Black Panther Party
When a mechanic wants to fix a broken down car engine, he must have the necessary tools to do the job. When the people move for liberation they must have the basic tools of liberation the gun. Only with the power of the gun can the black masses halt the terror and brutality perpetuated against the by the armed racist power structure and in one sense only by the power of the gun can the whole world be transformed into the earthly paradise dreamed of by the people from time immemorial.
Essays From the Minister of Defense is a collection of truths, principles and beliefs practiced by the Black Panther Party. The writings come from the pen of Huey Newton, the Minister of Defense of the Black Panther Party but the spirit of *the writings, the faith expressed and the undying love for black people exhibited therein comes from the souls of colonized black people. The people are the heroes.
The Black Panther Party is a vanguard party for we Africans in U.S. What we believe in is armed revolution, a permanent revolution, the creation of as many. Viet Nams am are necessary to defeat U.S. racism and imperialism throughout the world. As you read Essays From the Minister of Defense you will begin to understand the principles for the armed revolution that is beginning in the U.S. If you carry out the principles, you will be a people s warrior, and will be bringing black people and the oppressed people everywhere closer to freedom, justice, and equality throughout the world. The Minister of Defense is currently held in Alameda County jail.
Our slogan is Huey will be set free by any means necessary and if he is not set free the sky is the limit.
Minister of Education
Black Panther Party
IN DEFENSE OF SELF DEFENSE
Huey P. Newton
Huey P. Newton s column in THE BLACK PANTHER newspaper was entitled In Defense of Self Defense. The following articles by the Minister of Defense were taken from those columns.
June 20, 1967.
Laws and rules have always been made to serve people. Rules of society are set up by people so that they will be able to function in a harmonious way. In other words, in order to promote the general welfare of society, rules and laws are established by men. Rules should serve men, and not men serve rules. Much of the time, the laws and rules which officials attempt to inflict upon poor people are nonfunctional in relation to the status of the poor in society.
These officials are blind to the fact that people should riot respect rules that are not serving them. It is the duty of the poor to write and construct rules and laws that are in their better interests. This is one of the basic human rights of all men.
Before 1776, white people were colonized by the English. The English government had certain laws and rules that the colonized Americans viewed as not in their beat interests but as a colonized people. At that time the English government felt that the colonized Americans had no right to establish laws to promote the general welfare of the people living here in America. The colonized American felt he had no choice but to raise the gun in defense of the welfare of the colonized people. At this time, he made certain laws insuring his protection from external and internal aggressions from governments and agencies. One such form of protection was the Declaration of Independence, which states . . whenever any government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundations on such principles and organizing its powers in such forms as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
Now these same colonized white people, these ex-slaves, robbers, and thieves, have denied the colonized black man the right to even speak of abolishing this oppressive system which the white colonized American created. They have carried their madness to the four corners of the earth, and now there is universal rebellion against their continued rule and power. The Black people in America are the only people who can free the world, loosen the yoke of colonialism and destroy the war ma long as the wheels of the imperialistic war machine are turning there is no country that can defeat this, . monster of the West. ..But Black people can make a malfunction of this machine, from within. Black people can destroy the machinery that s enslaving the world. America cannot stand to fight every Black country in the world and fight a civil war at the same time. It is militarily impossible to do both of these things at once.
The slavery of Blacks in this country provides the oil for the machinery of war that America uses to enslave the peoples of the world. Without this oil the machinery cannot function. We are the driving shaft we are in such a strategic position in this machinery that, once we become dislocated, the functioning of the remainder of the machinery breaks down.
Penned up in the ghettos of America, surrounded by his factories and all the physical components of his economic system, we have been made into the wretched of the earth, who are relegated to the position of spectators while the white racists run their international con game on the suffering peoples. We have been brainwashed to believe that we are powerless and that there is nothing we can do for ourselves to bring about a speedy liberation for our people. We have been taught that we must please our oppressors, that we are only ten per cent of the population, and therefore, we must confine our tactics to categories calculated not to disturb the sleep of our tormentors.
