Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part One: The Bastards Who Killed the Black Panthers

Part One: The Bastards Who Killed the Black Panthers

Tue, 28 Jan 2020 11:00

Part One: The Bastards Who Killed the Black Panthers

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Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break her handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Wanna say I don't know less? Listen to stuff you should know more. Join host Josh and Chuck on the podcast packed with fascinating discussions about science, history, pop culture and more episodes. Dive into topics like was the lost, city of Atlantis Real? And how does pizza work? Say goodbye to I don't know. Because after listening to stuff you should know you will listen to stuff you should know on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her impactful behavioural discoveries on chimpanzees. It wasn't until one of the chimpanzees began to lose his fear of me, but I began to really make discoveries that actually shook the scientific world. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. What's accepted that this is the best introduction schema I'm going to put together and I should just roll with it. My Robert Evans, me. Ooh boy, that was rough. That didn't go well. This is behind the ******** a podcast about terrible people, and today my guest is. Rap artist, musician, propaganda, say, oh, WW. How you doing, man? Man, I'm honored to be here. You know, I'm toning down my fandom. This is dope. You know what? I've I've been listening ever since you started following me on Twitter. I listened to your music a number of times, right? And I like it a lot, particularly Board of Education. I think that's probably my favorite one years that I've heard so far, man. And I thought you'd be a good, a good guest for this episode, especially since you have some like family history. Yeah. With the subject we're talking about before we get into do you want to introduce yourself differently than I introduced you? I think it was great. Yeah. No, I yeah. Hip hop artists do a pod. Couple pods now. Once called Hood politics, which maybe we'll talk about that later. But and one with my wife called the red couch. And I yeah, I do rap and poetry for a living. I'm. LA Native two daughters. And a cat now. Frustratingly. Ohh anyway, Ohh I love cats. Yeah yeah well you can have ours. Yeah, yeah. Do you want to should should I call you for this episode? Should you want to go by propaganda, or should I call you Jason? Is mostly has been shortened to prop. That's but been the consensus. Yeah, I'm gonna go with that, yeah. All right, so today we're going to talk about the Black Panthers, and specifically the ******** who killed the Black Panthers. Yeah. And that's going to involve a lot of talk about what the Black Panthers did, what they believed, which I is one of a subject I find really fascinating. And this was a frustrating episode to write, in part because there's so much that I had to leave out. Just because, you know, this is an 11,000 word script, you can only, you can only get in so much. This is going to be one. We have a number of episodes like this where, like, people will hit me up after, but why didn't you bring up this? Why didn't you bring up that? And it's like, yeah, that. That's one of the when you cover something as complex as the Panthers, you're you're going to leave stuff out just because we have about 2 hours, 2 1/2, you know? But yeah, you have some family history. Yes. And I thought it might be good to go into that first. Yeah. Yeah. So my father was a member of the, you know, S LA. I guess they call it S LA now, but it was, we called it South Central. Chapter of the Black Panther Party in the 60s or at the end of the 60s and six, 1968. My father was a Vietnam War vet essentially. As a matter of fact, when we said we were going to do this, I like, I called him to make sure I had my storyline right and back straight. I don't want to get up here and embarrass myself, you know? But yeah. So he essentially landed from Vietnam back in Los Angeles and almost made a beeline to like 41st and central and joined the. Join the Black Panther Party. And yeah, so he was a part of the sort of after school tutoring part program. He also was like basically they all took turns as far as like the which I'm, we're going to get to like the policing the streets. So he was just, you know, standing behind as like, you know, interactions with the police were there because, you know, police brutality was such a big deal. So he was a part of that. He was at the UCLA event that got shot up. He was a yes in the city. He said it was. The span of time he was at was by the time that like FBI got involved, so his office got bombed, you know? He was shootings. Yeah. So and at that point, my grandmother was like, baby, you can't do this no more. So she she kind of pulled the card on him, but you know, but yeah, he's he stayed involved in the. Yeah. So I've been hearing bits and pieces of those stories as he, like, unpacks his trauma, you know, I'm saying, and I just grew up with that, with those stories in my life, you know, and paintings of. African Princesses and kings on our way. I had no Disney in my house. We had had a picture of Mark Martin and Malcolm and Marcus Garvey like lining our walls and Geronimo Pratt and just I had that in my house, yeah. You know, that's, that's that's fascinating perspective to have had in a fascinating like way to learn about this because like for me, like obviously like a white kid who grew up in a pretty mixed suburb, but a suburb that didn't have a very, a huge black population. I learned almost nothing about the Black Panthers. And I guess a lot of our listeners are kind of in that the boat where like there's about three things you know about them, obviously they were black civil rights organization. They did that thing where they put their fists in the air and some of them carried guns and there's pictures of them. Three years and I think when I got out of high school, that's about all I knew about the Black Panthers, right? Like, there wasn't really anything else I was aware of. I think I caught the name Huey P Newton for the first time in the lyrics of some hip hop songs like and, and didn't really know who he was. So for the longest time, I had no real understanding about the organization, and I think they kind of blended into the general wallpaper of the civil rights movement for me until I started reading about them specifically. And I've come to the conclusion, and I say this a lot, that it's like a an unforgivable failing of our education system, that this isn't a bigger part of, like, standard American history textbooks. Absolutely. And like Alex, I know you'll get into, but the importance I know my father did put on. And the party put on of like. Knowing the Constitution, knowing the Bill of Rights, like, I felt like I was so well versed in American civics because my father was a Panther, you know? I'm saying. And which was funny because I was like, I just didn't understand that I thought every house was like this because it was just this was normal for me. So when you bring up I'm like, well, you know, the 14th Amendment, say, yadda, yadda, yadda, you know, 7th graders and kids are like, what? You know, it's just I just knew this because that's how, that's what you learn as a Panther. Like, you need to know your rights. Yet, you know. Yeah, yeah. It's critical. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So we we, yeah. I think we've we've introduced this well enough. I'm going to start get into the episode at not the beginning, but I guess a beginning. On February 17th, 1942, Huey P Newton was born in Monroe, LA, the youngest child of Walter and Armelia Newton's seven children. His dad, Walter was a, I would say, pretty ****** guy. He worked two jobs his entire life. He served as the minister. With the Bethel Baptist Church in Monroe on Sundays. And Walter was very infamous in his community for not taking any **** from white folks. And there's a story about him getting into an argument with one of his employers, a young white guy who yells at him that he whips colored men for arguing with him. And Walter shot back that nobody, basically nobody whips me unless they're a better man than me, unless they can go beat me up. Yeah, yeah. And this guy, this guy backs down, proving that he was not. Umm. Yeah, yeah. Basically, if you wanna whip me like you gotta, you gotta be able to kick my *** like, you wanna try that? Yeah. You better win. Yeah. Now, in the 1940s in Louisiana, saying that sort of thing could get you murdered as a black guy. But Walter had a strange and somewhat unique ability to stand up to white folks in his community without being killed, and Huey later theorized that this is because his dad was mixed race. His father's father, he was Grandpa, was a white man who had raped his mother, and Walter's neighbors knew his white family and didn't want to shed part white blood. This was Huey's theory as to why his dad was able to do this. There is, there is something to be said that like unless you're in like communities of color, just how colorism does, like in a lot of ways police how we treat each other and how we see each other. So yeah, someone that's a little more fair skinned, we would say like they would say passing like he passes as something else. So like. Few things you can get away with, you know, and at least in the psyche of. You know, a person of color like myself who's not light skinned, you know, saying yeah. In a 1945 when Huey was a toddler, the Newton family moved to Oakland, CA. Now Walter always managed to bring in a very stable income. The family was still very poor, but like they weren't ever sort