Back in November 2017, my patient co-host Michael J. Woodland, interviewed St. Louis, MO firearms trainer and holistic community activist Kevin Dixie. I apologize in advance for the lateness and the quality of the show. I just got a chance to process the audio and present it this week for the Black Man With A Gun Show Podcast. (For the record don’t use a Bluetooth device for an interview) And there are some sounds I couldn’t get rid of when a little girl does a drive by but please stick with it. I did the best I could…
Founder of NOC firearms training, NoOtherChoice.net, Kevin Dixie is awesome. He is not talking to the choir for more FaceTime. He is the real deal. The audio starts off a little rough but try to stay with it because it is gold. Aiming for the Truth conference coming. He explains it.
He is doing this for sure not for show!
Family first, how to talk to people about the Second Amendment, empowering, law abiding, attacking misconceptions, for fatherhood. A mentor in the community. Former LEO. A good guy with a gun. A Black Man With A Gun.
Andrew Branca with a VA case in the Law of Self Defense feature at the end. The show is almost 60 minutes this week.
Don’t forget we have a free app in IOS and Android for this podcast.
We are talking effective communication for the new gun rights activist. The struggle is real and you can win this thing if you are properly prepared to do battle. The opportunity to make a difference can come at any time and I want to share some stuff I have learned over the years about communicating. The USCCA is having a three day expo next week and I got a chance to snag my friend Tim Schmidt for an interview. http://uscca.blackmanwithagun.com to join up. Michael J. Woodland has a commentary about the attack on the Second Amendment. Atty. Andrew Branca is back with a Law of Self Defense tip and story of the week.
Pro-rights people are under attack every day. We are demonized, vilified, and maligned by people that get their point across more effectively than we do. Communicating effectively is more important than talking. The facts can get lost in the presentation. I want to share with you how to say the right thing at the right time. Communicating is secret sauce of life.
There are a lot of smart people that are not great communicators. If you can communicate with others, the opposite sex, other folks in our community or when you get the opportunity to speak against gun control, effectively it makes a difference. The newest tool of the anti-gun movement has been children. The only thing more precious might be your pets.
So what do you do? For many of us it is to counter-protest. The media will be selective and chose someone from our side that they can ridicule or discredit if possible. You won’t get chosen to speak if you are wearing a suit, clean shaven and not wearing a baseball hat. If they don’t have a choice they may still give you some camera time but edit what you say. You speak for 30 minutes and they put .30 seconds of that on the air.
I’ve been doing this since 1991 and would like to give you some tips. In addition to that I just so happened to get a copy of the anti-gunner playbook that I will gladly share with you if you ask. It’s an 80 page PDF I’ll exchange for a working email address from you. I am trying to grow an email list of leaders in our community so if you want a free copy, click here
Context is king for communication.
It’s not where you take things from, it’s where you take them to. — Jean-Luc Godard
Context helps you listen. Think of context as anticipating your reader’s questions, and answering them. Get into their heads and hearts: You need to really understand how and when your messages are going to be in front of your audience and what they are thinking and feeling in that moment. Every word you use or visual you include is filtered through their state of mind at that moment. Some of you call that “emotion.” Don’t ever ignore the context of how, where and when your communication will fall into the audience’s day.
A Consistent Message
It’s where, how, when, and to whom, and how often you say it. For the pro-gun community, we have facts on our side but often lack the power of persuasion. We need to be as relentless as our opponents. If your message actually matters, then surely the time, place and tone you say it will matter equally.
Your communication requires a high level of accuracy in reporting information. Characteristics of effective interviews in media include clear dates, facts, resources and schedules that should be double-checked for completeness and clarity. Effective messages are also free of jargon, and slang.
For example, the reporter says: What is your response to the fact that more children are shot and killed in the US than anywhere in the industrialized world?