The power structure inflicts pain and brutality upon the peoples and then provides controlled outlets for the pain in ways least likely to upset them or interfere with the process of exploitation. The people must repudiate the channels established as tricks and deceitful snares by the exploiting oppressors. The people must oppose everything the oppressor supports and support everything that he opposes. If Black people go about their struggle for liberation in the way that the oppressor dictates and sponsors, then we will have degenerated to the level of groveling flunkies for the oppressor himself. When the oppressor makes a vicious attack against freedom fighters because of the way that such freedom fighters choose to go about their liberation, then we know we are moving in the direction of our liberation. The racist dog oppressors have no rights which oppressed Black people are bound to respect. As long as the racist dogs pollute the earth with the evil. of their actions, they do not deserve any respect at all, and the rules of their game, written in the people s blood, are beneath contempt.
The oppressor must be harassed until his doom. He must have no peace by day or by night. The slaves have always outnumbered the slave-masters. The power of the oppressor rests upon the submission of the people. When Black people really unite and rise up in all their splendid millions, they will have the strength to smash injustice. We do not understand the power in our numbers. We are millions and millions of Black people scattered across the continent and throughout the Western hemisphere. There are more Black people in America than the total population of many countries that now enjoy full membership in the United Nations. They have power and their power is based primarily on the fact that they arc organized and united with each other. They are recognized by the powers of the world.
We, with all our numbers, are recognized by no one. in fact, we do not even recognize our own selves. We are unaware of the potential power latent in our numbers. In 1967, in the midst of a hostile racist nation whose hidden racism is rising to the surface at a phenomenal speed, we are still so blind to our critical fight for our very survival that we are continuing to function in petty, futile ways. Divided, confused, fighting among ourselves, we are still in the elementary stage of throwing rocks, sticks, empty wine bottles and beer cans at racist cops who lie in wait for a chance to murder unarmed Black people. The racist cops have worked out a system for suppressing these spontaneous rebellions that flare up from the anger, frustration, and desperation of the masses of Black people. We can no longer afford the dubious luxury of the terrible casualties want only inflicted upon us by the cops during these spontaneous rebellions.
Black people must now move, from the grassroots up through the perfumed circles of the Black bourgeoisie, to seize by any means necessary a proportionate share of the power vested and collected in the structure of America. We must organize and. unite to combat by long resistance the brutal force used against us daily. The power structure depends upon the use of force within retaliation. This Is why they have made it a felony to teach guerilla warfare. This is why they want the people unarmed.
The racist dog oppressor fears the armed people they fear most of all Black people armed with weapons and the ideology of the Black Panther Party For Self Defense. An unarmed people are slaves or are subject to slavery at any given moment. If a government is not afraid of the people it will arm the people from foreign aggression. Black people are held captive in the midst of their oppressors. There is a world of difference between thirty million unarmed, submissive Black people and thirty million Black people armed with freedom and defense guns and the strategic methods of liberation.
When a mechanic wants to fix a broken-down car engine, he must have the necessary tools to do the job. When the people move for liberation they must have the basic tool of liberation the gun. Only with the power of the gun can the Black masses halt the terror and brutality perpetuated against them by the armed racist power structure and in one sense only by the power of the gun can the whole world be transformed into the earthly paradise dreamed of by the people from time immemorial. One successful practitioner of the art and science of national liberation and self defense, Brother Mao Tsetung, put it this way We are advocates of the abolition of way, we do not want war . but war can only be abolished through war, and in order to get rid of the gun it is necessary to take up the gun.
The blood, sweat, tears and suffering of Black people are the foundations of the wealth and power of the United States of America. We were forced to build America, and, if forced to, we will tear it down. The immediate result of this destruction will be suffering and bloodshed. But the end result will be the perpetual peace for all mankind.
