MLK Week 2019: My People Are Rising: Memoir of a Black Panther Party Captain

MLK Week 2019: My People Are Rising: Memoir of a Black Panther Party Captain


I’D LIKE TO INTRODUCE OUR GUEST
SPEAKER TODAY. MR. AARON DIXON HIMSELF. A FORMER CAPTAIN OF THE BLACK
PANTHER PARTY CHAPTER HERE IN SEATTLE. IN OAKLAND HE WORKED IN THE
BLACK PANTHER — THE BPP NATIONAL
HEADQUARTERS FOR SIX YEARS AS AN ASSISTANT. FOR 25 YEARS HE WORKED FOR GANG
INVOLVED IN HOMELESS YOUTH HERE IN
SEATTLE OR THE KING COUNTY AREA. IN 2006 HE RAN FOR THE U.S.
SENATE AS A GREEN PARTY CANDIDATE. HE HAS TRAVELED TO PALESTINE
WITH THE AFRICAN HERITAGE DELEGATION. AARON DIXON IS THE AUTHOR OF “MY
PEOPLE ARE RISING” WHICH WAS PUBLISHED
IN 2012. HE CURRENTLY TRAVELS THROUGHOUT
THE COUNTRY SPEAKING AT COLLEGES AND CAMPUSES AND COMMUNITY CENTERS
AND HE IS ALSO CURRENTLY WORK ON HIS
SECOND BOOK. SO, I’D LIKE TO JUST PLEASE SHOW
YOUR LOVE, GIVE A HIGHLINE WELCOME TO MR. AARON DIXON. [ APPLAUSE ]>>THANK YOU VERY MUCH, AARON. AARON, WHEN HE WAS WORKING ON
HIS PhD HE CAME AND LIVED WITH ME AND MY
FAMILY. WE HAD WHOLE BUNCH OF KIDS,
THAT’S WHOLE OTHER STORY. BUT I JUST WANT TO START OFF AND
TALK ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT HISTORY IS. UNFORTUNATELY FOR THE LAST 30
YEARS OUR SOCIETY HAS SEEMINGLY SPED UP,
WE’VE HAD SEEMINGLY PASSED UP SO MANY
THINGS AND SO MANY PARTS OF OUR HISTORY
THAT THOSE GENERATIONS THAT CAME ALONG IN
THE ’70s AND ’80S DO NOT HAVE A GOOD UNDERSTANDING OF THE PAST
HISTORY OF BLACK AMERICA OR AMERICA AS A
WHOLE. MY GENERATION, I CAME ALONG IN
THE ’50s AND ’60S, MY GENERATION WAS
VERY MUCH CONNECTED TO THE PAST. WE WERE VERY MUCH CONNECTED TO
HISTORY. I LIVED IN A HOUSE WITH MIGRATE,
GREAT GRANDMOTHER WHO WAS BORN IN
1867. I HAD A SPECIAL CONNECTION TO
HER. HER MOTHER HAD BEEN A SLAVE AT
SOME POINT AND SO WE GREW UP HEARING
STORIES, HEARING THE STORIES FROM OUR
PARENTS, FROM OUR GRANDPARENTS AND FROM
OUR AUNTS AND UNCLES WE HEARD THESE
STORIES OVER AND OVER, THIS WAS CALLED THE
ORAL TRADITION. ORAL TRADITION WAS VERY
IMPORTANT PART OF THE BLACK FAMILY AND THE
BLACK COMMUNITY. OF COURSE THERE WERE PEOPLE WHO
DID NOT LIKE TO TALK ABOUT THE PAST
BECAUSE IT WAS TOO PAINFUL. BUT OVERALL IT WAS A PART OF OUR
ORAL — IT WAS A PART OF OUR TRADITION. MOST CULTURES HAVE HAD THE ORAL TRADITION. WHEN THEY COME TO AMERICA
OFTENTIME THEY SEEM TO LOSE THAT ORAL
TRADITION. BUT I GREW UP WITH THAT ORAL
TRADITION, I GREW UP HEARING THE STORIES
ABOUT MY FATHER’S EXPERIENCE WHEN HE WENT
TO — JOINED THE ARMY AND HE WENT
THROUGH BOOT CAMP WAS SENT TO MISSISSIPPI AND
FACT THAT HIM AND HIS BLACK SOLDIERS
HAD TO FIGHT FOR THEIR LIVES JUST TO
GET OUT OF MISSISSIPPI, JUST TO BE ABLE TO
FIGHT IN THE WAR. AND YOU KNOW THE STORIES OF THE
RACE RIOTS THAT THEY HAD IN CHICAGO
AND THE STORIES OF MY GRANDFATHER AND MY
GREAT GRANDFATHER AND TRIALS AND
TRIBULATIONS THEY HAD TO GO THROUGH IN
MISSISSIPPI. THESE STORIES IN THIS ORAL
TRADITION SHAPED MY GENERATION. AS WELL AS AT THE TIME YOU HAD
THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT UNFOLDING, IT
WAS ON THE NEWS. AND YOU DIDN’T SEE ANY BLACK
PEOPLE ON THE NEWS IN THE ’50s AND ’60S SO
WE KNEW DURING THIS TIME PERIOD
THAT EVERYBODY HAVE SOME BLACK
PEOPLE, MARTIN LUTHER KING AND MEDGAR EVERS
OTHERS WHO HAD TAKEN TO THE STREET WE WERE
GOING TO SEE THIS ON THE NEWS AND WHEN
NEWS CAME ON EVERYBODY GATHERED AROUND THE
LITTLE BLACK AND WHITE TV TO WATCH ALL
OF THIS UNFOLD. SO WE WERE WATCHING THIS, WE
WERE WATCHING THIS AND WE WERE
DEALING WITH, YOU KNOW, RACISM IN OUR OWN
LIVES BECAUSE WE LIVED SEGREGATED. EVEN HERE IN SEATTLE. WE LIVED I’M ORIGINALLY FROM
CHICAGO, SO I GREW UP ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF
CHICAGO WHICH WAS SEGREGATED WITH ALL
BLACK AND THEN I CAME HERE, THE CENTRAL
AREA WAS SEGREGATED. IT WAS SEGREGATED WITH PEOPLE OF
COLOR, SEGREGATED WITH BLACK PEOPLE,
JAPANESE, CHINESE AND FILIPINO. AND WE ALL LIVED TOGETHER, WE
ALL GREW UP TOGETHER, WE HAD OUR OWN
BUSINESSES SO IT WAS A VERY — AS LONG AS
WE DIDN’T GO OUTSIDE OF OUR COMMUNITY WE
WERE WELL PROTECTED. WE FELT REALLY GOOD AND WE FELT
VALUED AND WE FELT CHERISHED BY OUR
COMMUNITY. YOU KNOW, I WAS A VERY SERIOUS
CHILD, MY GRANDMOTHER ONCE TOLD ME I WAS A
DEEP THINKER. MY FATHER TOLD ME I WAS A
DREAMER. AND SO THINGS AFFECTED ME MUCH
MORE SERIOUSLY THAN THEY DID, MY
SIBLINGS OR SOME OF THE PEOPLE AROUND ME. BUT I KNOW WHEN MARTIN LUTHER
KING CAME TO TOWN, I WAS ABOUT 12 YEARS
OLD AND I ASKED MY PARENTS, I TOLD MY
PARENTS I WANTED TO GO. SO THEY DROPPED ME OFF DOWN AT
THE DEMONSTRATION THAT MARTIN LUTHER
KING LED DOWN 23rd AVENUE, WHERE
BLACK PEOPLE WEREN’T ALLOWED TO MOVE
OUT OF THE CENTRAL AREA THEY COULDN’T
MOVE PAST MADISON OR FURTHER SOUTH. THEY COULDN’T REALLY LIVE IN,
YOU KNOW, PARTS OF THE — WHERE RAINIER
BEACH IS. I FOUND MYSELF MARCHING WITH
MARTIN LUTHER KING AND DOWN 23rd AVENUE
THEN END OF THE MARCH HE GOT ON A
BAND STAND TO SPEAK. AND I, FOR SOME REASON, I MADE
MY WAY FROM THE BACK TO THE FRONT AND
MADE MY WAY TO THE BANDSTAND AND STOOD
ON THE EDGE OF THE BANDSTAND AND LOOKED
OUT AT THE CROWD. BECAUSE I WANTED TO PROTECT
MARTIN LUTHER KING. I DIDN’T WANT ANYTHING TO HAPPEN
TO MARTIN LUTHER KING. BECAUSE MY GENERATION WE GREW UP
ON ASSASSINATIONS THE FIRST
ASSASSINATION THAT WE WITNESSED WAS THE
ASSASSINATION OF JOHN~F. KENNEDY, THE FIRST
IRISH CATHOLIC PRESIDENT IN AMERICA. AND HE WAS THE FIRST PRESIDENT
THAT SEEMED TO REALLY HAVE THE
INTEREST OF BLACK PEOPLE MORE THAN ANY OTHER
PERSON. HE HAD A SPECIAL PLACE IN THE
BLACK COMMUNITY AND I WAS IN THE 8th
GRADE I REMEMBER, BECAUSE OF MARTIN
LUTHER KING I JOINED THE CIVIL RIGHTS
MOVEMENT AND WHEN THEY STARTED TO INTEGRATE
THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS, I BECAME ONE
OF THE FIRST PEOPLE THAT JUMPED UP AND
WANTED TO INTEGRATE INTO AN ALL WHITE
SCHOOL. BECAUSE I THOUGHT THAT WAS
HELPING THE CAUSE. WHATEVER THE CAUSE WAS, I
THOUGHT THAT THAT WOULD BE HELPING THE CAUSE. I’M SITTING IN CLASS AND WE GET
TOLD THAT SCHOOL HAS LET OUT BECAUSE
THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN ASSASSINATED. WE GO HOME AND WE TURN ON THE TV
AND WE WATCHED THE ASSASSINATION OF
JOHN~F. KENNEDY OVER AND OVER AGAIN,
OVER AND OVER AGAIN BECAUSE THEY PLAYED
IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN. AND THEN THE ASSASSINATION OF
LEE HARVEY OSWALD RIGHT AFTER THE
ASSASSINATION. SOMEBODY JUMPS OUT AT THE POLICE
STATION AND ASSASSINATES THE
ASSASSINATOR. WE’RE WATCHING THIS OVER AND
OVER AGAIN. IMAGINE BEING, 12, 13 YEARS OLD,
AND YOU’RE WATCHING THIS AND YOU SEE
THE PRESIDENT GET ASSASSINATED, SEE
HIS WIFE CRAWLING AND BLOOD, IT WAS VERY TRAUMATIC, VERY TRAUMATIC FOR
US. BUT ONLY SEVERAL YEARS LATER
MEDGAR EVERS WAS ONE OF THE LEADERS OF
THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM, MEDGAR BELIEVED IN PROTECTING HIMSELF WITH A
WEAPON. THE CLAN WAS CONSTANTLY TRYING
TO KILL LIMB, FINALLY THEY DID
ASSASSINATE HIM. NOT LONG AFTER THAT, TWO YEARS
LATER, MALCOLM X GETS ASSASSINATED. MALCOLM X ONE OF THE GREAT MOST
POWERFUL VOICES THAT WE HAD EVER HEARD. ONE OF THE MOST DYNAMIC VOICES
THAT WE HAD EVER HEARD AND HE WAS
BRUTALLY ASSASSINATED. SO, YOU KNOW, ALL OF THESE
EVENTS, ALL OF THESE THINGS SHAPED US AND
PREPARED US FOR WHAT WAS GOING TO COME IN
THE FUTURE. WHEN MEDGAR EVERS WAS
ASSASSINATED. HUEY P. NEWTON AND BOBBIE SEALE
DIDI SIDED TO START THE BLACK PANTHER
PARTY. BECAUSE OF THE MALCOLM X THAT
THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY CAME ABOUT. THEY WANTED TO CREATE, RECREATE
THE ORGANIZATION THAT MALCOLM WAS
TRYING TO CREATE. SO, THEY STEPPED FOUR WARD TO
START THIS ORGANIZATION CALLED THE BLACK
PANTHER PARTY. THE MAIN VISIONARY OF THE BLACK
PANTHER PARTY, THE MAIN PHILOSOPHER OF
THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY WAS HUEY P.
