Huey Newton Black Panther Party
FBI Informant Discusses CoIntelpro infiltration of Black Panther Party
The FBI methods employed to destroy community movements
"Us" scene in Black Panther
Us trailer illustrating Winston Duke - M'Baku with Lupita Nyong'o - Nakia - T'Challa's love interest in Black Panther illustrating disunity among the people in Wakanda, the destruction of Black Culture and their mind controlled and programmed personas in the "other" Wilsons.
"We are our own worst enemy" "They won't stop unless we kill them or they kill us" key messaging in the white supremacist ideology of getting people of colour to kill people of colour.
The "Us" organisation established by Maulana Karenga was the most influential organisation in the black congress in 1967 and 1968 (6:51:22 Chapter 7 Black against Empire Joshua Bloom and Waldo E Martin Junior - audiobook)
Historian Scott Brown "As a cultural national vanguard the Us organisation sought self as a mirror of African American's progressive future."
The Us Organization stood for United Slaves, and it promoted ideas of black cultural nationalism and black cultural revolution, including a focus on Pan-Africanism. Karengaa co-founded the militant black nationalist organization with Hakim Jamal, the cousin of Malcolm X [2, 4].
The organization advocated for independent black schools, black student groups, and the study of African and African American studies – including African languages. The Us organization’s ideals and goals partly conflicted with those of the Black Panther Party. Conflict arose in 1969, over the proposed leader of the UCLA Afro-American Studies Center. The conflict erupted with the shooting of two Black Panthers, and subsequent retaliatory shootings on either side . The groups repeatedly disagreed on organizing styles and approaches.
Karena, notably, critiqued the BPP’s freebreakfast and health care programs for not being “revolutionary” . Regardless of their disagreements, both parties had very similar goals.
The CoIntelPro operation of the FBI ran operations to infiltrate both the Black Panther Party and Us organisations, they also created conflicts between the groups which led to the killings of 4 Black Panther Party members by Us members.
The "Us" movie and "us" scene in Black Panther is a racist retelling of that story and highlights the successes of the FBI's CoIntelPro operations and the White Wolf Ideology of getting people of colour to kill each other.
The Seven Principles of the Us organisation
Under Director J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI's COINTELPRO (Counterintelligence Program) was aimed at investigating and disrupting dissident political groups within the United States. In the 1960's, COINTELPRO's targets frequently included civil rights activists, both those who espoused non-violence, like Martin Luther King, and those that Hoover referred to as "black nationalist hate groups," like the Black Panthers. This document outlines the program's goals in attempting to limit the effectiveness of such groups. In practice, the FBI used infiltration, legal harassment, disinformation and sometimes extra-legal intimidation and violence against King, the Panthers, and other black activist groups in its attempt to discredit and disrupt them.
For maximum effectiveness of the Counterintelligence Program, and to prevent wasted effort, long-range goals are being set.
1. Prevent the COALITION of militant black nationalist groups. In unity there is strength; a truism that is no less valid for all its triteness. An effective coalition of black nationalist groups might be the first step toward a real “Mau Mau” [Black revolutionary army] in America, the beginning of a true black revolution.
2. Prevent the RISE OF A “MESSIAH” who could unify, and electrify, the militant black nationalist movement. Malcolm X might have been such a “messiah;” he is the martyr of the movement today. Martin Luther King, Stokely Carmichael and Elijah Muhammed all aspire to this position. Elijah Muhammed is less of a threat because of his age. King could be a very real contender for this position should he abandon his supposed “obedience” to “white, liberal doctrines” (nonviolence) and embrace black nationalism. Carmichael has the necessary charisma to be a real threat in this way.
3. Prevent VIOLENCE on the part of black nationalist groups (This directive was not actually pursued as there is evidence the FBI coordinated efforts to arm the Black Panther Party and encourage violence among Black movements). This is of primary importance, and is, of course, a goal of our investigative activity; it should also be a goal of the Counterintelligence Program to pinpoint potential troublemakers and neutralize them before they exercise their potential for violence.