July 3, 1967
Historically, the power structure has demanded that Black leaders cater to their desires and to the ends of the imperialistic racism of the oppressor. The power structure has endorsed those Black leaders who have reduced themselves to nothing more than apologizing parrots. They have divided the so-called black leaders within the political arena. The oppressors sponsor radio programs, give space in their racist newspapers, and have shown them the luxury enjoyed only by the oppressor. The Black leaders serve the oppressor by purposely keeping the people submissive and passive nonviolent. At any moment that these so-called Black leaders respond to the cries of the suffering and downtrodden, unemployed and welfare recipients who hunger for liberation by any means necessary.
Historically, there have been a few Black men who have rejected the handouts of the oppressor and who have refused to spread the oppressor s treacherous principles of deceit, gradual indoctrination and brainwashing, and who have refused to indulge in the criminal activity of teaching submission, fear, and love for an enemy who hates the very color black and is determined to commit genocide on an international scale.
There has always existed in the Black colony of Afro-America a fundamental difference over which tactics from the broad spectrum of alternatives Black people should employ in their struggle for national liberation.
One side of this difference contends that Black people are In the peculiar position where, in order to gain acceptance into the mainstream of American life, they must employ no tactic that will anger the oppressor whites. This view holds that Black people constitute a hopeless minority and that salvation for Black people lies in developing brotherly relations. There are certain tactics that are taboo. Violence against the oppressor must be avoided at all costs, because the oppressor will, retaliate with superior violence. So Black people may protest, but not protect. They can complain, but not cut and shoot. In short, Black people must at all costs remain nonviolent.
On the other side of the difference, we find the point of departure is the principle that the oppressor has no rights that the oppressed is bound to respect. The slave-master, destroy him utterly, move against him with implacable fortitude. Break his oppressive by any means necessary. Men who have stood before the Black masses and recommended this response to oppression have been held in fear by the oppressor. Blacks in the colony who were wed to the non-violent alternative could not relate to the advocates of in-opposition to the oppressor. Because the oppressive ways prefers to deal with the less radical, i. e. , dangerous, spokesmen for his subjects. He would offer that his subjects had no spokesmen at all, or yet, he wishes to speak for them himself. Unab this practically, he does the next best thing, and the spokesmen who will allow him to speak through him to the masses. Paramount amongst his imperative see to it that implacable spokesmen are never able to communicate their message to the masses. They are never allowed to communicate their message to masses. Their oppressor will resort to any me necessary to silence the implacable.
The oppressor, the endorsed spokesmen, and the implacables form the three points of a triangle. The oppressor looks upon the endorsed spokesmen as a tool to use against the implacables to keep the passive within the acceptable limits of the tactic capable of containing. The endorsed spokesmen upon the oppressor as a guardian angel who can depended upon him to protect them from the wrath or placables, while he looks upon the implacables dangerous and irresponsible madmen who, by anger oppressor, will certainly provoke a blood bath in which they themselves might get washed away. The implacables view both the oppressors and the endorsed leaders as deadly enemies. If anything, he has a more prominent hatred for the endorsed leaders than he has for the oppressor himself, because the implacables know they can deal with the oppressor only after they have driven the endorsed spokesmen off the scene.
Historically, the endorsed spokesmen have always held the upper hand on the implacables. In Afro-American history, there are shining brief moments when the implacables have outmaneuvered the oppressor and the endorsed spokesmen and gained the attention of the Black masses. The Black masses, recognizing the implacables in the depths of their despair, respond magnetically to the implacables and bestow a devotion and loyalty to them that frightens the oppressor and endorsed spokesmen into a panic-stricken frenzy, and they leap into a rash act murder, imprisonment, or exile to silence the implacables and to get their show back on the road.
The masses of Black people have always been deeply entrenched and involved in the basic necessities of life. They have not had time to abstract their situation. Abstractions come only with leisure. The people have not had the luxury of leisure. Therefore, the people have been very aware of the true definition of politics politics are merely the desire of individuals and groups to satisfy first, their basic needs food, shelter and clothing, and security for themselves and their loved ones. The Black leaders endorsed by the power structure have attempted to sell the people the simpleminded theory that politics is holding a political office being able to move into a $40, 000 home being able to sit near white people in a restaurant (while in fact the Black masses have not been able to pay the rent of a $40. 00 rat-infested hovel).
