The Instigator
DeltaOhio
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Ariesx
Pro (for)
Winning
1 Points

Were the Black Panthers a terrorist organization

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Ariesx
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/20/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 624 times Debate No: 86952
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)

 

DeltaOhio

Con

Given the recent hysteria over Beyonce's Super Bowl performance, there are some who argue that she was wrong for supporting The Black Panther Party. They claim that the party was a terrorist organization.

I motion that they were not a terrorist organization and were in fact a positive influence in many communities.

Round 1: Acceptance of debate
Round 2: Arguments of position
Rounds 3-4: Rebuttals
Ariesx

Pro

Terrorism-the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.
Oxford Dictionaries
I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
DeltaOhio

Con

https://www.fbi.gov...
As agreed to in the comment section Terrorism in this debate will be defined as:

"Domestic terrorism" means activities with the following three characteristics:
`42;Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
`42;Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of
a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and
"Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.

Were the Black Panthers a terrorist organization? Clearly they were not but white washed media would have you believe that they were indeed on par with Al-Qaida or ISIS.

Quick history lesson

The Black Panther Party (BPP) was created in 1966 by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale to counter act the rampant police brutality that were going on in the Oakland California community. Originally titled Black Panther Party for Self-Defense the party had a focus on self-defense, political and judicial education. Eventually the self-defense part would be dropped from the name but the core tenants would largely stay the same. Newton and Seale decided on the Panther as their symbol for the part since the Panther was known to use "violence" only when violence was used against it. In this regard they too took the same approach to "violence" as Malcom X who had been assassinated earlier in the previous year.

The BPP are largely remembered (in the media) for open carrying weapons while following police officers in their daily duties. Many may characterize this as terrorism but in reality that was not the case. In every instance of the BPP"s activities they vigorously stayed within the confines of the law. When a police officer pulls someone over the BPP would not interfere but would rather stay at a safe distance as to allow the officer to do his job which was perfectly legal. Abiding by the law was paramount to every panther and legal advice was printed in all most every copy of their Black Panther News Paper.

Why the BPP was not a terrorist organization

The BPP party was not a terrorist organization simply because they followed the law. Given the definition provided the BPP were not involved in acts that violated law in conjunction with being dangerous to human life. In just about every case that involved the injury or death of any human life the BPP was acting out of self-defense. Every American has the right to self defense and can even take the life of an officer in the event of their negligence. http://www.constitution.org...

This is shown by the various attempts to frame the BPP buy local and federal agencies. http://archive.lib.msu.edu... pg. 13-14 show some of the empty handed attempts the government took to bring charges against the BPP only to have many members freed of all charges in 1968 and 1969. These raids on the BPP put at risk the lives of the members at the behest of racist police officers.

One of the bigger and most famous cases is the Panther 21. https://en.wikipedia.org... in this case 21 members of the BPP were "accused of planned coordinated bombing and long-range rifle attack on two police stations and an education office in New York City." This was an attempt to disrupt leadership of the BPP. All of the Panther 21 were acquitted of all 156. I don"t think one could find any better example of what many people would define as terrorism today than this.

Why was the BPP even considered a terrorist organization to begin with?

To put it bluntly racism was the driving factor. Regardless of the rights black people were supposed to have under the constitution many people in power did not like them. They were a group of black people who refused to stay "in their place."

The FBI (who advised many local authorities that raided the homes of the BPP) was run by J. Edgar Hoover (https://en.wikipedia.org...) who made a name in the early 20th century by helping destroy the life of Marcus Garvey who was a "staunch proponent of the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements." Hoovers job was to find a reason as to which to deport Garvey (who was Jamaican) https://en.wikipedia.org... . At one point Hoover wrote to a fellow BOI
"Unfortunately, however, he [Garvey] has not as yet violated any federal law whereby he could be proceeded against on the grounds of being an undesirable alien, from the point of view of deportation."

This brief bit of history is very important because Hoovers direct involvement in the BPP shapes the way in which the laws were bent or broken to delegitimize the BPP. http://www.history.com... . The FBI was also involved in monitoring Malcom X as well as Martin LK jr and it is alleged the the FBI also had a hand in killing or providing aid to kill both men. Using the media to frame the BPP as violent and racist was the perfect condition for the FBI to blatantly disregard the rights of the American people.
Ariesx

Pro

"Domestic terrorism" means activities with the following three characteristics:
`42;Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
`42;Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of
a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and
"Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.
It looks like if I can prove just one single advantage that proves that the Black Panthers did any on this, than that means they did commit domestic terrorism. I could make my case very short, but I would like to list a few examples of them committing acts that harmed officers, or tried to intimidate others.

