By Jeff J. Brown
Pictured above: The Black Panthers took a working tour in China, September 1971, five months before US President Richard Nixon’s historic visit. In fact, members Eldridge Cleaver and Elaine Brown had visited a year earlier. Here, the 1971 delegation is on the Great Wall, outside Beijing. One of their driving inspirations was and is Mao Zedong (Thought) and the Chinese communist-socialist revolution.
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Sixteen years on the streets, living and working with the people of China, Jeff
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Thanks to my interview with Chairman Fred Hampton, Jr., I’ve been doing a lot of research about the Black Empowerment movement in the United States (https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2020/05/27/chairman-fred-hampton-jr-the-black-panther-pantha-cubs-their-revolution-for-self-determination-to-serve-the-people-and-fight-the-us-governments-ongoing-program-of-domestic-genocide-on-china/). One salient fact is that the Black Panther Party (BPP) is organized and united behind a visionary, guiding ideology, based on socialism, especially Mao Zedong Thought. To wit,
Power to the People.
Serve the People.
Self-Determination for the People.
The Black Panther Party is the Revolutionary Vanguard Party of the People.
The Black Panthers admired, respected and were inspired by Mao Zedong (Thought), because it made Marxism-Leninism relevant to (poor) people of color, America’s equivalent of China’s pre-liberation, toiling masses of oppressed peasants. The four-volume Collected Works of Mao Zedong is required reading for all Black Panther members. The Black Panthers sold countless thousands of copies of Mao’s Little Red Book on the streets of America, to finance their self-defense, and later, social programs.
In fact, the Black Panthers beat Richard Nixon to China, traveling there in the fall of 1971, meeting Zhou Enlai (https://archives.stanforddaily.com/1971/10/25?page=3§ion=MODSMD_ARTICLE11#article). In the 1930s, Paul Robeson publicly sang China’s eventual national anthem, Qilai (which means Rise Up), to audiences in America. Black Empowerment leader WEB Du Bois traveled to China in 1959 and gave a speech in Beijing, while celebrating his 91st birthday (https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/books/00/11/05/specials/dubois-china.html). In the 1960s, Robert F. Williams (Black Panther lawyer) and his wife lived there for three years and both he and Du Bois met Chairman Mao (https://radiichina.com/from-w-e-b-du-bois-to-huey-newton-a-history-of-black-americans-in-the-early-prc/).
WEB Du Bois meeting Mao Zedong, when he and his wife visited China in 1959, where he celebrated his 91st birthday and gave a speech in Beijing, saying, “China is flesh of your flesh and blood of your blood. China is colored, and knows to what the colored skin in this modern world subjects its owner… In my own country for nearly a century I have been nothing but a nigger”.
Mao was so impressed with these revolutionary leaders that he published two essays in their support (https://www.marxists.org/subject/china/peking-review/1966/PR1966-33h.htm and https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/selected-works/volume-9/mswv9_80.htm).
Titles of the two aforementioned Mao essays on the connection between racism, imperialism and capitalism.
With all this Chinese communist-socialist inspiration to work with, it was not hard for the Black Panthers to develop a visionary, guiding ideology. Thus, they rally around their simple, timeless,
- WE WANT FREEDOM. WE WANT POWER TO DETERMINE THE DESTINY OF OUR BLACK AND OPPRESSED COMMUNITIES.
- WE WANT FULL EMPLOYMENT FOR OUR PEOPLE.
- WE WANT AN END TO THE ROBBERY BY THE CAPITALISTS OF OUR BLACK AND OPPRESSED COMMUNITIES.
- WE WANT DECENT HOUSING, FIT FOR THE SHELTER OF HUMAN BEINGS.
- WE WANT DECENT 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 COMPLETELY FREE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL BLACK AND OPPRESSED PEOPLE.
- WE WANT AN IMMEDIATE END TO POLICE BRUTALITY AND MURDER OF BLACK PEOPLE, OTHER PEOPLE OF COLOR, ALL OPPRESSED PEOPLE INSIDE THE UNITED STATES.
- WE WANT AN IMMEDIATE END TO ALL WARS OF AGGRESSION.
- WE WANT FREEDOM FOR ALL BLACK AND OPPRESSED PEOPLE NOW HELD IN U. S. FEDERAL, STATE, COUNTY, CITY AND MILITARY PRISONS AND JAILS. WE WANT TRIALS BY A JURY OF PEERS FOR All PERSONS CHARGED WITH SO-CALLED CRIMES UNDER THE LAWS OF THIS COUNTRY.
- WE WANT LAND, BREAD, HOUSING, EDUCATION, CLOTHING, JUSTICE, PEACE AND PEOPLE’S COMMUNITY CONTROL OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY.
(https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/workers/black-panthers/1966/10/15.htm and here is a PDF poster, suitable for framing BPP_Ten_Point_Program).
Robert F. Williams, a Black Panther lawyer and his wife lived in China for three years, during the 1960s. Here he is meeting Mao Zedong, who is autographing a copy of the Chairman’s “Quotes”.