The Black leaders have led the community to believe that brutality and force could be ended by subjecting the people to this very force of self sacrificing demonstrations. The Black people realize brutality and force can only be inflicted if there is submission. The community has not responded in the past or in the present to the absurd and erroneous, deceitful tactics of so-called legitimate Black leaders. The community realizes that force and brutality can only be eliminated by counter force through self defense. Leaders who have recommended these tactics have never had the support and following of the downtrodden black masses who comprise the bulk of the community. Grassroots the downtrodden of the Black community, even though they rejected the handpicked handkerchief heads endorsed by the power structure, the people have not had the academic or administrative knowledge to form themselves in long resistance to the brutality.
Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X were the two Black men of the twentieth century who posed an implacable challenge to both the oppressor and the endorsed spokesmen that could be dealt with in any other way than precisely the foul manner recorded by history. Malcolm, in our time, stood on the threshold with the oppressor and the endorsed spokesmen in a bag that they couldn t get out of. Malcolm, implacable to the ultimate degree, held out to the Black masses the historical, stupendous victory of Black collective salvation and liberation from the chains of the oppressor and the treacherous embrace of the endorsed spokes* men. Only with the gun were the black masses denied this victory. But they learned from Malcolm that with the gun, they can recapture their dreams and bring them into reality.
The heirs of Malcolm now stand millions strong on their corner of the triangle, facing the racist dog oppressor and the soulless endorsed spokesmen. The heirs of Malcolm have picked up the gun and, taking first things first, are moving to expose the endorsed spokesmen for the Black masses to see them for what they are and always have been. The choice offered by the heirs of Malcolm to the endorsed spokesmen is to repudiate the oppressor and to crawl back to their people and earn a speedy reprieve or face a merciless, speedy and most timely execution for treason and being too wrong for too long.
The Correct Handling of a Revolution.
- July 20, 1967
Most human behavior is learned behavior. Most things the human being learns are gained through an indirect relationship to the object. Humans do not act from instinct as lower animals do. Those things learned indirectly many times stimulate very effective responses to what might be later a direct experience. At this time the black masses are handling the resistance incorrectly. The brothers in East Oakland learned from Watts a means of resistance fighting by amassing the people in the streets, throwing bricks and molotov cocktails to destroy property and create disruption. The brothers and sisters in the streets were herded into a small area by the gestapo police and immediately contained by the brutal violence of the oppressor s storm troops. This manner of resistance is sporadic, short-lived, and costly in violence against the people. * This method has been transmitted to all the ghettos of the black nation across the country. The first man who threw a molotov cocktail is not personally known by the masses, but yet the action was respected and followed by the people.
The Vanguard Party must provide leadership for the people. It must teach the correct strategic methods of prolonged resistance through literature and activities. If the activities of the party are respected by the people, the people will follow the example. This is the primary job of the party. This knowledge will probably be gained second-hand by the masses just as the above mentioned was gained ,indirectly. When the people learn that it is no longer advantageous for them to resist by going into the streets in large numbers, and when they see the advantage in the activities of the guerrilla warfare method, they will quickly follow this example.
But first, they must respect the party which is transmitting this message. When the Vanguard group destroys the machinery of the oppressor by dealing with him in small groups of three and four, and then escapes the might of the oppressor, the masses will be overjoyed and will adhere to this correct strategy. When the masses hear that a gestapo policeman has been executed while sipping coffee at a counter, and the revolutionary executioners fled without being traced, the masses will see the validity of this type of approach to resistance. It is not necessary to organize thirty million Black people in primary groups of two s and three s but it is important for the party to show the people how to go about revolution. During slavery, in which no vanguard party existed and forms of communication were severely restricted and insufficient, many slave revolts occurred.