NEWTON, HE WAS A VISIONARY. HE HAD A VISION FOR THIS
ORGANIZATION. HUEY WAS VERY COMPLICATED
PERSON, VERY COMPLICATED MAN. HE WAS BORN IN LOUISIANA, GREW
UP IN THE DEEP SOUTH AT A VERY YOUNG AGE
AS PARENTS WHO WERE SHARECROPPERS
AND THERE WAS A LOT OF RACISM THAT
HAPPENED WITHIN HIS FAMILY AND TO HIS FATHER AND
HIS FATHER HAD A TREMENDOUS ANGER
TOWARDS RACISM THAT HE HAD FACE EVEN
THOUGH HE WAS HALF WHITE. HE DID NOT WANT HIS KIDS TO GROW
UP IN THE SOUTH. HE WANTED HIS KIDS TO GET AN
EDUCATION SO HE MOVED THEM TO OAKLAND,
CALIFORNIA. HUEY WAS THE YOUNGEST OF SEVEN
KIDS, HIS FATHER WAS A PREACHER. SO HUEY WAS HIS BABY, BECAUSE HE
WAS THE YOUNGEST AND HE WAS SO CUTE. EVERYBODY LOOKED OUT FOR HUEY,
YOU KNOW. HUEY AS I SAID WAS VERY
COMPLICATED PERSON, HE DID NOT KNOW HOW TO
READ WHEN HE WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL. AND HIS BROTHER MELVIN NEWTON
WHO WOULD GO ON TO BECOME A PROFESSOR AT
MERRITT COLLEGE STARTED TEACHING HUEY
HOW TO READ, THE BOOKS THIS HE GAVE
HUEY TO READ WERE PHILOSOPHICAL BOOKS
AND BOOKS WRITTEN BY SOME OF THE GREAT
AUTHORS OUT OF EUROPE. HUEY WAS LIKE READING THESE
BOOKS THAT MOST YOUNG PEOPLE WERE NOT IN TO
OR HAD EVEN HEARD ABOUT. SO HE WOULD LATER ON GO TO LAW
SCHOOL AND HE MET BOBBY SEALE AND THEY
FORMED THIS ORGANIZATION FOR THE BLACK
PANTHER PARTY BECAUSE THE BLACK PANTHER
PARTY WAS ONE OF THE MAIN THINGS THAT
THEY WANTED TO FOCUS ON WAS POLICE
BRUTALITY AND POLICE VIOLENCE. SO HE BEING A LAW STUDENT, HE
BELIEVED IN THE SECOND AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION WHICH SAYS
EVERYBODY HAS A RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS, WELL, WE
HAVE A RIGHT TO CARRY WEAPON, WE HAVE A
RIGHT TO PROTECT OURSELVES IT’S IN THE
LAW. CALIFORNIA HAD AN OPEN CARRY
POLICY THEY DEVELOPED A UNIFORM BLACK
LEATHER JACKET, POWDER BLUE SHIRT BACK
THEN, COMBAT BOOTS, BLACK SHOES,
BECAME THE UNIFORM OF THE BLACK PANTHER
PARTY THEN WENT OUT AND RAISED SOME MONEY,
THEY BEGAN TO BUY RIFLES AND SHOTGUNS
AND STUDIED THE LAW. HUEY STUDIED THE LAW, HE COULD
VERBATIM RECITE THE LAW ABOUT THE GUN
LAW. AND SO WHAT THEY DID WAS STARTED PATROLLING THE POLICE. WITH THEIR WEAPONS AND UNIFORMS
ON AND THIS WAS — LOT OF THESE POLICE
OFFICERS CAME FROM THE SOUTH,
MISSISSIPPI, ALABAMA, LOUISIANA. THIS GROUP OF BLACK MEN CARRYING
GUNS AND WATCHING THEM. HUEY KNEW THAT YOU STAND 15 FEET
AWAY FROM THE POLICE OFFICER YOU
COULD OBSERVE. WHEN POLICE STOPPED SOMEBODY IN
THE BLACK COMMUNITY, GET OUT OF
THEIR CAR, THEY LINED UP. AND THE POLICE WOULD LIKE, WHAT
ARE YOU DOING HERE? WHAT ARE YOU NIGGERS DOING HERE. THAT’S WHAT HE SAID, WHAT ARE
YOU NIGGERS DOING HERE. HUEY WOULD RECITE THE LAW
VERBATIM. IF THE POLICE WENT FOR HIS GUN
HUEY JACKED AROUND WITH HIS SHOTGUN
SAID, I HAVE A RIGHT TO CARRY MY WEAPON,
IF YOU GO TO GO SHOOT ME I’M GOING TO
SHOOT YOU BACK. BECAUSE HUEY WAS VERY — HE WAS
FEARLESS HE DID NOT FEAR ANYTHING OR ANY
ONE. PLUS HE HAD ALL THIS ANGER THAT
HE CARRIED ABOUT WHAT HAD HAPPENED
TO HIS FAMILY. SO, HE DID NOT LIKE UNJUSTICE. HE WAS GOING TO STAND UP, HE WAS
READY TO DIE TO FIGHT AGAINST
UNJUSTICE. SO, THIS POLICE PATROL WENT ON
FOR A WHILE AND THERE WERE MANY
INCIDENTS WHERE THE POLICE WOULD COME UP
AND SAY, WHAT’S THIS NIGGER DOING THIS
GUN. HE’D SAY, WHAT IS THIS PIG DOING
THIS THIS GUN BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT WE
CALLED THE POLICE, PIGS. SO, ANYWAY, BLACK PANTHER PARTY
BLACK PANTHER PARTY WAS STARTED I WAS
OUGHT UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON IN 1968
I FORMED THE FIRST BLACK STUDENT
UNION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON WE
DID A SIT IN AT FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL
AND TWO WEEKS LATER WE GOT ARRESTED WE
WERE PUT IN THE COUNTY JAIL. SO, I’M IN THE COUNTY JAIL WITH
LARRY AND CARL MILLER AND SOME OF THE
OTHER BSU MEMBERS AND TELEVISION COMES
ON AND IT SAYS THAT MARTIN LUTHER KING
HAS BEEN ASSASSINATED. THIS WAS VERY SHOCKING. THIS WAS VERY — WE WERE LIKE,
WHAT THE HELL, THEY DIDN’T KILL MARTIN
NOW. RIOTS START BREAKING OUT OVERALL
OF AMERICA, EVERY MAJOR CITIES,
RIOTS WAS BREAKING OUT, AMERICA WAS
BURNING AND ANGRY AT THE DEATH AND MURDER OF
MARTIN LUTHER KING. I REMEMBER THAT NIGHT GOING BACK
TO MY BUNK AND I REMEMBER SAYING TO
MYSELF THAT MY PICKET SIGN WAS GOING TO
BE REPLACED BY THE GUN. AND SO I JOINED THE BLACK
PANTHER PARTY BUT I DID NOT REALIZE THAT ALL
ACROSS THE COUNTRY A LOT OF YOUNG
PEOPLE, BLACK, WHITE, BROWN, RED,
YELLOW, THEY ALL SAID THE SAME THING. THEY KNEW THAT MALCOLM X —
MARTIN LUTHER KING WAS A MAN OF LOVE
AND RESPECT. AND THAT IF THEY KILLED MARTIN
LUTHER KING THEN IT’S TIME FOR ALL OF
US TO TAKE TO THE STREETS AND ORGANIZE
AND DO SOMETHING. SO YOU NOT ONLY HAD THE BLACK
PANTHER PARTY THAT BEGAN TO RISE UP YOU
HAD OTHER ORGANIZATIONS. YOU HAD THE BROWN BERET, THE
YOUNG LORDS, THE YOUNG PATRIOT PARTY,
SDS, YOUNG WHITE PEOPLE WERE ANGRY. THEY WERE ANGRY AT THE WAR AS
WELL SO YOU HAD THIS BIG WAR MOVEMENT
THAT BEGAN TO BUILD AMONG THE WHITE
STUDENTS. SO A BIG MOVEMENT WAS ACTUALLY
CREATED ON THE DEPTH OF MARTIN LUTHER
KING. IT WAS A NATIONWIDE MOVEMENT. BUT THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY WAS
A SPECIAL ORGANIZATION, IN THE
BLACK PANTHER PARTY WE HAD TO READ TWO
HOURS A DAY. WE HAD TO STUDY, POLITICAL
EDUCATION CLASS, TWICE A WEEK. AND WE PUT OUT A NEWSPAPER. HUEY HAD — THIS IS HOW
BRILLIANT THAT HUEY WAS. THAT HE UNDERSTOOD THAT IF WE’RE
GOING TO HAVE A POLITICAL ORGANIZATION
TALKING ABOUT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN
AMERICA, WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO TELL WHAT’S
HAPPENING TO A NEWSPAPER. BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT WE WERE
TAUGHT IN THE PARTY THAT POWER IS THE
ABILITY TO DEFINE PHENOMENON AND MAKE IT
ACT IN A DESIRED MANNER. THAT MEANS, WHOEVER IS
CONTROLLING THE MEDIA CONTROLS THE MASSES,
CONTROLS THE PEOPLE. SO WE HAD TO HAVE A NEWSPAPER
THAT DEFINED THE TRUTH OF WHAT WAS
REALLY HAPPENING, NOT JUST IN OUR
COMMUNITY BUT WHAT’S HAPPENING IN PALESTINE,
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MEXICO. WE HAD INTERNATIONAL SECTION IN
OUR NEWSPAPER WHERE WE TALKED ABOUT
ALL THE OTHER STRUGGLES THAT WERE TAKING
PLACE, ALL OVER THE WORLD WE WERE
TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT THESE STRUGGLES AND
ABOUT THESE MOVEMENTS. WE WERE TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT
WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN AMERICA. AND SO OUR NEWSPAPER BECAME VERY IMPORTANT AND VERY CRITICAL. WE PUT THIS PAPER OUT FOR 16
YEARS, EVERY WEEK NON-STOP THEY DID
EVERYTHING THEY COULD TO STOP THAT
NEWSPAPER. WE WOULD GO PICK IT UP FROM THE
AIRPORT, THEY WOULD BE BURNED, THEY WOULD
BE WATERED DOWN, THEY WOULD BE —
OR THEY WOULDN’T BE THERE. AND WE HAD ORDERS EVERY PANTHER
HAD TO GO OUT AND SELL 100 PAPERS A
DAY. BECAUSE WE UNDERSTOOD HOW
IMPORTANT THAT PAPER WAS. PEOPLE WERE EAGER TO GET THAT
NEWSPAPER, THEY WERE EAGER TO READ WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN THE BLACK PANTHER NEWSPAPER, WE HAD AN ARTIST,
EMERY DOUGLAS AND AARON’S MOTHER,
ASALLE AND TEREKA LUIS WERE ALL ARTISTS. HUEY TOLD EMERY DOUGLAS THE
ARTIST OF THE PARTY THAT I WANT YOU TO THE
THE MINISTER OF CULTURE AND CREATE
ART FOR THE NEWSPAPER. BECAUSE HUEY TOLD US THAT BLACK
PEOPLE ARE NOT WELL READ PEOPLE. BUT THEY DO UNDERSTAND ART. THAT THEY DO UNDERSTAND ART. WE HAD A LOT OF PICTURES, WE HAD
A LOT OF ARTWORK, A LOT OF
REVOLUTIONARY ARTWORK THAT DEFINED WHAT THE
BLACK PANTHER PARTY WAS ABOUT, THAT
DEFINED WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN OUR