I don’t know about you, but it sounds like a great plan for ALL Americans, as well as everyone else in Eurangloland. With all due respect to the visionary, revolutionary Black Panther Party, just remove the word “Black” from the list above and presto – the 99% has a manifesto for social justice and, well, socialism.
The ongoing protests engulfing the United States will come to naught, without a unified vision and a guiding ideology, like the ten-point plan above. The closest that this was recently realized was Occupy Wall Street in 2011. There are lots of explanations as to why it failed (https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/06/the-triumph-of-occupy-wall-street/395408/), but in general, the blame is laid on it being splintered into “a hundred focus groups”, including one of the oligarchs’ great destroyers of hope, identity politics.
Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, meeting Premier Zhou Enlai in China, September 1971.
As well, every movement that tries to support the 99% at the expense of the 1% is guaranteed to be infiltrated by the CIA, FBI, ATF, local police and thousands of phony Soros/Omidyar NGOs, or that generation’s ABC soup equivalents. They always work closely with their partners in institutional crime, the Mafia.
These same saboteurs always bring drugs, alcohol and guns to get those involved fucked up in the head and attacking each other. These state actors always stage false flags, creating and financing fake for-and-against groups, using paid protesters, terrorism, violence, vandalism and looting, in order to justify brutal government repression (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/08/26/baba-beijing-is-sick-and-tired-of-the-west-using-hong-kong-to-overthrow-the-cpc-china-rising-radio-sinoland-170821-2/). They bribe, extort and blackmail nonstop. They use psyops to split movements into feuding factions and pit groups versus groups, leaders against leaders (https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2019/07/02/douglas-valentine-on-china-rising-radio-sinoland-the-cia-is-global-capitalisms-secret-gangster-army-190702/).
They of course own and operate the government-corporate mainstream media and using their Big Lie Propaganda Machine (BLPM), destroy the image and reputation of all enemy movements, to brainwash the masses to fear and loathe them, affecting even the people in same said movements. (https://chinarising.puntopress.com/2020/02/14/presstitutes-in-the-pay-of-the-cia-confession-from-the-profession-book-interview-with-john-paul-leonard-and-andrew-schlademan-china-rising-radio-sinoland-200214/). And if all else fails, they assassinate or frame-to-imprison key people to, as the Chinese say, Cut off the snake’s head.
The same thing happened to every Black Empowerment movement, going back to Marcus Garvey and WEB Du Bois, with their Pan Africanism in 1900 (https://www.thoughtco.com/pan-african-leaders-45183). You can even go back starting in the 1880s, with the prairie populist, communist, socialist and labor movements. The same oligarchs’ imperial toolbox has been used for over 100 years to effectively and brutally crush them into non-existence.
WEB Du Bois and Mao Zedong, sharing a light moment in China, 1959.
The Achilles heel for any movement in the United States, which might permanently bring social and economic justice to the 99%, always has been and still is its Marlboro Man ethic. Me-Myself-I-Go-It-Alone is glorified, admired and exalted. Sorry to say, but outside groups like the Black Panthers, 95% of US citizens would not know the meaning of solidarity if it slapped them in the face, which is Us-Ourselves-We-Sacrifice-Together. Solidarity is the heart and soul of communism-socialism, which is why no matter how many tens of billions of dollars Eurangloland burns, how sky high it piles on illegal, genocidal, color revolutions, crimes-against-humanity sanctions, blockades, asset seizures, boycotts, false flags and military threats/attacks, it cannot turn free and independent peoples in China, DPRK, Vietnam, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and elsewhere into colonial, global capitalist whores. These nations peoples have a common vision, collective purpose and guiding ideology: communism and/or socialism in solidarity and mutual self-sacrifice.
Can Americans overcome this deleterious Marlboro Man defect engrained in their sociocultural DNA? Can they embrace real, meaningful, unifying solidarity? Can they do it while keeping capitalism as their economic system? That is truly the $64,000 question. Russians have probably come closest to succeeding with their anti-imperial, mixed state-private system. Or is socialism the only way to achieve true justice for the US’s long suffering 99%?
Front cover of the Black Panther’s national newspaper, October 1970, honoring DPRK, Vietnam and China for their fight against imperialism, after official visits there (BPP members Eldridge Cleaver and Elaine Brown had visited a year earlier).
My fellow Americans and Europeans, the Black Panthers already have – in solidarity – a visionary, guiding ideology, crystalized into a simple 10-point program, which people of all colors and creeds can embrace. You know the 1% are going to try to subvert, suborn, divide and destroy you and everything you do, so you have to struggle through all that, just like the Chinese, Cubans, Iranians and millions of freedom fighting comrades do around the world every day.
I’ll be watching and reporting from outside the BLPM’s Great Western Firewall (GWF), so stay tuned.
Good luck and dare I say,
Power to the People!
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In Solidarity, Jeff
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