Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Black Panthers Intimidate Voters in Philadelphia

Two men wearing Black Panthers attire were out and about today trying to influence voters. The men were spotted at a local polling place in Philadelphia where one was seen holding a night stick.

The PoliGazette reports that citizens called the police and one of the Black Panthers was escorted from the scene (another was told to leave later), but not before a University of Pennsylvania "media guy" chatted up the guy. The Black Panther apparently didn’t understand why people were taking pictures of him or thought his presence out of the ordinary. The student explained: “I think it might be a little intimidating that you have a stick in your hand… That’s a weapon.” "Who are you to decide?" he replied.

He's so philosophical, and oh so right. A silly little weapon shouldn’t intimidate voters, right? A night stick can also double as a cute little baton or used to direct people to the door. He was just trying to help, that’s all.

The Black Panthers, also known as the Black Panther Party, was a violent militant group that as active in the late 1960s and 1970s espoused a Marxist/Maoist philosophy as a means to further black liberation and black power. Their reputation for violence during that era was exceeded only by the Weather Underground. Author David Horowitz has claimed that the Black Panthers were responsible for over a dozen deaths and conducted illegal enterprises such as prostitution, extortion, and drug trafficking.

While there are some organizations calling themselves "Black Panthers," they have not achieved the sort of notoriety that original Black Panthers enjoyed. The original Black Panthers fell apart as an organization due to legal entanglements and internal disputes. One of the founders of the Black Panther Party, Huey Newton, himself was shot to death in the late 1980s.

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