COMMUNITY. BY 1968, JAY EDGAR HOOVER, JOHN MITCHELL, ATTORNEY GENERAL,
RICHARD NIXON PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES THEY HOLD CONFERENCE SAY BLACK
PANTHER PARTY IS NUMBER ONE THREAT TO
THE SECURITY OF AMERICA. BY THIS TIME THE BLACK PANTHER
PARTY SPREAD ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. SEATTLE HAD THE FIRST CHAPTER
OUTSIDE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA. THEN WE OPENED UP A CHAPTER IN
PORTLAND AND OPENED UP A CHAPTER IN
TACOMA AND ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY THERE
WERE BLACK PANTHER PARTY PARTY CHAPTERS IN
THE DEEP SOUTH. YOU HAD ALL YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN
WHO JOINED US IN THE BLACK PANTHER
PARTY WEARING THE PANTHER UNIFORM. SO J. EDGAR HOOVER, THEY WE’RE
THE NUMBER ONE THREAT TO SECURITY OF
AMERICA BUT WE DIDN’T KNOW THAT THEY HAD
TALKED AMONGST THEMSELVES THAT THEY
WERE GOING TO HAVE US KILLED OFF BY 1969. WE DIDN’T KNOW THAT. THEY HAD THIS THING CALLED COIN
TELL PROGRAM. IT WAS A SECRET PROGRAM TO WIPE
OUT NOT JUST THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY BUT
WIPE OUT THE WHOLE LEFT OF THE
MOVEMENT. ONE OF THE BEAUTIFUL THINGS
ABOUT THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY IS WE
UNDERSTOOD THE IMPORTANCE OF WORKING WITH OTHER
PEOPLE. WE WERE NOT A BLACK NATIONALIST ORGANIZATION, MANY OF US WHEN WE
DID JOIN THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY WE
WERE BLACK NATIONALIST BUT IT TAUGHT
US THAT THIS IS THE INTERNATIONAL
STRUGGLE. JUST NOT ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE IT’S
ABOUT ALL OPPRESSED PEOPLE. ALL PEOPLE OF COLOR. NOT JUST IN AMERICA BUT ALL OVER
THE WORLD. THAT’S WHAT MADE THE BLACK
PANTHER PARTY MORE POWERFUL, THAT’S WHAT MADE
IT MORE DANGEROUS. SO THEY BEGAN TO ARREST PARTY
MEMBERS, ARREST PEOPLE IN LEADERSHIP. THERE WAS SOME CHAPTERS THAT
WERE ACTUALLY STARTED BY THE FBI LIKE
IN BALTIMORE AND NEW JERSEY. ACTUALLY STARTED BY THE FBI. SO THEY HEAVILY INFILTRATED WITH
FBI INFORMANTS AND LOCAL POLICE
INFORMANTS. AND THEY BEGAN, YOU KNOW, TO
ATTACK THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY. YOU KNOW THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY
BECAUSE WE — HUEY TAUGHT US NOTHING
STANDS OUTSIDE OF CHANGE. EVERYTHING IS IN THE CONSTANT
STATE OF FLUX. EVERYTHING IS ALWAYS CHANGING. YOU HAVE TO BE ADAPTABLE. YOU HAVE TO BE ADAPTABLE TO
SURVIVE BECAUSE NOTHING STANDS OUTSIDE
OF CHANGE. AND SO WE HAD TO CHANGE AS WELL. SO WHEN THEY BEGAN ATTACKING THE
BLACK PANTHER MOVEMENT WE HAD TO COME
OUT OF OUR UNIFORMS, HAD TO STOP
WEARING OUR UNIFORMS BECAUSE THEY WERE ALSO
SCARING SOME PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY. WE STARTED GETTING MORE — WE WANTED TO CHANGE AMERICA. WE WANTED TO CHANGE AMERICA LIKE
MALCOLM X DID THE BALLOT OF THE BULLET. WE WERE GOING TO TRY TO DO IT
EITHER WAY. BECAUSE REVOLUTION WAS TAKING
PLACE ALL OVER THE WORLD AND WE SAW
OURSELVES AS PART OF THIS WORLDWIDE
REVOLUTION. SO WE WANTED TO CREATE
REVOLUTION TO CHANGE AMERICA, KEEP IT FROM
WHERE WE’RE AT RIGHT NOW. THAT WAS OUR GOAL TO KEEP
AMERICA FROM BEING WHAT IT IS RIGHT NOW. WE CAN TALK ABOUT THAT LATER. BUT, ANYWAY, THEY BEGAN TO
ATTACK THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY. AND A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE
ARRESTED, PEOPLE WERE ASSASSINATED, AND SO
WE CAME UP WITH THIS IDEA CALLED
SURVIVAL PROGRAMS PENDING REVOLUTION. WE KNEW THAT THE PEEL WEREN’T
READY BUT WE ALSO KNEW THAT PEOPLE WERE
HUNGRY, THEY DIDN’T HAVE RESOURCES, THEY
DIDN’T HAVE MEDICAL CARE. SO WE STARTED CREATING THESE
PROGRAMS, THE FIRST PROGRAM WAS FREE
BREAKFAST FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN PROGRAM WHERE WE
STARTED FEEDING BREAKFAST TO CHILDREN ON
THE WAY TO SCHOOL. LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE BLACK
PANTHER PARTY BUT THEY WERE HANDFULS OF PEOPLE
WHO ONLY JOINED THE BLACK PANTHER
PARTY SO THEY CAN CARRY A GUN TO SHOOT
POLICE. SO WHEN WE SAID WE WERE CREATING
THESE PROGRAMS, THEY WOULD THINK THAT REVOLUTIONARY THEY LEFT THE
BLACK PANTHER PARTY. SO, WE BEGAN — IN SEATTLE WE
OPENED UP FIVE DIFFERENT LOCATIONS OF
BREAKFAST PROGRAMS BUT WE WERE FEEDING
KIDS ON THEIR WAY TO SCHOOL. WE HAD IT NEAR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
THEY WOULD COME IN TO THE COMMUNITY
CENTERS THAT WE HAD ESTABLISHED AND
PANTHERS, WE’D GO DOWN THERE AND PREPARE
PANCAKES AND BACON AND, YOU KNOW,
NUTRITIOUS GRITS AND OATMEAL AND ALL KIND
OF GOOD STUFF FOR THE KIDS. WE WERE GIVEN THE ORDER TO START
— YOU GOT TO START A BREAKFAST
PROGRAM. WE DID. A MEMO, YOU GOT TO OPEN UP A
MEDICAL CLINIC AND SO, YOU KNOW, THERE
WAS NO BLUEPRINT ABOUT HOW TO START A
MEDICAL CLINIC, THERE WAS NO STEP A, B,
C. THERE WAS NOTHING. WE HAD TO GO OUT AND ORGANIZE,
WITHIN THREE OR FOUR MONTHS WE OPENED
UP THE FIRST FREE MEDICAL CLINIC IN
SEATTLE. IT WAS SIDNEY MILLER FREE
CLINIC, IT’S STILL OPEN BUT BLACK PANTHER
PARTY OPENED UP 13 FREE MEDICAL
CLINICS ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY PROVIDING
FREE MEDICAL CARE. SEATTLE WE HAD A BABY WELLNESS
PROGRAM WHERE WE FOCUS ON WOMEN THAT
WERE PREGNANT AND WE MADE SURE THAT
THEY HAD EVERYTHING THAT THEY NEED,
PRENATAL VITAMINS AND CHECK-UPS AND
DIAPERS AND EVERYTHING THEY NEEDED FOR THEIR
BABIES. THEN WE OPENED UP THE FREE —
THE PROGRAM, MRS. JONES, SHE’S GOT
TO GO TWO OR THREE HOURS TO WALLA WALLA
PRISON TO VISIT HER SON AND SHE DOESN’T
EVEN HAVE A WAY TO GET THERE. AND A LOT OF BLACK PARENTS WERE
IN THAT SAME POSITION. SO WE GOT SOME CARS AND VANS WE
START TAKING PEOPLE TO THE DIFFERENT
PRISONS AND EVENTUALLY SOMEBODY GAVE US
A 35-PASSENGER BUS IN CHICAGO,
SOMEBODY GAVE A GREYHOUND BUS. WE STARTED TAKING PEOPLE TO ALL
THE PRISONS. WE STARTED FREE FOOD PROGRAM
ONCE A WEEK TO START GIVING OUT BAGS OF
GROCERIES OUT OF OUR OFFICE, OUT OF OUR
COMMUNITY CENTER. ONE OF THE ORDERS ALSO THAT WE
HAVE WAS WE HAD TO MOVE OUT OF THE
STOREFRONT OFFICES WHERE MOST OF THE BLACK
PANTHER PARTY OFFICES WERE LOCATED
BECAUSE WE WERE VULNERABLE TO ATTACKS. SO THEY START THIS CAMPAIGN OF
ATTACKING THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY. MEANWHILE IN 1967, HUEY IS
ARRESTED AND CHARGED WITH MURDER BECAUSE HE
HAD BEEN STOPPED OVER 50 TIMES, THEY
WANTED TO KILL HUEY NEWTON THEY WANTED TO
GET RID OF HUEY. SO WHAT HAPPENED WAS HE GOT
STOPPED ONE NIGHT WHILE HE WAS OUT WITH HIS
ONE OF HIS FRIENDS AND HE HAD A LAW
BOOK THAT HE CARRIED AROUND. HE CARRIED THIS LAW BOOK AROUND EVERYWHERE. AND SO WHEN THE POLICE STOPPED
HIM THEY MADE HIM GET OUT OF THE CAR, HE
HAD HIS LAW BOOK WITH HIM THEY TOOK HIM
INTO THE BACK OF THE POLICE CAR IN THE
BACK AND THEY TRIED TO KILL HIM. ONE OF THEM, THEY PULLED THEIR
GUNS OUT TRIED TO KILL HUEY. OPENED UP HIS LAW BOOK HE HAD A
SNUB NOSE GUN. HUEY HAS TWO BULLETS IN HIS
STOMACH THEY TAKE HIM DOWN TO THE HOSPITAL. HIS FRIEND TAKES HIM TO THE
HOSPITAL THEY CALL THE POLICE AND THE
POLICE COME DOWN THERE AND THEY START
BEATING HUEY, ARMED STRETCHED BACK ON THE
GURNEY LIKE THIS. HE’S GOT TWO BULLET HOLES IN HIM
AND BEATING THEM. CALLING HIM A NIGGER HE’S
SPITTING BLOOD ON THEM, TELLING THEM, FUCK YOU
PIGS, ATTACK A MAN THAT HUE I WOULD
WAS. HERE HE IS ON HIS DEATH BED HE’S
STILL DEFIANT. SO, THAT WAS REALLY DETRIMENTAL
TO BLACK PANTHER PARTY LOSING HUEY
BECAUSE HE HAD — HE EVENTUALLY WENT TO
PRISON. SO, ANYWAY, THEY STARTED THIS
CAMPAIGN TO TRY TO DESTROY THE BLACK
PANTHER PARTY. THEN WE GOT ORDERS TO FORTIFY
OUR OFFICES, TO PUT SANDBAGS AND FORTIFICATION AROUND OUR
COMMUNITY CENTER BECAUSE WE HAD TO PROTECT THEMSELVES. WE WERE GIVEN ORDERS THAT WE HAD