of like starving or anything like that. Their most common meal was Kush, which is I guess a fried cornbread dish which they often ate for every meal of the day. Huey grew up watching his father work 80 hour weeks and still constantly be like stressed out over bills and this was like a really had a big impact on him. Growing up this kind of constant economic anxiety. He didn't have an easy adolescence. School was difficult for him, and he seems to have had, I think we probably would would have today have diagnosed him with a learning disability because he was incredibly intelligent. He just, I think teachers had a difficulty reaching him is how I would it seems like what was going on. By the time he was in 11th grade, he was still illiterate and his teachers assumed that he was just not intelligent. And this was obviously not the case because Huey's hobby outside of school was memorizing poetry with his brother. But it was not until his high school counselor told him that he was too dumb for college. Huey P Newton decided he had to prove them all wrong, so for two straight years he studied like a madman, teaching himself to read and write and eventually to graduate high school. In 1959 he enrolled at Merritt College, where he joined the Afro American Association and became well known for his debate skills. All thought that he might not be college material fell out the window as he began a meteoric path of scholastic excellence and he would eventually receive a PhD. So yeah, this seems to me to be a clear case of a kid that maybe just had, like, his teachers didn't know how to reach him, but like he was. He was brilliant. So, you know, it's funny because it's like, I I thought about the my credibility. I'm putting on danger here by you saying stuff that I didn't know, Joe said. And being like, oh, wow, I didn't, I didn't know that, you know? And it's kind of already started. I was like, I didn't. Didn't know you couldn't read till you till 11th grade cause I've only known him as like you said this sports or you know that was able to articulate the feelings and the sentiment of black America in that time. That's crazy. I didn't know. Well, and I think one of the one of the reasons it's important is that from a very early age he gets this lesson that, like, the system clearly failed him because it didn't know how to treat him properly and he had to build a system for himself to elevate himself. And obviously, like, I didn't know any of this until I read a couple of weeks ago, I read a book, a really good book called Black Against Empire by Joshua Bloom and Waldo Martin, that's a really fascinating history of the Black Panther Party and I it's it's very readable. I would say compulsively readable. It's a really good history. And it's like one of the major sources of this episode. It's very comprehensive and detailed and I didn't know almost any of this stuff until I read it. So yeah, I hugely recommend that. And I'm going to, actually, I'm going to, I'm going to read a quote from it now discussing what set Huey P Newton apart from his academic colleagues quote. He had a side that most of the budding intellectuals around him lacked. He knew the street. He could understand and relate to the plight of the swelling ranks of unemployed, the brothers on the block, in his words, who lived outside the law. Newton St. Knowledge helped put him through college as he covered his bills through theft and fraud. But when Newton was caught, he used his book knowledge to study the law and defend himself in court, impressing the jury and defeating several misdemeanor charges. So, so good. I mean, I'm. I'm on board with this. Yeah, yeah. It's that dual consciousness that W boys talk about. Like you just you you're St knowledge. And your book knowledge is like, if you got them both rock rocking, you're unfixable. No, it's this thing that you brought up earlier where like, it's so important and this is like something the Panthers always emphasized to under have an understanding of the law in your rights. Yeah. Yeah. In a 1962 he oh, sorry. No no no no. I was gonna say. Yeah. I firmly believe this like in and like I said like we we we built an entire show around it that like. Especially when it comes to like politics, specifically geopolitics. Like I have this under, like, my belief is like if you came from. Any sort of like neighborhood environment. I don't care if it's like rural Oklahoma or, you know, inner city Detroit. If you come from a city and you had to navigate, you know, tribes in a city, you understand geopolitics, you just don't, you ain't got the language for it, you know? I'm saying so. So being able to use your own, what we would call like hood antennas to figure out what's happening in, you know, dominant culture world, like if you have a grasp on both of those, dude, you're on. You're undefeated. Yeah, that that does make me like, I think maybe one of the major issues we have diplomatically and like the international stage is that, number one, so many of our diplomats are guys who like donated money, rich kids who donated, they get the job. But like, also nobody who I I do feel like somebody with that sort of St experience would do a better job, for example, of doing diplomacy in a place like Baghdad because you just have a deeper understanding of like, yeah, kind of the interpersonal relationships necessary to make. If you had this there, you had to convince a bully to not give you a swirly. You if you had to, if you went through that, you know how to come to a negotiation table. You know, I'm saying especially, especially like if you're Baghdad, you know, I'm saying, and the bully is, you know, the G6, you know, I'm saying or, you know, I'm saying bullies. America. He's like, well, I know how to deal with bullies. So here, here's, here's how I think we can handle this, you know, I mean. Yeah. Now, in 1962, Huey P Newton met a guy named Bobby Seale at a protest opposing the US blockade of Cuba. Now, Bobby had been born in 1936, about five years before Huey. And while Huey was the youngest of seven, Bobby was the oldest child of three. He'd grown up in Oakland, where both his mother and father worked. Bobby's dad was profoundly abusive, and Bobby grew up kind of accepting that random violence from authority was a regular fact of life, which again would have, you know, be obviously influential in his world. Do as he grew up. Now, obviously when people go through that, there's a number of different ways they react to it. And I think Bobby sort of dealt with it in the healthiest way you can and became sort of obsessed with fighting bullies wherever he found them. At one point when he was a little kid, he saw another child shove his sister out of a swing. Bobby pushed that kid out of the swing and declared that now everyone had on the playground had a right to use the swing. Justice, yeah. So Bobby joined the Air Force as a young man, both to get out of the house and so he could learn how to use firearms. He was given a dishonorable discharge three years in when he hunted down a man who stole from him and beat that guy very badly with a pipe. You can read the story in Bobby's biography, seize the time, the story of the Black Panther Party, which is available for free online. I'll have a link to it. Personally, I think the dude that he attacked had it coming. Bobby bounced around for a long time. After this, getting whatever jobs he could for a few months at a time before they found out about his dishonorable discharge. By 1962 he was down and out in California and he took the refuge taken by all such men. In that situation he became a stand up comedian. Sheesh, I didn't know this about his back story. Yeah, don't, judge later wrote. He later wrote this. That year, I worked as a comedian in two or three clubs around Oakland and at private parties. I think comedians know a hell of a lot. They know a lot of things that are oppressive and wrong. Yes. Yeah, yeah, I like that, that attitude. Huey and Bobby Seale met at that protest against the blockade of Cuba, and they were both members of the Afro American Association together. The leader of that group, Donald Warden, was a confusing man who really liked Castro but was also a major believer in the power of black capitalism to fix societal injustice. He was a bitter critic of mainstream civil rights organizations. QE P Newton, was initially enthralled by Donald's ideology, but he grew frustrated when over the course of months, it became clear that that this, like talk, was basically all that he felt Donald was good for. He also grew critical of Donald's focus on black capitalism, which he didn't think would do a very good job of liberating black people from the whole that he felt capitalism had dug for them. And again, hughie's this guy growing up with all this economic anxieties, he's not a pro capitalism dude. I mean, we're still debating this. Yeah. You know, in community. Yeah. And during this episode, I think we're going to discuss at length a group of people who were distinctly on the fringes of the civil rights movement and often very critical of the men and women in, like, kind of the mainstream civil rights movement. Work to alleviate American racism through more traditional legal means. And I feel like we should pause right now to talk a little bit about what legally and acceptably working towards equality looked like in this. Because I think we get a sanitized, at least. I think as a white kid, I got a very sanitized version of the civil rights movement. Yeah, you got you got nice MLK. Yeah. You might get anti war, MLK. Yeah yeah yeah and socialist MLS socialism, guns and his couch. MLK. But even more to the point for we're going to talk about now, what I think I got a sanitized version of more than anything was the sanitized