YOU say passionately that I heard that too but I know it’s not true, did you know that criminals are included? Yeah according to the CDC, over half of all homicides of victims aged 15-19 are gang-related. The same study found that gang-related homicides are more likely to involve firearms than those that are not (95% versus 69%).
Effective messages include a clear purpose to inform, persuade or collaborate with the intended audience. The message should be designed according to the audience’s level of understanding, potential reaction and relationship with the composer. Generally, it’s best to include only one main idea in each message, unless there are closely related issues that must be addressed together. Having a clear purpose in mind for this communication will also help determine the medium used to deliver the message.
Prepare at least three solid points for when the reporter sticks a microphone into your face or attaches you a lapel mic. Knowing that you will be edited, keep your message succinct, know that the camera is rolling if you are in their presence. Nothing is off camera for you. If the question is off base deliver your points, regardless of what was asked. If they want to use your sound byte give them the complete message of what you prepared. For example, the reporter says,
Thank you for agreeing to speak with us. What do you have to say in response to the uniquely destructive role that the NRA plays in America?
You respond with a smile, and say, I’m not sure where you get your facts but as a good neighbor, an active recreational and competition shooter I know that though the number of firearms owned by private citizens has been increasing steadily since 1970, and that the overall rate of homicides and suicides has not risen.
The most effective messages are short, engaging and to the point. Figure out how to provide infotainment. Don’t deliver or respond to the sound bite the same dry, I know more than you, you are an idiot look. Look at Wayne LaPierre, don’t be him. There is only one Wayne. You be you. To be effective your communication should include a bit of creativity but not buffoonery.
Overall, and more important than the truth here is getting your message across. The other side knows this. That is why they are pimping kid victims and indoctrinating them with the PDF I want to share with you.
Socialist youth are made not born. – Kenn Blanchard
Draw attention to their ridiculousness of their claims. Illustrate it, tell a story, everyone, even the ignorant care about personal safety. Frame your response so you don’t look like a smarty pants, know it all but a concerned responsible father, brother, mother, sister. Be self-deprecating if possible, appeal to the audience not the reporter or speaker. Be as emotional as you have to be to be true to you. You know this stuff matters. You know the truth. I am not saying you have to go for it like a Pentecostal preacher but …
On 24 March 2018 there was a huge march in Washington, DC funded by the super rich against gun owners. Kenn Blanchard talks about the shotgun in self defense, Michael J. Woodland on a survivors mindset, Andrews Branca gives a tip on the judicial system, and Kenn shares the news of the tragedy in Maryland with a school shooting. Kenn inspires and tries to encourage the law abiding gun owner now demonized. Gun control, gun rights, civil rights, and civil liberties explained.
Is the shotgun a one size fits all tool for self-defense? Probably not. It is an effective tool and worth considering when choosing a home defense weapon. For one thing, it is still a very economical option when compared to carbines.
There are many misconceptions surrounding the home defensive shotgun . The stuff Hollywood puts out is misleading. For the record, you can easily miss with a shotgun. Movie scatterguns may lift grown men completely off their feet or stop large cars in their tracks, but real ones don’t do anything like that. The shotgun remains an excellent choice of armament for use in home or where concealment is not an issue.
The shotgun has been a ubiquitous home-defense tool for decades but it has lost its sparkle over the years. As I spoke of last week, the AR-platform rifles are getting cheaper and the fact that they are almost, endlessly customizable, and available in nearly every modern caliber under the sun, it becomes harder and harder to justify the harsh recoil and comparatively clunky operation of a shotgun.
Defensive shotguns still have a wide array of configurations, accessories, and ammunition types. Tactically, a shotgun offers four points of contact to steady and guide an easier-to-aim barrel. And then there’s the “terminal energy.” In each typical shotshell of 00 Buck, there are nine pellets that combine to deliver roughly 1500 ft.-lbs. of energy to the target—or four times the energy of a .45 ACP bullet fired from a Model 1911 pistol. Factor in five to nine shells capable of being fired in rapid succession, and what you have is one of the most formidable arms for home defense ever conceived. The point is simple–proper selection of a fighting shotgun and effective ammunition, combined with training, give the defensive shooter one of the most devastating firearms possible.