There are basically three ways one can learn through study, through observation, and through actual experience. The black community is basically composed of activists. The community learns through activity, either through observation of or participation in the activity. To study and learn is good but the actual experience is the best means of learning. The party must engage in activities that will teach the people. The black community is basically not a reading community. Therefore it is very significant that the vanguard group first be activists. Without this knowledge of the black community, one could not gain the fundamental knowledge of the black revolution in racist America.
The main function of the party is to awake en the people and to teach them the strategic method of resisting the power structure, which is prepared not only to combat the resistance of the people with massive brutality, but to totally annihilate the black community, the black population.
If it is learned by the power structure that black people have x amount of guns in their possession, this will not stimulate the power structure to prepare itself with guns, because it is already more than prepared.
The end result of this education will be positive for Black people in their resistance and negative for the power structure in its oppression, because the party always exemplifies revolutionary defiance. If the party is not going to make the people aware of the tools of liberation and the strategic method that is to be used, there will be no means by which the people will be mobilized properly.
The relationship between the vanguard party and the masses is a secondary relationship. The relationship between the members of the vanguard party is a primary relationship. It is important that the members of the vanguard group maintain a face-to-face relationship with each other. This is important if the party machinery is to be effective. It is impossible to put together functional party machinery or programs without this direct relationship. The members of the vanguard group should be tested revolutionaries. This will minimize the danger of Uncle Tom informers and opportunists.
The main purpose of vanguard group should be to raise the consciousness of the masses through educational programs and certain physical activities the party will participate in. The sleeping masses must be bombarded with the correct approach to struggle through the activities of the vanguard party. Therefore, the masses must know that the party exists. The party must use all means available to get this information across to the masses. If the masses do not have knowledge of the party, it will be impossible for the masses to follow the program of the party.
The vanguard party is never underground in the beginning of its existence, because this would limit its effectiveness and educational processes. How can you teach people if the people do not know and respect you? The party must exist above ground as long as the dog power structure will allow, and hopefully when the party is forced to go underground the message of the party will already have been put across to the people. The vanguard party s activities on the surface will necessarily be short-lived.
This is why it is so important that the party make a tremendous impact upon the people before it is driven into secrecy.
At this time, the people know the party exists, and they will seek out further information on the activities of this underground party.
Many would-be revolutionaries work under the falla- illusion that the vanguard party is to be a secret organization that the power structure knows nothing about, and the masses know nothing about, except for occasional letters that come to their homes by night. Underground parties cannot distribute leaflets announcing an underground meeting. These are contradictions and inconsistencies of the so-called revolutionaries. The so-called revolutionaries are in fact afraid of the very danger that they are advocating for the people. These so-called revolutionaries want the people to say what they themselves are afraid to say, and the people to do what they themselves are afraid to do. This makes the so-called revolutionary a coward and a hypocrite.
If these impostors would investigate the history of revolution, they would see that the vanguard group always starts out above ground and is later driven underground by the aggressor. The Cuban Revolution exemplifies this fact when Fidel Castro started to resist the butcher Batista and the American running dogs, he started by speaking on the campus of the University of Havana in public. He was later driven to the hills. His impact upon the dispossessed people of Cuba was very great and received with much respect. When he went into secrecy, Cuban people searched him out. People went to the hills to find him and his band of twelve. Castro handled the revolutionary struggle correctly. If the Chinese Revolution is investigated, it will be seen that the Communist Party was quite on the surface so that they would be able to muster support from the masses. There are many areas one can read about to learn the correct approach, such as the revolution in Kenya, the Algerian Revolution, Fanon s THE Wretched OF THE EARTH, the Russian Revolution, the works of Chairman Mao tsetung, and a host of others.