version of how white people reacted to MLK. Yeah, and how people like LBJ reacted to MLK. And so we're going to talk a little about now that now. So then, as now, most black people in America voted Democrat. But this should not lead people to believe that the Democratic Party at the time embraced black people as like, equal comrades. They were just moderately less racist than the Republicans, and not always. Moderately less racist than the Republicans, some state Democratic parties, including the one in Mississippi, banned black people from membership. Members of that state's Democratic Party regularly beat and even murdered black people who tried to register to vote. So black Mississippians developed their own party, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, which focused on registering black people to vote. Three of the parties activists were kidnapped, tortured and murdered in 1964, which is the year that the Civil Rights Act gets signed into law by President Johnson. So Johnson, at the time was again, you know, the man who signed the Civil Rights Act into law played a, what I would describe as a profoundly cynical and gross game of political brinksmanship with the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. And he kind of yielded to the civil rights movement in a couple of areas, but also tried to maintain the Democratic Party's southern dominance by throwing bones to the racists in the Democratic Party. And in doing so, he was engaging in like a a proud tradition that goes back to Franklin Delano Roosevelt because during the Great Depression, FDR successfully won the black vote. For the first time, 4 did the Democratic Party by involving black people in the New Deal and giving them access to social programs and even appointing several black men as advisors. But he kept Southern racist Democrats on board by refusing to take any action against segregation. So LBJ was kind of engaging in what at that point was a decades old tradition within the Democratic Party. Yeah. Yeah. And and again, these are still the conversations we're having, you know, to this day, like. We got my thought here. Like, yeah, there's the idea of like, I know you're only helping me because it's expedient for you, right? And then you have which you'll see in the in the Black Panther Party too. Like these two, two, two sides of this coin of like the like, like, yeah, like the Marcus Garvey's of the world that are like, they're never going to treat us fairly. We will never get a shake here. It's never going to work. Let's just leave. Right. And then you have the other side that says like no, like my. Grandparents my ancestors like built the built the damnation like you know I'm saying that's our bloodiness soil like we we picked this. You know why you were a superpower? Because you ain't paid to workers. You know. I'm saying so like that's why you superpower so so it's like, no, I'm just as much as American as you are you going to include me in your documents? You know I'm saying so like that that two sides and then and then and then you're and then it's like I remember the. The pain and hurt in my eye and my, my parents, my father and my grandmother's eyes when I got so disillusioned early on that I was just like, man, it was like, hey, you going to go vote today? And I was like, man, I don't know, you know, I'm saying I'm sitting in this traffic, man. You know, I'm saying I was like, I don't even. I don't know. You know, I'm saying. And just, like, how hard they fought just for me to have the right to do it, you know? I'm saying, like, made me be like, dog. I can't. But yeah, just that that, like. Just the how hard they fought for me to be able to do that, you know, really gave me pause. But it's still yeah, that same frustration where it's just like. I just these people don't love us and we just will never know. Unless it's like expedient for them. You know that if you pass a civil rights law, it's like. I don't know if you really like me, though, you know? Yeah, yeah. I yeah, yeah. And it's like, that's that's. That's kind of where LBJ finds himself in this issue. He's a guy who's racist, and he's willing to kowtow to racist. He's also not so racist that he's unwilling to push for progress when he thinks it advantages him electorally. He's not exactly a pragmatic racist. That's a fair way to refer to Lyndon Baines Johnson. And I'm going to read a quote from Black against Empire again, kind of describing how this all comes to a head at the Democratic Party state convention in Jackson, Ms in 1964. Quote The MFDP held a state convention in Jackson in early August and selected 68 delegates to attend the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, NJ. President Johnson was determined to maintain white Southern support and worked to undermine the MFDP. On August 12th Mississippi's Democratic governor Paul B Johnson told the All White Dixiecrat delegation that President Johnson had personally promised him not to seat the MFDP. The president refused to discuss the MFDP with civil rights leaders and instructed FBI Director Hoover to monitor the renegade party closely and provide. Regular updates on its activities to the White House. This is not going to be the last time we hear about the FBI at the store. Sheesh, so? Yeah. Basically, the MFDP's goal was to try and make enough noise at this assembly that the Credentials Committee would have to call a vote about whether to seat the delegation from the MFDP at the Convention that year. And they called a number of people to testify before the committee, including a woman named Fannie Lou Hammer who is a black activist with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Now she was fired from her job and beaten in jail by black prisoners who were being ordered by from, probably under the threat of death from white policemen to attack her. Yeah, so basically she gets thrown in jail for registering people to vote and the cops tell other people who are in prison or who are in jail with her, like beat the **** out of this lady or will deal with you. And this is what Fannie Lou Hammer says at the Jackson Convention quote. The first ***** began to beat, and I was beat until I was exhausted. After the first ***** was exhausted, the state highway patrolman ordered the second Negrito take the blackjack. The second ***** began to beat. I began to scream and one white man got up and began to beat me on my head and tell me to hush one. My white man, my dress had worked up high. He walked over and pulled my dress down, and he pulled my dress back up. All of this on account we wanted to register to become first class citizens and if the Freedom Democratic Party is not seated now, I question America. Yeah, yay. Hi. Yeah. Yay. It's just this onion of pain every time and more. You dig? You're just like, oh, Yep, yeah, that happened. Yeah. You know what's not an onion of pain? Jeez, the. Most likely the other pod that's about to be advertised. Yeah, I'm just saying, if I'm if I'm running y'all random things, usually it's another pod. Yeah, or the Koch brothers. Or let's hope it's an oil refining refinery. Right, yeah. Anyway, here it is. Piculus there's not going to be a single good ad transition. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. 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My name is Erica Kelly and I am the host and creator of Southern Freight true crime. There are so many people that just have no idea about some injustices in the world and if you can give a voice to them you can create change. To be able to do it within podcasting is just such a gift. I believe it was 18 months after I got on with Spreaker that I was making enough that I could quit my day job. It was incredible. I always feel like an ambassador for speaker, but that's because I'm passionate about podcasting. It's really easy to use. I always tell people I am so not tech. Took me 5 minutes to get comfortable with spreaker, and when I find a new friend that has an incredible show, I want them to make money. I want them to be able to do what I did. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's SP. RE, get paid to talk about the things you love with spreaker from iheart. We're back. So we just talked about, we just talked about Fannie Hammer and her, her speech at the Mississippi Democratic Conference. And it caused enough of an uproar and it gained enough national sympathy because it was televised that LBJ couldn't just completely ignore the MFDP. So she gets up and kind of pose at people's human heartstrings, like even people. Most people are pretty racist back then, but they're not inhuman. And something like that makes them feel terrible. And so they're like, yeah, maybe we should seek this delegation, which LBJ? Because he can't do because, again, he's trying to kowtow to the racist contention to the Democratic Party. So he's put in this situation where he has to deal with them, but he also is not willing to actually deal with them. So instead he brings in his vice President History's greatest monster, Hubert Humphrey. And Hubert Hubert's job is to deal with this problem, which is, again, the problem is black people wanting to vote without being murdered. The problem is the Constitution. Anyway. Go on. The problem is the Constitution. That pesky document. So Humphrey meets with the MFDP delegation, and he tells them that they're not going to be seated, but that the President is willing to compromise by letting what he called educated professionals from the Group One of whom was white, sit with the Mississippi delegation at the Convention. Humphrey refused to let Miss Hammer sit with the delegation, saying the President will not allow that illiterate woman to speak from the floor of the Convention. So that's yeah. Now, the