Monday, February 8, 2016

Dear anti-racists, please stop appropriating the Black Panthers

Liberal anti-racists, like many people, are more interested in symbols than substance, so they're fond of pictures of the Black Panthers but fail to see the Panthers wouldn't be so fond of them. A few quotes from Interview with Huey P. Newton (1968), co-founder of the Panthers (italics mine):
There are two kinds of nationalism, revolutionary nationalism and reactionary nationalism. Revolutionary nationalism is first dependent upon a people's revolution with the end goal being the people in power. Therefore to be a revolutionary nationalist you would by necessity have to be a socialist. It you are a reactionary nationalist you are not a socialist and your end goal is the oppression of the people.

Cultural nationalism, or pork chop nationalism, as I sometimes call it, is basically a problem of having the wrong political perspective. It seems to be a reaction instead of responding to political oppression. The cultural nationalists are concerned with returning to the old African culture and thereby regaining their identity and freedom. In other words, they feel that the African culture will automatically bring political freedom. Many times cultural nationalists fall into line as reactionary nationalists.

Papa Doc in Haiti is an excellent example of reactionary nationalism. He oppresses the people but he does promote the African culture. He's against anything other than black, which on the surface seems very good, but for him it is only to mislead the people. He merely kicked out the racists and replaced them with himself as the oppressor. Many of the nationalists in this country seem to desire the same ends.

...The Black Panther Party is a revolutionary Nationalist group and we see a major contradiction between capitalism in this country and our interests. We realize that this country became very rich upon slavery and that slavery is capitalism in the extreme. We have two evils to fight, capitalism and racism. We must destroy both racism and capitalism.

...The Black bourgeoisie seem to be acting in the role of the house Negro. They are pro-administration. They would like a few concessions made, but as far as the overall setup, they have a little more material goods, a little more advantage, a few more privileges than the black have-nots; the lower class. And so they identify with the power structure and they see their interests as the power structure's interest. In fact, it's against their interest.

...The [black] cultural nationalist doesn't understand the [white] revolutionaries because he can't see why anyone white would turn on the system So they think that maybe this is some more hypocrisy being planted by white people. I personally think that there are many young white revolutionaries who are sincere in attempting to realign themselves with mankind, and to make a reality out the high moral standards that their fathers and forefathers only expressed.
Yes, this was inspired by Beyoncé's performance at the Super Bowl:

ETA: Beyoncé Slays Black People | Orchestrated Pulse

ETA 2: Huey Newton writing in 1970: The Women's Liberation and Gay Liberation Movements

ETA 3: Beyonce and the Politics of Cultural Dominance