The shotgun doesn’t have to be the shoulder-breaker that it is often stereotyped as. Excessive recoil is going to negatively impact performance during training as well as during defensive situations, and as many of us have found out one way or another, shotguns can generate a ton of recoil.
In states where magazine capacity is restricted, there may not even be a substantial capacity disparity between the shotgun and other defense platforms to begin with, which makes the shotgun an even more attractive option for those of us faced with excessive legislation against the law abiding.
Shot guns come in several flavors all categorized by their actions, some are.
Breech: The breech types are for hunting and sport shooting not defense.
Training is what makes a difference.
PORN, YOUTUBE and Gun Sites NEWS
Pornography is any image, picture, statue, advertisement, writing, etc. whose purpose is to create sexual titillation. In modern Western culture, sex has become such a public topic that the lines between what is legitimate and what is illicit are harder and harder to draw. In fact, sexual images have become so prominent that what used to be considered soft porn, is now considered tame enough to be on prime time television. And while it used to be that people could only get access to it in magazines behind the counter – and then only at certain stores – it is now so pervasive that virtually anyone can access any kind of porn through the most basic internet connection. Many now even question why Christians think pornography is such a big deal.
It is possible for a person to become desensitized to just about anything. Many people who live around abject poverty get to where they hardly even notice it. People who play violent video games often become so desensitized that even real violence is seen as no big deal. This technique is even used by the military to desensitize young recruits. And to get into the topic we are dealing with today, pornography has become so prominent in our society that we hardly even notice it anymore – much less think of it as something bad and destructive. A great example of this is the many “soft porn” TV commercials advertising everything from lingerie to hamburgers. It is so prevalent that most people aren’t even embarrassed anymore when they are shown.
There are many reasons why pornography is a bad thing. Some of those reasons include the fact that it is instrumental in breaking up marriages, it desensitizes people concerning the true significance of sexuality, it objectifies people – turning them into objects of self-gratification instead of persons of worth – and it creates literal addictions which, in turn, lead to acts of perversion.
From a Christian perspective it is bad because it rips people out of their personal fellowship with God. It changes our hearts. Pornography makes sex purely an object of self gratification. In any area, when our life is focused on gratifying ourselves rather than accomplishing the purpose of God, we have put ourselves in a position which is outside of our relationship with God.
As Christians, we need to be living and expressing our own faith (worldview beliefs) in a way which not only serves to eliminate this destructive influence, but which, literally, changes the hearts of individuals.
In the news I referenced came from this one:
Gun enthusiasts publishing videos to Pornhub amid YouTube crackdown
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, March 23, 2018, 11:06 AM
It’s getting hard to share gun videos on the internet these days.
A recently announced YouTube crackdown on a portion of its gun-related content has pushed some users to a new, unorthodox hub willing to host their content.
InRangeTV, which has more than 144,000 subscribers on its YouTube channel, has opted instead to publish its videos on Pornhub. A search of the adult website turns up a series of clips including one that sees hosts comparing a Glock 19 and a Hudson H9.
Though it’s listed among racier clips common to a porn site, the video appears exactly as it does on YouTube.
InRangeTV on its Facebook page said the move was an effort to defend “freedom of expression on the internet.”
“We will not be seeking any monetization from PornHub and do not know what their monetization policies are, we are merely looking for safe harbor for our content and for our viewers,” wrote Karl Kasarda and Ian McCollum, who run the popular gun review blog.
YouTube on Monday announced new policy regarding gun-related content shared to the website.
Starting next month, videos that offer instruction on how to make firearms and accessories — like bump stocks and silencers — will no longer be allowed on the popular video-sharing platform. Content detailing modifications to guns and videos aiming to sell firearms and accessories will also be prohibited under the new policies.