MFDP, to their credit, refuses to compromise, but that wound up not mattering. Because this was all a scheme in the 1st place. While they were meeting with Humphrey, LBJ had the party announced that the MFDP had reached a compromise with the Democratic Party. The whole thing had been double crossed, so he'd put them in that meeting so they wouldn't know that this was going on. And then by the time it was announced, they have to either spoil the whole convention and the election, which obviously matters to them because civil rights is on the docket, or like just let him get away with this ****. So LBJ kind of wins this round. Yeah, and it sucks. But what happened there, like the Double Cross in 1964, was really widespread knowledge, particularly in the black community, and it infuriated many people who felt the civil rights movement had mainly achieved cosmetic victories. Malcolm X addressed these people when he said, quote, now you're facing a situation where the young ******* coming up, they don't want to hear that turn the other cheek stuff. No, there's a new deal coming, there's new thinking coming in, there's new strategy coming in. It'll be Molotov cocktails this month, hand grenades next month, and something else. Next month, it'll be ballots, or it'll be bullets. It'll be liberty, or it will be death. The only difference about this kind of death? It'll be reciprocal. Yep. Yeah, yeah. Very famous speech, very famous quote. Yeah. That ballot and bullet speech, man. Yeah. Resonates too deep. It resonates. And if we're, you know, they're like obviously the story of the, the, the white sort of people generally referred to as the, the founding fathers, almost all of them were deeply racist. But there is still, there is this one thing that's really interesting to me, there is this similarity in sort of the the language. Anyone fighting for what they perceive as liberty tends to use because yeah, Malcolm X's ballad of the bullet speech, very similar to Nathan Hales, Liberty or Death Speech, which is really fascinating to me. Yeah, that's a good catch, man. You're really astute, young man. So February 6th, 1965, we're going back to Bobby Seale and Huey P Newton. Now, I just wanted to give that sort of context of what kind of how frustrating and futile it would have felt to try to do this legally and respectably by kind of the mainstream attitudes. So February 6th, 1965 was a very key day for Bobby Seale and Huey P Newton. That is the day that Malcolm X was assassinated by a member of the Nation of Islam. This made Bobby so angry that he grabbed a bunch of bricks from his mother's garden, broke them in half, and started tossing them at the cars of any white people. They drove by, he vowed to make himself into a ****** ******* Malcolm X. Millions of black folks across the country were incensed by Malcolm X's death, and six months after his assassination, the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles was host to something that looks very close to a civil war. The Watts riots, and I think Riot might even be an unfair term. Like, legally, that's what they were declared. It was an uprising. In the most direct cause of this was the mass murder of black people by the LAPD. 65 black men had been murdered by Los Angeles cops from January of 1962 to July of 1965. In 27 cases, the victim was shot in the back. Only one of these murders was actually ruled an unjust homicide, though, and this was a case where two cops were literally playing cops and robbers with real guns and accidentally murdered a newspaperman. Yeah. So so. No, no, no, I didn't say I actually, it's crazy. Like, today is just one of those heavy days. I just left my, my great aunt's house, like my grandma's sister. And she was just now right before I got here talking about the Watts riots. And it was it was like stuff that she's never said, well, because I never really asked. But like, you know, my family's been in Los Angeles since the 50s, you know? I mean. So yeah, when she was describing the moment of the riot, she started dropping these other. EMS like, hey, you know when Jim Crow, because my family's originally from Texas, then they moved here, said that that LAPD was like recruiting from like disgruntled like Southern once Jim Crow ended like they were recruiting these like disgruntled Southern men that were like frustrated about Jim Crow and wanted to do something about America. So they were coming to be a part of law enforcement. So if you feel Compton Watts LA with these men who are mad that Jim Crows. Over to powder keg yeah, it's going to explode. Yeah, it's going to explode and it does in in during the Watts riots. And the most direct cause of the riot itself, the uprising itself, was the traffic stop of Marquette and Ronald Frey. Both men were pulled over by Highway Patrol cop, and a crowd gathered while they argued with them. The crowd got very angry when the police started beating Rena Fry, their mother, with a blackjack when she came in to intervene. So they started beating this this. Middle-aged woman with, you know, blackjacks. Basically it's like a big leather beat stick, I guess is the best way to describe it. Yeah, so the Watts riots deserve an episode of their own. For now, what's worth noting is that large numbers of the police would call them rioters. I would prefer to call them protesters fired on police helicopters with rifles. Huge numbers of guns were stolen. The police chief compared the violence to Vietnam, and so did black activists on the street who were interviewed by journalists. At the time, 34 people, most of whom were black, were killed in the violence, and mostly by police. Now. All of this the failures of conventional politics to provide an effective remedy to racism. The death of Malcolm X and the Watts riot. All of this helped spur a massive surge in revolutionary black activism in the United States in the mid 1960s. Now, Huey P Newton and Bobby Seale were already very politically radical when this happened, and they've flirted over the years with a series of different groups, including one called the Revolutionary Action Movement. Ram argued that black people were a colony, had basically been colonized by American white people, and that the struggle for black liberation was part of the global struggle against. Colonialism, which was then happening. You know, we're in the post World War Two, period. All these different colonies around the world are starting to either fight for their freedom or protest for it. Umm. And Huey's brother, Melvin, joined Ram. But Huey was kind of frustrated by the fact that he felt the organization preferred posturing and intellectual discussion to direct action. He became convinced that none of these ideological organizations could reach black people on the street who didn't have like, a thorough grounding in political theory. Basically like what you're talking about, I agree with, but all you're doing is talking, and you're talking about theory that's at such an intellectual level that you're not able to reach people who are just like, you know, living and and working sort of at a street level that aren't academics. Yeah, and Bobby Seale actually joined RAM for a while, but he developed basically the same frustrations that Huey did with them, and he wrote about it in his autobiography quote. I got very frustrated with those cats. I didn't think they were going to do anything, and I became very discouraged about being able to work with them. They had a lot of paranoid hangups, and they began to accuse me of things. They had so many bullcrap suspicions I couldn't deal with them, and I broke loose from those cats. I got mad at them one night and busted down their door. All of them hid behind their damn beds. At that point, I couldn't deal with them anymore because they wouldn't defend themselves. Even against one little old me, there were four or five of them in the pad, but they ran, hiding. I just didn't respect them anymore. I was thinking to myself later, for these dudes, I'm going to find myself a righteous partner to righteously run with. See? This is terrible, but I as right as that is, and as serious as this moment is, I only hear that in, like, my dad's friend's voices. Just like, man, I was looking for some righteous dudes, you know? Yeah, man, these cats, they weren't even back to revolution, you know? I'm saying, like, this is like, my dad would say he's like, man, I just need to look for some dudes I can run with. Be real bad. Like, alright, yeah, my dad still talks like that. Catch you on the 53rd. Like, what does that mean, pop? Don't be selling, you know? Put that on the plate and split it, Jack. Like, I don't. What? What? What's that mean, Dad, anyway? The whole, his whole lot of Murphy's written that way. And it's part of why I really enjoy it because it's not something I had much exposure to, and I I enjoy that sort of like the language he uses. Yeah, I like it a lot. Yeah. There's almost poetic cadence to it. Yes. Yes. So the partner that Bobby Seale wound up finding was Huey P Newton. Now, the two had known each other for a while, and they always gotten along, but they drifted politically and slightly different activist circles, but now after the watts. Riots. They decided to create a new organization together, the sole Students Advisory Council. And they were the only people who created it, but they were two of the founding members now. They organized protests against the draft for black students because they felt that, like, without sort of being treated equally, they shouldn't be expected to to fight for the country like, without consenting to in the same way. And they also work to have black studies courses added to merit college curriculum. And in this last one, they were successful. Huey suggested the group should