With recent contentious race topics entering the spotlight — such as the voter intimidation incident and the Shirley Sherrod imbroglio — the media has been more than willing to open their arms and turn on their cameras to hear the opining of the National Chairman of the New Black Panther Party, Malik Zulu Shabazz. Shabazz has appeared on Fox News, issued a statement through CNN, and done exclusive interviews for various media outlets.
The Anti-Defamation League has described Shabazz as anti-semitic and racist, trying “to recast himself as a serious civil rights leader in recent years by cloaking his bigotry and intolerance in religious and civil rights principles and inserting himself in high profile, racially charged issues around the country.” This certainly seems to be the case as Shabazz has made an increasing number of appearances in the media, in which the audience is expected to suspend belief and assume this man is a serious voice on race relations in America.
In fact, Shabazz used his statement at CNN to accuse the “Republican or right wing tea party strategists” of “stir[ing] up racial fears.”
Perhaps Mr. Shabazz is unfamiliar with his own attempts to “stir up racial fears,” but in case he has forgotten, this video from C-Span (h/t John Simpson) where he calls out to a crowd in Washington, D.C. to “unite against a common enemy” and to defend themselves against the police should help remind him. In his words, “when we see caskets rolling and funerals in the black community … we will see caskets and funerals in the community of our enemy.”
The video is from an August 2000 event called the “Redeem the Dream” rally hosted by the Reverend Al Sharpton and includes participation by the NAACP, Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Georgia, current Democratic New York gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo, and former President of the NAACP and former Democratic Rep. Kweisi Mfume. The C-Span library contains an entire 4 hour and 36 minute version of the video, so as not to confuse the media of the messages intent.
If Breitbart is going to be hammered by the media for allegedly taking a video clip out of context, shouldn’t the media adhere to the same standard for others? Shouldn’t everything be held in context, especially the guests they’re going to interview? Should someone providing commentary on racism be pointed out for their own racist activity? Of course.
This video shows what the ADL has known for some time, and what the media should know when presenting a character such as Shabazz. But it is also one chapter in the history of a man long intent on inciting race wars. After all, Shabazz came to prominence in 1994 when he engaged in this warm-up speech for Khallid Abdul Muhammad at Howard University in 1994, which included this completely innocent exchange:
“Who is it that caught and killed Nat Turner?”
Audience: “The Jews!”
“Who is it that controls the Federal Reserve?”
Audience: “The Jews!”
“Who is it that has our entertainers . . . and our athletes in a vise grip?”
Audience: “The Jews!”
“We want to bring on a man who makes the Jews pee in their pants at night . . . my big brother, Dr. Khallid Muhammad!”
With a man like Shabazz allegedly voicing the concerns of black America, it’s no wonder the NBPP churns out people who stir up racial fears by shouting, “You want freedom, you’re gonna have to kill some crackers! You’re gonna have to kill some of their babies!”
Shabazz transcript from August 2000 “Redeem the Dream” event:
… You might be a doctor. You might be a lawyer. You might be a scientist. You might have evolved to the privileged class of society, but no matter how high you fly, no matter how high you think you have gone, you still the actual fact that we are still treated as niggers in the hill’s of America. Racism stinks, rotten from the core to the ceiling of America today.
Thirty seven years later, ladies and gentleman of the black jury. I ask you, ladies and gentleman of the black jury, thirty seven years later, how do you find white America on injustice and racism?
Ladies and gentleman of the jury, on America’s state and federal police, how do you find them on police brutality and racism, how do you find them?
Thirty seven years later, black ladies and gentleman of the jury, how do you find white America and the outlaw governor George Bush of Texas, on the outright, cold-blooded murder on (inaudible) in Texas, how do you find them?
How do you find them?
How do you find her on the conspiracy to incarcerate black youth? How do you find her?
How do you find her after 400 years, after serving to build a country, how do you find white America today on the denial of reparations today, how do you find her?
How do you find her?
We in the New Black Panther Party led by our national chairman Khallid Abdul Muhammed have a black dream today. We have a black dream which is truly a vision. We have a black dream today of little black boys, little black girls, joining hands with other black youth and black students to organize, stop the violence in our communities, and unite against a common enemy.
We have a black dream today, and a vision today, of all of our people, black lawyers, black preachers, doctors, teachers, scientists, rap artists, gang members – all black people working for a common cause.
We have a dream today as I conclude, a black dream today of self defense. Of self defense in the face of racism. In the face of police brutality. In the face of overwhelming odds against us we today have a vision of a black dream today, a black dream that when we see caskets rolling in the black community, that when we see caskets rolling and funerals in the black community, that we will see caskets and funerals in the community of our enemies as well.
We have a black dream today that we believe in the old testament law of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a limb for a limb, and a life for a life.
And when we organize, when we organize and unite, organize and unite like (inaudible) Stokely Carmichael said, then justice will flow down like a mighty river and then we can join hands and say ‘Free at last. Free at last. Black power. Black power. Then we will be free at last.’
Black power! Black power! Black power!
Thank you very much.