TO PROTECT OURSELVES. IF THEY CAME TO THE DOOR THEY
TRIED TO SHOOT US THAT WE HAD TO SHOOT
BACK. WE HAD TO FIGHT BACK. WE GOT ORDERS ON THAT. SO WE SANDBAGGED OUR OFFICE IN
SEATTLE WHERE OUR COMMUNITY CENTER WAS
ON 19th, WE BUILT SANDBAGS ALL THE
WAY TO THE TOP. WE HAD DOUBLE SANDBAGS, STEEL
PLATES ON THE DOORS, WE HAD BULLETPROOF
VESTS THAT WE PURCHASED. WE HAD GAS MASKS THAT WE BOUGHT
AND WE WERE CONSIDERED — WE HAD SECOND
MOST FORTIFIED OFFICE, PANTHER OFFICE
IN THE COUNTRY. SO THEY BEGAN THESE RAIDS TO TRY
TO DESTROY THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY. IN THE SUMMER OF 1968, THERE WAS ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT ON MY
LIFE. SOME GUYS WHO HAD JOINED THE
PARTY, THEY TRIED TO SET ME UP FOB KILLED
THE POLICE PUT $20,000 CONTRACT ON MY HEAD. AND I BARELY ESCAPED WITH THAT
FOR MY LIFE, THAT’S IN THE BOOK. AND SO, THEY BEGAN, NOW IN
CHICAGO, THERE WAS A YOUNG MAN NAMED FRED HAMPTON. HE PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST
IMPORTANT PEOPLE TO JOIN THE BLACK PANTHER
PARTY. HE WAS 19 YEARS OLD WHEN HE
JOINED THE PARTY. HE WAS A YEAR OLDER THAN I WAS. AND FRED HAMPTON WAS — HE WAS
THE NEXT GREAT LEADER OF NOT JUST
AMERICA, HE WAS THE NEXT GREAT HUMANITARIAN OF
THE WORLD. HE WAS A VERY SPECIAL HUMAN
BEING. WHEN FRED HAMPTON SPOKE, YOU
HEARD MARTIN LUTHER KING AND MALCOLM X
COMING OUT OF HIS MOUTH. HE HAD SERVED IN THE NAACP AS
WELL. HE MARCHED WITH MARTIN LUTHER
KING AS WELL. HE USED TO STAND IN FRONT OF THE
MIRROR AND PRACTICE THE SPEECHES OF
MARTIN LUTHER KING AND MALCOLM X. HE BECAME THE HEAD OF THE
CHICAGO CHAPTER OF THE BLACK PANTHER
PARTY. ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS THAT HE
DOES IS GO DOWN TO THE BLACK RANGERS TWO
LARGEST GANGS IN THE WORLD TELL THEM
THEY DO THE TO STOP FIGHTING EACH OTHER. HE BEE BAN TO BUILD A COALITION
WITH THE GANGS, STOP THE GANG WARFARE IN
AMERICA BUT FBI WAS ALSO INVOLVED TRYING
TO GET THESE NOT TO JOIN. ONE OF THE GANGS DID JOIN UP
WITH THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY. AND ONE OF THE OTHER THINGS THAT
FRED HAMPTON DID, HE STARTED THE
RAINBOW COALITION. MANY OF YOU HEARD ABOUT THE
RAINBOW COALITION, THAT WAS STARTED BY
FRED HAMPTON. HE CONVINCED HIM TO CHANGE HIS
GANG TO POLITICAL ORGANIZATION. THEY GAME YOUNG LORDS POLITICAL
— ORGANIZATION. ALSO SENT A DELEGATION PEOPLE
DOWN TO THE POOR WHITE COMMUNITY WHERE APPALACHIAN HILLBILLIES LIVED
WHO HAVE MIGRATED FROM THE DEEP SOUTH. THEY BEGAN TO MEET WITH THEM AND
HEARD ABOUT THE CONDITION THAT THESE
POOR WHITES WERE LIVING IN. CONDITIONS THAT WERE WORSE WHAT
BLACK PEOPLE WERE LIVING IN AND POLICE BRUTALITY THAT THEY HAD TO DEAL
WITH AS WELL. THEY DEVELOPED A COALITION WITH
THESE POOR WHITES AND THEY CREATED AN ORGANIZATION CALLED THE YOUNG
PATRIOT PARTY AND THEY WORE BURGUNDY
BERET, THEY PUT OUT A NEWSPAPER AND ADOPTED
THE SAME ORGANIZING TECHNIQUES AS BLACK
PANTHER PARTY THAT WAS RAINBOW
COALITION. THAT WAS FOR WHITE, FOR BLACKS
AND PUERTO RICANS, THE RAINBOW
COALITION. FRED HAMPTON WAS A GREAT
SPEAKER. PEOPLE THAT HEARD HIM SPEAK,
THAT WAS IT, MAN. YOU ARE GOING TO JOIN UP. YOU’RE GOING TO JOIN THE BLACK
PANTHER PARTY YOU’RE GOING TO DO
SOMETHING. THIS MAN WAS UNBELIEVABLE. I MET HIM. WE SPOKE ON THE SAME STAGE
TOGETHER IN CHICAGO. I KNOW VERY MUCH ABOUT FRED
HAMPTON. AND SO THE FBI DECIDED FRED
HAMPTON HAD TO GO. CHICAGO DAILY CITY, MAYOR OF
DAILY CITY DECIDED FRED HAD TO GO. FRED KNEW HE HAD — HE WAS GOING
TO DIE. FRED KNEW. HE USED TO SAY, GET OUT AND
SPEAK TO A LOT OF — DURING BREAKFAST HE’D
GET ALL IN THE MORNING HE’LL GO OUT AND
SPEAK TO THEM BEFORE THEY WENT OUT TO THE BREAKFAST PROGRAM. HE WOULD SAY, I’M NOT GOING TO
DIE SLIPPING ON NO ICE. I’M NOT GOING TO DIE LAYING UP
IN NO BED. I’M GOING TO DIE FOR THE PEOPLE. I’M GOING TO DIE SERVING THE
PEOPLE. THAT’S WHAT FRED HAMPTON USED TO
SAY, YOU KNOW. THERE WERE THESE LAWYERS, THESE
WHITE LAWYERS WHO JUST GRADUATED FROM
LAW SCHOOL AND THEY WENT UP TO THIS
CHURCH TO HEAR FRED HAMPTON SPEAK. WHEN THEY FINISHED HEARING HIM
SPEAK, ALL OF THEM DECIDED THEY WERE
GOING TO DONATE THEIR SERVICES TO THE
PEOPLE. DONATE THEIR SERVICES TO THE
BLACK PANTHER PARTY AND PROTECT THE
BLACK PANTHER PARTY LEGALLY. THEY OPENED UP THE PEOPLE’S LAW
CENTER WHICH IS STILL OPEN TODAY. THEY OPENED UP ON THE SOUTH SIDE
OF CHICAGO, IT’S STILL OPEN TODAY. ONE NIGHT FRED HAMPTON IS
MEETING WITH HIS STAFF, BECAUSE WE HAD ALL
THESE PROGRAMS, IF YOU WERE IN THE
BLACK AFTER BEING ON SECURITY FOR TWO HOURS,
YOU WENT TO THE BREAKFAST PROGRAM,
YOU CAME BACK FROM THE BREAKFAST PROGRAM,
YOU WENT OUT IN THE FIELD TO SELL
YOUR HUNDRED PAPERS. YOU MIGHT BE WORKING ON THE
MEDICAL CLINIC, MIGHT BE WORKING ON
LIBERATION OR FOOD PROGRAM, GET RESOURCES
FROM THAT SO THEN YOU CAME BACK, WE CAME
BACK TO THE OFFICE AND WE HAD POLITICAL EDUCATION CLASS WE HAD WEAPONS
CLASS THEN WE HAD TIME FOR SOME
RELAXATION. BROTHER, THAT WAS CODE NAME WE
USED FOR MARIJUANA. BITTER DOG WAS A DRINK THAT,
DARK PORT WINE USED GET DARK PORT WINE AND
A LITTLE PLASTIC LEMON POUR OUT A
LITTLE BIT OF WINE, POUR IT OUT TO THE
ELDERS PUT SOME LEMON USE SHAKE IT UP
THAT WAS BITTER DOG. THAT WAS A PANTHER DRINK. PANTHER PISS THAT’S WHAT THEY
USED TO CALL IT. SO THAT WAS OUR RELAXATION TIME. SO FRED HAMPTON HAD BEEN MEET ON
THE NIGHT OF DECEMBER 3rd, FRED
HAMPTON HAD BEEN MEETING WITH HIS STAFF, BREAKFAST COORDINATOR IN HIS
APARTMENT. SO WE WORKED SO HARD, WE WORKED
SEVEN DAYS A WEEK. WE WORKED HARD, WHEN IT WAS TIME
TO GO TO SLEEP WE DIDN’T NEED NO BED
OR PAJAMAS OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT
WE JUST WENT TO SLEEP WHEREVER WE WERE
ON THE FLOOR, SOMETIMES STEP ON TOP OF
TABLE OR WHATEVER. BUT THAT MORNING THERE WAS A
KNOCK ON THE DOOR, MARK CLARK,
19-YEAR-OLD CAPTAIN OF THE CHAPTER ON GUARD
DUTY, HE WENT TO THE DOOR WITH HIS
SHOTGUN, HE SAID, WHO IS IT. SHOTS WENT THROUGH THE DOOR AND
KILLED HIM INSTANTLY, THE ATF, FBI
BURST THROUGH THE REAR DOOR CAME INTO
THE HOUSE WITH THE MACHINE GUNS AND
STARTED SPRAYING, JUST STARTED SHOOTING
MUCH THEY GOT PANTHERS WERE ASLEEP
THEY GOT THEM UP LINED THEM UP AND JUST
SHOT THEM. ONE OF THE PEOPLE THAT GOT SHOT
WAS A YOUNG GUY WHO LITTLE THIN GUY,
REALLY NICE, KIND GUY, HE WAS HEAD OF
THE MEDICAL CLINIC, DOC SATCHEL IN
THE CHICAGO CHAPTER HE WAS WOUNDED,
HE WOULD NEVER RECOVER FROM THOSE WOUNDS. THEY WENT IN TO FRED HAMPTON’S
ROOM HIS WIFE TRIED TO WAKE HIM UP BUT HE
HAD BEEN DRUGGED BECAUSE THE
SECURITY FOR FRED HAMPTON WAS — GAVE OUT OF
— HAMPTON ALONE THROUGH FBI HE PUT
SECOND IN HIS DRINK SO HE WAS DRUGGED. HIS WIFE TRIED TO WAKE HIM UP. THEY GRABBED AND PULLED HER BY
HER HAIR, SHE IS SIX MONTHS — PULLED HER
BY HER HAIR OUT OF THE ROOM. WENT BACK IN TO THE ROOM AND
BAM, BAM, BAM, SHOT FRED HAMPTON IN THE
HEAD THREE TIMES WHILE HE WAS ASLEEP. 21 YEARS OLD. THAT’S HOW AFRAID OF FRED
HAMPTON THEY WERE THAT THEY WOULD KILL THE 21-YEAR-OLD MAN IN HIS SLEEP AND
DRUGS. HE WAS GOING TO BE — HE WAS A
MESSIAH, THEY LOOKED AT FRED HAMPTON AS
HA MESSIAH. THEY PUT OUT INFORMATION BEFORE
THE PARTY STARTED YOU FIND THE BLACK
MESSIAH THE FBI PUTS IT OUT YOU PUT THE
BLACK MESSIAH HE HAS TO BE KILLED. MARTIN LUTHER KING WAS A BLACK
MESSIAH. MALCOLM X WAS A BLACK MESSIAH
AND FRED HAMPTON WAS A BLACK MESSIAH. AND THEY KILLED HIM. SO THAT VERY DAY THE SEATTLE
CHAPTER — THE CHICAGO CHAPTER HAD A TOUR,
BECAUSE NEWSPAPER SAID PANTHER SHOOTOUT,
PANTHER SHOOT FIRST THEY SHOOT AT THE
POLICE. THAT’S A BUNCH OF BULL CRAP. THERE WAS NO SHOTS FIRED BY THE PANTHERS. ALL THE SHOTS WERE FIRED BY THE
POLICE. IT WAS MURDER. IT WAS ASSASSINATION. SO THEY HAD A TOUR THAT WENT
