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New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case – Wikipedia

The New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case is a political controversy in the United States concerning an incident that occurred during the 2008 election. The New Black Panther Party and two of its members, Minister King Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson, were charged with voter intimidation for their conduct outside a polling station in Philadelphia.

The Department of Justice later narrowed the charges against Minister King Shabazz and dismissed the charges against the New Black Panther Party and Jerry Jackson. The decision to dismiss the charges has led to accusations that the Department of Justice under the Obama administration is biased against white victims and unwilling to prosecute minorities for civil rights violations. These charges have been most notably made by J. Christian Adams, who in May 2010 resigned his post in the Department of Justice in protest over the Obama administration’s perceived mishandling of the case, and by his former supervisor Christopher Coates.

Counter-accusations were made, including claims that the actual incident was relatively minor but had been blown out of proportion by individuals and groups with political motives. Then-AG Eric Holder denied claims that his Justice Department considers the race of an alleged victim when deciding which cases to pursue. The case and its handling by the Department of Justice was investigated by the United States Commission on Civil Rights which released its report in December 2010.[1]

The conduct for which members of the New Black Panther Party were accused of voter intimidation took place on Election Day in November 2008, at a polling station in a predominantly African-American, Democratic voting district of Philadelphia.[2]

Two members of the New Black Panther party, Minister King Samir Shabazz, and Jerry Jackson, stood in front of the entrance to the polling station in uniforms that have been described as military or paramilitary.[3][4][5] Minister King Shabazz carried a billy club, and is reported to have pointed it at voters while both men shouted racial slurs,[6] including phrases such as “white devil” and “you’re about to be ruled by the black man, cracker.”[7]

The incident drew the attention of police, who around 10:00 am, sent King Samir away in part because of his billy club. Jackson was allowed to stay, in part because he was a certified poll watcher.[8]Stephen Robert Morse, a journalist and filmmaker, upon arriving at the scene, pulled out a Flip video camera and focused on Samir Shabazz. Morse turned over the video of the incident to ElectionJournal.org.[9] The incident gained national attention after being uploaded to YouTube.[3] No complaints were filed by voters about the incident, although poll watchers witnessed some voters approach the polls and then turn away, apparently in response to the New Black Panther Party members.[10]

The Department of Justice became aware of the incident on Election Day and started an inquiry. Under the Bush Administration, a criminal investigation into the incident was started, but later dropped.[11] In January 2009, less than two weeks before the Bush Administration left office, the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice filed a civil suit under the Voting Rights Act against four defendants, namely, Minister King Samir Shabazz, Jerry Jackson, NBPP chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz, and the NBPP itself. The lawsuit accused them of using uniforms, racial insults and a weapon to intimidate voters and those who were there to assist them.[3] The case remained open when the Obama administration took office a few weeks later.

In April 2009 Bartle Bull, a former civil rights lawyer who was serving as a poll watcher at the polling station where the incident occurred, submitted an affidavit at the Department of Justice’s request supporting the lawsuit, stating that he considered it to have been the most severe instance of voter intimidation he had ever encountered.[3][6] When none of the defendants who were charged appeared in court to answer the charges, the career attorneys pursuing the lawsuit assumed that they would win it by default. However the move to pursue a default judgment was overruled by two of their line superiors, Loretta King, who was acting Assistant Attorney General, and Steve Rosenbaum, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General.[4]

Since the Voting Rights Act was enacted in 1965, only a handful of cases under the act have been pursued by the Justice Department. One such case filed by the Department during the Bush Administration, known as United States v. Brown, was one of the first voting rights cases which involved a white plaintiff and a black defendant. The case precipitated deep divisions within the Justice Department. Some employees felt that the voting rights act was passed because historically, it was minorities who had been disenfranchised and that the department should therefore focus on cases filed by minorities, while others felt that it was intended to protect all voters in a race-neutral manner. Employees who worked the Brown case have described being harassed by colleagues due to the widespread belief that civil rights laws should not be used to protect white voters. One Justice Department official stated that “The Voting Rights Act was passed because people like Bull Connor were hitting people like John Lewis, not the other way around.”[9]

Hans A. von Spakovsky stated that internal e-mails from the Department of Justice released under a Freedom of Information Act request show that political appointees were “intimately involved” in the decision to drop the case, including former Deputy Attorney General David Ogden, Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli and Attorney General Eric Holder, and that Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez may have committed perjury by denying this in his testimony before the Civil Rights Commission.[12]

In October 2010, a draft report from the Civil Rights Commission was posted on the political website TPM Muckraker, stating that political officials had been extensively involved in the decision to dismiss the case, and that the Department of Justice had attempted to conceal their involvement.[13] Civil Rights Commission chairman Gerald A. Reynolds confirmed the draft was authentic, but claimed it was not the most current version of the draft, and declined to immediately release the newest version or describe what revisions had been made to it.[14] The Justice Department denied the allegations in the report.[13]

In July 2012, Judge Reggie Walton dismissed the Justice Department’s denial, finding that political appointees did interfere with prosecution of the New Black Panther Party.[15]

Following their decision to narrow the scope of the case to an injunction against Minister King Shabazz, a spokesman for the Department of Justice stated that “Claims were dismissed against the other defendants based on a careful assessment of the facts and the law.”[3] The Department of Justice also stated that the “facts and the law did not support pursuing the claims against three of the defendants”, and that “As a result, the department dismissed those claims.”[16] Questions about the validity of this explanation have served as the basis for subsequent controversy over the case, which has been investigated by the United States Commission on Civil Rights,[4] Republican members of congress,[2] and two internal investigations within the Department of Justice.[9]

In response to this controversy, the New Black Panther Party suspended its Philadelphia chapter, and repudiated Minister King Shabazz in a posting at its website.[17] The party stated that Shabazz made “an honest error” by bringing a billy club to the polling station, and that because of his doing so he had been suspended from the New Black Panther Party until January 2010.[18]

Some Republican members of Congress have been critical of the decision to narrow the scope of the case, including Representatives Frank Wolf of Virginia and Lamar Smith of Texas. Wolf was quoted by the Washington Times as asking, “If showing a weapon, making threatening statements and wearing paramilitary uniforms in front of polling station doors does not constitute voter intimidation, at what threshold of activity would these laws be enforceable?” Smith expressed skepticism at the Obama administration’s stated justification for narrowing it, stating “The administration still has failed to explain why it did not pursue an obvious case of voter intimidation. Refusal to address these concerns only confirms politicization of the issue and does not reflect well on the Justice Department.”[16]

In July 2009, Smith requested a meeting with the head of the Justice Department’s Voting Rights Section in order to discuss whether political appointees had been involved in the decision to narrow the case, stating that news reports contradicted the Justice Department’s earlier claim that political appointees had not been involved, and that earlier congressional inquiries about this had been unsuccessful.[19] Smith and Wolf also requested that the voter intimidation charges which had been previously been dropped be refiled.[20] In January 2010, after several unsuccessful attempts at obtaining the requested information from the department, Wolf sought a resolution of inquiry that would have forced the Justice Department to provide Congress with the details of why it narrowed the case. In a vote along party lines, the resolution was defeated 15-14.[21]

In July 2010, seven Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to committee chairman Senator Patrick Leahy, calling for a hearing on potential “widespread politicization and possible corruption” in the Justice Department in regard to its decision to narrow the case. The letter quoted the testimony of J. Christian Adams (see below) that within the Civil Rights Division of the department there was “open hostility toward equal enforcement in a colorblind way”, and requested a hearing to determine whether Adams’ accusation was accurate.[2]

On August 28, 2009, in response to the complaints raised by Representative Smith, the Department of Justice’s internal Office of Professional Responsibility opened an inquiry into the department’s handling of the case.[22][23] Smith praised the decision, stating “I am pleased that someone at the Justice Department is finally taking the dismissal of the New Black Panther Party case seriously.”[22]

On September 13, 2010, the Department of Justice’s inspector general Glenn A. Fine announced he was opening a second investigation, focusing not on the New Black Panther case specifically but on the more general question of whether the Justice Department enforces voting rights laws “in a non-discriminatory manner”,[24] as well as whether voting section employees have been harassed for investigating or prosecuting particular matters.[25] Smith and Wolf also expressed approval of this decision.[24]

The United States Civil Rights commission is an eight member panel. According to the New York Times, the commission is controlled by six-member conservative bloc that was appointed during the Bush administration.[4] On June 16, 2009, the commission sent a letter to the civil rights division of the Department of Justice questioning their decision to drop the case, stating “Though it had basically won the case, the Civil Rights Division took the unusual move of voluntarily dismissing the charges. The division’s public rationale would send the wrong message entirely that attempts at voter suppression will be tolerated and will not be vigorously prosecuted so long as the groups or individuals who engage in them fail to respond to the charges leveled against them.”[16] The commission received a response to its letter on June 20 from Portia Roberson, the Department of Justice’s director of the Office of Intergovernmental and Public Liaison. Her response stated that the case was dropped because “the facts and the law” did not support pursuing it. According to the commission, Ms. Roberson’s letter did not respond to the commission’s question whether there were any past cases in which the department’s Civil Rights Division had dismissed charges against a defendant accused of voter intimidation, and what its evidentiary and legal standards were for dismissing such charges.[26]

On August 7, 2009, The Civil Rights Commission sent a second letter to the Department of Justice, stating that the department had been “largely non-responsive” to its previous inquiry, accusing it of failing to cooperate with investigations into why it dropped some of the charges, and again requesting the detailed information which the commission had requested in its first letter.[26] In early September 2009, after still not receiving what it considered a satisfactory response from the department, the commission voted to investigate “the merits of the NBPP enforcement actions (regardless of how the decisions were made) and the potential impact on future voter-intimidation enforcement by the department.” In a third letter to the department, the Civil Rights Commission asked Attorney General Eric Holder to name a Justice Department official to provide the information necessary for its investigation.[27]

In December 2009, the Civil Rights Commission subpoenaed J. Christian Adams and Christopher Coates, the lead attorneys who had been involved in prosecuting the New Black Panther Party, to testify on why some of the complaints had been dismissed.[28] The Department of Justice (DOJ) directed Adams and Coates not to comply with the subpoena, stating that the authority to initiate criminal prosecution of anyone lies with the DOJ, not with the Civil Rights Commission.[29]

Later that month, Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez removed Coates from his post and transferred him to the U.S. attorney’s office in South Carolina.[28] Perez subsequently disallowed Coates from testifying before the Civil Rights commission, stating this was because his post in South Carolina caused him to not be “the appropriate witness to testify regarding current [Civil Rights] Division policies”, leading the Washington Times to accuse Perez of transferring Coates specifically in order to remove him from the commission’s subpoena jurisdiction.[30] In October 2010, Michael Yaki, one of the two Democratic commissioners, walked out of a meeting in protest. In doing so, Yaki deprived the panel of a quorum and delayed a vote on a draft report, which Yaki claimed, is unfairly biased against the Obama administration. Yaki described the panel as a “kangaroo court”.[14]

In December 2010, the Civil Rights Commission released a report concluding that their investigations had uncovered “numerous specific examples of open hostility and opposition” within the Department of Justice to pursuing cases in which whites were the victims. The report accused the Department of Justice of failing to cooperate with investigations into its reason for dropping the case, stating “While the department has issued general statements that it enforces the laws without regard to race, these assurances do not confirm, deny or explain the specific allegations of misconduct [] Unfortunately, the department has thus far refused to address many of these specific claims or to provide the type of information that would allow the commission to properly review the decision making relating to the NBPP lawsuit.”[31][32]

