I stumbled across a ’60s group called The Black Panther Party in a show I was watching. The show’s depiction spiked my interest, as much of what they said echoed many things addressed in this Ferguson documentary. I found it odd that a nationally known group over 50 years ago was saying almost the same things, and nothing has changed.
So, I researched The Black Panther Party:
Police brutality – Black Panthers 1966
The origins of the Black Panthers primarily came from racist interactions with police. People were being thrown into jail, would have guns shoved into their faces, or were treated violently for misdemeanors. Fear ran rampant in the community and police relations in Oakland, Calif. The movement was born to provide protection to the community. The Panthers began to legally arm themselves and patrol the community, looking for arrests. They would then watch from a distance, insuring what was done was done in a humane manner.
Police brutality – Ferguson 2014
Community relations with police are suffering, and trust is at an all-time low. Excessive fines exist, as well as racial profiling. Rather than arm themselves, people use social media to get their voices heard.
What they were saying – Black Panthers
Their 10-Point Platform highlighted freedom, employment, an end of the robbery by the capitalist to the black community, housing (fit for humans), education (that teaches true history), fair trials and peace.
What they are saying – Ferguson
Police reform, prison reform, community reform, education reform…
The media – Black Panthers
It is what got them known across the nation, in part, helping them become as large as they did. However, critiquing the police and the methods of their protest was not something that mainstream media wanted to do. Instead, they focused on the group’s use of guns, which led to them containing and controlling the movement.
The media – Ferguson
Riots are erupting in the streets, why are these people so mad?
We will no longer turn the other cheek
I think a pattern is evident, as well the sad realization that less has changed then we would like to believe. I am not condoning violence, but rather that a message needs to be heard. Listen. These people deserve to be heard.
By Lyndsi Petitti