by Christian Hollister
The Black Panther Party had guns, yes. But they had guns due to the fact that brute force, sometimes lethal, was being used against Blacks of all walks of life. Men, women & children. But see the difference in the Black Panthers & the radical right wing nut jobs is that they had guns as a defense against those who WERE oppressing them. There was no made up, fairy-tale, fantasy land oppression that these racist, idiotic whites are drumming up. The oppression and brutality of Blacks WAS all so real. And the thing about it was that the U.S. government, President after blind eye President, turned said blind eye to the massacres, the beatings, the bombings, the lynchings, the senseless cold murders of those who dared raise their voices for equality, rights and a piece of the so-called American Dream; that America herself dangled in front of them and their ancestors like a carrot on a string in front of a horse.
The Black Panthers knew the importance of guns, the right to bear arms in a practical sense that allowed them the protection that the local, state and federal law enforcement agencies disallowed them to have. Was it their desire to have the government turn its collective backs on them while they were being beaten by police wielding nightsticks? Was it their desire to have the government stand by while Blacks from Jackson, Mississippi to Montgomery, Alabama to Oakland, California were viciously attacked by police dogs and hosed down their children? No. But in the sense of needing protection in a proactive stance to ensure that their lives were not taken, they created gun clubs, rifle clubs. Not to ride around in white neighborhoods looking for hooded Klansmen to murder, but just the opposite, to prevent these hooded Klansmen and double standard police officers from riding into their town aimlessly killing at will.
You see, there’s a distinct difference between what Blacks during the heydays of the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power Movement had to endure and what the radical, racist and fanatical fear mongering whites are yelling about. They are the prototypical child screaming that they aren’t getting their way. While Blacks needed protecting for their lives, those who feel it is the patriotic duty to sound the alarm and ring the tower’s bell, making alert those who are in a supposed danger of losing their rights to have guns either don’t understand or refuse to recognize that they have no honest idea of how it REALLY feels to have the government come in and take away their rights. To foolishly collate slavery with slaves owning guns, and thereby if they did it would have erased the very aspect of slavery from this country’s tattered history is both deplorable and disrespectful to everyone who was a slave and those who are the ancestors of slaves. Slaves were slaves. They weren’t “African American,” they weren’t citizens, they were considered 3/5’s human. 3/5’s. So to suggest that something that was looked at as being just slightly above cattle & livestock, but significantly below prized property, could have had their own fates decidedly differently by the sheer fact that they were gun owners too is preposterous…
©Christian Hollister 2013