On May 14, 2010, Adams resigned from his post as a trial attorney for the voting section of the Department of Justice. In his resignation letter and a subsequent article written by him for the Washington Times, Adams stated that the reason for his resignation was his disapproval of the department’s handling of the Black Panther case, and more specifically their demand that he not comply with the subpoena from the Civil Rights Commission.[33][34]

In testimony before the Civil Rights Commission, Adams stated “I was told by voting section management that cases are not going to be brought against black defendants on [behalf] of white victims.”[35] Adams accused the lawyers who ordered the narrowing of the case of having not read the documents describing the facts and applicable law before making this decision, and claimed that his superiors had instructed him and others in the voting section to no longer bring any cases against minority offenders. Adams said, responding to the claim that the New Black Panthers’ actions in Philadelphia were an “isolated incident”:

To the contrary, the Black Panthers in October 2008 announced a nationwide deployment for the election. We had indications that polling-place thugs were deployed elsewhere, not only in November 2008, but during the Democratic primaries, where they targeted white Hillary Rodham Clinton supporters.”[34]

Responding to Adams’ testimony, Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez stated there was insufficient evidence to support the case;[4] Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler stated that “The department makes enforcement decisions based on the merits, not the race, gender or ethnicity of any party involved.”[5]

Critics of Adams’ testimony have questioned Adams’ impartiality as he was hired during the Bush administration. Adams has pointed out that several independent reviewers of his performance in the Department of Justice had concluded that he was a “model attorney” who enforced voting laws in a race-neutral fashion, and that the reviewers reaching this conclusion included Loretta King, who supervised the dismissal of the Black Panther case.[36]

Abigail Thernstrom, the vice chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, has been a vocal critic of the investigations over the Black Panther case. In an interview with CBS News, Thernstrom said that she believes “the evidence is extremely weak” that the Department of Justice has discriminated against white voters.[37] Thernstrom explained her opinion on the case in an article for National Review, in which she refers to the New Black Panther Party case as “very small potatoes”.[38] She stated, “There are plenty of grounds on which to sharply criticize the attorney general his handling of terrorism questions, just for starters but this particular overblown attack threatens to undermine the credibility of his conservative critics.”[39]

Thernstrom’s stance has been sharply criticized by other conservatives,[40] such as federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy,[41] who wrote a response to Thernstrom in a later issue of National Review. He points out that a year earlier Thernstrom had been among those criticizing the Obama administration’s decision to dismiss the case, and that she had not explained the reason for her reversal of opinion. McCarthy referred to the comment by Bartle Bull, who witnessed the incident, that it was the most blatant form of voter intimidation he had ever encountered in his life, as well as the fact that it was highly unusual for the case to be dismissed after a default judgment against the defendants had already been won.[42] In reply to McCarthy, Thernstrom clarified her opinion by stating that “I still have questions about DOJ’s conduct, and I remain interested in knowing more about why the department declined to pursue the case.” However, she added that as she learned more about the case, she became doubtful it was as severe an example of voter intimidation as it first appeared to be, and was of the opinion that “the incident was not of sufficient importance to be the primary focus of our yearlong project.”[43]

In his testimony before the Civil Rights Commission, Adams stated that his accusations could be corroborated by Christopher Coates,[10] the former head of the voting section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division who had led the original investigation of the New Black Panther Party.[44] The Department refused to allow Coates to testify.[10] In September 2010, Coates was granted whistleblower protection and testified before the Civil Rights Commission in defiance of his supervisors’ instructions.[45]

Coates’ testimony included accusations similar to those made by Adams, stating, “I had people who told me point-blank that [they] didn’t come to the voting rights section to sue African American people.”[45] He compared the New Black Panther case to an earlier case from 2006, in which Department of Justice attorneys expressed anger at having to investigate Ike Brown, a black Democratic politician in Noxubee County, Mississippi accused of discriminating against white voters. Coates testified that the Justice Department’s administration’s decision to drop the Black Panther Case “was intended to send a direct message to people inside and outside the civil rights division. That message is that the filing of voting cases like the Ike Brown and the NBPP cases would not continue in the Obama administration.”[46] Coates testified that one of his superiors appointed by the Obama Administration had prohibited him from asking job applicants if they would enforce the voting laws in a race-neutral manner.[47] Attorney General Holder denied these claims, stating “The notion that we are enforcing any Civil Rights laws, voting or other, on the basis of race, ethnicity, or gender is simply false.”[46][48]

Some civil rights officials in the Obama Administration expressed the view that Voting Rights Act was specifically intended to correct historic injustices against minorities.[9]The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Washington Post pointed out that although the Department of Justice dismissed Adams’ testimony as that of a partisan hired during the Bush Administration, Coates is of a different pedigree and cannot be ignored as easily. Coates worked for the American Civil Liberties Union for nearly 20 years, receiving the Thurgood Marshall Decade Award from the Georgia NAACP in 1991,[44] and was hired by the Justice Department during the Clinton Administration in 1996.[45]

The Black Panther case had been receiving more coverage from conservative media outlets than from other ones.[49] A Newsweek op-ed implied that this is because the case was not newsworthy, and that the conservative media is attempting to stage “an effective piece of political theater that hurts the Obama administration”.[50] According to conservative radio host[51] Scott Hennen and co-author Jim Denney, writing in 2011, the case was “practically ignored by the mainstream media”.[52]

Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which lists the NBPP as a hate group, described the conservative media’s handling of the case as amounting to a “tempest in a teacup”.[49] Republican Linda Chavez described the video as damning but relatively minor. She stated that because the story has pictures, it was the kind of story that you can run over and over again.[53]

The Washington Times, which covered the case in detail, accused the media of failing to cover the story because liberal sources are reluctant to criticize the Obama Administration.[54] According to a July 2010 article by the Washington Post Ombudsman, the Post received numerous complaints from readers about their lack of coverage of the story, and agreed that the case deserved more coverage than it received and would be given more in the future. The Post stated that the delay in coverage was “a result of limited staffing and a heavy volume of other news on the Justice Department beat.”[55]

New Black Panther Party chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz accused Fox News of contributing to racial tensions as part of “a right-wing Republican conspiracy”,[56] and other members of the New Black Panther Party made similar accusations, referring to the station as “Fox Jews”.[8]

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MARVEL LEGACY Pits BLACK PANTHER Against KLAW, CAPTAIN MARVEL Against Her Origin – Newsarama

Credit: Brian StelFreeze (Marvel Comics)

Two of Marvel’s biggest up-and-coming stars will enter “Marvel Legacy” in October, as writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and artist Leonard Kirk bring the movement to the renumbered Black Panther #166 (and bring back T’Challa’s old nemesis Klaw), while writer Margaret Stohl and artist Michele Bandini will explore (and redefine) Carol Danvers’ origin story in Captain Marvel #125.

“I love continuity, I love past Black Panther stuff, I love bringing in history. I think already in the next issue thats about to come out, youll see past characters return,” CoatestoldEntertainment Weeklyof how Black Panther will embrace the “Marvel Legacy” concept. “The climax of last ‘season’ had all these former Black Panthers who come aid the country in fighting the rebellion. So its not a huge stretch for me to reach back and place him in the context of ‘Legacy’ in terms of Wakanda.”

One of the ways Black Panther will embrace that history is bringing back Klaw, the Vibranium-obsessed supervillain that killed T’Challa’s father. Deeper threads for how Black Panther himself ties into the overall picture of “Legacy” will be found in Marvel Legacy #1, according to Coates.

Meanwhile, Captain Marvel #125 will move in a different direction, more directly leaning into the past by revisiting Carol Danvers’ origin – and making sense of some of the more convoluted aspects of how she became a hero.

“The heart of Carols origin story is her family, and its so much simpler and so much bigger than the pieces that have been told before,” Stohl explained. “‘Dark Origin,’ our ‘Legacy’ story arc, will take Carol down a pretty terrifying wormhole back to her own past, setting up an epic confrontation that shell be dealing with in one way or another for the next two arcs. Its an epic story Marvel editors Sana Amanat, Joe Quesada, and Axel Alonso have been brainstorming with me since our last creative summit, and Im super excited to get to tell it.”

Both Black Panther #166 and Captain Marvel #125 are expected to be released in October. Here are the solicits for both issues:

BLACK PANTHER #166 TA-NEHISI COATES (W) LEONARD KIRK (A) Cover by BRIAN STELFREEZE KLAW STANDS SUPREME Part 1 Black Panthers greatest foe has returned Ulysses Klaw is back and ready for war! Can TChalla defeat the man who killed his father all while his country struggles to its feet? And as war looms, Wakandas gods have disappeared. Enter the Originators! The former gods are back but what are their intentions for a land that has forgotten them? PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES! Story by Robbie Thompson and a TBA artist!

CAPTAIN MARVEL #125 MARGARET STOHL (W) MICHELE BANDINI (A) COVER by PHIL NOTO DARK ORIGIN Part 1 As Captain Marvel, CAROL DANVERS has traveled to almost every inch of the planet and beyond! Now shes heading to somewhere uncharted, where theres no familiar face to be seen except forher own! Join Carol on her new cosmic journey through the past and future as Captain Marvel takes flight in an adventure you wont want to miss. The earth-shattering secrets of her Dark Origin are finally revealed, and the Marvel Universe will be forever changed. PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES! Story by Robbie Thompson and a TBA artist!

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MARVEL LEGACY Pits BLACK PANTHER Against KLAW, CAPTAIN MARVEL Against Her Origin – Newsarama

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July 17, 2017   Posted in: Black Panthers  Comments Closed

Tomorrow: A White Panther Party reunion at the Wright Museum – Detroit Metro Times

For instance, Detroit’s White Panther Party was founded in 1968, by Pun Plamondon and John and Leni Sinclair, The anti-racist, anti-imperialist, pro-marijuana white American political collective was apparently inspired by a quote from Black Panther Party leader Huey P. Newton. Asked, What could white people do to support he Black Panthers? Newton reportedly responded, Start a White Panther Party. And that’s just what Detroit’s white radical contingent at the time did.

Tomorrow brings them together once again, with a panel discussion featuring the Sinclairs, Plamondon, and the party’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Genie Parker. The discussion will be moderated by longtime Nightcall host Peter Werbe. It should be an eye-opening discussion, given how a lot of the radical beliefs of the White Panther Party are mainstream issues today, given the increasing decriminalization of marijuana or the way political and economic conditions are now seen as main drivers of the 12th Street Riot.

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Tomorrow: A White Panther Party reunion at the Wright Museum – Detroit Metro Times

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FAGAN: (Video) Baton Rouge Activist Caught On Tape Saying Many More Black Panthers Are Heading To Baton … – The Hayride

We are learning more about Wednesdays New Black Panther protest in front of Baton Rouge police headquarters. Police now believe one of the Black Panther protestors had a stun gun and may have tasered a police officer causing him to fall to the ground. Police released a picture of a Black Panther holding a stun gun during the protest.

There is also evidence a production crew was hired to tape the protest as several of the Black Panthers arrested had microphones on them.

