Depending on what history books you read, the Black Panthers are depicted as terrorists or “the greatest threat toward America” at the time, not my words, they are the FBI’s. Even to this day the Panthers are controversial, and can get you scoffed at depending on who you bring them up to.
That being said, convention wisdom about the Panthers is all wrong. In fact, despite carried guns and disdain from the Panthers from the police, THEY NEVER SHOT AT THE POLICE (unless shot at first by the police). On top of that, they did not preach hatred and anti-white rhetoric. They preached ANTI-RACISM rhetoric and for the police to stop targeting and mistreating the black community.
Some myths often said about the Panthers could not be farther from the truth. Let’s break down the main ones I have heard.
The Panthers are Terrorists. False
As said earlier, the Panther’s never shot at the police or caused harm to anyone on their own. They never commited terrorists acts, and wanted to secure safety for the black community.
The Panthers hated white people. False
The Panthers had white people in their ranks, they were open to anyone with a kind heart, they strictly hated racism and anti black sentiment.
The Panthers were drug dealers. False
The FBI/CIA funneled drugs to the Black Panthers to peddle on the streets, but everyone standing up for the cause refused to do so and left the Black Panthers when some members entertained the idea.
The Panthers didn’t do anything for black people and society. Absolutely False
The Panthers did so much that the government implemented a lot of the Panthers programs, such as free lunches, and free clinics (which were first set up by the Panthers.)
Last but not least, the Panthers preached hatred. This could not be anymore false.
The only thing the Panthers hated was the racist system they were forced to endure, but happy to change and fight against.
The Panthers made strides to get us where we are today and their work was and is invaluable in the fight for civil rights! Don’t let anyone tell you different.
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