Several gun adovcates have slammed YouTube for the move. (INRANGETV VIA YOUTUBE)
“We routinely make updates and adjustments to our enforcement guidelines across all of our policies,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement.
“While we’ve long prohibited the sale of firearms, we recently notified creators of updates we will be making around content promoting the sale or manufacture of firearms and their accessories, specifically items like ammunition, gatling triggers and drop-in auto sears.”
Prominent pro-gun bloggers and advocates were quick to denounce the move, many of them expressing their frustration on social media.
“The liberal left will slowly chip away at our freedoms and erode our rights, and the first step is to squelch our voice,” Florida-based gun manufacturer, Spike’s Tactical wrote on Facebook.
“To say we’re f—ing pissed is an understatement.”
The new policies are slated to go into full effect on April 20.
The announcement comes just more than a month after a gunman killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Florida. The student survivors of the deadly attack have since thrust the issue of gun violence into the national spotlight
YouTube today updated its policies on videos containing firearm and firearm modifications, banning demo videos, how-tos, and anything containing links to sites that sell guns. Needless to say, the gun enthusiast community on the site is not taking happy about it, and some are starting to find unconventional new hosts for their content.
According to YouTube’s updated policies, it will no longer allow content that:
…intends to sell firearms or certain firearms accessories through direct sales (e.g., private sales by individuals) or links to sites that sell these items …Provides instructions on manufacturing a firearm, ammunition, high capacity magazine, homemade silencers/suppressors, or certain firearms accessories such as those listed above. This also includes instructions on how to convert a firearm to automatic or simulated automatic firing capabilities, [or] Shows users how to install the above-mentioned accessories or modifications.
The community is already starting to feel the pressure, as several channels are seeing videos disappear, according to Motherboard. One popular channel, Spike’s Tactical, was taken down entirely for content that, according to a notice posted to the channel’s Facebook page, “promotes violent or dangerous acts.” The channel has since been reinstated, and YouTube told Bloomberg the takedown was a mistake.
At least one of the vloggers in question has turned to a different platform: PornHub. InRangeTV, a channel with over 100,000 subscribers, said in a statement on Facebook that it was “merely looking for a safe harbor for our content and for our viewers.” It also said, “YouTube’s recent update on their policy towards firearm content is extremely poorly worded and open ended.”
YouTube first began taking down videos with gun modifications last October, following the massacre in Las Vegas. At the time, the big target seemed to be bump stocks, a modification allegedly used by shooter Stephen Paddock to tragic effect.
We’ll have to wait and see if other gun enthusiasts follow InRange over to PornHub and other video sites. Though if I were Vimeo, I’d be feeling very unappreciated right now.
I first saw the Joyce Pipe on Instagram. As a cigar smoker I was interested in learning about the pipe that smokes like a cigar for several reasons. Pipe tobacco is usually easier on the nostrils for people like my wife that detest smoke of all kinds minus a barbeque pit. My grandfather used to smoke an old pipe with the smell of Cherry flavored tobacco that I associate instantly with a calm, wise old man with stories and laughter. The pipe on Instagram was handmade by a former pastor that moved out of a busy city to the country of the upper west coast where he makes a living designing and creating these individual pipes that smoke like cigars.
It’s made out of various types of wood with acrylic and stone inlays where the band would go on a traditional cigar. It is created with a chamber inside so that it smokes cooler than a cigar would. You have a choice of the color of the wood, and the band.
Smoking a cigar pipe is similar to smoking a pipe. You purchase your tobacco, you pack it, tamp it, pack it and light it. As the tobacco burns the ashes spill out so I had to tip the cigar pipe up at an angle in between puffs. It was enjoyable. It will be my go to smoke when with the family on outings.
The artisan, Ben Joyce is as nice as his creations. It was a pleasure to speak with him and interview him for one of my podcast episodes of the Speak Life Podcast.
Go to joycepipes.com and see what you can come up with. Get a custom cigar pipe or purchase one already finished from his collection.