One of the protestors at the event, civil rights leader and Black Panther supporter Ron Ceasar told me by phone on Thursday he expects a civil war between Black Panthers and law enforcement in the coming days. Ceasar says Baton Rouge PD has pissed of the Black Panthers and hundreds will be coming to Baton Rouge soon and will bring violence.

Click on the video below to hear Ceasars chilling words.

Of the seven Black Panthers arrested Wednesday five are from out of town and the home of the other two were not specified on arrest records. If Mr. Ceasars prediction of more Black Panthers coming to Baton Rouge is true, and thats a big if, you would expect Baton Rouge PD to take every precaution necessary to prevent violence. Ceasar also told me the family of Alton Sterling requested that the Black Panthers keep their guns in the trunk of their vehicles during Wednesdays protest. Its well known the Black Panthers carry guns in states that allow it.

Dan Fagan is a former television news reporter, journalism professor, newspaper columnist, and radio talk show host. He grew up in New Orleans and currently lives there. He is a regular contributor for The Hayride. If you have a news tip for Mr. Fagan you can reach him at [emailprotected] or 504-458-2542.

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FAGAN: (Video) Baton Rouge Activist Caught On Tape Saying Many More Black Panthers Are Heading To Baton … – The Hayride

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FAGAN: Civil Rights Leader Says Hundreds Of More Black Panthers Are Headed To Baton Rouge And Promises … – The Hayride

Three days before Wednesdays New Black Panther protest in Baton Rouge, civil rights leader and Black Panther supporter Ron Ceasar posted on his Facebook page,

SHOWDOWN IN BATON ROUGE, LA THE NEW BLACK PANTHERS FACE-OFF WITH BATON ROUGE POLICE, HIGH NOON, JULY 5, (WEDNESDAY) AT THE POLICE STATION AT 9000 AIRLINE HWY OVER THE NON-INDICTMENT OF WHITE POLICE OFFICER SALMANELLI FOR EXECUTING BROTHER ALTON STERLING. WOW! THE PANTHERS BELIEVE IN STRAPPING UP WITH SHOTGUNS AND RIFLES STAYING PREPARED TO DO BATTLE!!!!WOW!, GONNA BE A SHOWDOWN IN LOUISIANA!!!

Clearly, the 64-year old Ceasar was excited about the prospect of a violent encounter with police. There was violence but no guns were involved Wednesday. Its no secret Black Panthers have been known to carry guns but Mr. Ceasar told me the family of Alton Sterling was aware of that and asked them to leave their guns in the trunk of their cars at the protest.

Ceasar told me more Black Panthers are heading to Baton Rouge as a military tactic where they send in a few members to test the waters, if police rough them up they bring in the big boys from all over the nation.

We getting ready to have us a civil war. Ceasar said.

Of the seven Black Panthers arrested Wednesday in front of Baton Rouge police headquarters, 5 were from out of town and arrest records dont list the residences of the other two.

These guys will die for the cause. Something is going to happen and its not going to be peaceful. The Panthers are not going to sit out and just go home and they are going to make a move and it will be unannounced.

I asked Ceasar if the unannounced Black Panther event would be violent.

Of course its going to be violent. Because the police have shown that violence begets violence. We cant go over there and demonstrate peacefully, look what we got. You shot our women. Ceasar said.

I asked Mr. Ceasar if hes had discussions with the leaders in the Black Panther movement and whether theyve indicated to him if there would be violence. He responded, Thats top secret.

Ceasar said police brought this on themselves by the way he and his fellow protestors were treated Wednesday.

There were snipers in the trees, there were guys riding around in tinted vehicles, there was the FBI, they were all there. Ive worked civil rights for over 30 some years. I know how they operate. They were prepared to kill us all. But all of us there, we would have died for the cause. Ceasar said.

Ceasar described Wednesdays protest this way to the Daily Mail, What we saw today was the white man once again treating the black man as his slave.

Police stop out of town Black Panthers with a history of violence from storming their headquarters and Ceasar describes it as the white man once again treating the black man as his slave. What do you even say to something like that?

Dan Fagan is a former television news reporter, journalism professor, newspaper columnist, and radio talk show host. He grew up in New Orleans and currently lives there. He is a regular contributor for The Hayride. If you have a news tip for Mr. Fagan you can reach him at [emailprotected] or 504-458-2542.

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FAGAN: Civil Rights Leader Says Hundreds Of More Black Panthers Are Headed To Baton Rouge And Promises … – The Hayride

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VIDEO: The New Black Panthers Have A Mini-Riot At BRPD Headquarters – The Hayride

UPDATE: Boy, heres something interesting apparently, one of the people who were tased during the little riot the New Black Panthers touched off at Baton Rouge Police Headquarters was a policeman. It was originally assumed he must have gotten in the way of one of his colleagues and was tased by mistake.

Apparently, not, though, as one of the New Black Panthers showed up armed with a taser gun. That individual could well have been responsible for the cop getting tased.

ORIGINAL: This mini-riot is brought to you by the New Black Panthers courtesy of it being the one-year anniversary of the Alton Sterling shooting, something the local media in Baton Rouge and the citys mayor, who was elected partly on the strength of the hype surrounding the incident, have been vigorously playing up.

It turns out that when an incident like the one with Sterling turns into a feeding frenzy, which this one in particularly absolutely has, youll have all kinds of people attempting to use it to get attention. That phenomenon turned deadly in late July last year when a black separatist loon named Gavin Long blew in from out of town and proceeded to launch an attack which killed three local law enforcement officers and caused permanent serious injury to a fourth.

Less deadly but even more persistent (Longs violent days are done, since he was put down by the cops he was attempting to kill) are the New Black Panthers, who see in the Sterling case a ticket to relevance they are continuing to cash. So today, the New Black Panthers brought a paltry crowd to the convenience store parking lot where Sterling was shot and then led a march to Baton Rouge Police Headquarters where they proceeded to scuffle with the local cops on duty.

Thats where the mini-riot ensued.

BRPD spokesman LJean McKneely, displaying his white privilege (oh, wait!), explains the police decision to arrest the seven mini-rioters

The race-hustling mob in residence continues to complain about there being no justice for Alton Sterling, which is a fairly inarticulate euphemism for complaining theres no retribution for him. Gavin Long would seem to have already satisfied the latter, but of course its only a few people wholl have the courage, or stupidity, depending on your perspective, to admit thats what they wanted. Sterlings family filed a wrongful death action against the city and the police department, and the Justice Department concluded a months-long investigation finding no violations of Sterlings civil rights inherent in a shooting which happened as he struggled for his illegal weapon amid an arrest.

This is little more than advertising for the New Black Panthers, who as you can see in these videos have a paltry following there are more media members present at their protests than actual protesters. Whats noticeable, though, is the damage they can do. Were bound to hear more demands for a conversation about race relations due to these protests, when most of us black and white would really rather be treated as individual citizens rather than members of some warring tribe requiring a conversation.

Nobody unrelated to Alton Sterling will see their lives improved by any justice done for him. But thats a point lost on the chanting attention whores who tried to bum-rush the BRPD headquarters today.

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July 7, 2017   Posted in: Black Panthers  Comments Closed

Black America Demands Power for the People and Freedom From White Art Establishment in ‘Soul of a Nation’ Exhibit – Newsweek

In 1970, artist Faith Ringgold made a poster for the Committee to Defend the Black Panthers. A black face looked out from a red background. Some of the facial features were rendered in green, completing the triumvirate of the African liberation color palette. Free all political prisoners, it read. All power to the people.

Ringgold brought the poster to the committees offices on East 18th Street in Manhattan. They didnt like it, she recalls. And youve got our address on there, they pointed out. Defend the Panthers had just had its offices firebombed; announcing its location might invite another attack.

Ringgold made a second poster, sans address, this one showing an armed black family. Defend the Panthers hated that, too.

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Faith Ringgold outside her studio in Englewood, N.J. on Wednesday. Gioncarlo Valentine for Newsweek

The artist wasnt deterred; she was used to rejection, particularly as an African-American woman working in the largely white, male art world. Several years after Defend the Panthers rejected her, she offered her alma mater, the City College of New York, a painting. I want my art in a public place, she remembered thinking.

City College thought otherwise: They said no. I said, Well, good. I wont waste my time on them.

Her next offer, in 1971, was to the New York Women’s House of Detention, where black revolutionary Angela Davis was being held. The prison agreed to take an enormous painting called For the Womens House, which showed women in traditionally male occupations: police officers, doctors, basketball players. But in the 1988, long after the jail had moved to Rikers Island, the complex changed over from female inmates to male ones. Ringgolds painting seemed out of place given the jails new population. Accordingly, it was covered in white paint.

Speak the truth, and you get negative feedback, she jokes now.

Despite these disappointments, Ringgold persistedand was rewarded for doing so. She eventually became famous for the childrens book Tar Beach, about growing up in Harlem, as well as others, most notably We Came to America. Ive read both to my daughter without realizing Ringgolds history as an artist. But if the childrens books are popular (and they are, immensely), her political art is essential in another way. Im the one who has to speak up for who I am and what my story is, she says. Im the one gotta say what I was doing in the 70s when other people were keeping quiet.

Faith Ringgold outside her studio in Englewood, N.J. on Wednesday. Gioncarlo Valentine for Newsweek

I met Ringgold at New Yorks Ace Gallery, a longtime champion of radical artists. In the room is her painting American People Series #20: Die, depicting blacks and whites, men and women, stabbing and shooting one another. In the center of the painting, two small children cower. Last year, the Museum of Modern Art acquired that painting, the surest sign yet that the art world is finally taking Ringgold seriously.

It is a gruesome work, but Ringgold defends its gore, because that is her vision of America: During the 60s and 70s, American art was beautifully done, but there was no violence.

This summer, Ringgolds second poster for Defend the Panthers will be on display at the Tate Modern, where the new exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power opens on July 12. There are other artists in Soul of a Nation who might disagree with Ringgolds vision of what art should do and be, but thats one of the rewards of a catholic show like this. It allows for artistic disagreements without adjudicating them. Impressively comprehensive in scope, the show contains more than 150 works by over 50 artists. Spanning two decades, from 1963 to 1983, and occupying 12 galley rooms, Soul of a Nation chronicles the hope, violence and despair of the years, roughly, between the age of Kennedy and the age of Reagan. And though planned nearly three years ago, it offers insights into the age of Trump, none of which are especially sunny.

American People Series #20: Die (1967) by Faith Ringgold. Oil on canvas, 1828 x 3657 mm. Modern Women’s Fund/The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Many works speak to the unfilled promises of the civil rights movement, to the anger that followed as the nation became more conservative under Nixon and Reagan: Ringgolds United States of Attica, a map that chronicles racial and political violence throughout American history; Jeff Donaldsons Wives of Sango, a lush, almost Fauvist portrait of several chic revolutionaries; and Elizabeth Catletts Black Unity sculpture, an abstracted mahogany fist, raised in the Black Power salute. The fist is a rebellion against white racism, as well as the white art establishment.

Art relating to the Black Panthers has been the subject of many stand-alone exhibitions, including the Oakland Museum of Arts All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50 last fall and an excellent 2009 show of Emory Douglas prints at New Yorks New Museum. Soul of a Nation does a fine job of chronicling African-American militancy and pride. But there is also, crucially, art that has nothing to do with those topics. Despite the shows seemingly inescapable political overtones, Soul of a Nation successfullyand provocativelyargues that there is more to African-American postwar art than explicit expressions of anger over social injustice.

