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The Black Panthers vs. Malcolm X

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The Black Panther Party (BPP) was formed in 1966 by a group of African-Americans as a civil rights movement. Their main aim was to fight the oppression of minority groups by the whites. They believed that non-violent campaigns had failed and the only way to change the situation was through a revolutionary war. Their language and actions were violent and this alerted the FBI, who worked tirelessly to destroy the party.

The party had a ten point plan according to which they were determined to fight. The first point addressed the need for freedom and power to determine the destiny of black and oppressed communities. Point two was to achieve full employment for its people i.e. the minority groups. Third point was to stop capitalists’ robbery  who promised to compensate them century ago. Point four addressed the provision of decent housing appropriate for human beings. Point five was the accessibility to quality education for its people that taught about their history and their role in the society at that time. Sixth point aimed to achieve a completely free health care for all blacks and oppressed people. Point seven was an immediate end to police brutality and murders of members of the minority groups. Point eight was an immediate end to all wars of aggression that the US was involved in around the world. Ninth point was a fair and impartial judicial system. The last tenth point addressed a need for basic requirements such as housing, food, education, and justice.

The movement did not last for long as the government soon suppressed it. Most of its leaders were arrested while others were killed. During its short existence BPP was able to introduce a Free Food Program for those who could not afford to feed themselves. In addition, it provided free medical health care to the less privileged who could not afford it. However, these programs soon ended with the collapse of BPP.

Born in 1925, Malcolm X was a controversial civil rights activist who advocated for racial separation rather than integration. He believed that blacks would do better if they were to separate from the whites, so that each race could manage their own affairs. After dropping out of school in 1941, Malcolm X moved to ghetto where he made a living from suspicious activities before getting into crime. He was later sentenced to ten years in jail for his crimes. While in prison, he became a member of Nation of Islam (NOI) and a minister of Temple after release. He used his high rank in NOI to criticize the white Americans through bitter verbal attacks. He later ditched NOI to form his own party, which did not last for long as he was assassinated in 1945.

Things have changed as civil right movements and governments continued to embrace peace and dialogue for dispute resolution. International laws that advocated human rights irrespective of race,, color, or background have been formed, Technology made it possible for the world to communicate and spread news about cases of oppression in a given region to the whole global community. When such cases occur, the whole globe gets to know about it immediately and pressure is mounted on the responsible parties to act and put an end to human suffering. Nowadays, citizens are very informed about their rights and if their leaders do not respect those rights, the latter are likely to witness revolts which can overthrow their governing. Over the past 2 years such rebellions have been observed in the Arab countries forcing their leaders out of office.

The Black Panther movement has one thing in common with the Malcolm X movement: both were fighting for the oppressed minority who lived in poverty. Unlike the Black Panther who promoted integration through living decently just like the whites, Malcolm X believed separation would bring justice to the minority groups. They would manage their own affairs, control their own resources, and live independently. Malcolm X saw the whites as devils and in his opinion there was no benefit of being around them. The Black Panther felt there would be harmony if whites were to accept the minority groups and live together sharing and enjoying resources as brothers and sisters. The rigidity of some governments triggers the right activists to behave violently and start rebellions and demonstrations leading to deaths of innocent people. All agencies should always work to mitigate their differences through dialogue and peaceful communication.

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