If you like the feel of a 1911 but prefer a 9 mm shot, check out this new gun from rock island armory. It even comes with the exotic .22 TCM barrel conversion. Almost like having to guns in one. The company is solid and originally out of the Philippines. These brothers do good work. They are nice people to talk to —all around. Here’s me and the head dude of RIA, “Bolo”.
For every day carry it’s a little heavy but depending on your size, you might be able to work it out. It is definitely a collectible and a fun gun to own though.
I really enjoyed shooting this gun.
RIA is famous for mastering the development of the 1911 platform. For over 30 years, they’ve advanced the scope of their research and engineering team with the commercial launch of the meteoric 22 TCM cartridge in the 1911 format. Delivering over 2000 fps in a handgun while offering both single stack and high capacity options, the TCM series introduces the most potent and versatile 1911 in the market today. It’s known for light recoil without sacrifice in muzzle energy and penetrating impact abilities. Also built in mid size, full size and high capacity options with both Standard and Tactical configurations, each TCM series handgun includes a drop-in 9mm barrel adding another proven ammunition option in one firearm. Once you rule the fire breathing dragon, you’ll never want to put it down. MSRP $820
Rock island armory
The TCM Rock Standard MS HC is constructed in 4140 Ordnance steel and refined by our carefully managed hand fitting process. (not a light gun)
It’s built to drive the factory original Rock Island 22 TCM cartridge at over 1850fps and features a 4.25” barrel with penetrating impact and unprecedented light recoil. Add a double stack mag well with 17-round capacity and the TCM MS Rock Standard earns respect for delivering a constant high velocity payload. Includes a skeletonized hammer and trigger with adjustable over travel stop and low profile anti-snag front and rear sights. This pistol is fitted with checkered polymer grips and finished with a durable parkerized coating.
Complete with a drop-in 9mm accessory barrel, the TCM Rock Standard offers the best in old and new.
If you’re a collector or just enjoy shooting, get one of these.
The gun issue changed my life. It taught me the value of freedom. It showed me how my government works or doesn’t. It introduced me to politics.
As a gun owner you are responsible for the safety of yourself and everyone in your home. You enjoy the freedom of gun ownership. You enjoy the fun of owning, collecting, competing, hunting, and recreationally shooting. You may even own your firearm(s) for self-defense. Whatever your reason, sooner or later, you will be find out that part of that responsibility is to contribute to the national debate on gun rights. You are in the fight regardless of your political views, knowledge of the system, ability to articulate, education or financial, gender, ethnicity, or marital status. You are a part of the political landscape because you believe in the right to keep and bear arms.
So what do you do? What organization do you join? Where should you send your money?
First of all, you know everyone is begging for your dollars. All organizations, clubs and committees are not equal. Beware of the ones with the best marketing, fancy logos, celeb endorsements.
Some groups do nothing. Some do a little. Some do as much as is they are able. Do your research.
Support the gun rights organizations that are working the local levels. I’m talking, your state organizations. They are underfunded, understaffed, under appreciated. I know there are the National blah, blah; and the blah, blah of America. You want to start being a soldier in the organization that is in your state. You know the one that has been begging you, annoying you to show up and be counted. Give them a second look.
The Tenth Amendment (Amendment X) to the United States Constitution, which is part of the Bill of Rights. It expresses the principle of federalism and states’ rights, which supports the entire plan of the original Constitution for the United States of America, by stating that the federal government possesses only those powers delegated to it by the United States Constitution. All remaining powers are reserved for the states or the people.
Your local politics matter.
Every day, states take care of amenities and infrastructure, such as transportation and public schooling; the people who are elected in local elections have more impact and influence over citizens’ everyday lives than one may think. These people are accountable for almost everything the state is responsible for; the state controls taxes, welfare and the judiciary. Gun rights are a part of these. Once a state law does not contradict the federal constitution and is not an enumerated right of the federal government, the state can pass it. The state mandates most of the laws that people are afraid to break.
