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Police brutality is the abuse of authority by the unwarranted infliction of excessive force

by personnel involved in law enforcement while performing their official duties. The term is also
applied to abuses by corrections personnel in municipal, state and federal penal facilities
including military prisons. While the term police brutality is usually applied in the context of
causing physical harm, it may also involve psychological harm through the use of intimidation
tactics beyond the scope of officially sanctioned police procedure. Police brutality can be
associated with racial profiling. Differences in race, religion, politics, or socioeconomic status
sometimes exist between police and citizenry. Some police officers may view the population (or a
particular subset thereof) as generally deserving punishment. Portions of the population may
perceive the police to be oppressors. In addition, there is a perception that victims of police
brutality often belong to relatively powerless groups, such as racial or cultural minorities, the
disabled, and the poor.

Racism is the belief in the SUPERIORITY of one race over another, which often results in
DISCRIMINATION and PREJUDICE towards people based on their RACE or ETHNICITY.

Slavery in the United States was the legal institution of human chattel enslavement, primarily
of Africans and African Americans, that existed in the United States of America in the 18th and 19th
centuries. Slavery had been practiced in British America from early colonial days and was legal in all
Thirteen Colonies at the time of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It lasted in many U.S. states
almost a year beyond the end of the American Civil War, replaced for decades longer by convict leasing,
peonage, or sharecropping which included poor whites.

(The Root) — Though President Abraham Lincoln ended slavery with the signing of the Emancipation
Proclamation in 1863, slaves in Texas had no knowledge of their freedom until two and a half years
later. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston and declared the end of the Civil War,
with General Granger reading aloud a special decree that ordered the freeing of some 200,000 slaves in
the state.

"A necessary evil"[edit]

In the 19th century, proponents of slavery often defended the institution as a "necessary evil". White
people of that time feared that emancipation of black slaves would have more harmful social and
economic consequences than the continuation of slavery. In 1820, Thomas Jefferson, one of
the Founding Fathers of the United States, wrote in a letter that with slavery:

We have the wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale,
and self-preservation in the other.
The Black Panther Party or BPP was a political movement that existed between October
1966-1982, and was founded by the movement leader Huey P. Newton and cofounder Bobby Seale. 1
The BPP begun with both Newton and Seale while studying in Oakland at the Merritt College when
they “set out originally to legally patrol the police. The result of this surveillance was a decrease in
brutality against members of the black community and increased harassment of the Black Panther Party
by the police”.2 Therefore, the birth of BPP took place while two college students struggled to make
sense of “poverty and violence that characterised their communities”.3 Hence, both Newton and Seale
aimed for a radical and final social change by encorporating in their manifesto the complaints of the
people, and at the same time, the demandings of the entire African American community.BPP formed
patrols that had the purpose to endorse a feeling of unity and also to strenghten the African-American
community that was persecuted by the police brutality.

The movement leader, Huey P. Newton argued that: ‘‘By standing up to the police as equals,
even holding them off, and yet remaining within the law, we had demonstrated Black pride to the
community in a concrete way.’’ He concluded that the armed patrols ‘‘created a feeling of solidarity’’
(Newton 2002, 67). But the main argument for the armed patrols was the last one which was to resist
and respond to the police brutality that existed in the black communities of Oakland. 4 In addition, the
co-founder of the movement, Seale argued that all of these actions were essential because “we have to
defend ourselves against [police] because they are breaking down our doors, shooting black brothers on
the streets, and brutalizing sisters on the head. [The police] are wearing guns mostly to intimidate the
people from forming organizations to really get our basic political desires and needs answered. The
power structure uses the fascist police against people moving for freedom and liberation. It keeps our
people divided, but the program will be what we unite the people around and to teach our people self-
defense”.5