THROUGH THAT HOUSE OVER A THOUSAND
PEOPLE WENT THROUGH THAT HOUSE IN ONE DAY
AND SAW THE BLOODY MATTRESS AND BLOOD ON
THE FLOOR WHERE THEY DRAGGED FRED
HAMPTON’S BODY CARRIED IT DOWN THE STAIRS,
THAT’S THE WAY THE PARTY — WE EDUCATED
PEOPLE WHICH WAS VERY DISASTROUS THING
TO HAVE HAPPENED TO THE BLACK PANTHER
PARTY NOW 11 MONTHS EARLIER, IN L.A.,
THERE WAS A BROTHER NAMED BUNCHY CARTER. BUNCHY CARTER WAS HEAD OF THE
LARGEST GANG IN L.A. HE GOT OUT OF SAN QUENTIN PRISON
WHEN HE WAS 31 HE STARTED THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CHAPTER OF THE BLACK PANTHERS. FIRST CHAPTER OUTSIDE OF THE
STATE OF CALIFORNIA. BUNCHY WAS DYNAMIC. HE WAS VERY CLOSE TO HUEY IN
TERMS MUCH HIS PERFECTION AND HIS
ORGANIZING AND HOW SERIOUS HE WAS AND, YOU
KNOW, WE WERE ORGANIZING — HE WAS
WORKING WITH PANTHER COMRADES TO ORGANIZE A
BLACK STUDIES PROGRAM ON THE CAMPUS OF
UCLA. LOT OF PEOPLE DON’T REALIZE
BLACK STUDIES PROGRAM ACTUALLY CAME
FROM THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY. IT STARTED IN SAN FRANCISCO
STATE WHERE PANTHER MEMBERS WHO ORGANIZED
THE DEMONSTRATION OF SAN FRANCISCO
STATE GOT BLACK STUDY AT SAN FRANCISCO
STATE AND BLACK STUDIES AT UCLA,
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON, WE DID THE SAME
THING UP HERE. WE GOT THE BLACK STUDIES
PROGRAM. AND LOOK AT ALL THE THINGS THAT
CAME FROM THE BLACK STUDIES. WOMEN’S STUDIES, NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES, LATINO STUDIES, THAT
WAS RESULT OF THE WORK THAT THE BLACK
PANTHER PARTY. ANYWAY, BUNCHY CARTER WAS KILLED
ON UCLA CAMPUS ALONG WITH JOHN HUGGINS,
THE TWO MAIN LEADERS OF THE SOUTHERN
CALIFORNIA CHAPTER WERE ASSASSINATED IN ONE
DAY ON THE CAMPUS OF UCLA BY THE US ORGANIZATION WHICH HAD BEEN AN
ENEMY UNDER RON, WHO SOME THE ONE THAT
STARTED KWANZAA. ANYWAY, AFTER THEY LEFT —
KILLED FRED HAMPTON, SIX DAYS LATER THEY TO
GO L.A. NOW THE L.A. CHAPTER WAS MOST MILITARY-MINDED CHAPTERS OF ALL. THEY HAD A LOT OF VIETNAM VETS,
THEY HAD TO BUILD A BUNKER, SANDBAG
BUNKER INSIDE THEIR OFFICE, UNDERGROUND
TUNNELS, THEY HAD A MACHINE GUN NEST ON THE
TOP. THEY WAS READY. L.A. PANTHERS ARE SOME BAD
BROTHERS AND SISTERS, THERE’S NO DOUBT ABOUT
THAT. WHEN THEY CONDUCTED THIS RAID,
THEY SEPARATED — CORDONED OFF THE
COMMUNITY FOR ABOUT — MADE PEOPLE MOVE
OUT OF THE HOUSES, HELICOPTERS, ARMORED
PERSONNEL CARRIER, THE SWATH TEAM. THE SWATH TEAM WAS INVENTED —
THE S.W.A.T. TEAM CAME ABOUT IT WAS
INVENT FOR THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY. THEY BEGAN THIS RAID THEY BURST
THROUGH THE L.A. OFFICE. BURST THROUGH THE DOOR, BROTHER
NAMED COTTON WHO WAS VIETNAM VET HE
HAD A SUBMACHINE GUN HE STARTED
BLASTING AND BLEW THEM RIGHT OUT THE DOOR. THEY HAD EIGHT-HOUR SHOOTOUT
WITH THE L.A. POLICE DEPARTMENT AND THE
L.A. CHAPTER OF THE BLACK PANTHER
PARTY. THEY HAD EVEN — EVEN THROWING
BOMBS OUT ON THE POLICE. UP ON — WHERE THEY HAD THE
MACHINE GUN NEST THEY WERE FIGHTING ALMOST
HAND TO HAND. A SISTER, THERE WERE WOMEN IN
THERE, BECAUSE WOMEN DID EVERY SINGLE
THING THAT THE MAN DID. THEY LEARNED HOW TO USE WEAPONS,
THEY LEARNED HOW TO SHOOT. THEY DID EVERYTHING. WE DIDN’T RELEGATE OUR WOMEN TO
NO SECOND ROLE. THEY WERE REVOLUTIONARY, THERE
WAS NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN MALE OR
FEMALE IN THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY IN TERMS
OF WORK. THERE WERE SISTERS IN THERE THAT
WAS FIGHTING ALONG WITH THE
BROTHERS. IT LASTED SIX OR SEVEN HOURS,
ONE OF THE SISTERS GOT SHOT IN BOTH HER
LEGS. ONE KNEE AND WENT THROUGH THE
OTHER KNEE. SHE KEPT ON FIGHTING, KEPT ON
SHOOTING, AND SO FINALLY THEY REALIZE THEY
WERE RUNNING OUT OF AMMUNITION, BUT
NOBODY WANTED TO SURRENDER. NOBODY WAS WILLING TO DO IT
UNTIL THIS SISTER STOOD UP SAID THAT SHE
WAS GOING TO DO IT. AND SO SHE PUT UP A WHITE FLAG
AND WALKED OUT. AND EVERYBODY ELSE WALKED OUT. EVERYBODY WAS ARRESTED, BEATEN
AND CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER. HOW CAN YOU BE CHARGED WITH
ATTEMPTED MURDER FOR TRYING TO DEFEND
YOURSELF. THAT NOT ONLY RAIDED THAT
OFFICE, BUT THEY RAIDED TWO OTHER HOMES IN
THE AREA AND DID THE SAME THING. RIGHT AFTER THAT THEY CAME TO
SEATTLE, ATF CAME TO SEATTLE, THEY MELT
WITH THE MAYOR, THEY SAID THE SEATTLE
PANTHERS HAVE ILLEGAL WEAPONS IN THEIR
OFFICE, THAT’S THE SAME PRETEXT THEY
USED TO KILL FRED HAMPTON AND IN THE
L.A. CHAPTER BUT WE DIDN’T HAVE NO
FULLY AUTOMATIC WEAPONS. WE WERE TRYING TO GET SOME BUT
WE DID NOT HAVE ANY IN OUR OFFICE. SO THE MAYOR TOLD THEM, NO. MAYOR SAID, NO, I’M NOT GOING TO
GIVE YOU SEATTLE POLICE BACK UP TO
RAID THE SEATTLE CHAPTER. BECAUSE HE KNEW THAT WOULD BE
HIS POLITICAL SUICIDE. HE SAW WHAT HAPPENED IN CHICAGO,
HE SAW HAPPENED IN L.A., SEATTLE WAS A
SMALLER COMMUNITY, WE WERE SO WELL-KNOWN
IN THE COMMUNITY. WE WERE SO WELL-KNOWN IN SEATTLE
THAT IF HE HAD US SUBJECTED TO DEATH
THAT HE WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO LIVE WITH
HIMSELF. SO HE TOLD HIM, NO. HE SAVED OUR LIVES. EVEN THOUGH OUR OFFICE WAS
HEAVILY FORTIFIED THERE IS GOING TO BE CASUALTIES, NO DOUBT. GOING TO BE CASUALTIES. WE ALWAYS PAY HOMAGE TO THE
MAYOR FOR STANDING UP. AFTER HE WAS GONE WHEN HE WENT
TO THE MAYOR’S CONVENTION IN
WASHINGTON, D.C. HE WAS MET AT THE FRONT DOOR BY
JAMES EHRLICHMAN AND TOLD THAT WE ARE
NOT — YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED IN BECAUSE
YOU DID NOT CARRY OUT THE ORDERS THAT WE
HAD FOR THE FBI TO COME DESTROY THE
SEATTLE CHAPTER. SO, OVER ABOUT FOUR-YEAR PERIOD
THERE WERE 5, 30 PANTHERS THAT WOULD
BE KILLED IN VARIOUS WAYS, IN VARIOUS
SITUATIONS WE WERE ALWAYS GOING TO
FUNERALS. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT CAME
ABOUT BECAUSE OF ALL OF THESE RAIDS
AND ATTACKS AND MURDERS BY THE FBI
THAT THEY CONVENE A SEARCH COMMISSION IN
SEATTLE. I MEAN IN WASHINGTON, D.C., TO INVESTIGATE NOT JUST BLACK
PANTHER PARTY BUT ALSO TO INVESTIGATE J. EDGAR
HOOVER AND ATTACKS THAT WERE TAKING
AGAINST THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY BECAUSE LOT
OF PEOPLE WERE KILLED. SO, AS A RESULT OF THAT, THEY
STOPPED — HAD TO STOP THAT OPEN WARFARE
AGAINST THE PANTHERS IN THE CHURCH
CONVENTION. HOW MUCH TIME DO WE HAVE? FIVE MINUTES, OKAY. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE DID,
HUEY EVENTUALLY GOT OUT OF PRISON,
YOU KNOW, THEN WE DO A CENTRALIZATION IN
SEATTLE. WE BRING — I MEAN IN OAKLAND
BRING A LOT OF COMRADES TO OAKLAND
BECAUSE WE WANTED TO MAKE OAKLAND THE BASE
OF OPERATION. AND WE RAN BOBBY FOR MAYOR,
ELAINE FOR CITY COUNCIL, WE GAVE OUT 10,000
BAGS OF GROCERY WITH A CHICKEN IN EVERY
BAG. HAVING TO ORGANIZE, GIVE OUT
10,000 BAGS OF CHICKEN, OF GROCERIES, I’M
SORRY, WITH A CHICKEN IN EVERY BAG, BAG
OF POTATOES, LOCAL BREAD, CANNED
FOOD, THAT WAS A TREMENDOUS FEAT THAT WE
WERE ABLE TO CARRY THIS OFF. WE GAVE IT OUT WHEN WE ANNOUNCED
THAT THEY WERE RUNNING FOR POLITICAL
OFFICE. WE RAN THIS CAMPAIGN, BOBBY
ALMOST WON, ALMOST WON, THEY HAD INTERJECTED
A BLACK GUY TO RUN AGAINST BOBBY SEALE
THAT TOOK AWAY SOME OF THE VOTES OTHERWISE
BOBBY WOULD HAVE BECAME MAYOR. AFTER THIS, EVENTUALLY WE DID
RUN LIONEL WILSON FOR MAYOR. THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY PUT
FIRST BLACK MAYOR INTO OFFICE IN 1976. WE WERE IN HIS OFFICE EVERY DAY. WE WERE — THE BLACK PANTHER
PARTY WAS RUNNING THE CITY OF OAKLAND WITH
LIONEL WILSON WAS ARRESTED — WAS
ELECTED. HUEY CAME BACK, HE WOULD HAVE TO
GO INTO EXILE IN CUBA. HE WOULD COME BACK. HE GOT ADDICTED TO COCAINE. AND THE PARTY JUST — ALL OF THE
ATTACKS AGAINST THE PARTY, FRED HAMPTON
BEING KILLED, LOT OF PEOPLE HAD TO GO
INTO EXILE. LOT OF PEOPLE HAD TO LEAVE THE