next get involved in fighting police brutality. But before this project could really get off the ground, Huey and Bobby wound up running straight. That some police brutality of their own. On Thursday, March 17th, 1966, at around 9:00 PM, Bobby and Huey and their friend Weasel were hanging out in Berkeley. Walking to the University of California campus. Bobby was reciting an anti war poem he liked. Uncle Sammy called me full of Lucifer. They drew a small crowd to themselves who urged Bobby to recite it more loudly and a police officer arrived right as Bobby sang out these lines. You school my naive heart to sing red, white and blue stars and stripes songs. You school my naive. Start to sing red, white and blue stars and stripes songs and to pledge eternal allegiance to all things blue, true blue eyed, blonde, blonde haired, white chalk, white skin with USA tattooed all over. And the officer, an off duty cop named George Williamson, tried to arrest Bobby for this. He his justification was that Bobby had been blocking the street. This caused a fistfight which brought in more cops, which led to both Bobby and Huey being arrested. So from poetry y'all, yeah, alright, artists write, write them poems. It's it's interesting like that. It says a lot. Yeah. About the power of poetry that like this scares a cop enough that he has to on his off hours. Yeah. Feels like he has to get involved. Breaking the law. Yeah, poetry. Yeah. What? Yeah. Uh, so next. According to the book Black Against Empire quote, a few weeks later, Newton and Seale saw a policeman pushing around a black man for no apparent reason. The officer arrested the man and took him to the station. Following Mark comforts examples, Newton and Seale went to the station and bailed the man out, using money from their organization's treasury. The brothers started to cry, and it touched Bobby deeply. Bobby was fed up with armchair intellectualizing and wanted to stand up against the police, recalling I was filled with a staunch belief of the need for brotherhood and revolution and rebellion against the racist system. So it was Huey. Who first suggested that the SSAC members should arm themselves with rifles and shotguns and host an armed rally for Malcolm X's birthday. The guns were explicitly to honor Malcolm X's call for black people to engage in armed self-defense. And Bobby Seale would write in his autobiography, quote who he was running down, that the law says every man has the right to arm himself by the 2nd amendment of the Jivas constitution of the United States. He says that we are going to exhaust that because in the end the man will say we don't have a Second Amendment of the Constitution. So he's saying that, like, we should arm ourselves in protest because we have the right to do that, but also they're going to strip us of our right to carry guns once we start doing it. History be rhyming dog like he was and it's that brilliant, like. And I know the word is so it's such a pregnant word. But just like the Co opting of language that you use same thing Frederick Douglass did with this like 4th of July speech of like, hey, Homie, you said you built this thing for liberty and freedom and I I this ain't my celebration. I don't know what you talking about. You know, I'm saying he was like, these are your words you said that film this. I started this nation because it is he's like, well, OK, that's those are your words. You said all men were created equal. That's what you said. You know, I'm saying and then right here you said. Every man has a right to bear arms. That's what you said in my I mean, what am I, a Martian? Like I have the right to bear arms. Yeah, yeah. And Huey thought that the presence of firearms would also help to draw in the people. He called the brothers on the block more than, you know, waving protest signs and placards because a lot of those guys were involved with, like, different, like, gangs and stuff, and they understood guns and, you know, they weren't political theorizers. And he was like, this is something that I think I can get him on board with. The other members of the SAC thought this was too risky. Bobby Seale was the only person who backed Huey's plan. So he and Huey quit the SAC and formed a new organization. The Black Panther Party for self-defense in October of 1966. And during his studies, Huey had done research into the state of California's laws, and he'd learned that it was actually legal for Californians to openly carry firearms in public, even loaded ones, provided those weapons were not pointed at anyone in a threatening manner. And it's interesting when you read modern stories about this, but like mainstream news sources like the Chicago Tribune always say, it was a loophole in the law. It's not a loophole. It was just leave the law. It was just the law that you could do. He didn't find a loophole. This is the law, it says. Or was the law. This is me putting my hands up as if I'm holding an actual paper. That's the law. Now, this was not entirely Huey's idea. He'd also read about the actions of a group called the Community Alert Patrol, or CAP, over in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. After the uprising, cap had been formed to watch police in black neighborhoods, and caps efforts were incredibly important. But their activists were often victimized and abused by the LAPD, and some of them had started talking about carrying guns during their patrols. So as the Black Panthers came together, Huey's plan evolved. He decided that the Panthers would organize armed patrols to follow police officers around and observe them during traffic stops. The new Black Panthers started doing just this. In February of 1967, a group of them, including Newton and Seale, were stopped in a car loaded down with rifles and handguns. And I'm going to quote now from a great article in the Atlantic titled The Secret History of Guns quote. When one officer asked to see the guns, Newton refused. I don't have to give you anything but my identification name. And address? He insisted. This too. He had learned in law school. Who the hell do you think you are? An officer responded. Who in the hell do you think you are? Newton replied indignantly. He told the officer that he and his friends had a legal right to have their firearms. Newton got out of the car, still holding his rifle. What are you going to do with that gun? Asked one of the stunned policemen. What are you going to do with your gun? Newton replied. By this time, the scene had drawn a crowd of onlookers. An officer told the bystanders to move on, but Newton shouted at them to stay. California law, he yelled, gave civilians a right. To observe a police officer making an arrest, so long as they didn't interfere, Newton played it up for the crowd in a loud voice. He told the police officers. If you try to shoot at me or if you try to take this gun, I'm going to shoot back at you, swine. Which is the ******* balls on him this. Yeah, I wonder why that man on everybody's T-shirts. Let's talk about him all the time, *** **** right. Because it's like, I mean like straight up. I mean it's it's, I love that you're painting the picture of like the totality of the cultural moment. A lot of times we see history as like these, like single file line events that aren't like interact. Like you're all living the same moment just like now, you know, I'm saying, so we put all those moments together like nothing. I mean, I grew up in, I'm in, I'm in LA in the 80s and 90s. I'm like, you don't talk to police like that. You know, I'm saying like, right, you feel me like we just thought I was in a gang sweep, you know, the street sweepers, the gang injunctions. You don't talk to police like that, you know? So just seeing that type of, like, these are my right. Tell me like, it's just amazing. I mean, I'm a tall white guy, so I have a certain degree of police shield, and I would be terrified of talking about police like that like crazy. Yeah. Yeah. So ******* incredibly, Huey, Bobby and their comrades were allowed to continue on without arrest because they they hadn't broken the law. The whole event left everyone in the car and all of the onlookers who'd gathered to watch the altercation stunned as we're stuck. Yeah, just talking about it today. It's it's just hard to imagine, even in 2020, this happening without bloodshed. Yeah, so the whole event made Bobby Seale decide that Huey P Newton was, in his words, the baddest ************ in the world. It convinced Huey of something important, too. The gun is where it's at and about and in. Yeah, so. This spreads through the community like wildfire, and young men begin joining the Black Panthers in droves. They're armed. Patrols of the police become a regular thing, and you know, they have a lot of strict rules about this. You're never supposed to be closer than 10 feet to the officer or the person being stopped. You have law books on you at the time. You're quoting directly from them, like they're not just like, like they're to intimidate the police. They're there to give information on rights to the person being stopped. Yeah, and so yeah. Whenever a black person was stopped by the police, observing Panthers would both be an armed presence there and would be providing legal advice. And as their notoriety spread, so too did the Black Panthers all across the country, and firearms were a central facet of their identity from the beginning, new recruits were taught the gun is the only thing that will free us. The group purchased rifles by selling copies of Mausi Dung's Little Red Book to students in Berkeley. Over the years, their arsenal grew to include machine guns as well as 10s of thousands of rounds of ammunition. New recruits receive training on black nationalism, socialism, and how to clean and handle