4. Prevent militant black nationalist groups and leaders from gaining RESPECTABILITY, by discrediting them to three separate segments of the community. The goal of discrediting black nationalists must be handled tactically in three ways. You must discredit those groups and individuals to, first, the responsible Negro community. Second, they must be discredited to the white community, both the responsible community and to “liberals” who have vestiges of sympathy for militant black nationalist [sic] simply because they are Negroes. Third, these groups must be discredited in the eyes of Negro radicals, the followers of the movement. This last area requires entirely different tactics from the first two. Publicity about violent tendencies and radical statements merely enhances black nationalists to the last group; it adds “respectability” in a different way.
5. A final goal should be to prevent the long-range GROWTH of militant black organizations, especially among youth. Specific tactics to prevent these groups from converting young people must be developed.
Jonathan David Farley
The US government's efforts to discredit Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders illustrate the lengths to which it will go to stifle left-wing movements
Forty years ago today, a bullet severed the spine of a man whom many the world over thought of as a prince. We have all seen the picture of the hotel balcony where that prince stood, and fell, surrounded by his entourage, all pointing - presumably, in the direction from which the bullet came.
All but one.
One man was not standing, not pointing, but kneeling by Martin Luther King's body, presumably checking to see if - or that - he was dead. That man, Merrell McCullough, was an undercover police officer who had infiltrated King's circle. According to Time magazine, he worked for the Central Intelligence Agency, at least as far back as 1974.
What interest could an intelligence agency have in a man who plainly believed only in peace? In August 1967, four months after King called the US government the "greatest purveyor of violence in the world today," three months after 30 members of the Black Panther party marched, armed, into the California state capitol and onto the front pages of newspapers worldwide, J Edgar Hoover, the head of America's domestic law enforcement agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, issued the following directive: "The purpose of this new counterintelligence endeavour is to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit or otherwise neutralise the activities of black-nationalist, hate-type organisations and groupings, their leadership, spokesmen, membership and supporters."
By "hate-type organisations", Hoover explained that he meant "such groups as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, [King's] Southern Christian Leadership Conference ... the Congress of Racial Equality and the Nation of Islam", the group Malcolm X belonged to until shortly before his 1965 murder. In February 1968, there was a massive demonstration in support of the then-imprisoned leader of the Black Panthers, and Stokely Carmichael and H Rap Brown merged SNCC with the Panthers. Hoover issued another directive: "Prevent the rise of a 'messiah' who could unify and electrify the militant black nationalist movement. Malcolm X might have been such a 'messiah'... . Martin Luther King, Stokely Carmichael, and [Nation of Islam leader] Elijah Muhammed [sic] all aspire to this position ... . King could be a very real contender for this position should he abandon his supposed 'obedience' to 'white, liberal doctrines' (nonviolence)."
According to another declassified FBI memo, shortly afterward the FBI proposed having "a carbon copy of [an] informant report reportedly written by Carmichael to the CIA carefully deposited in the automobile of a close black nationalist friend. ... It is hoped that when the informant report is read it will help promote distrust between Carmichael and the black community." FBI agents called Carmichael's mother, falsely telling her that Black Panthers were out to kill her son. Soon after, Carmichael left the country.
While the guns that killed Malcolm X were held by black hands, we now know that his bodyguard the day he was shot was an undercover police agent, who later infiltrated the New York chapter of the Black Panther party and charged many of its leaders with various crimes. (The "Panther 21" were acquitted of all terrorism charges, but during their two-year incarceration the chapter fell apart.)
Panther bodyguards had a habit of not doing a very good job. The 21-year-old leader of the Panthers' Chicago chapter, Fred Hampton, was murdered by Chicago police after they raided his home at 4:45 the morning of December 4, 1969. Police fired a hundred rounds into the building, most directed toward Hampton's bedroom. Hampton's personal bodyguard, William O'Neal, had drawn a floor plan of the house for the authorities. "It is felt," an FBI agent wrote to Hoover after the killing, "that this information is of considerable value in consideration of a special payment for informant requested in re Chicago letter." (O'Neal was paid $300 by the FBI after the Hampton murder. In 1982, the city of Chicago paid the families of the survivors of the raid and its two victims $1.85m.)