A revolutionary must realize that if he is sincere, death is imminent due to the fact that the things he is saying and doing are extremely dangerous. Without this realization, it is impossible to proceed as a revolutionary. The masses are constantly looking for a guide, a Messiah, to liberate them from the bands of the oppressor. The vanguard party must exemplify the characteristics of worthy leadership. Millions and millions of oppressed people might not know members of the vanguard party personally or directly, but they will gain through an indirect acquaintance the proper strategy for liberation via the mass media and the physical activities of f the party. It is of prime importance that the vanguard party develop a political organ, such as a newspaper produced by the party, as well as employ strategically revolutionary art and destruction of the oppressor s machinery. For example, Watts. The economy and property of the oppress or was destroyed to such an extent that no matter how the oppressor tried to whitewash the activities of the black p brothers, the real nature and the real cause of the activity was communicated to every black community. For further example, no matter how the oppressor tries to distort and confuse the message of Brother Stokely Carmichael, Black people all over the country understand it perfectly and welcome it.
The Black Panther Party for Self Defense teaches that in the final analysis, the amount of guns and defense. weapons, such as hand grenades, bazookas, and other necessary equipment, will be supplied by taking these weapons from the power structure, as exemplified by the Viet Cong. Therefore, the greater the military preparation on the part of the oppressor, the greater is the availability of weapons for the black community. It is believed by some hypocrites that when the people are taught by the vanguard group to prepare for resistance, this only brings the man down on them with increasing violence and brutality but the fact of the matter is that when the man becomes more oppressive, this only heightens the revolutionary fervor. The people never make revolution. The oppressors by their brutal actions cause the resistance by the people. The vanguard party only. teaches the correct methods of resistance. So, if things can get worse for oppressed people, then they will feel no need for revolution or resistance. The complaint of the hypocrites that the Black Panther Part for Self Defense is exposing the people to deeper suffering is an incorrect observation. People have proved that they will not tolerate any more oppression by the racist dog police through their rebellions in the black communities across the country. The people are looking now for guidance to extend and strengthen their resistance struggle.
FEAR AND DOUBT
Huey P. Newton
May 15, 1967
The lower socio-economic Black male is a man of confusion. He faces a hostile environment and is not sure that it is not his own sins that have attracted the hostilities of society. All his life he has been taught (explicitly and implicitly) that he is an inferior approximation of humanity. As a man, he finds himself void of those things that bring respect and a feeling of worthiness. He looks around for something to blame for his situation, but because he is not sophisticated regarding the socioeconomic milieu and because of negativistic parental and institutional teachings, he ultimately blames himself.
When he was a child, his parents told him that they were not affluent because we didn t have the opportunity to become educated, or we did not. take advantage of the educational opportunities that were offered to us. They tell their children that things will be different for them if they are educated and skilled, but that there is absolutely nothing other than this occasional warning (and often not even this) to stimulate education. Black people arc great worshippers of education, even the lower socioeconomic Black person, but at the same time, they are afraid of exposing themselves to it. They are afraid because they are vulnerable to having their fears verified perhaps they will find that they can t compete with white students. The Black person tells himself that he could have. done much more if he had really wanted to. The fact is, of course, that the assumed educational opportunities were never available to the lower socio-economic Black person due to the unique position assigned him in life.
It is a two-headed monster that haunts this man. First, his attitude is that he lacks innate ability to cope with the socioeconomic problems confronting him, and second he tells himself that he has the ability but he simply has not felt strongly enough to try to acquire the skills needed to manipulate his environment. In a desperate effort to assume. self-respect, he rationalizes that he is lethargic in this way, he denies a possible lack of innate ability. If he openly attempts to discover his abilities, he and others may see him for what he is or is not, and this is the real fear. He then withdraws into the world of the invisible, but not without a struggle. He may attempt to make himself visible by processing his hair, acquiring a boss mop , or driving a long car, even though he can t afford it. He may father several illegitimate children by several different women in order to display his masculinity. But in the end, he realizes that he is ineffectual in his efforts.