1Alkebulan, Paul. Surviving Pending Revolution. The History of the Black Panther Party. The University of Alabama Press.
Tuscaloosa. 2007. p xi. www.ourrebellion.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/08173154971.pdf
2An Introduction to the Black Panther Party. Written by The John Brown Society, 1968, California, page2.
www.archive.lib.msu.edu/DMC/AmRad/introblackpanther.pdf
3 Tyner, A James. “Defend the Ghetto”: Space and the Urban Politics of the Black Panther Party. Department of Geography,
Kent State University. Published by Blackwell Publishing 2005, page 105. www.scribd.com/document/200841216/Defend-
the-Ghetto-Space-and-the-Urban-Politics-of-the-Black-Panther-Party
4 Tyner, A James. “Defend the Ghetto”: Space and the Urban Politics of the Black Panther Party. Department of Geography,
Kent State University. Published by Blackwell Publishing 2005, page 111. www.scribd.com/document/200841216/Defend-
the-Ghetto-Space-and-the-Urban-Politics-of-the-Black-Panther-Party.
5
Seale, B. 1991 [1971]. Seize the time: The story of the Black Panther Party and Huey P. Newton. Baltimore, MD: Black
Classic Press. P 65.
The Black Panther Party’s program consisted of one section broke into ten subdivisions entitled
“What We Want” and the explanation of the claims entitled “What We Believe”.6 The BPP's platform
pleaded for freedom (we want power to determine the destiny of our black community), full
employment for African Americans, an end to the robbery by the white man of the clack community,
decent housing, relevant education, exemption from military service, end to police brutality and murder
among African-American community, equality when it comes to law: black defendants to be tried only
by a jury of blacks and besides equality and peace they asked for an United Nationsupervised plebiscite
in order to determine the will of black people as to their national identity.7 Therefore, “the black
revolution of 1968-1971 represented an antisystemic struggle against the world system in the
United States - a society that was responsible for the enslavement and segregation of African
people. The BPP was the modern manifestation of the black Afrbican freedom struggle against
racial structures of power that created and sustained white skin privilege within the world
system”.8

Equally important, one important figure that triggered the setup of the BPP was Martin Luther
9
King. Although the views of Luther King were one of incorporating the African Americans among the
“white America”, the ideologies of BPP aligned with the ones of Martin Luther King only partly. Both,
Luther King as the voice of the Civil Rights Movement and The Black Panther Party, as the voice of
the African-Americans, had similar demandings: human rights and respect shown towards the racially
different other, justice for the African-American community and nonetheless freedom.10 But the
diference was that BPP did not asked for “incorporation” among the “white population” as Martin
Luther King with his program asked. In addition, the Civil Rights movement was “equally important in
understanding the long battle against racism”.11 Likewise, the BPP gained international and national

6An Introduction to the Black Panther Party. Written by The John Brown Society, 1968, California, page 1.
www.archive.lib.msu.edu/DMC/AmRad/introblackpanther.pdf
7Alkebulan, Paul. Surviving Pending Revolution. The History of the Black Panther Party. The University of Alabama Press.
Tuscaloosa. 2007. p 5. www.ourrebellion.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/08173154971.pdf
8On the Ground. The Black Panther Party in Communities across America edited by Judson L. Jeffries. University press of
Mississippi Jackson 2010 page 96. www.edutechbook.com/lib/on-the-ground-the-black-panther-party-in-communities-
across-america.pdf?web=support.mequire.no
9Martin Luther King was the most visible and active agent of the Civil Rights Movement that contributed to the
improvement and growth of the Civil Rights Movement by introducing new strategies as non-violent activism. Moreover
King received the Nobel prize for opposing racial inequality and nonviolent resistance as it is mentioned in New York
Times "Martin Luther King Wins The Nobel Prize for Peace". October 15, 1964. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
10 C. J. Austin, Up Against the Wall. University of Arkansas, 2006. Page xi- xxi.
11Black Power: In the Belly of the Beast, and: In Search of the Black Panther Party: New Perspectives on a Revolutionary
Movement (review) Thomas J. Noer Histoire sociale/Social history, Volume 41, Number 81, Mai-May 2008, pp. 286-291
(Review). Page 286. Accessed 5 March 2018 www.muse.jhu.edu/article/250939/pdf
support by the means of their activities and global views and ideas on black nationalism, revolutionary
nationalism, revolutionary internationalism and inter communalism.12