Black Unity (1968) by Elizabeth Catlett. Mahogony wood, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Catlett Mora Family Trust/DACS, London/VAGA, NY

Is the job of the black artist different than the job of a white artist? asks Mark Godfrey, one of the shows two curators. (The other is Zoe Whitley, a native of Los Angeles who has long worked as a curator in London.) Whats the role of the black woman artist? Those questions form the basis of a very compelling story. Godfrey knows the Tate Modern cant answer those questions, but the greater risk would be in not asking them.

Without belaboring the point, Soul of a Nation makes the case that just as the Italian Renaissance meant one thing to the artists of Siena and another to those of Pisa, the black art of the 1960s had its own competing centers of creativity and influence. The art coming out of Oakland, the California city that gave birth to the Panthers, was, unsurprisingly, the most political. New Yorks Spiral Group was friendlier to abstract works, while Los Angeles was home to what Godfrey calls assemblage aesthetic, best exemplified by the art of Noah Purifoy. In 1971, he created an Environmental Experience that was a reconstruction of increasingly impoverished inner-city life. The explanation attached to the piece played on the ugliest white prejudices: Niggers aint gonna never be nothing. All they want to do is drink and fuck.

Trane (1969) by William T. Williams. Studio Museum Harlem. William T. Williams/Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York

William T. Williams is one of the New York artists featured in the Tate Modern show. The bespoke septuagenarian lived out many of the tensions inherent in Soul of a Nation, his own career an argument with itself about what black art can (and should) be. And while others flocked to the political debates of the day, he retreated from them, eventually to a studio in Connecticut. He recently showed his work at a commercial art gallery for the first time in more than 40 years, at the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, which has a history of championing African-American artists. We met there on a recent afternoon, amidst the paintings that constitute Things Unknown.

A native of North Carolina, Williams went north to study art at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and later at Yale, where he got a masters degree. In the late 60s, he was part of the Smokehouse Painters, a collective that created murals around Harlem, on tenement walls and neglected public spacesa radical notion at the time, Williams remembers.

21 August 1971, ‘We Shall Survive without a doubt’ (1971) by Emory Douglas. Newspaper, 445 x 580 mm. Center for the Study of Political Graphics, Culver City, USA. Emory Douglas/Art Resource, NY

Printmaker Emory Douglas is on one end of the spectrum, his art summoning revolutionaries to the barricades. Williams is on the other. I dont wake up and be preoccupied by being a black person, Williams says. Its a nonissue.

Yet he admits that race is inescapable: How do you experience this society without thinking about race? Some of the most intriguing works in Soul of a Nation suggest thats about as realistic as swimming without touching water. Dana Chandlers Fred Hamptons Door 2, a reference to the Black Panther killed in an FBI raid in Chicago, is deceptivethe teal and rhubarb colors suggestive of a summer cottage out of childhood dreams. But the door is riddled with bullet holes. Reverie over. Welcome to America.

One of those standouts is Icon for My Man Superman (Superman Never Saved any Black People–Bobby Seale by Barkley L. Hendricks, who died earlier this year. Painted in 1969, it shows a male figure imbued with Black Power cool: the Afro hair-style, the goatee, the aviator shades, arms crossed nonchalantly just below the chest. But he is also wearing a t-shirt with the logo of Superman, beloved superhero of white America. Is Hendricks suggesting that his subject, a Panther perhaps, is also a hero? Maybe that accounts for the serene, unperturbed expression on his lips.

Soul of a Nation ends in 1983, with performance art, depicted in videos and photographs, and the show makes a persuasive case for artists like Lorraine OGrady and Senga Nengudi, who were making complex and transgressive works at a time when the art world was favoring the commercial gestures of machismo by artists like Julian Schnabel.

Muhammad Ali (1978) by Andy Warhol. Synthetic polymer and silkscreen inks on canvas, 1016 x 1016 mm. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society, New York and DACS, London

After four months at the Tate, the show will travel to the United States: first to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, followed by the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Until then, the Brooklyn Museum is offering a kind of sister exhibition, We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 196585. These womenmarginalized by whites for their race and by male black peers for their genderpoured their outrage into art, as some today pour into Twitter. Their works exemplify the old truth about privation, personal or collective, being a catalyst for creativity. (Included is Ringgolds For the Womens House, which was restored after being painted over.)

At the Brooklyn exhibition, which was crowded on a recent Saturday afternoon, I lingered in front of a work by Emma Amos, Sandy and Her Husband, painted in 1973. It shows a couple dancing in a living room, hands clasped, eyes closed. He has a hand at the small of Sandys back, which suggests he is familiar with her body. She leans into him, head resting on his shoulder.

Sandys race is plainly African-American, while her husbands is difficult to determine. It made me conscious of my desire to know his race, because it is a thing we always want to know in America. But Amos is more concerned with the basic humanity of the scene, two people quietly dancing, two people in love.

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Black America Demands Power for the People and Freedom From White Art Establishment in ‘Soul of a Nation’ Exhibit – Newsweek

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July 4, 2017   Posted in: Black Panthers  Comments Closed

Williamsburg vet made mark with African-American tank battalion in WWII – Daily Press

Growing up in 1930s Newport News, Thomas Mangrum Sr. picked up a little skill that would help change his life, both as a soldier and an African-American.

He learned Morse code.

Credit the Boy Scouts. Mangrum tapped out the dots and dashes on a tin washtub under the tutelage of a scoutmaster who had served in World War I.

The lessons stuck, and Mangrum caught the attention of Army brass years later when he signed up to fight in World War II. At a time when many black soldiers were assigned menial tasks, the Army trained Mangrum to transmit coded messages and repair radios.

They sent him to England to continue training. Somehow, he ended up unloading trucks.

“I tried to tell this captain that I was supposed to go to code school. He said, ‘You get the hell on that truck’ So I got on the truck.”

A major eventually intervened, and Mangrum’s military career kicked into high gear. He went from unloading trucks to serving with the 761st Tank Battalion, an African-American unit of tankers that fought its way across northern Europe, earning respect and praise from Gen. George Patton, the legendary U.S. military strategist.

The 761st was activated in 1942 at Camp Claiborne, La., one of three black tank battalions that made up the 5th Tank Group. When the unit landed in France in October 1944, the men received a personal welcome from Patton.

Author Gina M. DiNicolo, who chronicled the history of the 761st in her book, “The Black Panthers,” included an account of Patton’s welcome in his customary salty-tongued style.

“Men, you’re the first Negro tankers to ever fight in the American Army. I would never have asked for you if you weren’t good. I have nothing but the best in my Army. I don’t care what color you are as long as you go up there and kill those Kraut sons of bitches. Everyone has their eyes on you and is expecting great things from you. Most of all, your race is looking forward to you. Don’t let them down and damn you, don’t let me down.”

The 761st became the first black armored unit to enter combat on Nov. 8, 1944, according to Joseph E. Wilson Jr., who has also chronicled the unit’s history. It pushed through France and participated in the American counter-offensive after the Battle of the Bulge.

Later, it was among the units that helped smash the Siegfried Line, a series of German bunkers, tank traps and fortifications that protected the country’s western flank. The 761st captured seven towns, more than 400 vehicles, 80 heavy weapons and thousands of small arms during this push, according to Wilson.

As the tanks advanced, Mangrum transmitted and received coded messages between commanders. He occasionally had to climb into the tanks to fix radios.

“We supported the infantry,” he said. “We would go town by town, with the infantry. We did that all through Germany.”

As the war in Europe neared its end, the Black Panthers were among the first American units to link up with Soviet troops.

Mangrum reflected on his time in battle during the 2015 American Veterans Center conference. The interview was videotaped and is widely available on YouTube.

“It was crazy,” he said. “I took a lot of chances. I had a Jeep and electronic gear. It’s a funny thing. When you’re in combat, you go crazy. You see men dying and you’re anxious to get payback.”

After the war, Mangrum re-enlisted for a year and ended up in Berlin, where he recorded interviews with former German soldiers. He was allowed occasional breaks, but unlike the other men, he didn’t go out to smoke.

“I walked outside and looked for girls,” he said.

He did more than look. Mangrum became involved with a German girl and had the family’s blessing to take her back to the states. But she was white, and the Army wouldn’t allow it, he said.

He left the Army in 1946, having achieved the rank of staff sergeant. Returning to the U.S., he saw the same signs for segregated drinking fountains and restrooms. After working to gain respect on the battlefield, he realized the homefront hadn’t changed. Blacks were still treated like second-class citizens.

But now he tapped a new weapon. Just as learning Morse code had given him a leg up in the military, an education would help him fight the institutional racism of the late 1940s and ’50s.

“The secret for a black person to beat the system is to get an education,” he said. “And after you get an education, you can’t carry a chip on your shoulder and you can’t act smarter than that white guy you’re working with. You keep your mouth closed and work as you go along, start saving a little money. That’s the best way to beat the system.”

Still, it was a battle.

He went to school for electronics and eventually landed a job at Fort Eustis. The Army sent him to school in New Jersey for training on digital equipment. He was the only black student in a class that required him to troubleshoot equipment placed on his desk. When the students took a break, he would return to find more problems with his equipment, courtesy of some white students.

“I would be the last one to turn my test in,” he said. “But I didn’t want to stir up anything. The less you said, the better off you are.”

As attitudes slowly changed, Mangrum didn’t stay silent forever. Retiring to Mathews County, he noticed the lack of African-American representation in local government and decided to do something about it.

He ran for county supervisor, ignoring the predictions of his black friends who said he wouldn’t win. Mangrum served as a county supervisor from 1984 to 1996.

Lessig can be reached by phone at 757-247-7821.

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July 4, 2017   Posted in: Black Panthers  Comments Closed

Halle Berry: My Undying Wish Is To Play Angela Davis In A Biopic – HuffPost

Halle Berrys admiration for acclaimed scholar and activist Angela Davis is perhaps as strong as her desire to portray her onscreen.

The Oscar-winning actress, who is promoting her new film Kidnap, spoke on the empowerment stage at the Essence Festival on Friday about her experiences in Hollywood as well as those shes still hoping to gain. However, perhaps the highest priority on her list is the opportunity to play Davis in a biopic chronicling her evolution and activism over the years.

Theres one woman that Id really like to play before I die, Berry told Essence Editor-in-Chief Vanessa DeLuca onstage before the crowd. Id really love to play Angela Davis.

This isnt Berrys first time pitching herself to play Davis, who is now 73-years-old and still outspoken about politics and activism. The actress first expressed her interest in a Jet magazine interview in 2011 and has praised the former Black Panther and revolutionary activist for consistently speaking out against oppression and fighting for justice. Davis work, which highlights the intersection of issues like race, gender, prison and politics, dominates throughout black history and she stands as a leading freedom fighter to this day.

Ill probably never get to play it in my life and I am going to be sad until the day I die, but I really want to play Angela Davis badly, she reportedly told Jet magazine at the time. So badly. I just think shes fascinating and I think I would love to tell a story from her perspective about that time in our history and what it was all about with the Black Panthers.

In a separate interview with The Guardian from 2015, Berry restated her admiration for Davis and talked about how her desire to play her had become a passion project of sorts for her.