Locally elected officials are supposed to act on citizen’s behalf and convey their issues to the federal branch of the government. You know they don’t when it comes to guns. Therefore, participating in local elections is supposed to be the most democratic aspect of American politics; these elected officials are supposed to represent citizens.
If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try talking with one of them in real life. If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing. If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself. Show up. Dive in. Stay at it. Step up and make a difference.
A political activist is someone who is involved in the political process for the sake of promoting, impeding or raising awareness of a certain issue or set of issues. It doesn’t pay but is needed now. Political activism typically involves engagement beyond just voting, whether it be through protest, demonstration or lecture.
I have to warn you, it is an investment of your time, and resources. You will often look around and wonder WTF am I doing here? These clowns don’t care. These clowns have their own agendas. You will see the professional organizations, lobbyist and lawyers in those halls, but they all started somewhere and you are in the fight now, not a spectator. You being there on the ground, is important. Look, learn, and connect with someone, in the State house because the assistant, the intern, the low level person they send out to talk to you, (because they are too busy), will be someone important in the future. Don’t belittle, push off, blow off anyone you meet.
Now is the time for you to give back to the land of the free and the home of the brave. Don’t let people you would not want to share a beverage with speak for you. Your silence gives them consent to do whatever. And they have been.
Did you know there is a video production company you can rent to create a television show, commercial, or movie short in Northern Virginia? I would have never known that except for the fact that a retired friend of mine introduced me to Thunderbolt Studios. They are phenomenal and I watched them build the place up from nothing. What is really cool is that the place is always being built. Whatever you need they will do in the studio to make your set fit you.
I had the opportunity to present a “sizzle reel” of my accomplishments to a cable network interested in pimping me out in the outdoor spaces. Thunderbolt worked with me and created this video.
The cable network thing didn’t work out, (thank God) but I have this video to share with you. These guys are my friends. They are trusted, pro-rights folks, as well.
If I ever get anything going and need a studio, BOOM.
ThunderShot Studios is a great video production company that owns a huge video production studio right in the Washington, DC area. We deliver creative and technical video and film productions from concept to completion.
VIDEO AND FILM PRODUCTION TYPES
Explainer videos and infographics
Internal communications including training
Films that drive global influence and awareness
Public service announcements and commercials
Multicamera panel shows / talk shows
SPECIALIZED PRODUCTION SERVICES
Premiere rental studio for video and film
Jimmy Jib camera crane services
Concept development and scriptwriting
Videography (in studio and on location)
Postproduction editing and sound sweetening
Graphics and animation
Webcasts, streaming, and broadcasting services
They built and operate one of the best video production studios in the US—right in the Washington, DC area!
Their team has won multiple Emmy Awards, Telly Awards, and many other industry accolades.
Their team has 25+ years of experience in service to the government and various contractors including the FDIC, GSA, DOD, FDA, SAMSHA, Smithsonian Institution, Army, Navy, and Marines, just to name a few.
Their team has also helped to create video productions for Fox News Channel, CNN, ESPN, NBC, ABC, CBS, HBO, Discovery Channel, TLC, Bravo, and Animal Planet, just to name a few.
Their great at coaching ordinary “non-video” professionals to be comfortable and confident on camera. They also use specialized lighting to give everyone who comes in front of our cameras that “presidential” glow.
Here’s a coat you need the next time you go to SHOT Show. especially at Media Day at the range. It is light, comfortable, and can carry your concealed firearm. It even has locking zippers. It’s the Concealed carry men’s caliber Elite Parka from undertechundercover.com I really like it. I give it 5 Stars.
The hood detaches in the back if you don’t want to wear it. It’s more professional looking and non-tactical operator looking than most. Feels good.
Every year a day before the actually National Shooting Sports Foundations’ Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show they have a special day out at the Boulder City Gun Club in Nevada, called Media Day at the Range. It’s a highly coveted day where at least 100 vendors, and gun companies allow the media, traditional journalist and new media folks like me, (bloggers, podcasters and Youtubers) shoot and handle new stuff.
