
They basically just came in and shot the place up t.
They examined the angle of the wound that showed that Hampton was lying on his back in bed and from somebody standing above him and in one thousand nine hundred and seventy a coroners jury ruled the deaths justifiable.
Everyone got away with it, but the city eventually, and the federal judge, approved a one point: eight five million dollar settlement, but that wasn't until the yeah, Oh yeah, thirteen years later, but the FBI, apparently the agent who was handling the informant who produced the map, was so pleased with the results that, after the after the RAI that resulted in Hampton's execution, he, I guess male J gahoover with the request for an extra three hundred dollars, because he wanted to give the informant a bonus yeah one of the bigger black eyes on American history. For sure one of the other black guys on the Chicago PD at this time was the one of these raids was on the breakfast for Children Program Yeah, where the supplies for breakfast were burned, like the placeis set on fire by the cops yeah.
So I mean the Black Panthers are at like open war.
Yes with the FBI and with the police department to the lates work crazy.
You know yeah and large part because of this yeah I mean for sure there was another big shootout, and this is all sort of coming to a head if it feels that way, that's exactly! What's going on one thousand nine hundred and sixty nine, there was another big shootout, and this was major and I think it was in Los Angeles. Wasn't it yeah? It was. It was the first time a swat team was overused yeah. They employed the SWAT team, which was invented by the LAPD and two hundred La Police in I think it was like six or eight Black Panther Party members were involved in a full on. You know, hour long gun battle, just right there in the streets.
So things are coming to ahead.
The sort of the secret plan here by Hoover is working, which is he wants to fracture the party from within and so seeds of discontent and discord.
So they had been through the years planting informance in the Black Panther Party in the party, and they knew it. The Black Panthers did so a lot of distrust. You know when you know like who, can you trust a lot of this?
This distruss happens, even among you know the higher ups that were formerly like a pretty strong union right, and that happened for sure ith, the case of eldridge cleaver and heghing Newton.
When he we Newton got out of jail.
He was eventually freed and it was a big deal and they thought this was going to be sort of t the rebirth of the Black Panther Party in the wake of the death of Fred Hampton, but he came out of jail and he and clever sort of had different.
They always sort of had different priorities, but they managed to come together, but they were truly fractured at this point.
Yeah they were Newton and clevard were like openly criticizing one another with cleaver still an exile, but cleaver had the entire New York chapter dedicated to M, and here's prior, the Black Panthers had form what was called the Black Liberation Army yeah, but it was a Army of defense until one thousand nine hundred and seventy one when I believe he was still in absentia but eldredgs cleaver, said: Hey we're going to take this from defensive to offensive and basically create a new terrorist group out of the Black Liberation Army and they started a campaign of violence against cops where they would ambush cops and just kill them. There wasn't any retaliation for police brutality, a there wasn't selfdefense like they were ambushing and killing cops, and it happened in cities around the country and the fracture between the Black Panthers itself was so deep that cleaver's faction and Newton's faction were assassinating one another.
You know taking out each other's people, so it was a big deal in the Black Liberation Army. Officially split from the Black Panther S in Thosand, nine hunered and seventy one yeah and of course, at this point Herbert Hoover sitting back in his chair, like choking on hi cigar from lafghter right, because this is exactly what he wanted.
Yeah was this infighting and so Nuwton gets out of jail. He's he's trying to get the social programs going again, but he also is becomes addicted to drugs and by all accounts, is sort of losing his mind and as become power hungry and has sort of lost the original calling that he had and has gotten sort of drunk with power and was not functioning mentally like he should have been due to the drugs right.
So it W s. It was his big sort of the big beginning of the flameout Yeah for himself and the Party yeah for sure it has his downfall. Definitely it didn't exactly mirror the party, but you know it was a herald of on you know. One of the founders was totally losing his marbles yeah because he was addicted to heroin and cocaine. You know and he actually had a very sad end.
He died during a drug deal on the street in one thousand nine hundred and eighty nine in Ealand, but he said that he was committing revolutionary suicide by being addicted to drugs and basically killing himself that way. Yeah some of the other ones had not quite as tragic but strange, and it's like aldrid clever, right yeah.
When he returned from Algeria with Kethleen Clever, he became, I think both of them might have become born again. Christians and Aldridge clever eventually became a registered Republican yeah.
I did not see that coming.
I did not either and I'm sure a lot of people didn't right and then you know I mentioned that internal violence with one another right yeah.
There was a big turning point as far as public sympathy went in one thousand nine hundred and sixty nine, I think, maybe yeah one thousand nine hundred and sixty nine. There was a guy named Alex Rackley, who was a member of the New York chapter and he was suspected to be an FBI informant and it's still after all these years, right never come to light whether he was or not.