Society responds to him as a thing, a beast, a nonentity, something to be ignored or stepped on. He is asked to respect laws that do not respect him. He is asked to digest a code of ethics that acts upon him but not for him. He is confused and in a constant state of rage, of shame and doubt. this psychological set permeates all his interpersonal relationships. It determines his view of the social system. His psychological development has been prematurely arrested. This doubt begins at a very early age and continues through his life. The parents pass it on to the child and the social system reinforces the fear, the shame, and the doubt. In the third or fourth grade, he may find that he shares the classroom with white students, but when the class is engaged in reading exercises, all the Black students find themselves in a group at a table reserved for slow readers. This may be quite an innocent effort on the part of the school system. The teacher may not realize that the Black students feared (in fact, feel certain) that Black means dumb and white means smart. The children do not realize that the head start the children got at home is what accounts for the situation. It is generally accepted that the child is the father of the man this holds true for the lower socioeconomic Black people.
With whom, with what can he, a man, identify? As a child he had no permanent male figure with whom to identify as a man, he sees nothing in society with which he can identify as an extension of himself. His life is built on mistrust, shame, doubt, guilt, inferiority, role confusion, isolation and despair. He feels that he is something less than a man, and it is evident in his conversation the white man is THE MAN , he got everything, and he knows everything, and a nigger ain t nothing. In a society where a man is valued according to occupation and material possessions, he is without possessions. He is unskilled and more often than not, either marginally employed or unemployed. Often his wife (who is able to secure a job as a maid cleaning for white people ) is the breadwinner. He is, therefore, viewed as quite worthless by his wife and children. He is ineffectual both in and out of the home. He cannot provide for or protect his family. He is invisible, a nonentity. Society will not acknowledge him as a man. He is a consumer and not a producer. He is dependent upon the white man ( THE MAN ) to feed his family, to give him a job, educate his children, serve as the model that he tries to emulate. He is dependent and he hates THE MAN and he hates himself. Who is he? is he, a very old adolescent or is he the slave he used to be? What did he do to be so BLACK and blue?
EXECUTIVE MANDATE NO. 1
STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF DEFENSE
Delivered May 2, 1467, at Sacramento, California, State Capitol Building
The Black Panther Party for Self Defense calls upon the American people in general and the Black people in particular to take careful note of the racist California Legislature which is now considering legislation aimed at keeping the Black people disarmed and powerless at the very same time that racist police agencies throughout the country are intensifying the terror, brutality, murder and repression of Black people.
At the same time that the American government is waging a racist war of genocide in Vietnam, the concentration camps in which Japanese Americans were interned during World War II are being renovated and expanded. Since America has historically reserved the most barbaric treatment for nonwhite people, we are forced to conclude that these concentration camps* are being prepared for Black people who are determined to gain their freedom by any means necessary. The enslavement of Black people from the very beginning of this country, the genocide practiced on the American Indiana and the confining of the survivors on reservations, the savage lynching of thousands of Black men and women, the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and now the cowardly massacre in Vietnam, all testify to the fact that towards people of color the racist power structure of America has but one policy repression, genocide, terror, and the big stick.
Black people have begged, prayed, petitioned, demonstrated and everything else to get the racist power structures of America to right the wrongs which have historically been perpetrated against Black people. All of these efforts have been answered by more repression, deceit, and hypocrisy. As the aggression of the racist American government escalates in Vietnam, the police agencies of America escalate the repression of Black people throughout the ghettos of America. Vicious police dogs, cattle prods. and increased patrols have become familiar sightings in black communities. City Hall turns a deaf ear to the pleas of Black people for relief from this increasing terror.
The Black Panther Party for Self Defense believes that the time has come for Black people to arm themselves against this terror before it is too late. The pending Mulford Act brings the hour of doom one step nearer. A people who have suffered so much for so long at the hands of a racist society, must draw the line somewhere. We believe that the Black communities of America must rise up as one man to halt the progression of a trend that leads inevitably to their total destruction.
-Huey P. Newton Minister of Defense
*See Concentration Camps U.S.A. 11 by Charles R. Allen, Jr. , and American Concentration Camps by Boswell.
EXECUTIVE MANDATE NO. 2
STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF DEFENSE
Delivered June 29, 1967
So Let This Be Heard...