COUNTRY. LOT OF VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE, IT
REALLY DESTABILIZED THINGS AND
EVENTUALLY THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY WOULD CEASE
TO EXIST SOMEWHERE AROUND 1980. ALSO OPENED THE OAKLAND
COMMUNITY SCHOOL IN 1972 WHICH WAS CONSIDERED THE
BEST ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL IN AMERICA. VERY POWERFUL SCHOOL. HUEY HAD ORDERED THAT WE TEACH MEDITATION AND YOGA AT THE
OAKLAND COMMUNITY SCHOOL. SO IN 1987 WE’RE TEACHING
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL KIDS YOGA. AND MEDITATION, WAY UP THERE. WE’RE GOING TO WRAP THIS UP BUT,
YEAH, THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY PLAYED
VERY SIGNIFICANT ROLE. WE ALSO HAD INTERNATIONAL
SECTION IN ALGERIA, WE WERE GIVEN
DIPLOMATIC STATUS BY THE GOVERNMENT OF ALGERIA AND
NORTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT THERE WERE
ONLY TWO BLACK BABIES EVER BORN IN NORTH
KOREA THEY WERE BOTH BY BLACK PANTHER
PARTY WOMEN. ONE BY KATHLEEN AND BARBARA COX. THEY HAD BABIES EVER BORN. GIVEN KOREAN NAMES. WE HAD AN INTERNATIONAL SESSION,
WE HAD BLACK PANTHER PARTY SUPPORT
GROUPS AND BLACK PANTHER PARTY
ORGANIZATIONS IN AUSTRALIA AMONG THE ABORIGINAL
AND POLYNESIA IN NEW ZEALAND AND
INDIA AMONG THE DARK PEOPLE OF INDIA. WE HAD A BLACK PANTHER PARTY. IN ISRAEL AMONG THE MOROCCAN
JEWS THEY WANTED — THEY ROSE UP AGAINST
THE RACISM, THEY WERE FACING AND
THEY CHOSE THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY AS THEIR
NAME. SO THAT WAS HOW INFLUENTIAL
BLACK PANTHER PARTY WAS. WE’RE GOING TO END IT. I WANT TO THANK YOU, WE’LL HAVE
QUESTION AND ANSWER PERIOD, THANK YOU. [ APPLAUSE ] WHO HAS GOT THE FIRST QUESTION? WE’VE GOT THE FIRST QUESTION. COME ON NOW, DON’T BE AFRAID.>>WHAT IS THE MAIN MESSAGE THAT
YOU WANT OUR GENERATION TO
UNDERSTAND FROM YOUR EXPERIENCES?>>I THINK THE MAIN MESSAGES,
THIS IS LEGACY OF THE BLACK PANTHER
PARTY, THIS IS LEGACY THAT EXISTS ALL OVER
THE WORLD. THIS IS WHY PEOPLE LOVE THE
BLACK PANTHER PARTY ALL OVER THE
WORLD. I’VE BEEN ABLE TO TRAVEL, OTHER
LEADERS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO TRAVEL THEY
LOVE THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY. THE REASON WHY THEY LOVE THE
BLACK PANTHER PARTY BECAUSE OUR LEGACY
AND OUR MESSAGE THAT EVERYBODY HAS A
RIGHT TO EXIST. EVERYBODY HAS A RIGHT TO DEFEND THEMSELVES. EVERYBODY HAS A RIGHT TO FIGHT
FOR JUSTICE. YOU HAVE TO BE STRONG. YOU HAVE TO BE DETERMINED. AND YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE
STRONG. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO DETERMINE. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO FIGHT FOR
JUSTICE. WE SHOULDN’T HAVE THE PROBLEMS
THAT WE HAVE TODAY. BEFORE 1980 THERE WERE NO
HOMELESS PEOPLE IN AMERICA, MAYBE A
HANDFUL, MAYBE A FEW HERE AND THERE BUT
NOW WE GOT THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF
PEOPLE LIVING IN TENTS. HOW DID WE LET THAT HAPPEN? WE GOT.5 MILLION PEOPLE IN
PRISON MOST OF THEM — 2.5 PEOPLE IN PRISON
HOW DO WE ALLOW THAT MADNESS TO HAPPEN? BECAUSE WE’RE NOT CONNECTED ANY
MORE. WE DON’T HAVE THAT
INTERCONNECTION THAT WE USED TO HAVE THAT MY
GENERATION HAD. THAT WE HAD COMPASSION, WE HAD
DEEP COMPASSION FOR OTHER PEOPLE. WE COULDN’T LIKE JUST WALK BY
AND SEE SOMEBODY LIVING IN A TENT OR
LIVING ON THE SIDE OF THE STREET AND NOT
REALLY FEEL SOMETHING. NOT REALLY FEEL THAT WE HAD TO
BE COMPELLED TO DO SOMETHING. AND SO WE’VE LOST THAT
CONNECTION WITH ONE ANOTHER. WE GOT TO BRING THAT CONNECTION
BACK. I THINK IT’S COMING BACK UNDER
TRUMP. I THINK INSPIRED US TO REALLY
BEGIN TO REALLY LOOK AT THINGS THAT ARE
MORE CRITICAL WAY AND REALLY BE
WILLING TO COME TOGETHER AND REALLY FIGHT
FOR INJUSTICE.>>HEY, MY QUESTION IS ON THE
STATE OF PALESTINE. SO, EARLIER YOU SAID YOU VISITED
THE STATE OF PALESTINE. SO DO YOU THINK THAT A SIMILAR
MOVEMENT TO THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY CAN
FREE PALESTINE?>>THE WORLD NEEDS TO FREE
PALESTINE. WHAT’S HAPPENING IN PALESTINE
SHOULD — HOMELESSNESS SHOULD NOT BE
ALLOWED TO CONTINUE IN THIS COUNTRY. THE OPPRESSION OF PALESTINE
SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO BE CONTINUED
BECAUSE — IN GAZA YOU GOT TWO MILLION PEOPLE
LIVING IN A PRISON VIRTUALLY A PRISON
THEY CAN’T LEAVE, THEY CAN’T GET
MEDICAL CARE, THEY CAN’T GET SURPRISE
FOR THEIR FOOD. FOR THEIR KIDS. THEY CAN’T TAKE CARE OF THEIR
KIDS. THEY’RE KIDS ARE DYING, KIDS ARE SUFFERING FROM TRAUMA THEY CAN’T
GET MEDICAL CARE, ITS ATROCITY OF
WHAT WE ARE ALLOWING TO HAPPEN TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE. WE SHOULD NOT ALLOW THAT, YOU
KNOW. WE AS — THE EU EUROPE
DELEGATION WANTED TO GO TO GAZA THIS IS RECENTLY,
WANTED TO BE TO GAZA TO INVESTIGATE
WHAT WAS HAPPENING. ISRAEL TOLD THEM, NO. YOU CAN’T GO INTO GAZA AND
INVESTIGATE THIS GENOCIDE THAT WE ARE
COMMITTING ON THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE. I THINK MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE
GETTING IN TUNE WITH WHAT IS HAPPENING
IN PALESTINE. EVEN A LOT OF JEWISH PEOPLE ARE BEGINNING TO REALIZE THAT THAT
IS NOT THE ANSWER, TAKING AWARE THEIR
LAND, THE WAY THAT WE’RE DOING. AND ABUSING THE PALESTINIAN
PEOPLE. I THINK IN TERMS OF LIBERATION
FOR ALL OF US THERE’S GOING TO BE A
LIBERATION FOR PALESTINE.>>GOOD AFTERNOON, MR. DIXON,
HOW ARE YOU?>>FINE, HOW ARE YOU.>>I’M FROM THE DOWN THE STREET
FROM THE CENTRAL AREA. MY QUESTION FOR YOU IS, WHAT
LOCAL PROGRAMS DO YOU IF ANY SUPPORT
THAT INDIVIDUALS CAN GET UP UNDER
TODAY SIMILAR TO THE MOTIVATION
PROGRAM AND THOSE PROGRAMS THAT WERE ALIVE
WHEN I WAS COMING UP.>>I DON’T LIVE IN THE — I
DON’T LIVE IN SEATTLE ANY MORE. I LIVE IN ALBUQUERQUE, NEW
MEXICO. BUT I THINK THERE’S A LOT OF
THINGS GOING ON IN SEATTLE. THERE’S A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT ARE
DOING THINGS, I THINK AFRICA TOWN HAS
TO BE GIVEN SOME CREDIT FOR WHAT THEY
HAVE DONE IN TERMS OF DEVELOPING
THEIR OWN LAND AND DEVELOPING HOUSING FOR
POOR PEOPLE, FOR PEOPLE OF COLOR IN
SEATTLE SO THEY CAN HAVE SOME HOUSING. AND THERE’S A LOT OF OTHER ORGANIZATIONS. THERE’S A LOT OF — LATINO
BROTHER NAMED — I CAN’T THINK OF HIS
NAME — HE’S FROM NICARAGUA, WHAT HE DID
WAS HE OPENED UP A COMMUNITY LIBRARY UP
ON BEACON HILL WHERE PEOPLE CAN GO
IN AND SIGN UP AND PAY A FEE AND THEY
CAN COLLECT BOOKS OUT OF THERE. THEY CAN SIT THERE AND HAVE
DISCUSSIONS. THERE’S REALLY A BEAUTIFUL
THING. BECAUSE ONE OF THE THINGS THAT
HAPPENED DURING THE MOVEMENT WAS, THEY
GOT — WAGED WAR AGAINST THE BLACK
BOOKSTORES. THEY WERE ALL OVER AMERICA AND
THE FBI WAGED WAR AGAINST THEM. THERE ARE VERY FEW LEFT THAT WAS
ONE OF THE PLACES WE COULD GO AND SIT
DOWN AND READ AND HAVE DISCUSSION AND
REALLY KIND OF DEVELOP OUR MINDS ABOUT WHAT
WAS HAPPENING, THAT’S ONE OF THE
THINGS WE CAN SUPPORT THIS BOOK STORE, I
CAN’T REMEMBER THE NAME BUT RIGHT
THERE ON BEACON HILL RIGHT ACROSS FROM
THE STATION. ANY OTHER QUESTIONS?>>HOW ARE YOU DOING, SIR. I GOT A QUESTION THAT MIGHT BE
PERSONAL OPINION. WHY IS IT THAT THE GOVERNMENT
WANTED TO TAKE DOWN THE BLACK PANTHERS AND
ALL BLACK LEADERS BUT NEVER TRIED TO
TAKE OUT KU KLUX KLAN WHICH WAS A
THREAT TO US. I WANT TO KNOW –>>I WAS GOING TO SAY THE SAME
THING. RACISM. I’VE HEARD AMERICA IS BUILT
UPON. NO, RACISM AND COLONIZATION AND DESTRUCTION OF NATIVE AMERICANS
AND DESTRUCTION OF BLACK PEOPLE AND
CREATING THIS RACIST STATE. CREATING A PROBLEM WITH A
PROBLEM DID NOT EXIST BEFORE. ANY OTHER QUESTIONS?>>MY QUESTION IS, BEFORE
SEGREGATION, THERE ARE A LOT OF BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES, DO YOU THINK WE’LL
EVER GET TO THAT POINT NOW?>>WELL, YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE
THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN THE ’80S WAS
THE PUSH FOR INDIVIDUALISM. AND SO WHAT IT DID WAS, IT KIND
OF GAVE THE MESSAGE, FALSE MESSAGE THAT
RACISM DID NOT EXIST, THAT BLACK PEOPLE
HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO DO ANYTHING THEY
WANTED TO DO IN AMERICA. OWN BUSINESSES AND ALL KINDS OF
THINGS. AND YOU DID, THERE WAS A BLACK
MIDDLE CLASS THAT COULD YOU SAY WAS
DEVELOPING AND BLACK MILLIONAIRES CAME
ABOUT. YOU HAD OPRAH AND ALL THESE
OTHER PEOPLE, YOU HAD OBAMA WHO BECAME PRESIDENT. SO IT WAS ALL ABOUT THE
INDIVIDUAL, INDIVIDUALLY, YEAH, IF YOU WORK
HARD YOU GOT THE RIGHT CONNECTIONS, YEAH,
YOU CAN DO SOME THINGS. YOU CAN OPEN UP A BUSINESS, EVEN
THOUGH WE STILL FACE DISCRIMINATION AND
EVEN GOING THROUGH THAT. IT’S MUCH MORE AVAILABLE NOW. BUT IS THAT THE ANSWER. BECAUSE IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE INDIVIDUAL, IT’S ABOUT THE
COMMUNITY. EVEN THOUGH INDIVIDUALLY WE AS
PEOPLE OF COLOR CAN DO A LOT OF DIFFERENT
THINGS INCLUDING HAVE A PRESIDENT OUR COMMUNITIES AND FAMILIES ARE
MORE WORSE OFF NOW THAN THEY WERE 40 YEARS
AGO UNDER SEGREGATION. WE ARE REALLY WORSE OFF NOW. IT’S ABOUT REALLY DEVELOPING OUR COMMUNITY AGAIN. REBUILDING OUR COMMUNITY. REBUILDING OUR FAMILY STRUCTURE, REBUILDING OUR VALUES,
REVISITING SOME OF THE VALUES THAT I GREW UP
WITH, THAT MY FAMILY PASSED DOWN TO ME. SOME OF THOSE VALUES MAY BE NOT PERTINENT BUT A LOT OF THEM ARE PERTINENT AND SO IT’S ABOUT
FINDING OUR HUMANITY, DISCOVERING OUR
HUMANITY. HOW CAN WE REBUILD AND REDEVELOP
OUR HUMANITY SO THAT WE CAN SAVE,
NOT JUST BLACK AMERICA, SO WE CAN TRY TO
SAVE THIS WORLD. BECAUSE THE WORLD IS IN DIRE
STRAITS. WE’RE FACING SOME TREMENDOUS
DESTRUCTION IF WE DON’T COME TOGETHER AS
HUMAN BEINGS.>>MY QUESTION IS ABOUT, YOU
SAID THAT THERE WAS AN ASSASSINATION
ATTEMPT ON YOUR LIFE AND ALSO IN THE
DOCUMENTARY A FEW HOURS AGO THAT WE WATCHED IT
SAID THAT YOU WERE SET UP AND YOU
ROBBED A PLACE OF LIKE THEIR TYPEWRITER. THAT YOU WERE SET UP, YOU WALKED
OUT OF A ROOM WITH THE TYPEWRITER THEN
YOU WENT TO JAIL FOR THAT. HOW DID YOU, LIKE, PUSH YOURSELF
TO STAY WITHIN THE PARTY AFTER, YOU
KNOW, PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO TAKE YOUR OWN
LIFE, PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO KEEP YOU IN JAIL,
MAKE YOU A POLITICAL PRISONER, YOU SEE
MANY MORE POLITICAL PRISONERS THAT ARE
PEOPLE LIKE MINDED AS YOU, HOW DO YOU — HOW
DID YOU DECIDE, I WANT TO STAY, I WANT
TO CONTINUE WITH THE VISION.>>THE LEVEL OF COMPASSION THAT
WE HAD, WE WERE COMMITTED. WE SAID, WE’RE READY TO DIE,
WE’RE READY TO DIE FOR THE PEOPLE, WE’RE
READY TO DIE FOR OUR COMRADES, IF YOU’RE
NOT READY TO DIE FOR SOMETHING WHAT
ARE YOU LIVING FOR? 23 YOU’RE NOT READY TO DIE FOR A
CAUSE THAT IS UNJUST, WHAT IS THE
WHOLE PURPOSE OF REALLY HAVING A
VALUED LIFE TO LIVE IF YOU’RE NOT WILLING TO
DIE OR FIGHT FOR SOMETHING. THAT’S WHAT IT WAS FOR ME. I DON’T CARE, YEAH, THEY WERE
TRYING TO KILL ME. THEY WERE TRYING TO KILL MY
COMRADES. A LOT OF PEOPLE DID LEAVE
BECAUSE OF THAT. LOT OF PEOPLE DID NOT JOIN THE
PARTY BECAUSE OF THAT. BUT IT LEFT A CORE GROUP OF
PEOPLE THAT WERE WILLING TO SACRIFICE. BEING IN THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY
WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF MY LIFE. YOU ASK ANY PARTY MEMBER THEY
WILL TELL YOU THE SAME THING. IF THEY HAD A CHANCE TO DO IT
ALL OVER AGAIN WOULD YOU DO IT. THEY ALWAYS SAY, YEAH, WE WOULD
DO IT AGAIN. BECAUSE THAT’S WHO WE ARE. THAT’S WHY I’M HERE NOW TALKING
TO YOU NOW AND SHARING THAT STORY WITH
YOU NOW BECAUSE I REFUSE TO BACK AWAY
FROM THAT. I THINK THAT’S A MESSAGE FOR
YOUNG PEOPLE, TOO. IS WE HAVE TO BE WILLING TO
FIGHT FOR SOMETHING NO MATTER WHO — HOW
DIFFICULT IT IS WHAT THE CHALLENGES ARE,
WE HAVE TO BE ABLE TO STAND UP AND FIGHT
FOR SOMETHING. OKAY.>>I JUST WANT TO SAY THANK YOU
IT’S AN HONOR TO BE IN THE ROOM WITH YOU
BECAUSE I GREW UP DURING YOUR GENERATION
TIME AND WE DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT ALL
THIS. I WAS AWAKENED. WE ALL NEED TO BE AWAKENED TO
THE TRUTH AND NEGATIVE THINGS THAT WERE
TOLD ABOUT THE BLACK PANTHERS SO I DIDN’T
KNOW A LOT OF WHAT YOU JUST TOLD. BECAUSE WHEN I GREW UP THEY
DIDN’T TELL US THEY TOLD US LIES. LIKE OUR CURRENT PRESIDENT NOW
TELLS A LOT OF LIES. I REALLY REALIZE FROM YOU
TALKING HOW IMPORTANT IT IS FOR ME TO ALSO
EMPOWER AND EDUCATE OTHERS ABOUT THE
TRUTH OF THE PANTHERS. BECAUSE I’M A SOCIAL EQUITY
WARRIOR. SO I BELIEVE IT’S IMPORTANT FOR
ALL OF US TO STAND UNITED LIKE YOU SAID
ABOUT COMMUNITY AND IT’S IMPORTANT. WE HAVE SOCIAL MEDIA NOW FOR THE YOUNGSTERS, THEY DON’T KNOW HOW
TO COMMUNICATE THEY DON’T RESPECT
EACH OTHER THEY WALK IN THE DOOR THEY
WON’T HOLD IT FOR YOU. LITTLE SIMPLE STUFF THEY DON’T
KNOW WHAT ETIQUETTE IS. WE NEED TO TEACH IT FROM
ELEMENTARY TO HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE. IT HURTS MY HEART BUT MY HEART
SMILES FOR YOU TO GO OUT AND TELL AND
EDUCATE BECAUSE EITHER WE ARE PART OF
THE PROBLEM OR PART OF THE SOLUTION. WHEN YOU DO NOTHING AND YOU SEE INJUSTICE AND YOU SEE THINGS
HAPPENING THAT YOU DON’T AGREE WITH AND
YOU SAY NOTHING YOU DO NOTHING YOU ARE
PART OF THE PROBLEM. THANK YOU SO MUCH.>>THANK YOU FOR SAYING THAT. [ Applause ]>>YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT A LACK
OF COMPASSION AND LACK OF
COMMUNICATION, LACK OF COMING TOGETHER AND
DISCUSSING THINGS. PROBABLY ALSO I’M THINKING ABOUT
BEING A GOOD NEIGHBOR, KNOWING YOUR
NEIGHBORS AND COMMUNICATING WITH PEOPLE AS
BEING A GOOD THING. WHAT DO YOU SEE IS THE CAUSE FOR
THIS LACK OF COMPASSION THAT’S
BECOMING APPARENT IN OUR PRESENT SOCIETY.>>IT’S A LOT OF THINGS. IT’S NEVER ONE THING THAT YOU
CAN POINT TO, IT’S ALWAYS A SERIES OF
THINGS. AND I THINK — FIRST OF ALL
HISTORY LIKE I SAID AT THE BEGINNING, HISTORY
IS ALWAYS MOVING BUT IT SEEMS TO
HAVE SPED UP IN THE 1980s, BECAUSE IN THE 1980s WE DEVELOPED — WE WERE
MOVING TO A DIFFERENT CULTURE. WE WERE MOVING TO WHAT I CALL —
WHAT WAS I CALLING IT. THIS CAPITALISM THAT WE HAVE, WE
WERE MOVING INTO A PHASE OF
CAPITALISM WHERE WE WERE NOTHING REALLY WAS
IMPORTANT. THAT CULTURE WASN’T IMPORTANT,
THAT WHAT HAPPENED IN THE PAST IS OLD, IT DOESN’T — IT’S NOT PART OF US
NOW AND WE START BEGINNING PUSHING THIS INDIVIDUALISM. IT STARTED IN THE ’70s BUT
DIDN’T BEGIN TO REEL ME MOVE AT A VERY
FAST PACE IN THE ’80S AND A LOT OF
THINGS BEGIN TO CHANGE. YOU KNOW, CORPORATIONS AND THE
WEALTHY PEOPLE WERE CHARGED AT A VERY
HIGH LEVEL AND STARTING WITH THE WAR ON
POVERTY IN 1969 WHEN WEALTHY PEOPLE, THEY
WERE PAYING 90% TAX RATE. EVEN UP UNTIL THE ’70s THEY WERE PAYING A 90% TAX RATE. A LOT OF THAT MONEY WAS USED TO
PAY FOR COLLEGE FOR A LOT OF STUDENTS,
TUITION WAS VERY AFFORDABLE. AND AFTER THAT WHAT WE SAW, THEY
HAD A PLAN, THEY WANTED TO TURN THE
COLLEGE INSTITUTION INTO CORPORATIONS. THEY WANTED THEM TO BE
MONEY-MAKING OPERATIONS. THEY DIDN’T WANT THEM TO BE A
PLACE WHERE YOUNG PEOPLE COULD COME
AND LEARN AND LEARN ABOUT THE INJUSTICES
AND THEY DIDN’T WANT TO BE PLACE OF
DESCENT ANY MORE. THAT’S ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS
THEY DID WAS START TURNING THE
UNIVERSITIES IN THE CORPORATE ENTITIES THAT’S
HOW WE GOT SO MANY PEOPLE THAT ARE PAYING
SO MUCH MONEY FOR THEIR COLLEGE
EDUCATION, THEY’RE IN DEBT. ANOTHER THING IS RONALD REAGAN
GOT RID OF THE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM, HE
BROKE DOWN THE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM
THAT WE HAD IN PLACE AND ENDED UP
PUTTING UP THOUSANDS OF MENTALLY ILL PEOPLE
OUT ON THE STREETS. HE CUT THE BUDGET IN H.U.D.