Scene in "Us" as the Wilson's meet "themselves" before fighting and killing each other.
Scene in "Us" potentially highlighting the infiltration of Black movements and families by informants, undercover agents and victims of mind control.
Sometimes the FBI kept its hands clean when playing dirty tricks. In southern California, Ron Karenga's US organisation was vying for power with the Black Panther party, whose Los Angeles chapter was led by Bunchy Carter. Under the heading "Tangible results", one FBI memo reads: "Shootings, beatings and a high degree of unrest continues to prevail in the ghetto area of southeast San Diego. Although no specific counterintelligence action can be credited with contributing to this over-all situation, it is felt that a substantial amount of the unrest is directly attributable to this programme." The memo goes on to propose a further action that "In view of the recent killing of BPP member Sylvester Bell ... will assist in the continuance of the rift between BPP and US." On January 17, 1969, Bunchy Carter and another Panther were murdered by two US members on the campus of the University of California at Los Angeles.
Almost 30 years after the murders, I spoke to a man whom I believed to be Carter's nephew. He refused to acknowledge (or deny) his kinship. I called Ericka Huggins, the widow of the other Panther killed that day. She asked me how I got her telephone number and hung up on me in less than a minute. The mothers of Herod's victims must have felt this way.
"Geronimo" Pratt took over as the leader of the Los Angeles chapter of the Black Panther party after Carter's murder. A 1970 FBI memo reads that "constant consideration is given to the possibility of the utilisation of counterintelligence measures with efforts being directed toward neutralising Pratt as an effective BPP functionary." Pratt was convicted of murder in 1972 based on the false testimony of Julius Butler, an FBI informant. Pratt's conviction was overturned in 1997, after he had spent 27 years behind bars. Hoover, describing another Cointelpro operation, explains that the "purpose of counterintelligence action is to disrupt BPP and it is immaterial whether facts exist to substantiate the charge."
Of course, one might think that it is only meet that a government police force crack down on a supposedly violent group by any means necessary, especially if it is "the greatest threat to the internal security of the country", as Hoover called the Panthers. However, it was not because of their guns (always legally held and handled) that he deemed them so: it was because of the Panthers' Free Breakfasts for Children programme. As Hoover chides an FBI agent: "You state that the Bureau under the CIP should not attack programmes of community interest such as the BPP 'Breakfast for Children'. You state that this is because many prominent 'humanitarians', both white and black, are interested in the programme as well as churches which are actively supporting it. You have obviously missed the point."
So if the Panthers were not crazy thugs, why do we have this view of them today? Hoover directed his agents to "prevent militant black nationalist groups and leaders from gaining respectability, by discrediting them ... to the white community." My favourite Cointelpro operation is the one dealing with colouring books: The FBI created children's colouring books showing blacks murdering whites, ostensibly made by the Black Panther party to indoctrinate black children at Panther schools, so that whites and "moderate" blacks would be repulsed by these radicals.
Which brings us back to King. No doubt this week, much will be made of the FBI's snooping on King, and King's alleged sexual escapades. What will not be thought about much in America is that the primary source for this questionable information was Hoover, who ironically called King a "notorious liar" at a 1964 press conference and was even so petty as to try to stop a university from giving King an honorary degree.
A report compiled by the US Congress quotes from a March 28, 1968 FBI memo: "A sanitation strike has been going on in Memphis for some time. Martin Luther King Jr today led a march composed of 5,000 to 6,000 people. ... As the march developed, acts of violence and vandalism broke out." The memo continues: "This clearly demonstrates that acts of so-called nonviolence advocated by King cannot be controlled. The same thing could happen in his planned massive civil disobedience for Washington in April."
One week later, King was dead.
When Britons ask why the American peace movement is so weak, the answer is Cointelpro. In all, the US government spent about $100m (almost $550m or £275m in today's currency) destabilising or destroying black, indigenous and left-wing movements in America, and their potential future leadership.
The messiah did not rise again.