Not everyone that applies for this event gets to go.
The weather out in the gigantic space is usually colder than you would think Nevada would be. Sometimes its pleasant. Sometimes its butt ugly cold. I have been there as snowflakes fell. It has always been the best part of the trip though because all the who’s who of new media is there.
This jacket is perfect for that occasion. Big thanks to Tammy and Lenny for letting me review this parka.
This week on the BMWAG show podcast I share the history of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, Andrew Branca returns with his segment on the Law of Self Defense, my cohost Monster, aka Michael Woodland, talks about a guy that responded to the tragedies by destroying his rifle. There was a tragic shooting in Florida and as a result the gun control people are on a roll. I share where I was last week.
This weekend is the premier of the Disney movie, Black Panther. a radically different kind of comic-book movie, one with a proud Afrocentric twist, featuring a nearly all-black cast, that largely ignores the United States and focuses instead on the fictional nation of Wakanda — I loved it. It had a little Lion King in it… It was one of Marvels best adaptations. But back in the day…
Around February 1981, while stationed in Camp Pendleton California, a engineer base in San Mateo, a young Marine Lance Corporal named Blanchard got into trouble and called a r”acist, a militant, a subversive” for reading the history of the Black Panther Party.
Here’s the history.
The Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO), also known as the Black Panther Party, was started in 1965 under the direction of Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) activist Stokely Carmichael. In 1965, Lowndes County in Alabama was 80% black but not a single black citizen was registered to vote. Carmichael arrived in the county to organize a voter registration project and from this came the LCFO. Party members adopted the black panther as their symbol for their independent political organization.
More than half of the African American population in Lowndes County lived below the poverty line. Moreover, white supremacists had a long history of extreme violence towards anyone who attempted to vote or otherwise challenge all-white rule. Lowndes County Freedom Organization members didn’t simply want to vote to place other white candidates in office. Instead they wanted to be able to vote for their own candidates.
White voters in Lowndes County reacted strongly to the LCFO. In many instances, whites evicted their sharecroppers, leaving many blacks homeless and unemployed. Whites also refused to serve known LCFO members in stores and restaurants. Small riots broke out with the local police often firing only on blacks during these confrontations. However, the LCFO pushed forward and continued to organize and register voters. In 1966, several LFCO candidates ran for office in the general election but failed to win. While their attempt was unsuccessful, the LCFO continued to fight and their goal and motto of “black power” spread outside of Alabama.
The movement spread all over the nation. Two black Californians, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, asked for permission to use the black panther emblem that the Lowndes County Freedom Organization had adopted, for their newly formed Black Panther Party. The Oakland-based Black Panther Party became a much more prominent organization than the LCFO. Thus few people remember the origins of this powerful symbol with impoverished African Americans in a central Alabama County.
The Black Panthers, dressed in black berets and black leather jackets, organized armed citizen patrols of Oakland and other U.S. cities. At its peak in 1968, the Black Panther Party had roughly 2,000 members. The organization later declined as a result of internal tensions, deadly shootouts and FBI counterintelligence activities aimed at weakening the organization.
Founders Huey Newton and Bobby Seale met in 1961 while students at Merritt College in Oakland, California.
They both protested the college’s “Pioneer Day” celebration, which honored the pioneers who came to California in the 1800s, but omitted the role of African Americans in settling the American West. Seale and Newton formed the Negro History Fact Group, which called on the school to offer classes in black history.
They founded the Black Panthers in the wake of the assassination of black nationalist Malcolm X and after police in San Francisco shot and killed an unarmed black teen named Matthew Johnson.
Originally dubbed the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, the organization was founded in October 1966. The Black Panthers’ early activities primarily involved monitoring police activities in black communities in Oakland and other cities.