[Davis story] has always been a passion of mine, Berry told The Guardian in 2015. Shes just fascinating: the era she lived in, the Black Panthers and all that they stood for, and her connection to it, or not to it. I have a lot of respect for how she lived her life.

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July 2, 2017   Posted in: Black Panthers  Comments Closed

New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case – Wikipedia

The New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case is a political controversy in the United States concerning an incident that occurred during the 2008 election. The New Black Panther Party and two of its members, Minister King Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson, were charged with voter intimidation for their conduct outside a polling station in Philadelphia. The Department of Justice later narrowed the charges against Minister King Shabazz and dismissed the charges against the New Black Panther Party and Jerry Jackson. The decision to dismiss the charges has led to accusations that the Department of Justice under the Obama administration is biased against white victims and unwilling to prosecute minorities for civil rights violations. These charges have been most notably made by J. Christian Adams, who in May 2010 resigned his post in the Department of Justice in protest over the Obama administration’s perceived mishandling of the case, and by his former supervisor Christopher Coates. Counter-accusations were made, including claims that the actual incident was relatively minor but had been blown out of proportion by individuals and groups with political motives. Then-AG Eric Holder denied claims that his Justice Department considers the race of an alleged victim when deciding which cases to pursue. The case and its handling by the Department of Justice was investigated by the United States Commission on Civil Rights which released its report in December 2010.[1] The conduct for which members of the New Black Panther Party were accused of voter intimidation took place on Election Day in November 2008, at a polling station in a predominantly African-American, Democratic voting district of Philadelphia.[2] Two members of the New Black Panther party, Minister King Samir Shabazz, and Jerry Jackson, stood in front of the entrance to the polling station in uniforms that have been described as military or paramilitary.[3][4][5] Minister King Shabazz carried a billy club, and is reported to have pointed it at voters while both men shouted racial slurs,[6] including phrases such as “white devil” and “you’re about to be ruled by the black man, cracker.”[7] The incident drew the attention of police, who around 10:00 am, sent King Samir away in part because of his billy club. Jackson was allowed to stay, in part because he was a certified poll watcher.[8]Stephen Robert Morse, a journalist and filmmaker, upon arriving at the scene, pulled out a Flip video camera and focused on Samir Shabazz. Morse turned over the video of the incident to ElectionJournal.org.[9] The incident gained national attention after being uploaded to YouTube.[3] No complaints were filed by voters about the incident, although poll watchers witnessed some voters approach the polls and then turn away, apparently in response to the New Black Panther Party members.[10] The Department of Justice became aware of the incident on Election Day and started an inquiry. Under the Bush Administration, a criminal investigation into the incident was started, but later dropped.[11] In January 2009, less than two weeks before the Bush Administration left office, the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice filed a civil suit under the Voting Rights Act against four defendants, namely, Minister King Samir Shabazz, Jerry Jackson, NBPP chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz, and the NBPP itself. The lawsuit accused them of using uniforms, racial insults and a weapon to intimidate voters and those who were there to assist them.[3] The case remained open when the Obama administration took office a few weeks later. In April 2009 Bartle Bull, a former civil rights lawyer who was serving as a poll watcher at the polling station where the incident occurred, submitted an affidavit at the Department of Justice’s request supporting the lawsuit, stating that he considered it to have been the most severe instance of voter intimidation he had ever encountered.[3][6] When none of the defendants who were charged appeared in court to answer the charges, the career attorneys pursuing the lawsuit assumed that they would win it by default. However the move to pursue a default judgment was overruled by two of their line superiors, Loretta King, who was acting Assistant Attorney General, and Steve Rosenbaum, Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General.[4] Since the Voting Rights Act was enacted in 1965, only a handful of cases under the act have been pursued by the Justice Department. One such case filed by the Department during the Bush Administration, known as United States v. Brown, was one of the first voting rights cases which involved a white plaintiff and a black defendant. The case precipitated deep divisions within the Justice Department. Some employees felt that the voting rights act was passed because historically, it was minorities who had been disenfranchised and that the department should therefore focus on cases filed by minorities, while others felt that it was intended to protect all voters in a race-neutral manner. Employees who worked the Brown case have described being harassed by colleagues due to the widespread belief that civil rights laws should not be used to protect white voters. One Justice Department official stated that “The Voting Rights Act was passed because people like Bull Connor were hitting people like John Lewis, not the other way around.”[9] Hans A. von Spakovsky stated that internal e-mails from the Department of Justice released under a Freedom of Information Act request show that political appointees were “intimately involved” in the decision to drop the case, including former Deputy Attorney General David Ogden, Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli and Attorney General Eric Holder, and that Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez may have committed perjury by denying this in his testimony before the Civil Rights Commission.[12] In October 2010, a draft report from the Civil Rights Commission was posted on the political website TPM Muckraker, stating that political officials had been extensively involved in the decision to dismiss the case, and that the Department of Justice had attempted to conceal their involvement.[13] Civil Rights Commission chairman Gerald A. Reynolds confirmed the draft was authentic, but claimed it was not the most current version of the draft, and declined to immediately release the newest version or describe what revisions had been made to it.[14] The Justice Department denied the allegations in the report.[13] In July 2012, Judge Reggie Walton dismissed the Justice Department’s denial, finding that political appointees did interfere with prosecution of the New Black Panther Party.[15] Following their decision to narrow the scope of the case to an injunction against Minister King Shabazz, a spokesman for the Department of Justice stated that “Claims were dismissed against the other defendants based on a careful assessment of the facts and the law.”[3] The Department of Justice also stated that the “facts and the law did not support pursuing the claims against three of the defendants”, and that “As a result, the department dismissed those claims.”[16] Questions about the validity of this explanation have served as the basis for subsequent controversy over the case, which has been investigated by the United States Commission on Civil Rights,[4] Republican members of congress,[2] and two internal investigations within the Department of Justice.[9] In response to this controversy, the New Black Panther Party suspended its Philadelphia chapter, and repudiated Minister King Shabazz in a posting at its website.[17] The party stated that Shabazz made “an honest error” by bringing a billy club to the polling station, and that because of his doing so he had been suspended from the New Black Panther Party until January 2010.[18] Some Republican members of Congress have been critical of the decision to narrow the scope of the case, including Representatives Frank Wolf of Virginia and Lamar Smith of Texas. Wolf was quoted by the Washington Times as asking, “If showing a weapon, making threatening statements and wearing paramilitary uniforms in front of polling station doors does not constitute voter intimidation, at what threshold of activity would these laws be enforceable?” Smith expressed skepticism at the Obama administration’s stated justification for narrowing it, stating “The administration still has failed to explain why it did not pursue an obvious case of voter intimidation. Refusal to address these concerns only confirms politicization of the issue and does not reflect well on the Justice Department.”[16] In July 2009, Smith requested a meeting with the head of the Justice Department’s Voting Rights Section in order to discuss whether political appointees had been involved in the decision to narrow the case, stating that news reports contradicted the Justice Department’s earlier claim that political appointees had not been involved, and that earlier congressional inquiries about this had been unsuccessful.[19] Smith and Wolf also requested that the voter intimidation charges which had been previously been dropped be refiled.[20] In January 2010, after several unsuccessful attempts at obtaining the requested information from the department, Wolf sought a resolution of inquiry that would have forced the Justice Department to provide Congress with the details of why it narrowed the case. In a vote along party lines, the resolution was defeated 15-14.[21] In July 2010, seven Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to committee chairman Senator Patrick Leahy, calling for a hearing on potential “widespread politicization and possible corruption” in the Justice Department in regard to its decision to narrow the case. The letter quoted the testimony of J. Christian Adams (see below) that within the Civil Rights Division of the department there was “open hostility toward equal enforcement in a colorblind way”, and requested a hearing to determine whether Adams’ accusation was accurate.[2] On August 28, 2009, in response to the complaints raised by Representative Smith, the Department of Justice’s internal Office of Professional Responsibility opened an inquiry into the department’s handling of the case.[22][23] Smith praised the decision, stating “I am pleased that someone at the Justice Department is finally taking the dismissal of the New Black Panther Party case seriously.”[22] On September 13, 2010, the Department of Justice’s inspector general Glenn A. Fine announced he was opening a second investigation, focusing not on the New Black Panther case specifically but on the more general question of whether the Justice Department enforces voting rights laws “in a non-discriminatory manner”,[24] as well as whether voting section employees have been harassed for investigating or prosecuting particular matters.[25] Smith and Wolf also expressed approval of this decision.[24] The United States Civil Rights commission is an eight member panel. According to the New York Times, the commission is controlled by six-member conservative bloc that was appointed during the Bush administration.[4] On June 16, 2009, the commission sent a letter to the civil rights division of the Department of Justice questioning their decision to drop the case, stating “Though it had basically won the case, the Civil Rights Division took the unusual move of voluntarily dismissing the charges. The division’s public rationale would send the wrong message entirely that attempts at voter suppression will be tolerated and will not be vigorously prosecuted so long as the groups or individuals who engage in them fail to respond to the charges leveled against them.”[16] The commission received a response to its letter on June 20 from Portia Roberson, the Department of Justice’s director of the Office of Intergovernmental and Public Liaison. Her response stated that the case was dropped because “the facts and the law” did not support pursuing it. According to the commission, Ms. Roberson’s letter did not respond to the commission’s question whether there were any past cases in which the department’s Civil Rights Division had dismissed charges against a defendant accused of voter intimidation, and what its evidentiary and legal standards were for dismissing such charges.[26] On August 7, 2009, The Civil Rights Commission sent a second letter to the Department of Justice, stating that the department had been “largely non-responsive” to its previous inquiry, accusing it of failing to cooperate with investigations into why it dropped some of the charges, and again requesting the detailed information which the commission had requested in its first letter.[26] In early September 2009, after still not receiving what it considered a satisfactory response from the department, the commission voted to investigate “the merits of the NBPP enforcement actions (regardless of how the decisions were made) and the potential impact on future voter-intimidation enforcement by the department.” In a third letter to the department, the Civil Rights Commission asked Attorney General Eric Holder to name a Justice Department official to provide the information necessary for its investigation.[27] In December 2009, the Civil Rights Commission subpoenaed J. Christian Adams and Christopher Coates, the lead attorneys who had been involved in prosecuting the New Black Panther Party, to testify on why some of the complaints had been dismissed.[28] The Department of Justice (DOJ) directed Adams and Coates not to comply with the subpoena, stating that the authority to initiate criminal prosecution of anyone lies with the DOJ, not with the Civil Rights Commission.[29] Later that month, Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez removed Coates from his post and transferred him to the U.S. attorney’s office in South Carolina.[28] Perez subsequently disallowed Coates from testifying before the Civil Rights commission, stating this was because his post in South Carolina caused him to not be “the appropriate witness to testify regarding current [Civil Rights] Division policies”, leading the Washington Times to accuse Perez of transferring Coates specifically in order to remove him from the commission’s subpoena jurisdiction.[30] In October 2010, Michael Yaki, one of the two Democratic commissioners, walked out of a meeting in protest. In doing so, Yaki deprived the panel of a quorum and delayed a vote on a draft report, which Yaki claimed, is unfairly biased against the Obama administration. Yaki described the panel as a “kangaroo court”.[14] In December 2010, the Civil Rights Commission released a report concluding that their investigations had uncovered “numerous specific examples of open hostility and opposition” within the Department of Justice to pursuing cases in which whites were the victims. The report accused the Department of Justice of failing to cooperate with investigations into its reason for dropping the case, stating “While the department has issued general statements that it enforces the laws without regard to race, these assurances do not confirm, deny or explain the specific allegations of misconduct [] Unfortunately, the department has thus far refused to address many of these specific claims or to provide the type of information that would allow the commission to properly review the decision making relating to the NBPP lawsuit.”[31][32] On May 14, 2010, Adams resigned from his post as a trial attorney for the voting section of the Department of Justice. In his resignation letter and a subsequent article written by him for the Washington Times, Adams stated that the reason for his resignation was his disapproval of the department’s handling of the Black Panther case, and more specifically their demand that he not comply with the subpoena from the Civil Rights Commission.[33][34] In testimony before the Civil Rights Commission, Adams stated “I was told by voting section management that cases are not going to be brought against black defendants on [behalf] of white victims.”[35] Adams accused the lawyers who ordered the narrowing of the case of having not read the documents describing the facts and applicable law before making this decision, and claimed that his superiors had instructed him and others in the voting section to no longer bring any cases against minority offenders. Adams said, responding to the claim that the New Black Panthers’ actions in Philadelphia were an “isolated incident”: To the contrary, the Black Panthers in October 2008 announced a nationwide deployment for the election. We had indications that polling-place thugs were deployed elsewhere, not only in November 2008, but during the Democratic primaries, where they targeted white Hillary Rodham Clinton supporters.”[34] Responding to Adams’ testimony, Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez stated there was insufficient evidence to support the case;[4] Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler stated that “The department makes enforcement decisions based on the merits, not the race, gender or ethnicity of any party involved.”[5] Critics of Adams’ testimony have questioned Adams’ impartiality as he was hired during the Bush administration. Adams has pointed out that several independent reviewers of his performance in the Department of Justice had concluded that he was a “model attorney” who enforced voting laws in a race-neutral fashion, and that the reviewers reaching this conclusion included Loretta King, who supervised the dismissal of the Black Panther case.[36] Abigail Thernstrom, the vice chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, has been a vocal critic of the investigations over the Black Panther case. In an interview with CBS News, Thernstrom said that she believes “the evidence is extremely weak” that the Department of Justice has discriminated against white voters.[37] Thernstrom explained her opinion on the case in an article for National Review, in which she refers to the New Black Panther Party case as “very small potatoes”.[38] She stated, “There are plenty of grounds on which to sharply criticize the attorney general his handling of terrorism questions, just for starters but this particular overblown attack threatens to undermine the credibility of his conservative critics.”[39] Thernstrom’s stance has been sharply criticized by other conservatives,[40] such as federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy,[41] who wrote a response to Thernstrom in a later issue of National Review. He points out that a year earlier Thernstrom had been among those criticizing the Obama administration’s decision to dismiss the case, and that she had not explained the reason for her reversal of opinion. McCarthy referred to the comment by Bartle Bull, who witnessed the incident, that it was the most blatant form of voter intimidation he had ever encountered in his life, as well as the fact that it was highly unusual for the case to be dismissed after a default judgment against the defendants had already been won.[42] In reply to McCarthy, Thernstrom clarified her opinion by stating that “I still have questions about DOJ’s conduct, and I remain interested in knowing more about why the department declined to pursue the case.” However, she added that as she learned more about the case, she became doubtful it was as severe an example of voter intimidation as it first appeared to be, and was of the opinion that “the incident was not of sufficient importance to be the primary focus of our yearlong project.”[43] In his testimony before the Civil Rights Commission, Adams stated that his accusations could be corroborated by Christopher Coates,[10] the former head of the voting section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division who had led the original investigation of the New Black Panther Party.[44] The Department refused to allow Coates to testify.[10] In September 2010, Coates was granted whistleblower protection and testified before the Civil Rights Commission in defiance of his supervisors’ instructions.[45] Coates’ testimony included accusations similar to those made by Adams, stating, “I had people who told me point-blank that [they] didn’t come to the voting rights section to sue African American people.”[45] He compared the New Black Panther case to an earlier case from 2006, in which Department of Justice attorneys expressed anger at having to investigate Ike Brown, a black Democratic politician in Noxubee County, Mississippi accused of discriminating against white voters. Coates testified that the Justice Department’s administration’s decision to drop the Black Panther Case “was intended to send a direct message to people inside and outside the civil rights division. That message is that the filing of voting cases like the Ike Brown and the NBPP cases would not continue in the Obama administration.”[46] Coates testified that one of his superiors appointed by the Obama Administration had prohibited him from asking job applicants if they would enforce the voting laws in a race-neutral manner.[47] Attorney General Holder denied these claims, stating “The notion that we are enforcing any Civil Rights laws, voting or other, on the basis of race, ethnicity, or gender is simply false.”[46][48] Some civil rights officials in the Obama Administration expressed the view that Voting Rights Act was specifically intended to correct historic injustices against minorities.[9]The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Washington Post pointed out that although the Department of Justice dismissed Adams’ testimony as that of a partisan hired during the Bush Administration, Coates is of a different pedigree and cannot be ignored as easily. Coates worked for the American Civil Liberties Union for nearly 20 years, receiving the Thurgood Marshall Decade Award from the Georgia NAACP in 1991,[44] and was hired by the Justice Department during the Clinton Administration in 1996.[45] The Black Panther case had been receiving more coverage from conservative media outlets than from other ones.[49] A Newsweek op-ed implied that this is because the case was not newsworthy, and that the conservative media is attempting to stage “an effective piece of political theater that hurts the Obama administration”.[50] According to conservative radio host[51] Scott Hennen and co-author Jim Denney, writing in 2011, the case was “practically ignored by the mainstream media”.[52] Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which lists the NBPP as a hate group, described the conservative media’s handling of the case as amounting to a “tempest in a teacup”.[49] Republican Linda Chavez described the video as damning but relatively minor. She stated that because the story has pictures, it was the kind of story that you can run over and over again.[53] The Washington Times, which covered the case in detail, accused the media of failing to cover the story because liberal sources are reluctant to criticize the Obama Administration.[54] According to a July 2010 article by the Washington Post Ombudsman, the Post received numerous complaints from readers about their lack of coverage of the story, and agreed that the case deserved more coverage than it received and would be given more in the future. The Post stated that the delay in coverage was “a result of limited staffing and a heavy volume of other news on the Justice Department beat.”[55] New Black Panther Party chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz accused Fox News of contributing to racial tensions as part of “a right-wing Republican conspiracy”,[56] and other members of the New Black Panther Party made similar accusations, referring to the station as “Fox Jews”.[8]