But the panthers had the idea that he was so. They took him to the new haven chapter where he was tortured. They tied him up to a bed and poured boiling water on his body for days yeah and then eventually I guess he confessed, although if you ever listend to Ou torture, episode right, false coarture yeah, you can get a false confession: pretty easy. If you torture somebody, they took hem out to the woods and shot them in the head and chest and left him, and when he, when his body was discovered, bobby seal had been in new haven speaking at Yale, like just hours before the guy was killed.
So he got charged with the murder, and this is one of the founders of the Black Panther Party on trial for murder, yeah and during this trial, which he was acquitted.
But he, the a lot of the infighting came out and the panthers had managed to keep it out of the public eye and under raps.
For you know up to this point now it came out in the trial, so people realized that there was a lot of schisms and fractures within the leadership itself.
They lost a lot of public sympathy when they found out that they would carry out.
You know extra judicial justice on their own members yeah and it just it was.
It was a big thing. It was a big turning point for the party. As far as the public was concerned, yeah and, like I said there were sort of the two factions with with clever and Newton.
Some people went with cleaver. Some people went with Newton.
A lot of people left the Black Panther Party period at this point because they either didn't know who to give their allegiance to, or they just felt betrayed by this fracture and the party wasn't what they thought it was, so the numbers are declining.
It's definitely an sort of freefall at this point and bobby seal decides here's what we need to do.
We need to close down as many chapters as we can and and pull the resources in the money and bring everyone out here to Oakland, because I'm going to run for mayor and we need to go all in on this legit push for political candidacy, because I think I can win so they literally called up people on the East Coast and the Baltimore Office and Tnew York offices and said, shut hem down come out here to California, and we need to go all in on not only running for mayor but on a massive voter registration campaign to register. You know people in urban communities to vote, so I think in the end they got like fifty tousand new people registered to vote and out of eight or nine candidates. He finished close enough in second to get a runoff. He got like forty percent of the vote, yeah, but ultimately lost in a runoff, an an arrow run off and did not win, which sort of was one of the final nails in the coffin. For the party, because they had committed so many resources to try and get behind bobby seals run for Mayor - and he, incidentally still lives in the bay area and is very much still anactivist yeah bobby seal is yeah. He was also. Did you ever see that documentary on the Chicago eight it was like animated? No, I wa is really it's very good yeah. He was one of the Chicago eit and seal. He actually went to prison thiss before it mayora run, but he did like four years or at least was sentenced to four years strictly for contempt of court because he rejected that he was getting a fair trial because I don't think there was a single black person on the jury and he rejected that. He was being tried by a jury of his peers and he kept protesting in the middle of court and eventually at one point, the judge had him gagged, but he got like four years for that.
Yeah gag isn't literally Chaine to his seat, it with tape over his mouth. Yes - and you know that that set off all sorts of protest in the streets people wanted that judge removed.
I thought that was that not during the Panther Twenty one trial was that the other one in Chicago O, that was the Chicago eight trial, okay, and that was that was a different trial. Also, where did you ever hear the urban legend that Hillary Clinton got bobby seal out of off of murder charges? Yes, that was that came out of that Alex Rakley trial, where he was on triual for murder and he was acquitted and Hilary Rodham Clinton was nowhere near the actual trial is his attorney. She apparently was a law student at Yale still and was coordinating with the Aclou to monitor the trial, so she was there, but apparently had nothing to do with the Defense Gotcha, but it was a an urban legend that came out of the twothousand cenatorial campaign.
Well, the Panther Twenty one I mentioned just quickly, that was in New York, The New York chapter.
Twenty one leaders of the Black Panther party were rounded up and arrested on conspiracy charges, and this is a really big deal, because the New York chapter was one of the biggest ones in the country after Oakland and people got involved and tried to raise money like celebrities got involved and and donated money, and it at one point know if it still is, but it was the longest criminal proceeding in New York state history.
I was a thirteen month trial by jury and they're all found not guilty and released so that all of them were found not guilty. Huh Yeah, the Panther, twenty one wow and that's you know, jumping back in time a little bit and just wanted to mention that so there's a distinct legacy beyond just the look or the image or black power and black power, we should also say I think it was Stokley Carmichael, who either coin that Fraser at least was the first really kind of pick it up a run with it and Stokley car Michael is non nonviolent student Coordinat Committee.
They got together with the Black Panthers early on, but if you I mean just in the popular culture, the Black Panthers live on, but there's even more of a legacy as well before he died. Eldredd' clever gave an interview, I think, back in on thousand nine hundred and ninety seven and he said that he basically blamed the gang violence that plagued inner cities in the s.
He traced that directly to the death of e Black Panthers so well. He said that as it was the US government chopped off the head of the Black Liberation Movement and left the body there armed that's why all these young bloods are out there now they've got the rhetoric but er without the political direction and they've got the guns interesting, so he basically traces that directly to the Black Panthers being taken down. Huh Yeah, you got anything else, actually do so. We were talking about how you know.
