Friday, March 03, 2006

REMEMBER FRED HAMPTON


Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police are bent all out of shape about renaming of a street there in honor of former Black Panther Fred Hampton.

I say, "Too damn bad!"

I well remember hearing the news of the massive police assault on Black Panther Party headquarters in Chicago which took the lives of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark while they slept.

I remember the nationwide attack on the Panthers that killed, wounded and jailed hundreds of Black men and women who stood up for their people and their communities.

I remember what the Panthers meant to me, a white kid, in Lawrence, Kansas.

They were more than a symbol, they were an inspiration.

And yes, they were a threat, to the white power structure.

J. Edgar Hoover once called the Panthers "the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States."

To his United States they indeed were.

We could use those Black Panthers about now.

The original ten point program of the Black Panther Party stated,


What We Want - What We Believe

1. We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black Community.

We believe that black people will not be free until we are able to determine our destiny.

2. We want full employment for our people.

We believe that the federal government is responsible and obligated to give every man employment or a guaranteed income. We believe that if the white American businessmen will not give full employment, then the means of production should be taken from the businessmen and placed in the community so that the people of the community can organize and employ all of its people and give a high standard of living.

3. We want an end to the robbery by the white man of our Black Community.

We believe that this racist government has robbed us and now we are demanding the overdue debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules was promised 100 years ago as restitution for slave labor and mass murder of black people. We will accept the payment as currency which will be distributed to our many communities. The Germans are now aiding the Jews in Israel for the genocide of the Jewish people. The Germans murdered six million Jews. The American racist has taken part in the slaughter of over twenty million black people; therefore, we feel that this is a modest demand that we make.

4. We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings.

We believe that if the white landlords will not give decent housing to our black community, then the housing and the land should be made into cooperatives so that our community, with government aid, can build and make decent housing for its people.

5. We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present-day society.

We believe in an educational system that will give to our people a knowledge of self. If a man does not have knowledge of himself and his position in society and the world, then he has little chance to relate to anything else.

6. We want all black men to be exempt from military service.

We believe that Black people should not be forced to fight in the military service to defend a racist government that does not protect us. We will not fight and kill other people of color in the world who, like black people, are being victimized by the white racist government of America. We will protect ourselves from the force and violence of the racist police and the racist military, by whatever means necessary.

7. We want an immediate end to police brutality and murder of black people.

We believe we can end police brutality in our black community by organizing black self-defense groups that are dedicated to defending our black community from racist police oppression and brutality. The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States gives a right to bear arms. We therefore believe that all black people should arm themselves for self defense.

8. We want freedom for all black men held in federal, state, county and city prisons and jails.

We believe that all black people should be released from the many jails and prisons because they have not received a fair and impartial trial.

9. We want all black people when brought to trial to be tried in court by a jury of their peer group or people from their black communities, as defined by the Constitution of the United States.

We believe that the courts should follow the United States Constitution so that black people will receive fair trials. The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives a man a right to be tried by his peer group. A peer is a person from a similar economic, social, religious, geographical, environmental, historical and racial background. To do this the court will be forced to select a jury from the black community from which the black defendant came. We have been, and are being tried by all-white juries that have no understanding of the "average reasoning man" of the black community.

10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace. And as our major political objective, a United Nations-supervised plebiscite to be held throughout the black colony in which only black colonial subjects will be allowed to participate for the purpose of determining the will of black people as to their national destiny.

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly, all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to supper, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariable the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.


For Fred Hampton Jr., 36, the visionary life and painful death of his father is something he and his mother, Akua Njeri, bravely face and talk about everyday, he told the Chicago Defender.

"We continue to live it everyday because my mother and I know that the struggle of our people continues," Hampton Jr. said. "I have no criminal record, but the federal government already consider me as having three strikes against me. Strike one is because I am African. Strike two is because I am the son of Chairman Fred Hampton. And strike three is because I continue to fight for the liberation of my people through my organization, Prisoners of Conscious Committee."


The following editorial is from the Chicago Defender, an African American newspaper in that city.


EDITORIAL: Chicago police refuse to admit to rampant terrorism against Blacks during turbulent 60s
March 1, 2006

"Kill the pigs."

Those were the words often used by Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, to describe his solution to the Chicago Police Department's treatment of African Americans.

Here we are, 37 years after he was brutally assassinated along with fellow Panther Mark Clark, and the Chicago branch of the Fraternal Order of Police continues to be angered by his bitter denunciations.

Did we expect them not to be pleased with an ordinance calling for a Chairman Fred Hampton Way street to be named in his honor? Absolutely. But what is egregious - no, downright distasteful - is the inability for the Fraternal Order of Police to not accept why Hampton was so angry at officers that he would call for their murder.

There was rampant and frequent abuse against African Americans by police departments nationwide, and Mayor Richard J. Daley's city was no different. Law enforcement officers were supposed to be sworn to protect and serve. But when it came to African Americans, they used their badges and guns to terrorize, brutally beat, and in many instances, kill Black men and women.

This is the real story of Chicago and America; the one no one wants to discuss and keep hidden from the kiddos.

We are raised to respect law enforcement, but why in the hell didnĂ‚’t they reciprocate? We are supposed to care about those police officers and their families, but they showed no regard for our lives and our families.

A bogeyman didn't create the anger that welled in the spirit of Fred Hampton and countless other Black Panthers and Black men who had no voice or platform to speak from. It was that oppressive spirit known as the Chicago Police Department.

And for the Fraternal Order of Police to register their righteous indignation is beyond belief.

Hampton's denunciations were the effect. The cause? Sanctioned police terrorism against defenseless Black folks. But when the Panthers decided that the Second Amendment applied to them, then the police department grew angry, calling them a terrorist organization. They must have come to the conclusion that only one terrorism group should have the right to carry weapons - them.

Since Mark Donahue, Sidney Davis and other officials in the Fraternal Order of Police are so angry at the suggestion of naming a street after Hampton, where is their official resolution calling for the U.S. Congress to remove the name of J. Edgar Hoover from the headquarters in Washington, D.C. Here is a man who broke the law and subverted the U.S. Constitution, yet our government recognizes him on what is supposed to be the epitome of law enforcement - the FBI?

We would have far more respect for the Fraternal Order of Police if their disposition against naming a street after Hampton would extend to Hoover. We would be willing to listen to their grievances if they offered the African American residents of Chicago an apology for their brutal and sadistic actions during the days Fred Hampton walked the streets of this city. Otherwise, they are doing nothing more than trying to sully the reputation of a freedom fighter.

The Fraternal Order of Police is still protecting and serving with their anger at an honor for Chairman Fred Hampton. Only this time, it's their sordid and dangerous history.

1 comment:

jerry said...

Nice to see that there are some others out there that feel the same way I do.

Unfortunately, I was not a kid when this went down.

I was already married and sick to death of the garbage that this country was putting its own citizens and the world through.

The Panthers left a legacy that lives today.

All too soon Malcom X's words will come to pass as the chickens finally do really come home to roost.

The insane Neocon Christian Zionists will destroy the western world and finally civilization and governments will get out of the way of people and their right to live lives without interference.