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July 18, 2017   Posted in: Black Panthers  Comments Closed

MARVEL LEGACY Pits BLACK PANTHER Against KLAW, CAPTAIN MARVEL Against Her Origin – Newsarama

Credit: Brian StelFreeze (Marvel Comics) Two of Marvel’s biggest up-and-coming stars will enter “Marvel Legacy” in October, as writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and artist Leonard Kirk bring the movement to the renumbered Black Panther #166 (and bring back T’Challa’s old nemesis Klaw), while writer Margaret Stohl and artist Michele Bandini will explore (and redefine) Carol Danvers’ origin story in Captain Marvel #125. “I love continuity, I love past Black Panther stuff, I love bringing in history. I think already in the next issue thats about to come out, youll see past characters return,” CoatestoldEntertainment Weeklyof how Black Panther will embrace the “Marvel Legacy” concept. “The climax of last ‘season’ had all these former Black Panthers who come aid the country in fighting the rebellion. So its not a huge stretch for me to reach back and place him in the context of ‘Legacy’ in terms of Wakanda.” One of the ways Black Panther will embrace that history is bringing back Klaw, the Vibranium-obsessed supervillain that killed T’Challa’s father. Deeper threads for how Black Panther himself ties into the overall picture of “Legacy” will be found in Marvel Legacy #1, according to Coates. Meanwhile, Captain Marvel #125 will move in a different direction, more directly leaning into the past by revisiting Carol Danvers’ origin – and making sense of some of the more convoluted aspects of how she became a hero. “The heart of Carols origin story is her family, and its so much simpler and so much bigger than the pieces that have been told before,” Stohl explained. “‘Dark Origin,’ our ‘Legacy’ story arc, will take Carol down a pretty terrifying wormhole back to her own past, setting up an epic confrontation that shell be dealing with in one way or another for the next two arcs. Its an epic story Marvel editors Sana Amanat, Joe Quesada, and Axel Alonso have been brainstorming with me since our last creative summit, and Im super excited to get to tell it.” Both Black Panther #166 and Captain Marvel #125 are expected to be released in October. Here are the solicits for both issues: BLACK PANTHER #166 TA-NEHISI COATES (W) LEONARD KIRK (A) Cover by BRIAN STELFREEZE KLAW STANDS SUPREME Part 1 Black Panthers greatest foe has returned Ulysses Klaw is back and ready for war! Can TChalla defeat the man who killed his father all while his country struggles to its feet? And as war looms, Wakandas gods have disappeared. Enter the Originators! The former gods are back but what are their intentions for a land that has forgotten them? PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES! Story by Robbie Thompson and a TBA artist! CAPTAIN MARVEL #125 MARGARET STOHL (W) MICHELE BANDINI (A) COVER by PHIL NOTO DARK ORIGIN Part 1 As Captain Marvel, CAROL DANVERS has traveled to almost every inch of the planet and beyond! Now shes heading to somewhere uncharted, where theres no familiar face to be seen except forher own! Join Carol on her new cosmic journey through the past and future as Captain Marvel takes flight in an adventure you wont want to miss. The earth-shattering secrets of her Dark Origin are finally revealed, and the Marvel Universe will be forever changed. PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES! Story by Robbie Thompson and a TBA artist!

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July 17, 2017   Posted in: Black Panthers  Comments Closed

Tomorrow: A White Panther Party reunion at the Wright Museum – Detroit Metro Times

For instance, Detroit’s White Panther Party was founded in 1968, by Pun Plamondon and John and Leni Sinclair, The anti-racist, anti-imperialist, pro-marijuana white American political collective was apparently inspired by a quote from Black Panther Party leader Huey P. Newton. Asked, What could white people do to support he Black Panthers? Newton reportedly responded, Start a White Panther Party. And that’s just what Detroit’s white radical contingent at the time did. Tomorrow brings them together once again, with a panel discussion featuring the Sinclairs, Plamondon, and the party’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Genie Parker. The discussion will be moderated by longtime Nightcall host Peter Werbe. It should be an eye-opening discussion, given how a lot of the radical beliefs of the White Panther Party are mainstream issues today, given the increasing decriminalization of marijuana or the way political and economic conditions are now seen as main drivers of the 12th Street Riot.