There's a legacy: There's not just a legacy. The Black Panthers is a legacy of brutality against black people.
That apparently is at least as bad, if not worse today than it has been Chucki yeah.
So the tost Tuskege diversity in Alabama has records of all the linchings that took place in the Jym Crow Ero, an eighthndred n one thousand nine hundred and sixty five and two thousand nine hundred and eleven black Americans were lynched during those years and the worst year of the Jim Crow era was eighteen. Ninety two and a hundred and sixty one people were lynched in two thousand and fifteen.
Two hundred and fifty eight black people were killed by police in the United States.
So not a lots changed and it's possible that it's gotten worse yeah.
But if you look to the black lives matter movement they have chosen the way of King and in preaching nonviolent rhetoric for social change, rather than the Black Panther rhetoric of militancy and violent selfdefense yeah. I think a bit of the Black Panther party spirit, though, is alive in the Black Lives Matter: Movement for sure, yeah for sure so yeah, that's all I've got that's all I've got good one yeah, I thought so to man d. You ever see the movie that, as the O wits like Mario Van peeples yeah, he made it. He did he wasdn't, then I don't think.
Okay, no, I didn't.
I heard it was not good yeah. I want to see Malcolmex I've never seen that one! Oh that's great!
Is it yeah, Yeah S, bikleys movie, sure yeah, really good. Okay, I'll check that out yeah the the panther movie was.
I just read a few reviews, Aday and apparently h. The setup is pretty good with some of the history, but then it kind of goes off the rails.
Oh okay, is and like, and that just goes off the rails like bad movie, but bad movie and not historically accurate or honoring like the kebject matter, dance scenes keep breaking out, but I do think that I was like man. Why hasn't there been a movie made about Fredhampton Yeah? He sounds like he was a pretty inspiring figure yeah, seeing some of the speeches like he had it going on.
He said his one big quote: was we're not going to fight fire with fire we're going to fight fire with water?
Nice thought that was a good one. Yeah, that's a great one! Yeah!
That's Black Messiah Talk Right there exactly.
If you want to know more about the Black Panthers, there's a bunch of stuff, you can do, you can go onto the side at Hous to Workscom and search those terms.
You can go watch Black Panthers Vankard of revolution.
You can watch black power mix tape that has he lot to do with the Black Panthers. I haven't seen it yet, though of you.
No, you can go to emery university. I bet and get in touch with Katheine clever and maybe offered a buy Er Coffee Yep. There's some just a lot of really good articles out there that it just search black panthers and it'll. There's a lot of eye opening history that you didn't learn in school and since I said you didn't learn in school, it's time for listener mail I', going to call this a dindum to rubber trade from the elastics episode.
Hey guys, just listened to the one elastics. It was fun and informative as usual, but I wanted to call antend to a small, important emission you're discussing the brever trade ind Latin American. You only mentioned Brazil, although it was indeed the largest exporter of rubber in the area. The Amazon Basin and the Putumyo River Valley region in Peru and Columbia were also important sites for the production of rubber trees.
A sadly when you combine globel demand with a natural product result is usually some form of exploitation.
In the case of rubber, it came to a horrible extreme with the Perubian Amazon Rubber Company, or, as it was known in Spanish, the Kasa Arana named for Hulio Sezar Arana pruvium businessman that set up shop in the region, enslaved, tortured and mutilated indigenous populations to the brink of extinction in the pursuit of rubber.
His crimes were documented N, mad public in nineteen thirteen, but his business and atrocities only stopped when rubber production moved to Asia and he couldn't compete.
This whole rubber bananza as chronicled in the excellent Colombian novel the whirlwind by Je Ravera.
Today, the offices of the company, Tecasaadana or Arana House are being converted into a historic site, remembers of local tribes, can gather and remember those atrocities in their own way, telling their own stories and their own words.
This is one of those horly documented, poorly discussed examples of genicide as a result of trade, at least in Columbia. Every kind of economic bonanza is somehow tied to one massacre or another.
So that's the Downer. I wanted to share nice who, as that dest from bogatal Santiago Santiagois the person who wrote it in. Yes, thanks a lot for writing that Santiago. We appreciate it Yep, that's a good one. Man Hat'ss been like an eye opening history lesson through and through Hu. Absolutely.
If you want to give us an eye opening history lesson, we'd love, thosge, so get in touch with us. You can tweet to us at Josh, I'm Clark and at Sysk podcast.
You can hang out with this on facebook, at Charles W chuck, Bryant and Stuffyou Shoul know you can send us an email to stuff podcast that hows stuff, workscom and, as always, joined, to sat our home on the web. Stuff you should knowcom stuff yo should know. Is Production of iHeartRadios, howsestuff works, FOM, Wal podcast for my heart, radio, ECAS it the IHAT radio, a apple podcast on whereever, you listen to your favorite shows
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