Seeking Justice, Not Vengeance

These are the REAL Black Panthers. Accept no substitutes.

There is no situation so tragic that someone can’t find a way to either exploit it or make a buck off of it and the shooting of Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch volunteer/vigilante George Zimmerman is no exception.   Nobody asked the so-called New Black Panther Party to jump into the middle of the protests and calls for Zimmerman’s arrest.   They just invited themselves into the situation to make an already volatile situation worse.

The so-called New Black Panthers announced they had placed a bounty of $10,000 for the arrest of Zimmerman and called for a mobilization of 10,000 Black men to capture him.  It’s unlikely anyone will collect the bounty, and I have serious doubts it even exists.  What this reckless and irresponsible action will do is make Trayvon’s killer a martyr for racists and allow the right-wing media machine to run to their microphones and  laptops to scare the hell out of their readers and listeners that a few guys dressed up in paramilitary gear are putting a price on the heads of their enemies.

I hate to burst the bubble of anyone who think that it’s great to put the fear of God into White folks, but these are not the Black militants you’re looking for.

There is no such thing as the “new Black Panther Party.” These are a  bunch of wannabee militants playing dress up.. They couldn’t raise TEN BUCKS to put a bounty on George Zimmerman’s head, never mind $10,000.

Two things are happening here. The Right is trying to dirty up Trayvon Martin’s reputation and the parasites and publicity whores are trying to make a buck off of him. It’s been said before and it bears repeating: DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE.

The feminist poet, Audre Lorde cautioned, “The master’s tools will never be used to dismantle the master’s house.” Apply this warning to the Martin tragedy and the ramping up of tensions by these psuedo-Panthers and everyone who seeks a just end to this story should know once we start going down the road of using the same evil tactics of our enemies, we become just as evil as they are.

Zimmerman was a vigilante and a gun-toting thug who felt his gun gave him the right to take the law in his hands. That arrogance cost a young man his life. How can it be justified to applaud a bunch of Black vigilantes trying to take the law in their hands?

I have no use for the so-called “new Black Panthers” and the real Black Panthers don’t either.

There Is No New Black Panther Party: An Open Letter From the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation

In response from numerous requests from individual’s seeking information on the “New Black Panthers,” the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation issues this public statement to correct the distorted record being made in the media by a small band of African Americans calling themselves the New Black Panthers. As guardian of the true history of the Black Panther Party, the Foundation, which includes former leading members of the Party, denounces this group’s exploitation of the Party’s name and history. Failing to find its own legitimacy in the black community, this band would graft the Party’s name upon itself, which we condemn.

Firstly, the people in the New Black Panthers were never members of the Black Panther Party and have no legitimate claim on the Party’s name. On the contrary, they would steal the names and pretend to walk in the footsteps of the Party’s true heroes, such as Black Panther founder Huey P. Newton, George Jackson and Jonathan Jackson, Bunchy Carter, John Huggins, Fred Hampton, Mark Clark, and so many others who gave their very lives to the black liberation struggle under the Party’s banner.

Secondly, they denigrate the Party’s name by promoting concepts absolutely counter to the revolutionary principles on which the Party was founded. Their alleged media assault on the Ku Klux Klan serves to incite hatred rather than resolve it. The Party’s fundamental principle, as best articulated by the great revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara, was: “A true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love.” The Black Panthers were never a group of angry young militants full of fury toward the “white establishment.” The Party operated on love for black people, not hatred of white people.

I want Zimmerman to be arrested, indicted, face trial and be convicted so he can spend the next 40 years behind bars. I do not want him to become some sort of martyr for racists and reactionaries. I want JUSTICE for Trayvon Martin, not VENGEANCE.

It’s a pathetic joke that these frauds are biting off the name of the genuine Panthers and presenting themselves off as the inheritors of their legacy when the truth is quite different.  If the press would bother to do their jobs and engage in a bit of fact-checking they might stop taking these importers seriously as the Black iron fist of righteous wrath.

Could the absence of justice in the Trayvon Martin case lead to riots like the Rodney King verdict?  It’s not impossible, but 2012 is not 1992 and Martin is a much more sympathetic figure than King ever was.  The passions are running high but there is a long way to go before windows start breaking and cities start burning.  It’s okay to be angry , but  caution must be taken not to allow themselves ourselves to be led around by the nose by the pseudo-Panthers.

Does the system deserve a chance to succeed where the police in Sanford failed?  Look at it this way.  If Trayvon’s parents are willing to wait and see, everybody else needs to do likewise.

Taking up the gun and following Zimmerman’s path of self-righteousness and vigilantism is not the smart move here and it isn’t going to get anyone closer to the elusive justice we all should want.

Dressing up like you're hard don't mean you are.