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July 14, 2017   Posted in: Black Panthers  Comments Closed

FAGAN: (Video) Baton Rouge Activist Caught On Tape Saying Many More Black Panthers Are Heading To Baton … – The Hayride

We are learning more about Wednesdays New Black Panther protest in front of Baton Rouge police headquarters. Police now believe one of the Black Panther protestors had a stun gun and may have tasered a police officer causing him to fall to the ground. Police released a picture of a Black Panther holding a stun gun during the protest. There is also evidence a production crew was hired to tape the protest as several of the Black Panthers arrested had microphones on them. One of the protestors at the event, civil rights leader and Black Panther supporter Ron Ceasar told me by phone on Thursday he expects a civil war between Black Panthers and law enforcement in the coming days. Ceasar says Baton Rouge PD has pissed of the Black Panthers and hundreds will be coming to Baton Rouge soon and will bring violence. Click on the video below to hear Ceasars chilling words. Of the seven Black Panthers arrested Wednesday five are from out of town and the home of the other two were not specified on arrest records. If Mr. Ceasars prediction of more Black Panthers coming to Baton Rouge is true, and thats a big if, you would expect Baton Rouge PD to take every precaution necessary to prevent violence. Ceasar also told me the family of Alton Sterling requested that the Black Panthers keep their guns in the trunk of their vehicles during Wednesdays protest. Its well known the Black Panthers carry guns in states that allow it. Dan Fagan is a former television news reporter, journalism professor, newspaper columnist, and radio talk show host. He grew up in New Orleans and currently lives there. He is a regular contributor for The Hayride. If you have a news tip for Mr. Fagan you can reach him at [emailprotected] or 504-458-2542.

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July 8, 2017   Posted in: Black Panthers  Comments Closed

FAGAN: Civil Rights Leader Says Hundreds Of More Black Panthers Are Headed To Baton Rouge And Promises … – The Hayride

Three days before Wednesdays New Black Panther protest in Baton Rouge, civil rights leader and Black Panther supporter Ron Ceasar posted on his Facebook page, SHOWDOWN IN BATON ROUGE, LA THE NEW BLACK PANTHERS FACE-OFF WITH BATON ROUGE POLICE, HIGH NOON, JULY 5, (WEDNESDAY) AT THE POLICE STATION AT 9000 AIRLINE HWY OVER THE NON-INDICTMENT OF WHITE POLICE OFFICER SALMANELLI FOR EXECUTING BROTHER ALTON STERLING. WOW! THE PANTHERS BELIEVE IN STRAPPING UP WITH SHOTGUNS AND RIFLES STAYING PREPARED TO DO BATTLE!!!!WOW!, GONNA BE A SHOWDOWN IN LOUISIANA!!! Clearly, the 64-year old Ceasar was excited about the prospect of a violent encounter with police. There was violence but no guns were involved Wednesday. Its no secret Black Panthers have been known to carry guns but Mr. Ceasar told me the family of Alton Sterling was aware of that and asked them to leave their guns in the trunk of their cars at the protest. Ceasar told me more Black Panthers are heading to Baton Rouge as a military tactic where they send in a few members to test the waters, if police rough them up they bring in the big boys from all over the nation. We getting ready to have us a civil war. Ceasar said. Of the seven Black Panthers arrested Wednesday in front of Baton Rouge police headquarters, 5 were from out of town and arrest records dont list the residences of the other two. These guys will die for the cause. Something is going to happen and its not going to be peaceful. The Panthers are not going to sit out and just go home and they are going to make a move and it will be unannounced. I asked Ceasar if the unannounced Black Panther event would be violent. Of course its going to be violent. Because the police have shown that violence begets violence. We cant go over there and demonstrate peacefully, look what we got. You shot our women. Ceasar said. I asked Mr. Ceasar if hes had discussions with the leaders in the Black Panther movement and whether theyve indicated to him if there would be violence. He responded, Thats top secret. Ceasar said police brought this on themselves by the way he and his fellow protestors were treated Wednesday. There were snipers in the trees, there were guys riding around in tinted vehicles, there was the FBI, they were all there. Ive worked civil rights for over 30 some years. I know how they operate. They were prepared to kill us all. But all of us there, we would have died for the cause. Ceasar said. Ceasar described Wednesdays protest this way to the Daily Mail, What we saw today was the white man once again treating the black man as his slave. Police stop out of town Black Panthers with a history of violence from storming their headquarters and Ceasar describes it as the white man once again treating the black man as his slave. What do you even say to something like that? Dan Fagan is a former television news reporter, journalism professor, newspaper columnist, and radio talk show host. He grew up in New Orleans and currently lives there. He is a regular contributor for The Hayride. If you have a news tip for Mr. Fagan you can reach him at [emailprotected] or 504-458-2542.

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July 7, 2017   Posted in: Black Panthers  Comments Closed

VIDEO: The New Black Panthers Have A Mini-Riot At BRPD Headquarters – The Hayride

UPDATE: Boy, heres something interesting apparently, one of the people who were tased during the little riot the New Black Panthers touched off at Baton Rouge Police Headquarters was a policeman. It was originally assumed he must have gotten in the way of one of his colleagues and was tased by mistake. Apparently, not, though, as one of the New Black Panthers showed up armed with a taser gun. That individual could well have been responsible for the cop getting tased. ORIGINAL: This mini-riot is brought to you by the New Black Panthers courtesy of it being the one-year anniversary of the Alton Sterling shooting, something the local media in Baton Rouge and the citys mayor, who was elected partly on the strength of the hype surrounding the incident, have been vigorously playing up. It turns out that when an incident like the one with Sterling turns into a feeding frenzy, which this one in particularly absolutely has, youll have all kinds of people attempting to use it to get attention. That phenomenon turned deadly in late July last year when a black separatist loon named Gavin Long blew in from out of town and proceeded to launch an attack which killed three local law enforcement officers and caused permanent serious injury to a fourth. Less deadly but even more persistent (Longs violent days are done, since he was put down by the cops he was attempting to kill) are the New Black Panthers, who see in the Sterling case a ticket to relevance they are continuing to cash. So today, the New Black Panthers brought a paltry crowd to the convenience store parking lot where Sterling was shot and then led a march to Baton Rouge Police Headquarters where they proceeded to scuffle with the local cops on duty. Thats where the mini-riot ensued. BRPD spokesman LJean McKneely, displaying his white privilege (oh, wait!), explains the police decision to arrest the seven mini-rioters The race-hustling mob in residence continues to complain about there being no justice for Alton Sterling, which is a fairly inarticulate euphemism for complaining theres no retribution for him. Gavin Long would seem to have already satisfied the latter, but of course its only a few people wholl have the courage, or stupidity, depending on your perspective, to admit thats what they wanted. Sterlings family filed a wrongful death action against the city and the police department, and the Justice Department concluded a months-long investigation finding no violations of Sterlings civil rights inherent in a shooting which happened as he struggled for his illegal weapon amid an arrest. This is little more than advertising for the New Black Panthers, who as you can see in these videos have a paltry following there are more media members present at their protests than actual protesters. Whats noticeable, though, is the damage they can do. Were bound to hear more demands for a conversation about race relations due to these protests, when most of us black and white would really rather be treated as individual citizens rather than members of some warring tribe requiring a conversation. Nobody unrelated to Alton Sterling will see their lives improved by any justice done for him. But thats a point lost on the chanting attention whores who tried to bum-rush the BRPD headquarters today.

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July 7, 2017   Posted in: Black Panthers  Comments Closed

Black America Demands Power for the People and Freedom From White Art Establishment in ‘Soul of a Nation’ Exhibit – Newsweek