and use firearms. It's also worth noting during this. That we talk in in my audio book the War on everyone, we talk a bit about how KKK groups, white supremacist groups are easily able to buy and smuggle machine guns and other military grade weaponry from the the army from like racists in the army at this point. And the Black Panthers do the same thing from black people in the army, like they're getting machine guns and weaponry directly from the military. Like I said, say, I probably shouldn't share this, but I'm going to to all truly, you know, your followers. But like, I just found this out on Thanksgiving that, like, my Uncle Charles was like doing that. Like, he was like, he was like selling. First of all, he was like he said he was selling like he was selling like engine parts in like Munich when he was really just like to like civilians, like just fell apart out here. Just like sell it, sell it guns out of San Francisco, like Uncle Charles. It's like, I was like, what? He's like, yeah, he got discharged because he was selling. It's. Sorry, sorry to any of my cousins listening. Yeah. I mean the way now. So I mean statutes over, yeah. It's it's a situation where there's there's a lot going on here, but both the Panthers and the KKK, not that there's any moral equivalency between the groups, but they both suspect that a massive civil war is coming. Either it's going to break out or the the bombs are going to fall. And in the wake of the nuclear apocalypse there's going to be fighting between you know, like racists and non racist or black and white depending on your your perspective. And so there there's this belief that like we are arming ourselves for a war of survival. And considering there are thousands of heavily armed, racist people like Louis Beam who are specifically talking about wars, waging a war of extermination against America's blacks, like, that's not an unreasonable thing to one arm yourself against. Yeah. Now, yeah. That's the part that, like, I I I really wish people could, like, understand, like, the tone and ire of the moment. That this stuff is not imaginary. Like, this is when, like, elected officials, you know, in certain states or just people like him, are just like, no, our plan is to wipe y'all out. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, you're not you're not like, you're not, like, ambiguously racist. You're not like, kind of Nazi. Like, you know, I'm saying it's like, Nah, Nah, we trying to wipe you all out. Yeah, yeah. And you it's like, yeah. This is something I come to a lot in the modern day. It's like you can your opinions on on gun control. There's a lot of different attitudes on that. I will listen to them, but I can tell you from experience, talking to a lot of people in a lot of parts of the world, when someone wants to exterminate you, there's nothing you'd rather have in your hand than a gully. Absolutely. Again, like for like the the invention of the modern day. I say modern, with quotes as a historian of **** and blood, like the invention of the street gang is specifically growing up in Los Angeles, puts such a different. Taste in your mouth about guns, you know? I'm saying, so it's like, yeah, you, you know, so, like, it's hard for me to like. You have my father that's like. No, it's your what you talking about your civil right man, he's people gonna go. You know, I'm saying like look look? Why do you gonna come get you you know I'm saying and then yeah and then you got the streets with that's like if you pull a gun out, then that means that like Yo I'm not a civilian like so would somebody stops. You it's like. Hey, where you from you know, I'm saying If I got a weapon on me. It's like Oh, Oh, you signed up for this gang life. You know, but if you don't have one. It's like man. Look, I'm a square. I'm on my way to basketball practice. You know, so with that sort of like juxtaposition it's sometimes it's hard. For myself to get my brain around it, you know, I'm saying, but at the same time, if knowing again the context that these people are living in Syria, mazul, you know, I'm saying like these people who live in these contexts, it's like, no, this is not an option. And it it it is also. Yeah. Yeah. It's also like the difference between just individual self-defense and this idea, which there's a lot of, you know, flaws behind a lot of the thinking that occurs in the United States on this this subject. Yeah. You can say statistically, like actually you're more likely to be harmed if you have a gun in the home. The difference between that individual self-defense and collective self-defense, which is, yeah, too deep a subject to really delve into very thoroughly here while we're trying to delve into the Panthers. But you know what? Not too deep a subject to delve in through right now. Here we go. What is product? Which one? Services. I'm gonna set it up. I'm gonna do. I'm gonna do the best setup. What is that, Robert? Product, uh, and a service which which I think we can explain in the context of this episode. Great. Off we go. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. 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We're back, alright, so. As we before we had our little discretion about Community self-defense. We were talking about the the the Black Panthers start their civilian patrols of the police, armed patrols of the police, which are very popular and very revolutionary. And of course, the man, as embodied by the Republican Party and the governor of the State of California, Ronald Reagan, was not in any ******* way about to let a bunch of black men exercise their right to bear arms and legally observe the police. And I shouldn't just say black men because they were black. Women involved at this point, too. That's the that's the law taking part of these. There's lots of the Black Panther Party was really the ladies because they locked up all the men or killed us. Yeah. So yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, like the, the, the, the, the, the white Republicans, particularly who govern the state. Although it's not like the white Democrats in the state provided in the opposition to this, decide that action needs to be taken. And the guy to do this was a **** heel named Don Mulford. What'd you call him again? A **** heel. I love it. I gotta tell you guys, this is another digression. I feel like I don't know. Nobody cusses more poetically than black people or old black man. Nobody cusses more poetic than him, but the most creative and innovative things to call someone. Come out of the mouth. Of middle-aged white men. I just don't know anyone. That's just you, ********. What the hell? Like I'm telling you, man, **** stick. Like what? Like ask Gibbon. Yeah. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. touché, man. I see. That's what that. This is why intersectionality is so important. You use to learn the best way to cuss. Oh, multiculturalism really improves the use of obscenities. It's critical. Yes. So, uh, yeah, Don, Don Mulford. Mulford was the community assemblyman for Oakland, and in April of 1967 he proposed the Mulford Act, a bill that would strip Californians of their right to carry firearms in public. The Mulford Act was a pure act of legal targeting against the Black Panthers, and I'm going to quote again from that Atlantic Article quote Republicans in California eagerly supported increased gun control. Governor Reagan told reporters that afternoon that he saw no reason why on the street today, a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons he called guns. A ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of goodwill that he doesn't read that to Republicans now. Tell that to a cop, right? Tell me. It's so funny to me. I'm just like, OK, yeah, yeah. Y'all know, not even 30 years ago, not even 30 years ago, 34 years ago, you were saying literally the opposite of what you're saying right now. Yeah. Yeah. In a in a later press conference, Reagan says he he doesn't know of any sportsman who leaves his home with a gun to go out into the field or to hunter for target shooting, who carries that gun loaded. And he says the Mulford Act should work. No hardship upon the honest citizen. And of course, the NRA completely backs. The Mulford Act, no problem with it at all. All all on board this ship. Yeah, appreciate that, man. Appreciate. Just take a second to appreciate that somebody dropped some like some like spa music right now to appreciate the NRA was for gun control to make sure you can't carry a loaded weapon. I don't know, I just thought, like, will you go get spot music? Big as you know what I'm talking about, that's the best part. You know exactly what I'm talking about. Anyway, so reading up Huey, Huey's furious about this, but he's not surprised. As I read that quote from him earlier, he'd immediately predicted this is going to happen once we start doing this. But he carries out a protest. He organizes a group of Panthers, armed to the Gills to go March on the Capitol building in Sacramento. 