As they instituted a number of social programs and engaged in political activities, their popularity grew. The Black Panthers drew widespread support from urban centers with large minority communities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia. By 1968, the Black Panthers had roughly 2,000 members across the country.
Newton and Seale drew on Marxist ideology for the party platform. They outlined the organization’s philosophical views and political objectives in a Ten-Point Program.
The Ten-Point Program
1.We Want Freedom. We Want Power To Determine The Destiny Of Our Black Community.
2.We Want Full Employment For Our People.
3.We Want An End To The Robbery By The Capitalists Of Our Black Community.
4.We Want Decent Housing Fit For The Shelter Of Human Beings.
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.
6.We Want All Black Men To Be Exempt From Military Service.
7.We Want An Immediate End To Police Brutality And Murder Of Black People.
8.We Want Freedom For All Black Men Held In Federal, State, County And City Prisons And Jails.
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 hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable 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 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 suffer, 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 invariably 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.
The Black Panthers were part of the larger Black Power movement, which emphasized black pride, community control and unification for civil rights.
While the Black Panthers were often portrayed as a gang, their leadership saw the organization as a political party whose goal was getting more African Americans elected to political office. They were unsuccessful on this front. By the early 1970s, FBI counterintelligence efforts, criminal activities and an internal rift between group members weakened the party as a political force.
The Black Panthers did, however, start a number of popular community social programs, including free breakfast programs for school children and free health clinics in 13 African American communities across the United States.
The Black Panthers were involved in numerous violent encounters with police. In 1967, founder Huey Newton allegedly killed Oakland police officer John Frey. Newton was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in 1968 and was sentenced to two to 15 years in prison. An appellate court decision later reversed the conviction.
Eldridge Cleaver, editor of the Black Panther’s newspaper, and 17-year old Black Panther member and treasurer Bobby Hutton, were involved in a shootout with police in 1968 that left Hutton dead and two police officers wounded.
Conflicts within the party often turned violent too. In 1969, Black Panther Party member Alex Rackley was tortured and murdered by other Black Panthers who thought him a police informant.
Black Panther bookkeeper Betty Van Patter was found beaten and murdered in 1974. No one was charged with the death, though many believed that party leadership was responsible.
The Black Panthers’ socialist message and black nationalist focus made them the target of a secret FBI counterintelligence program called COINTELPRO.
In 1969, the FBI declared the Black Panthers a communist organization and an enemy of the United States government. The first FBI’s first director, J. Edgar Hoover, in 1968 called the Black Panthers, “One of the greatest threats to the nation’s internal security.”
The FBI worked to weaken the Panthers by exploited existing rivalries between black nationalist groups. They also worked to undermine and dismantle the Free Breakfast for Children Program and other community social programs instituted by the Black Panthers.
In 1968, Chicago police gunned down and killed Black Panther Party members Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, who were asleep in their apartment.
About a hundred bullets were fired in what police described as a fierce gun battle with members of the Black Panther Party. However, ballistics experts later determined that only one of those bullets came from the Panthers’ side.
Although the FBI was not responsible for leading the raid, a federal grand jury later indicated that the bureau played a significant role in the events leading up to the raid.
The Black Panther Party officially dissolved in 1982.
I have learned many things about American history. It’s not always pretty. I do not romanticize it. The purpose of history is to learn from it so we won’t make the same mistakes again. We are living longer, so we might as well live better. Go forward my friends…
On Christmas Day 1951, Harry T. Moore and his wife, Harriette, had just finished celebrating their silver anniversary when a bomb blew up their home in Mims, Fla. The explosion killed the couple, and they became the first martyrs from civil rights movement the 1950s. For seventeen years, in an era of official indifference and outright hostility, the soft-spoken but resolute Moore traveled the back roads of the state on a mission to educate, evangelize, and organize. On Christmas night in 1951, in Mims, Florida, a bomb placed under his bed ended Harry Moore’s life. His wife, Harriette, died of her wounds a week later. And I bet you have never heard of it.