Thursday, February 14, 2008

Way to go, New Black Panthers!

I always had this vision of the Black Panthers as militant and violent.

They were scary...intimidating.

Until I learned more about them...

Until I met them.

I didn't know about their 10-point program:
  • We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black Community
  • We want full employment for our people.
  • We want an end to the robbery by the capitalist of our Black community.
  • We want decent housing, fit for the shelter of human beings.
  • 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 want all black men to be exempt from military service.
  • We want an immediate end to police brutality and murder of black people.
  • We want freedom for all blck men held in federal, state, county and city prisons and jails.
  • 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 want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace.
I didn't know that the free breakfast program in the schools was created by the Black Panther Party because they understood that children need a nourishing breakfast every morning so that they can learn...and not all children were getting that.

Today the New Black Panthers in Dallas still carry on some of those traditions. The picture above is a few of the New Black Panthers marching in last year's Immigration march.

Tonight I heard on the CBS 11 news (click here to see the report) that the New Black Panthers have stationed themselves at Lang middle school in the East Dallas/Pleasant Grove area because the school does not have school zones or crossing guards in critical areas around the school. The New Black Panthers are being the crossing guards for the kids until city hall meets so that they can petition city hall to put in school zones and crossing guards.

I respect and admire their efforts. They see a need and they come together to meet that need and, at the same time, work to create a long-term solution for the good of the community.

I think we all could take some tips from them about organizing and their care and concern for vulnerable communities.

Thank you, New Black Panthers.
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