24 men and six women showed up, led by Bobby Seale. They walked up the Capitol steps, guns in hand, and Bobby read a speech quote. The American people in general, and the black people in particular, must take careful note of the racist California legislature aimed at keeping black people disarmed and powerless. Black people have begged, prayed, petitioned to demonstrate it and everything else to get the racist power structure of America to right the wrongs which have historically been perpetrated against black people. The time has come for black people to arm themselves against this terror before it is too late. After this seal and the others went inside the building bearing loaded firearms, the Capitol Building and they were allowed to do this because they were abiding by the law entirely and the day proceeded peacefully and before we move on. I think it's worth dedicating a little bit of time to how the mainstream media covered all this and the short of it is they were not fans of the Panthers. Really? The New York Times is coverage of the event, which I can only read in my old timey white man voice. Let's go. I'm ******* protest gun bill. Sorry. What's your response to that? Yeah. And now I did find in some credit to the New York Times a modern day New York Times article that quotes Jane Rhodes, which is a very like admitting like we ****** ** and we're very unfair in our coverage. And it quotes Jane Rhodes, a professor of African American studies, as saying the newspaper was dubious and skeptical of them. It also gave them a tremendous amount of coverage. The media, like most of white America, was deeply frightened by their aggressive and assertive style of protest, and they were offended by it. And that October 2016 Times article I found analyzing this by Giovanni Russoniello, it leans into acknowledging how unfair the coverage was, and he writes about the times, his first articles on the Black Panthers. What the article did not explicitly say, though it was reported later by others, was that the Panthers had read a statement that afternoon calling upon the American people in general, not just African Americans, to help them in their push for rights. The time sent its own reporter a few days later to write a profile of Mr Newton, the party's young co-founder. That article was no more measured than the first it barely mentioned. Police brutality instead lavishing attention on the fact that the Panthers had weapons. Political power comes through the barrel of a gun, Newton was quoted as saying. So the journalists who cover this ignore police brutality, ignore that like there's a self-defense narrative here. What do you expect us to do when we're being shot? That's one of our rights, our nation's founded on the idea that that human beings can arm themselves in self-defense. That's what we're doing. They ignore that and look at these black men carrying guns. Oh my God. Yeah, yeah. Hmm. So on July 26th, the racist California legislature passed the Mulford Act with the NRA's enthusiastic approval, and Governor Ronald Reagan signed it into law. So the Black Panthers were thwarted, at least in the state of California, from carrying out armed patrols any longer. But the organization continued to grow, spreading across the country and drawing in thousands upon thousands of members. And as the group grew, Huey and Bobby and the other leaders expanded the sort of things the Black Panthers did. It was not enough to just advocate armed. Protest in police patrols. They needed to mobilize their community and that they felt meant helping their community. Yep, in the early years the Black Panthers developed a concept they called Revolutionary Inter Communalism, which is something I really think the modern day left needs to get its **** together. My God, if you just do it, yes. PBS describes this as the strategy of building community service programs or survival programs programs meant to develop positive institutions within the community to help individuals meet their needs. The Panthers developed over 60 such community programs. Now these community survival programs ranged from the People 's free shoe and clothing program to the free plumbing and maintenance program to the free pest control program to the sickle cell anemia, Research Foundation and the peoples free ambulance service, while the news breathlessly covered the Panthers. Armed marches and their confrontations with police. They ignored most of these other programs. One member later, a guy named Roger Smith, said this. You don't read about the survival programs we're doing for the people. The Free Children's Breakfast program, trying to feed some of these hungry kids before they go off to school in the morning. The educational programs we had going on for these kids for the older folks as well. You don't read about that. The shoe giveaway, the clothing giveaway. The coat giveaway we had going on back East so these people don't freeze to death during the winter months. The free prison busing program where we bust people from the community out to the prison, the penitentiary, so the people can visit their loved ones who are incarcerated. You don't read about that. You don't read about the free ambulance service that we had going on in Winston, Salem, NC. Because black people in Winston Salem, Carolina were denied basic emergency healthcare. You don't read about that. You don't read about the free sickle cell anemia testing program. Well, we tested over 500,000, half a million people before the US government ever realized that sickle cell anemia was a threat to the well-being of black people in America. You don't read about that. Why? Because there's no sensationalism there, no dramatic value. It doesn't sell newspapers. It doesn't boost the television ratings. It's just some black people getting organized to help some other black people. Yeah. That so that's the Panthers I know. Yeah, you know the like which I mentioned at the top of the show. That's why my father was part of the after school tutoring program. So, like I I just know them as people that fed us in the morning. I mean, obviously not us because I wasn't around then, but like fed kids in the morning. Help them with their homework after school and the attitude even to this day was like. You can't look out, can't look for a handout from your oppressor. Like, these people aren't going to help you. You know, I'm saying, like, why would you take that money? Why would you take their services? Because they these, they they they are your press. That don't make no sense, you know, saying so, like that was his. That was always his attitude was like, man, find it on your own. Like man, you don't don't look. You KO these people. Nothing. Find it on. Take care of your own. That was always attitude. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, that makes a ton of sense. And but there's still like ohh sorry, real quick. But there's there's a few still like like leftover things where just generationally speaking there's like we still have a generational, like like gap like you know when when I started doing music full time like the the label I was a part of was like one of my best friends and you know he's white dude, right. So my dad still had this like I like I like that boy. But you know, you, you you got you got to watch them white men now you don't see like, OK, pop. OK. I mean, I get it, but like, I mean, it's for instance, high school man like, you know, saying like, I think we're good, you know, but but still like he still has a little bit of that. I mean, he's definitely not the same man he was, but he still has that. Like, how do you know? You gotta, you gotta, you gotta watch them, you know, saying that they don't they know can really take care of you, you know? I mean, it's it's not unfair. Yeah. Yeah, not unreasonable, considering, like, yeah, the time and place and experiences he had, you know? And I do think like you have to open the story of the Black Panthers by talking about armed self-defense, the absolute trolls, the guns, because that is how it it really started. But I do think even a lot of like people on the left who admire like particularly white people left to admire the Panthers. They focus a lot on that part because it is again the and and not enough on what really is the most revolutionary part of the Panther program, which is the survival program, the the the. I don't know if the book got into it that or maybe we'll get to it later, but just the actual like. Provable success rate, you know what I mean of like the provable results like this actually worked, you know, I mean blood testing, half a million. Come on, black people for sickle cell anemia, like before the government realizes it's a problem for black. Like, that's huge. That's an enormous effort. That's like a state level effort. That is is all community volunteer driven. It's amazing. Now, by some accounts the most influential of the survival programs was the free breakfast for children program while students were guaranteed a free lunch. Part of their public education in 1967, the US government spent only $600,000 a year on breakfast for students. The Black Panthers saw this hole in the social safety net and realized it was harming black children more than any other group in the country, and so they took action to fix this. Now the communities in which they provided free breakfast for children were not all instantly on board. The Black Panthers were a revolutionary organization famous for confronting police with firearms. People like Minister Bridges of the Saint Augustine Church in Oakland were initially suspicious when the group asked to start meeting and distributing. Breakfast there. But gradually the Panthers won them over and the community rallied to provide them with donations of grits, eggs, toast, and milk to feed hungry schoolchildren. Much of the food was donated by local businesses from a mix of altruism and fear of social reprisals by the Black Panthers. And I'm going to quote from black against Empire again. At times the Panthers cajoling blended into harassment and strong arming. Far more common were boycotts and pickets of businesses that refuse to assist the programs. Equally common was the tactic of calling out or publicly shaming those who refuse to help churches and other community based organizations that refuse to help, notably those who refuse to sponsor or allow. Breakfast programs on their premises face similar treatment. For starters, the Panther newsletter and Panther representative railed against the non supportive business person or community leader as a capitalist pig. Other epithets included religious hypocrites, lying preachers and merchants, and avaricious businessmen. Dang, cancel culture, Doug, since the 60s we've been canceling fools. I mean, you know, it's, I think that's perfectly fair because the ultimate goal here is to get kids food. And you've got, you've got. Any extra food? Like why are these kids starving in the morning? Yeah, and then you probably complaining about them saying kids. Yeah, you know, running your streets, it's like, well, they're hungry, and you could use that. Yeah. Yeah. Now, the free breakfast program itself was a mix of pure altruism, poor kids needing good food, and also clever propaganda. The program highlighted the fact that the richest nation on Earth, then waging a brutal and expensive war in Vietnam, could not provide a simple breakfast for all of its children. The leadership of the Panthers, who suspected or outright hoped in some cases that they might one day wind up in an armed revolutionary struggle with the US government, knew there was a tactical benefit in winning. Hearts and minds this way, one of them noted. While we might not need their direct assistance in waging armed revolution, we were hedging our bets that if we did, they would respond more favorably to a group of people looking out for their children's welfare. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. In November 1969, the Black Panthers announced that their program had spread to 23 cities and distributed free breakfasts to more than 20,000 children. That number wound up being more like 50,000 and minimum. The law took notice. In Baltimore, the police called this program a front for indoctrinating children with Panther propaganda. They responded as only law enforcement came, and I'm going to quote again from Black against Empire. Police and federal agents regularly harassed and intimidated program participants, supporters, and party workers and sought to scare away donors and organizations that. Was the programs like churches and community centers? Sophia Abubakari discovered that participation in one of the Harlem Free Breakfast programs fell off after the police spread a false rumor among black parents that the children were being fed poisoned food. A police disinformation campaign in Richmond, CA suggested that the party used free breakfast for children program to spread racism and foment school riots. Student participation began to decline, forcing local Panther leaders to combat the official disinformation. The police were not above raiding breakfast look program locations even while the children were eating. In bulk, the Baltimore Panther branch was comparatively small. But as Judson L Jeffries demonstrates, the branch endured an excessive amount of violent repression, and not even children were spared harassment by the police. One morning, the Baltimore police disrupted the children's breakfast, barging menacingly onto the premise, a witness recalled. They walked around with their guns drawn and looked real mean. The children felt terrorized by the police. The police were like gangsters and thugs. Yeah, just getting breakfast, homie. Just trying to feed kids breakfast. Breakfast. Yeah, awhile now, yeah, eventually the state decided that the danger of this propaganda of the deed, as I think Buchanan would have called it, was so great that the only reasonable response was to start providing American children with free breakfasts. By 1972, the US Government Free Breakfast program had reached more than 1.18 million children. The massive upswing in funding for this program proceeded directly from Panther. Activism, Norma Mitsume, a former Panther, said this in an interview with I really do believe that the government expanded their program because of the work we were doing. I don't think the government wanted to be outdone by a community based organization, especially the Panthers. I really think we were very instrumental in school food programming, yo, I'm positive. Positive that's what happened, yeah. Yeah. Hey, man, what are we? It's like, hey, hey guys, are these? It is. It is poor, 3/5 of a human's people out, humanizing us like, what do we? We do it. What are we doing? Yeah. Yeah, and it's it's remarkable the amount of fear that was generated by the Panther breakfast program, and in some cases it was more than the fear they had as a result of the armed confrontations by the pandas. Possible evidence of this putting ideas in their brains and only getting ideas in the old skull. The monster thing. They don't need the government at all. Yeah, saying yeah, we should have never gave him no money. On May 27th, 1969, J Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI and gigantic ***** ** **** wrote this in a memo. One of our primary aims, and counterintelligence as it concerns the Black Panther Party, is to keep this group isolated from the moderate black and white community which may support it. This is most emphatically pointed out in their breakfast for children program, where they are actively soliciting and receiving support from uninformed whites and moderate blacks. So, yeah, it's crazy. I like they immediately assume they're uninformed. Yeah, it's like, oh, you must not know. It's like, no, no, I know what they're doing. Yeah, I know what they're doing. They're feeding our kids. I can read you feeding the kids. It's just it's just feeding the kids. Well, you know, they're socialist. Well, if socialist mean means socialism means my kid doesn't starve, maybe I like socialism. Here's the thing. Here's the thing. I can't pay for breakfast. Hey, you're not helping me get it. Yeah, so you caught him? Whatever they want. You caught whatever you want. I'm going to come get some breakfast with my children. Yeah. But you know it it it says a lot about the state of the government, about the nature of capitalism, about the nature of law enforcement, that the free breakfast program was one of the things that scared the FBI director the most. Yeah. And in Part 2, we're going to talk about J Edgar Hoover's plan and the nationwide Law Enforcement campaign to take down the Black Panthers. Wait for you guys to learn this stuff. Yeah. So this is a behind the behind the ******** episode. We're not talking mostly about ******** in this one, but you need the setup to really understand how ****** the ******** are. Yeah, love it. So prop yes, in the end of part one, you want to drop a couple of plugs at the end and we will sail out until Thursday. Oh my God, yeah, so website is prop hip hop, which is also all of my sort of social media handles. Prop hip hop. That's for tour dates for my own podcast, again called Hood Politics. I believe politics is just. **** ******* in nice suits, so we just kind of like explain your headlines just in gang terms to help you understand what's going on. And uh, yeah and yeah, just hit me on the website and and the social needs profit pop. And I'm sure folks who are listening who are really knowledgeable of the Panthers will notice there's some crucial stuff we left out from this. Uh, we haven't talked about. Yeah. Some important figures we haven't talked about, like the 10 point program. We're gonna get to a lot of that in Part 2. It's kind of impossible to, like, do this all chronologically. I just kind of had to set it up the way it makes sense. As I was. I was prepared to before you asked to be on the show. I was prepared to have, like, mercy for you because it's such a big thing, you know? I'm saying. And it's like, I'm pretty sure there's other episodes where there were other people that were like. Mostly well, familiar with like, whatever he's gonna talk about. I just didn't know nothing about you know, I'm saying so like it, like it like the R Kelly episode. I was like, you grow up on 90s R&B, you're not gonna know something deep cut things that I know. I'm like, man, cut the guy some slack, you know, I'm saying anyway, so I was prepared to give you. So I'm telling our listeners who, man, cut the homies from slag, dag, like you said. OK, cover everything. Yeah. And we'll we'll get to, I think a lot of it in Part 2, you know as much as possible in 11,000 words and two. Hours and change? Yes, Sir, but that's gonna be on Thursday. You can find all the sources for this on You can find me on Twitter at I write. OK, you can find this podcast on Twitter in the gram at Bass St Pod. And you can buy shirts on teepublic. And that's that's the damn episode. We'll be back with Part 2. Oh, I have another podcast that exists on the Internet called worst year ever. And if you want to learn about another community of people who have been ignored by law enforcement and the media. Reacting to violence and using community self-defense to protect themselves. We just did the two-part episode on a a chlorine gas attack on a furry convention and everything that resulted from that was listening to it on the way. That's really good. It's really good. Yeah. Yeah, it's it's it's really good. It's my plug. Yes, it's really good. Double plug, triple plug. That's so good. Now the episodes actually over. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break her handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Hey, I don't know. Less. Listen to stuff you should know more. Join host Josh and Chuck on the podcast packed with fascinating discussions about science, history, pop culture, and more episodes. Dive into topics like was the lost, city of Atlantis Real? And how does pizza work? Say goodbye to I don't know. Because after listening to stuff you should know. You will listen to stuff you should know on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hey there, it's Ebony. 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