In 1970, artist Faith Ringgold made a poster for the Committee to Defend the Black Panthers. A black face looked out from a red background. Some of the facial features were rendered in green, completing the triumvirate of the African liberation color palette. Free all political prisoners, it read. All power to the people. Ringgold brought the poster to the committees offices on East 18th Street in Manhattan. They didnt like it, she recalls. And youve got our address on there, they pointed out. Defend the Panthers had just had its offices firebombed; announcing its location might invite another attack. Ringgold made a second poster, sans address, this one showing an armed black family. Defend the Panthers hated that, too. Culture Emails and Alerts- Get the best of Newsweek Culture delivered to your inbox Faith Ringgold outside her studio in Englewood, N.J. on Wednesday. Gioncarlo Valentine for Newsweek The artist wasnt deterred; she was used to rejection, particularly as an African-American woman working in the largely white, male art world. Several years after Defend the Panthers rejected her, she offered her alma mater, the City College of New York, a painting. I want my art in a public place, she remembered thinking. City College thought otherwise: They said no. I said, Well, good. I wont waste my time on them. Her next offer, in 1971, was to the New York Women’s House of Detention, where black revolutionary Angela Davis was being held. The prison agreed to take an enormous painting called For the Womens House, which showed women in traditionally male occupations: police officers, doctors, basketball players. But in the 1988, long after the jail had moved to Rikers Island, the complex changed over from female inmates to male ones. Ringgolds painting seemed out of place given the jails new population. Accordingly, it was covered in white paint. Speak the truth, and you get negative feedback, she jokes now. Despite these disappointments, Ringgold persistedand was rewarded for doing so. She eventually became famous for the childrens book Tar Beach, about growing up in Harlem, as well as others, most notably We Came to America. Ive read both to my daughter without realizing Ringgolds history as an artist. But if the childrens books are popular (and they are, immensely), her political art is essential in another way. Im the one who has to speak up for who I am and what my story is, she says. Im the one gotta say what I was doing in the 70s when other people were keeping quiet. Faith Ringgold outside her studio in Englewood, N.J. on Wednesday. Gioncarlo Valentine for Newsweek I met Ringgold at New Yorks Ace Gallery, a longtime champion of radical artists. In the room is her painting American People Series #20: Die, depicting blacks and whites, men and women, stabbing and shooting one another. In the center of the painting, two small children cower. Last year, the Museum of Modern Art acquired that painting, the surest sign yet that the art world is finally taking Ringgold seriously. It is a gruesome work, but Ringgold defends its gore, because that is her vision of America: During the 60s and 70s, American art was beautifully done, but there was no violence. This summer, Ringgolds second poster for Defend the Panthers will be on display at the Tate Modern, where the new exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power opens on July 12. There are other artists in Soul of a Nation who might disagree with Ringgolds vision of what art should do and be, but thats one of the rewards of a catholic show like this. It allows for artistic disagreements without adjudicating them. Impressively comprehensive in scope, the show contains more than 150 works by over 50 artists. Spanning two decades, from 1963 to 1983, and occupying 12 galley rooms, Soul of a Nation chronicles the hope, violence and despair of the years, roughly, between the age of Kennedy and the age of Reagan. And though planned nearly three years ago, it offers insights into the age of Trump, none of which are especially sunny. American People Series #20: Die (1967) by Faith Ringgold. Oil on canvas, 1828 x 3657 mm. Modern Women’s Fund/The Museum of Modern Art, New York Many works speak to the unfilled promises of the civil rights movement, to the anger that followed as the nation became more conservative under Nixon and Reagan: Ringgolds United States of Attica, a map that chronicles racial and political violence throughout American history; Jeff Donaldsons Wives of Sango, a lush, almost Fauvist portrait of several chic revolutionaries; and Elizabeth Catletts Black Unity sculpture, an abstracted mahogany fist, raised in the Black Power salute. The fist is a rebellion against white racism, as well as the white art establishment. Art relating to the Black Panthers has been the subject of many stand-alone exhibitions, including the Oakland Museum of Arts All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50 last fall and an excellent 2009 show of Emory Douglas prints at New Yorks New Museum. Soul of a Nation does a fine job of chronicling African-American militancy and pride. But there is also, crucially, art that has nothing to do with those topics. Despite the shows seemingly inescapable political overtones, Soul of a Nation successfullyand provocativelyargues that there is more to African-American postwar art than explicit expressions of anger over social injustice. Black Unity (1968) by Elizabeth Catlett. Mahogony wood, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Catlett Mora Family Trust/DACS, London/VAGA, NY Is the job of the black artist different than the job of a white artist? asks Mark Godfrey, one of the shows two curators. (The other is Zoe Whitley, a native of Los Angeles who has long worked as a curator in London.) Whats the role of the black woman artist? Those questions form the basis of a very compelling story. Godfrey knows the Tate Modern cant answer those questions, but the greater risk would be in not asking them. Without belaboring the point, Soul of a Nation makes the case that just as the Italian Renaissance meant one thing to the artists of Siena and another to those of Pisa, the black art of the 1960s had its own competing centers of creativity and influence. The art coming out of Oakland, the California city that gave birth to the Panthers, was, unsurprisingly, the most political. New Yorks Spiral Group was friendlier to abstract works, while Los Angeles was home to what Godfrey calls assemblage aesthetic, best exemplified by the art of Noah Purifoy. In 1971, he created an Environmental Experience that was a reconstruction of increasingly impoverished inner-city life. The explanation attached to the piece played on the ugliest white prejudices: Niggers aint gonna never be nothing. All they want to do is drink and fuck. Trane (1969) by William T. Williams. Studio Museum Harlem. William T. Williams/Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York William T. Williams is one of the New York artists featured in the Tate Modern show. The bespoke septuagenarian lived out many of the tensions inherent in Soul of a Nation, his own career an argument with itself about what black art can (and should) be. And while others flocked to the political debates of the day, he retreated from them, eventually to a studio in Connecticut. He recently showed his work at a commercial art gallery for the first time in more than 40 years, at the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, which has a history of championing African-American artists. We met there on a recent afternoon, amidst the paintings that constitute Things Unknown. A native of North Carolina, Williams went north to study art at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and later at Yale, where he got a masters degree. In the late 60s, he was part of the Smokehouse Painters, a collective that created murals around Harlem, on tenement walls and neglected public spacesa radical notion at the time, Williams remembers. 21 August 1971, ‘We Shall Survive without a doubt’ (1971) by Emory Douglas. Newspaper, 445 x 580 mm. Center for the Study of Political Graphics, Culver City, USA. Emory Douglas/Art Resource, NY Printmaker Emory Douglas is on one end of the spectrum, his art summoning revolutionaries to the barricades. Williams is on the other. I dont wake up and be preoccupied by being a black person, Williams says. Its a nonissue. Yet he admits that race is inescapable: How do you experience this society without thinking about race? Some of the most intriguing works in Soul of a Nation suggest thats about as realistic as swimming without touching water. Dana Chandlers Fred Hamptons Door 2, a reference to the Black Panther killed in an FBI raid in Chicago, is deceptivethe teal and rhubarb colors suggestive of a summer cottage out of childhood dreams. But the door is riddled with bullet holes. Reverie over. Welcome to America. One of those standouts is Icon for My Man Superman (Superman Never Saved any Black People–Bobby Seale by Barkley L. Hendricks, who died earlier this year. Painted in 1969, it shows a male figure imbued with Black Power cool: the Afro hair-style, the goatee, the aviator shades, arms crossed nonchalantly just below the chest. But he is also wearing a t-shirt with the logo of Superman, beloved superhero of white America. Is Hendricks suggesting that his subject, a Panther perhaps, is also a hero? Maybe that accounts for the serene, unperturbed expression on his lips. Soul of a Nation ends in 1983, with performance art, depicted in videos and photographs, and the show makes a persuasive case for artists like Lorraine OGrady and Senga Nengudi, who were making complex and transgressive works at a time when the art world was favoring the commercial gestures of machismo by artists like Julian Schnabel. Muhammad Ali (1978) by Andy Warhol. Synthetic polymer and silkscreen inks on canvas, 1016 x 1016 mm. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./Artists Rights Society, New York and DACS, London After four months at the Tate, the show will travel to the United States: first to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, followed by the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Until then, the Brooklyn Museum is offering a kind of sister exhibition, We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 196585. These womenmarginalized by whites for their race and by male black peers for their genderpoured their outrage into art, as some today pour into Twitter. Their works exemplify the old truth about privation, personal or collective, being a catalyst for creativity. (Included is Ringgolds For the Womens House, which was restored after being painted over.) At the Brooklyn exhibition, which was crowded on a recent Saturday afternoon, I lingered in front of a work by Emma Amos, Sandy and Her Husband, painted in 1973. It shows a couple dancing in a living room, hands clasped, eyes closed. He has a hand at the small of Sandys back, which suggests he is familiar with her body. She leans into him, head resting on his shoulder. Sandys race is plainly African-American, while her husbands is difficult to determine. It made me conscious of my desire to know his race, because it is a thing we always want to know in America. But Amos is more concerned with the basic humanity of the scene, two people quietly dancing, two people in love.

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July 4, 2017   Posted in: Black Panthers  Comments Closed

Williamsburg vet made mark with African-American tank battalion in WWII – Daily Press

Growing up in 1930s Newport News, Thomas Mangrum Sr. picked up a little skill that would help change his life, both as a soldier and an African-American. He learned Morse code. Credit the Boy Scouts. Mangrum tapped out the dots and dashes on a tin washtub under the tutelage of a scoutmaster who had served in World War I. The lessons stuck, and Mangrum caught the attention of Army brass years later when he signed up to fight in World War II. At a time when many black soldiers were assigned menial tasks, the Army trained Mangrum to transmit coded messages and repair radios. They sent him to England to continue training. Somehow, he ended up unloading trucks. “I tried to tell this captain that I was supposed to go to code school. He said, ‘You get the hell on that truck’ So I got on the truck.” A major eventually intervened, and Mangrum’s military career kicked into high gear. He went from unloading trucks to serving with the 761st Tank Battalion, an African-American unit of tankers that fought its way across northern Europe, earning respect and praise from Gen. George Patton, the legendary U.S. military strategist. The 761st was activated in 1942 at Camp Claiborne, La., one of three black tank battalions that made up the 5th Tank Group. When the unit landed in France in October 1944, the men received a personal welcome from Patton. Author Gina M. DiNicolo, who chronicled the history of the 761st in her book, “The Black Panthers,” included an account of Patton’s welcome in his customary salty-tongued style. “Men, you’re the first Negro tankers to ever fight in the American Army. I would never have asked for you if you weren’t good. I have nothing but the best in my Army. I don’t care what color you are as long as you go up there and kill those Kraut sons of bitches. Everyone has their eyes on you and is expecting great things from you. Most of all, your race is looking forward to you. Don’t let them down and damn you, don’t let me down.” The 761st became the first black armored unit to enter combat on Nov. 8, 1944, according to Joseph E. Wilson Jr., who has also chronicled the unit’s history. It pushed through France and participated in the American counter-offensive after the Battle of the Bulge. Later, it was among the units that helped smash the Siegfried Line, a series of German bunkers, tank traps and fortifications that protected the country’s western flank. The 761st captured seven towns, more than 400 vehicles, 80 heavy weapons and thousands of small arms during this push, according to Wilson. As the tanks advanced, Mangrum transmitted and received coded messages between commanders. He occasionally had to climb into the tanks to fix radios. “We supported the infantry,” he said. “We would go town by town, with the infantry. We did that all through Germany.” As the war in Europe neared its end, the Black Panthers were among the first American units to link up with Soviet troops. Mangrum reflected on his time in battle during the 2015 American Veterans Center conference. The interview was videotaped and is widely available on YouTube. “It was crazy,” he said. “I took a lot of chances. I had a Jeep and electronic gear. It’s a funny thing. When you’re in combat, you go crazy. You see men dying and you’re anxious to get payback.” After the war, Mangrum re-enlisted for a year and ended up in Berlin, where he recorded interviews with former German soldiers. He was allowed occasional breaks, but unlike the other men, he didn’t go out to smoke. “I walked outside and looked for girls,” he said. He did more than look. Mangrum became involved with a German girl and had the family’s blessing to take her back to the states. But she was white, and the Army wouldn’t allow it, he said. He left the Army in 1946, having achieved the rank of staff sergeant. Returning to the U.S., he saw the same signs for segregated drinking fountains and restrooms. After working to gain respect on the battlefield, he realized the homefront hadn’t changed. Blacks were still treated like second-class citizens. But now he tapped a new weapon. Just as learning Morse code had given him a leg up in the military, an education would help him fight the institutional racism of the late 1940s and ’50s. “The secret for a black person to beat the system is to get an education,” he said. “And after you get an education, you can’t carry a chip on your shoulder and you can’t act smarter than that white guy you’re working with. You keep your mouth closed and work as you go along, start saving a little money. That’s the best way to beat the system.” Still, it was a battle. He went to school for electronics and eventually landed a job at Fort Eustis. The Army sent him to school in New Jersey for training on digital equipment. He was the only black student in a class that required him to troubleshoot equipment placed on his desk. When the students took a break, he would return to find more problems with his equipment, courtesy of some white students. “I would be the last one to turn my test in,” he said. “But I didn’t want to stir up anything. The less you said, the better off you are.” As attitudes slowly changed, Mangrum didn’t stay silent forever. Retiring to Mathews County, he noticed the lack of African-American representation in local government and decided to do something about it. He ran for county supervisor, ignoring the predictions of his black friends who said he wouldn’t win. Mangrum served as a county supervisor from 1984 to 1996. Lessig can be reached by phone at 757-247-7821.

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July 4, 2017   Posted in: Black Panthers  Comments Closed

Halle Berry: My Undying Wish Is To Play Angela Davis In A Biopic – HuffPost

Halle Berrys admiration for acclaimed scholar and activist Angela Davis is perhaps as strong as her desire to portray her onscreen. The Oscar-winning actress, who is promoting her new film Kidnap, spoke on the empowerment stage at the Essence Festival on Friday about her experiences in Hollywood as well as those shes still hoping to gain. However, perhaps the highest priority on her list is the opportunity to play Davis in a biopic chronicling her evolution and activism over the years. Theres one woman that Id really like to play before I die, Berry told Essence Editor-in-Chief Vanessa DeLuca onstage before the crowd. Id really love to play Angela Davis. This isnt Berrys first time pitching herself to play Davis, who is now 73-years-old and still outspoken about politics and activism. The actress first expressed her interest in a Jet magazine interview in 2011 and has praised the former Black Panther and revolutionary activist for consistently speaking out against oppression and fighting for justice. Davis work, which highlights the intersection of issues like race, gender, prison and politics, dominates throughout black history and she stands as a leading freedom fighter to this day. Ill probably never get to play it in my life and I am going to be sad until the day I die, but I really want to play Angela Davis badly, she reportedly told Jet magazine at the time. So badly. I just think shes fascinating and I think I would love to tell a story from her perspective about that time in our history and what it was all about with the Black Panthers. In a separate interview with The Guardian from 2015, Berry restated her admiration for Davis and talked about how her desire to play her had become a passion project of sorts for her. [Davis story] has always been a passion of mine, Berry told The Guardian in 2015. Shes just fascinating: the era she lived in, the Black Panthers and all that they stood for, and her connection to it, or not to it. I have a lot of respect for how she lived her life.

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July 2, 2017   Posted in: Black Panthers  Comments Closed


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