Malcom X opposed Martin Luther King’s ideas on the matters of nonviolence: “While King
advocated non-violent direct action and passive resistance to achieve equal civil rights, Malcolm X was
the spokesman for the Nation of Islam (NOI), the black Muslim movement which violently rejected
white America and its Christian values, and preached the supremacy of blacks over whites.”13

, FBI’s COINTELPRO program was ment to discredit the members of the BPP and their activities.
Contrary to their countless efforts to depict the movement as a violent one, the memebers of the BPP’s
were not some simply agitators that were looking just for truble as the FBI tried to point out. The
Panthers, besides their political and social views, incorporated community service activities in their
program. These activities included free breakfast programs for school children, liberation schools, and
free medical clinics. The efforts were intended to address the immediate needs of the black community.
Moreover, the Panthers also hoped to use these programs to provide positive activities for the poor
community and to educate the community toward a revolutionary understanding of the American
political system. In addition, starting with 1969 BPP begun their community services that besides free
breakfast included free medical clinics among other programs.14 Equally important is that starting with
1967 Cointelpro service assembled by the orders of U.S. Government begun their activities to eliminate
black influential leaders and members of the BPP,15 program that led to the incarceration of Huey
Newton for the presumption of killing a police officer. But in the absence of solid evidence Newton
was released from prison in 1970. This was a turn point for the group's leader that begun to question
the necessity of armed forces as an ultimate solution fact that troubled many of the members. The
members of the movement felt in the Cointelpro trap that meant to disintegrate the party and to
manipulate their members. The Panthers were manipulated through the program that was created to
manufacture conflicts in order to eradicate the influence of the group. Their ultimate goal at this time
was to change that system to a socialist entity.16 The programs were popular within the party and the

12Tyner, A James. “Defend the Ghetto”: Space and the Urban Politics of the Black Panther Party. Department of Geography,
Kent State University. Published by Blackwell Publishing 2005, page 105. www.scribd.com/document/200841216/Defend-
the-Ghetto-Space-and-the-Urban-Politics-of-the-Black-Panther-Party.
13 Al Jazeera. Malcolm X and Martin Luther King: A portrait of two different voices whose demands for black equality
gave rise to gains in American civil rights www.aljazeera.com/programmes/face-to-face/2017/07/malcolm-martin-luther-
king-170709072506322.html
14Alkebulan, Paul. Surviving Pending Revolution. The History of the Black Panther Party. The University of Alabama
Press. Tuscaloosa. 2007. p xiii. www.ourrebellion.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/08173154971.pdf
15 Memo, FBI director to all foficesc on Counter-Intelligence Program, Black National-its Hate Groups
16 Diahhne Jenkins, “Socialism: Serving the People,” Black Panther, 1 November 1969, 19; “Illinois Chapter Free Medical
Clinic,” Black Panther, 18 October 1969, p 3.
community, but some Panthers believed they diverted the organization from its primary responsibility
of leading an armed rebellion against the government.17

the members of the BPP were a dynamic and growing revolutionary power and they were inclied to line
up with any other organisation who felt the burdem of oppression and the consequences of sistematic
racism. The Panthers sought to establish a global community predicated on the equality of all peoples
regardless of race, gender, or sexual preference.18 Moreover, the BPP “allied itself with women and
homosexuals, two highly marginalized groups in American society. Although the Black Panthers
certainly began as a new type of organization determined to solve the problems racism presented in
America, they soon became a radically different and never before seen vanguard party of the revolution
as they sought to create a rainbow coalition in an effort to stave off the American government and create
a truly egalitarian state”.19

17Eldridge Cleaver, “On the Ideology of the Black Panther Party,” Black Panther, 6 June 1970, 12–15; New York 21,
“Open Letter to the Weather Underground,” East Village Other, 2 February 1971, p 3.
18
Berman, Matthew. All Power to the People: The Black Panther Party as the Vanguard of the Oppressed. Florida Atlantic
University Jupiter, Florida, 2008 page 42.
19 19
Berman, Matthew. All Power to the People: The Black Panther Party as the Vanguard of the Oppressed. Florida Atlantic
University Jupiter, Florida, 2008 page 43.

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