Politics
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Disappointed in Obama, New Black Panthers openly consider ‘the bullet’

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Caroline May
Political Reporter

The small but vocal New Black Panther Party is woefully disappointed in President Barack Obama, and is openly implying that the best way to reach its goals is no longer through “the ballot” but through “the bullet.”

In the Spring edition of the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) newspaper — cover reading “The Ballot or The Bullet: which way for black people?” — NBPP Chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz breaks down the presidential election, concluding the Democratic Party is the “institutional pimp of Black peoples and the Black Nation” and that Obama has “been a real disappointment.”

“Black peoples are the whores and prostitutes of the Democratic Party, and mistreated mistress that is courted in the late of night, but left hanging when it is time for real change in the light of the post election day,” Shabazz wrote, following a dissertation on the need to “Vote for Revolution.”

Shabazz detailed his past hopes for Obama as the first African-American president, noting that Obama has not lived up to them — specifically by continuing the policies of the Bush administration in the so-called war on terror and ignoring the economic plight of black Americans.

“The black community is at large no better off that (sic) before he was in office. We are curious as to what his agenda is for Black people in America and if he even has one,” Shabazz added.

The lead editorial in the 36-page publication is written by the paper’s editor, Chawn Kweli, entitled “4 years and a Bucket of Hope: The Change That Never Came,” which describes the group’s excitement, and subsequent disappointment, after Obama was elected.

“Mr. Obama’s policies have not corrected the economic troubles of America, they have gotten worse,” Kweli wrote. “The debt continues to expand [into the trillions], and the administration’s handling of international relations has hardened dialogue with foreign nations. Mr. Obama’s policies have been especially harsh to us the Black community. He [Obama] bailed out Wall Street and the auto makers but kept us at the top of the unemployment ladder.”

Seasonally adjusted black unemployment in America currently stands at 13.0 percent, compared to the entire country’s 8.1 percent.

“With strategy, Obama will sing a little Al Green, do a little dance, and win black votes. Sadly like obedient sheep’s (sic), we go to the polls and vote for ‘Black skin,’ no matter how destructive the policies,” Kweli added.

Republicans, according to Shabazz, are undeserving of African-American votes. He wrote, “Only bootlicking Uncle Toms such as Clarence Thomas and Herman Cain pledge loyalty to this racist party that is overtly contemptuous and hostile to poor and working people, unions, and the like.”

“Black America, you must decide who will best represent you in 2012. You must decide if you will choose the ballot as a means to change, or the bullet,” Shabazz wrote, adding that “demanding change does come by any means necessary.”

According to Shabazz, dropping the 2008 voter intimidation charges against the NBPP was one instance in which Obama did the right thing.

Following Obama’s election the group was charged with voter intimidation when their members were seen standing outside a Philadelphia voting precinct dressed in paramilitary garb, one welding a nightstick in what a witness and former civil rights lawyer described as “the most blatant form of voter intimidation I’ve ever seen.”

The Justice Department dismissed the intimidation charges against the group in 2009, a decision which lead to a U.S. Commission on Civil Rights investigation. Obama’s direct involvement in the case’s dismissal has been only been speculative.

The newspaper also contains articles about the Trayvon Martin case, blacks in science and updates on the group’s National Days of Action.

In late March the NBPP offered a $10,000 bounty for Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman. The group has been denounced by more mainstream civil rights groups and is often labeled a “fringe” organization.

The Southern Poverty Law Center considers the New Black Panther Party a “hate group.”

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