WHICH MEANT HOUSING WAS SUBSIDIZED HOUSING
THERE WAS NOT AS MUCH SUBSIDIZED HOUSING
AS BEFORE. AND PUSHING THIS INDIVIDUALISM,
THIS TRICKLE DOWN THEORY AND ALL
ABOUT MONEY. WHEN I WAS GROWING UP GREED WAS
A BAD WORD. IN THE ’80S GREED WAS A GOOD
WORD. EVERYBODY WAS GREEDY, EVERYBODY
WANTED TO BE A MILLIONAIRE. AND ALL THE SONGS, IF YOU YOU
HEARD THAT IN THE SONGS, IT WAS ABOUT
MONEY, I’M GOING TO GET MY MONEY, MONEY,
MONEY, MONEY. SO ALL OF THOSE THINGS, ALL OF
THOSE THINGS LED TO THE BREAK DOWN OF
THE FAMILY, THE MOST DEVASTATING
THING WAS THE CRACK COCAINE GANG EPIDEMIC
THAT HAPPENED IN THE ’80S. BECAUSE THERE WERE NO GANGS IN
SEATTLE IN THE ’80S. YOU HAD NEVER HEARD ABOUT BLACK
KID SHOOTING ANOTHER BLACK KID IN
SEATTLE IN 1979. GANGS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN
TERRITORIAL, THEY WERE ALL ABOUT THEIR TERRITORY,
THE HOOD, THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD. AND THEN IN THE MIDST OF THIS
GRAB TO BE RICH IT BECAME, THE FBI, THE CIA
STARTED IMPORTING COCAINE INTO AMERICA
TO FUND THE CONTRAS, THEIR WAR, AGAINST
THE NICARAGUAN GOVERNMENT. AND THAT’S WHERE IT ALL REALLY
BEGAN TO REALLY HAVE A DEVASTATING
AFFECT. YOU HAD MILLIONS OF POUNDS OF
COCAINE COMING INTO AMERICA. IT CAME IN TO SOUTH CENTRAL L.A. AND THEY DEVELOPED THIS —
COCAINE WAS POPULAR DRUG IN THE ’70s, I
SNORTED, I SNORTED WITH POLITICIANS AND
EVERYBODY IN HOOD WAS SNORTING COCAINE, IT
WAS A CASUAL DRUG. HUEY WAS SNORTING COCAINE, BUT
THEN THEY CAME UP WITH THE THING CALLED
THE ROCK. IF YOU HAD A LOT OF MONEY, YOU
COULD GET A ROCK OF COCAINE AND PUT IT IN
THIS PIPE AND SMOKE IT, THAT’S WHAT
HAPPENED TO RICHARD PRYOR HE CAUGHT
HIMSELF ON FIRE. AND THEN THEY GOT IT DOWN TO A
ROCK WHERE YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO HAVE
MONEY LIKE RICHARD PRYOR HAD JUST HAVE
10-20 DOLLARS. SMOKE THAT SHIT IT WAS SO DAMN ADDICTIVE, TEN MINUTES LATER YOU
COMING BACK FOR MORE. BLACK MOTHERS WERE PATERNALISTIC
MOTHERS IN AMERICA BECAUSE WE TOOK CARE
OF THE WHITE MEN’S BABIES DURING
SLAVERY. AND EVEN AFTER SLAVERY WE TOOK
CARE OF THEIR KIDS. BECAME SEAMSTRESSES AND LAUNDRY
AND WE TOOK CARE OF THEIR FAMILIES, WE
WERE VERY PATERNALISTIC. BLACK WOMEN WERE EXTREMELY
PATERNALISTIC MORE THAN ANYBODY ELSE BECAUSE
OF SLAVERY. THEY FELT THAT THEY HAD TO
PROTECT THEIR KIDS. WHEN THIS CRACK COCAINE CAME
ABOUT, SEE FIRST, INTEGRATION HIT. WHEN INTEGRATION, I DON’T KNOW
WHY WE WERE FIGHTING FOR INTEGRATION. WE GAVE UP EVERYTHING. WE GAVE UP OUR VALUES, WE GAVE
UP OUR COMMUNITY. WE JUST GAVE EVERYTHING UP. NO GROUP OF PEOPLE DOES THAT. DON’T JUST GIVE UP EVERYTHING
BUT MADE US VULNERABLE TO THIS CRACK
COCAINE EPIDEMIC WHEN THAT CRACK COCAINE EPIDEMIC OUR FAMILIES WERE
ALREADY BREAKING APART, PEOPLE WERE
ALREADY MOVING OUT. I REMEMBER IN THE ‘ 50S I’M JUST
DOING MY THING. 70s. I LEFT MY WIFE AND TWO KIDS I’M
JUST DOING MY THING, THAT WAS
JUSTIFICATION. SO THAT BEGAN THE WHOLE
INDIVIDUAL THING, SO WHEN CRACK COCAINE
CAME AND GANGS, THIS BECAME A
MONEY-MAKING THING FOR THE GANGS. NO LONGER BECAME ABOUT
TERRITORY, IT BECAME ABOUT MONEY AND THESE
GANGS CAN MAKE LOTS OF MONEY, MILLIONS
EVER DOLLARS. AND GUNS NOT ONLY — GUNS START
COMING IN WITH THE COCAINE. WITH ALL THESE THOUSANDS AND
MILLIONS OF POUNDS OF COCAINE. AND SO THE GANGS PROLIFERATED
AND THEY SPREAD. THEY CAME TO PORTLAND BECAUSE
THEY HAD TO GET OUT OF L.A. L.A. WAS SO CRAZY THEY WANTED
MORE MARKETS FOR THEIR CRACK SO THEY
CAME UP TO PARTY LAND THEY CAME UP TO
SEATTLE AND SEATTLE GANGS THEY DIDN’T
HAVE NO GANGS IN SEATTLE BUT BIG AL FROM
CHICAGO HAD BEEN IN TOWN AND HE FORMED A
BLACK GANG OF DISCIPLES AMONG SEATTLE
YOUNG PEOPLE AND THEY HAD THEIR GANG. THEY FOUGHT WITH THE CRIPS AND
BLOODS YOU HAD GANGS IN SEATTLE BUT
THEY SPREAD TO SOUTH DAKOTA. THEY HAD GANGS IN SOUTH DAKOTA. EVERYWHERE, ALL OVER YOU HAD
THESE DRUG GANGS. YOU HAD THIS EPIDEMIC OF ALL
THESE ADDICTED PEOPLE. THESE ADDICTED MOTHERS, THESE
ADDICTED FATHERS, AUNTS, UNCLES,
GRANDPARENTS THAT ADDITION WAS SO BAD. BLACK KIDS NEVER WERE IN FOSTER
CARE BEFORE 1980s. YOU DIDN’T SEE NO BLACK KIDS IN
FOSTER CARE. BY 1990 BLACK KIDS WERE FILLING
UP THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM BECAUSE THE
BLACK FAMILY WAS BREAKING DOWN. YOU HAD GRANDPARENTS WHO HAD TO
TAKE CARE OF THEIR KIDS, THEIR KIDS’
KIDS BECAUSE THEY WERE NO LONGER ABLE
TO DO IT. I SAW IT WHEN IT HIT OAKLAND. I SAW THAT THAT EPIDEMIC DID IN
OAKLAND, WE USED TO CALL OAKLAND BLACK
CHOCOLATE CITY. WE WERE PROUD OF OAKLAND. LAKE MERRITT IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL
PLACE, IT WAS BLACK PEOPLE. THIS EPIDEMIC CAME IN AND JUST
— MAN, IT WAS SO DESTRUCTIVE. IT JUST DID THE SAME THING ALL
ACROSS THE COUNTRY. BUT IT BROKE DOWN THE FAMILY. IT BROKE DOWN THE COMMUNITY. IT BROKE DOWN. THAT’S MOST DEVASTATING THING
THAT HAPPENED TO BLACK PEOPLE SINCE
SLAVERY WAS THAT EPIDEMIC. THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, CIA THEY
NEED TO BE SUED, THEY NEED TO BE HELD
ACCOUNTABLE. RONALD REAGAN KNEW THAT SHIT WAS
GOING ON HE GOT HIS WIFE, JUST SAY NO. THEY’RE BRINGING IN MILLIONS OF
POUNDS OF COCAINE. GEORGE BUSH WAS PART OF IT, HIS
FAMILY WAS CASHING IN ON IT AND SO THAT
REALLY KIND OF LED TO DESTRUCTION, WHAT
BROUGHT US HERE NOW IS THAT GANG, CRACK
COCAINE EPIDEMIC. THAT WAS THE MOST POTENT THING
OF THAT MOVEMENT. ALSO ONE OF THE THINGS THAT
RONALD REAGAN DID IN 1986, HE PASSED A
LAW AND SAID THAT DRUG COMPANIES, PHARMACEUTICALS COULD ADVERTISE
ON TV BECAUSE BEFORE 1986, YOU DIDN’T
SEE NO DRUG ADVERTISEMENT
PHARMACEUTICALS ON TV. YOU DIDN’T SEE THAT. NOW — THEY’RE THE BIGGEST DRUG
DEALERS OF ALL. THE BIGGEST DRUG DEALERS. WE GOT TO WATCH THAT SHIT EVERY
TIME WE WATCH THE NEWS WE GOT TO WATCH
THAT SHIT. XARELLTO MAY CAUSE YOUR KIDNEYS
TO FAIL. WE REALLY GOT TO QUESTION
OURSELVES, OUR THINKING NOW. WE ARE BRAINWASHED, MAN. WE ARE DILUSIONAL THAT WE THINK
— THEY SAY THIS IS GREATEST PLACE IN
THE WORLD. AMERICA IS THE GREATEST PLACE IN
THE WORLD. THAT’S A BUNCH OF BULLSHIT. AMERICA IS NOT THE GREATEST
PLACE. WHAT OTHER COUNTRY DOES THAT TO
ITS PEOPLE NO. OTHER COUNTRY. WHAT OTHER COUNTRY IS RICHEST
COUNTRY IN THE WORLD WE GOT 50,000 HOMELESS
PEOPLE IN NEW YORK, GOT 75,000 PEOPLE
IN L.A., 50,000 HOMELESS KIDS IN — ALL
OVER THIS COUNTRY. THIS IS NOT THE GREATEST PLACE
IN AMERICA. WE BELIEVE THAT CRAP. WE ACTUALLY THINK THAT’S TRUE
AND WE WANT TO BE ALL PATRIOTIC AND GET
ALL UPSET WHEN SOMEBODY ATTACKS
AMERICA, SOMEBODY SAYING — SAYS
SOMETHING BAD ABOUT AMERICA. DO YOUR HISTORY. READ AND STUDY AND READ THE
TRUTH. MY SECOND BOOK, I’M WORKING ON A
SECOND BOOK, THREE FOURTHS OF THE WAY
DONE BUT I TALK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED IN
THE ’80S, SEQUEL TO MY FIRST BOOK. I TALK ABOUT THE BREAK DOWN OF
THE FAMILY BECAUSE MY WIFE AT THE
TIME BECAME ADDICTED. I BECAME — I HAD TO BECOME A
SINGLE PARENT TO MY KIDS ENDED UP
TAKING WHOLE BUNCH OF OTHER KIDS AS WELL. I HAD HOUSE FULL OF KIDS STARTED
MY OWN NON-PROFIT AND OPENED UP A
TRANSITION HOUSING PROGRAM, BUT THIS IS
WHAT WE — THOSE WHO WERE — WE HAD TO STEP
FORWARD AND HELP FIGHT AGAINST THIS
CAMPAIGN. THANK YOU AGAIN. THANK YOU. [ APPLAUSE ]>>HOPE YOU CAN SEE COMING FULL
CIRCLE WHEN I CAME TO SEATTLE. MR. DIXON HAD NEVER MET ME BUT
HE WELCOMED ME WITH OPEN ARMS. YOU CAN SEE THE CONTEXT,
WELCOMING ME WITH OPEN ARMS TO SEATTLE. AGAIN I’D LIKE TO THANK YOU. FOR JUST SHARING YOUR STORY,
SHARING YOUR LESSONS, SHARING YOUR
STRUGGLE. AND THEN JUST CONNECTION TO THE
— TO COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM. BASE OF OPERATION WAS TITLE 4
ARTICLE ABOUT GROVE STREET IN OAKLAND IT
WAS A TWO-YEAR COMMUNITY COLLEGE,
BLACK FOLKS — FOLKS OF COLOR WERE NOT
GOING INTO UC BERKELEY, SAN FRANCISCO
STATE, THEY CAME A LITTLE LATER. FIRST BLACK STUDIES COURSE WAS
AT GROVE STREET COMMUNITY COLLEGE. AS YOU MOVE ON TO YOUR CLASSES,
THINK ABOUT THE POWER THAT YOU HAVE IN
YOUR CLASSES TO THINK ABOUT YOUR
PURPOSE OF EDUCATION AND HOW YOU WANT TO
USE IT, GET THE CREDITS, HOW YOU WANT TO
USE IT TO HELP OTHERS IN THE COMMUNITY. AND HE HAS BOOKS FOR SALE. THANK YOU FOR COMING OUT. [ APPLAUSE ]

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