Brother Stokely Carmichael
Because you have distinguished yourself in the struggle for the total liberation of Black people from oppression in racist white America,
Because you have acted courageously and shown great fortitude under the most adverse circumstances
Because you have proven yourself as a true revolutionary guided by a great feeling of love for our people
Because you have set such a fine example, in the tradition of Brother Malcolm, or dedicating your entire life to the struggle of Black Liberation, inspiring our youth and providing a model for others to emulate
Because you have refused to serve in the oppressor s racist mercenary, aggressive war machine, showing that you know who your true friends and enemies are
Because of your new endeavor to organize and liberate the Crown Colony of Washington, D. C. , you will inevitably be forced to confront, deal with, and conquer the racist Washington Police Department which functions as the protector of the racist dog power structure, occupying the Black Community in the same manner and for the same reasons that the racist U.S. Armed Forces occupy South Vietnam
You are hereby drafted into the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, invested with the rank of Field Marshall, delegated the following authority, power, and responsibility
To establish revolutionary law, order and justice in the territory lying between the Continental Divide East to the Atlantic Ocean North of the Mason-Dixon Line to the Canadian Border South of the Mason-Dixon Line to the Gulf of Mexico.
.... So Let It Be Done.
-- Huey P. Newton Minister of Defense
June 29, 1967
EXECUTIVE MANDATE NO. 3
STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF DEFENSE
Delivered on March 1, 1968.
So Let This Be Heard
Because of the St. Valentine Day massacre of February 14, 1929, in which outlaws donned the uniforms of Policemen, posed as such, and thereby gained entrance to locked doors controlled by rival outlaws with whom they were contending for control of the bootlegging industry in Chicago and because these gangsters, gaining entry through their disguise as Policemen, proceeded to exterminate their rivals with machine-gun fire, we believe that prudence would dictate that one should be. alert when opening one a door to strangers,. late at night, in the wee hours of the morning even when these strangers wear the uniform of policemen. History teaches us that the man in the uniform may or may not be a policeman authorized to enter the homes of the people.
Taking notice of the fact that (1) on January 16, 1968, at 3 30 A.M., members of the San Francisco Police Department kicked down the door and made an illegal entry, and search of the home of Eldridge Cleaver, Minister of Information. These Pigs had no search warrant, no arrest warrant, and were therefore not authorized to enter. They were not invited in. Permission for them to enter was explicitly denied by the Minister of Information. Present were Sister Kathleen Cleaver, our Communications Secretary and wife to our Minister of Information, and Brother Emory Douglas, our Revolutionary Artist.
Taking further notice of the fact that (2) on February 25, 1968, several uniformed gestapos of the Berkeley Pig Department, accompanied by several other white men in plainclothes, bearing an assortment of shotguns, made a forceful, unlawful entry and search of the home of Bobby Seale, Chairman of our Party, and his wife, Sister Artie Seale. These Pigs had no warrant either to search or to arrest. When asked by Chairman Bobby to produce a warrant, they arrogantly stated that they did not need one. They had no authority to enter what they did have was the power of the gun. Thus we are confronted with a critical situation. Our organization has received serious threats from certain racist elements of White America, including the Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco Pig Departments. Threats to take our lives, to exterminate us. We cannot determine when any of these elements, or a combination of them, may move to implement these threats. We must be alert to the danger at all times. We will not fall victim to a St. Valentine s Massacre. Therefore, those who approach our doors in the manner of outlaws, who seek to enter our homes illegally, unlawfully and in a rowdy fashion, those who kick our doors down with no authority and seek to ransack our homes in violation of our HUMAN RIGHTS, will henceforth be treated as outlaws, as gangsters, as evildoers. We have no way of determining that a man in a uniform involved in a forced outlaw, entry into our home is in fact a Guardian of the Law. He is acting like a law breaker and we must make an appropriate response.
We draw the line at the threshold of our doors. It is therefore mandated as a general order to all members of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense that all members must acquire the technical equipment to defend their homes and their dependents and shall do so. Any member of the Party having such technical equipment who fails to defend his threshold shall be expelled from the Party for Life.
...So Let This Be Done
-- Huey P. Newton Minister of Defense
March 1, 1968