""April 6, 1968: An armed confrontation between Black Panthers and police led to a 90 minute confrontation at a building housing Panthers. Eventually, the Panthers surrendered. Over the course of the day, at least four policemen were wounded and one killed. One Panther member, Bobby Hutton, was killed by the police and seven others were arrested."
The Black Panthers already have four policemen wounded, and one killed. They affected the government by killing one police officer, and wounding 4 others. This counts as domestic terrorism.

""May 2, 1967: About 30 armed Black Panther members entered the California legislature to protest consideration of outlawing the right of private citizens to bear arms. There was no violence, but the spectacle is well remembered and brought the group into public light."
30 armed members walked around in a legislature with guns. This could be a sign of intimidation which is another point in Domestic Terrorism. Intimidation-1.frighten or overawe (someone), especially in order to make them do what one wants:
Oxford Dictionaries
They were trying to influence government policy by walking in with guns.
http://terrorism.about.com...
Sorry about the fact that my arguments are short. It is just that we only really can document real offenses when they were actually popular. Either way, even if one of these examples are true, that is a win for the debate for me. One of these offenses if proven true which are true basically clarify them as a terrorist organization.
Debate Round No. 2
DeltaOhio

Con

"Domestic terrorism" means activities with the following three characteristics

For you to win any points the arguments you gave would have to have those three characteristics. Only the first could possibly qualify (with a shallow analysis) as terrorism seeing how the second argument only has one of those characteristics at the very most.

My stance is this.
1)The incident you speak of was lead by Eldridge Cleaver. He cannot be solely responsible for the BPP being labeled as a Terrorist organization.
2)Following the law should also not bring about the label of Terrorist organization as the BPP were only doing what the law allowed them to do.

The incident you speak of :
happened a few days after the assassination of MLK jr. Cleaver lead a group of Panthers to a group of cops and began a shoot out. This is no behave of a Panther and Cleaver knew all to well that this was not what the BPP was about. Regardless he did what he did. Cleaver was his own man with his own ideas and concepts of the world from the start to finish. Cleaver eventually fled from the scene as well as the county. It would be 12 years before he finally found justice (in the form of probation and community service. FYI I don"t agree with the sentence my self but I digress). Part of the reason why the sentencing was so lenient was because of the actions of the officers that day. The boy Bobby Hutton that was in your quote was 16 and was murdered while giving up. After putting his hands up and surrendering the officers decided to fire up to 12 rounds into him. 12 years later at Cleavers trial and officer came forward who was there during the incident.

"the reason that they have not been rushing you to court is because of my testimony and the testimony of 13 other police officers who were that night who do not agree with what the police did in the way they killed Bobby Hutton." He said, "they murdered Bobby. They murdered my prisoner." " Officer on scene http://www.pbs.org...

Now this is not me saying Cleaver is innocent but once again showing the ruthlessness of many of the Police Departments towards Blacks at the time. This is arguably the only incident that panthers were involved in that did not start in self defense and the man who lead this attack was eventually expelled (By Huey Newton who also expelled many other Panthers who grow too radical) from the BPP in part because he got Bobby Hutton killed. It was clear from this that he was not a Panther http://www.thecrimson.com... After this event Cleaver found just about every way possible to differentiate himself from the Panthers. Showing his true radical self.
Cleaver abused his power to advance his own ideology. Point blank.

The whole reason that the BPP entered the California legislature was of course to protest legislation that was created only to limit their ability to protect themselves from police brutality. Simply because someone feels intimidated of another"s constitutional rights does not constitute terrorism. As the BPP entered the assembly floor Bobby Seale read the Executive Mandate Number One of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense which read:

"The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense calls upon the American people in general and the Black People in particular to take careful note of the racist California Legislature now considering legislation aiming at keeping black people disarmed and powerless at the very time that racist police agencies throughout the country intensify the terror, brutality, murder and repression of Black People. As the aggression of the racist American Government escalates in Vietnam, the police agencies of America escalate the repression of Black People throughout the ghettos of America. Vicious police dogs, cattle prods, and increased patrols have become familiar sights in Black communities... The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense believes that the time has come for Black people to arm themselves against this terror before it's too late."

This was not for intimidation this was a call to the American people to listen and try and understand the issues black people were facing in California. And just as a note after man laws were passed to keep the BPP from defending themselves the BPP followed those rules. Part of the reason they were able to keep many party members informed was through their papers. They would list many laws and regulations that needed to be followed. Since Huey had graduated from San Francisco Law School he realized how important the law was.
Ariesx

Pro

Sorry for the late response:
"The incident you speak of was lead by Eldridge Cleaver. He cannot be solely responsible for the BPP being labeled as a Terrorist organization."
Actions speak louder than words.
As my opponent describes this situation, it is where "Cleaver lead a group of Panthers to a group of cops and began a shoot out. " My opponent goes on to say that this was no way for the Black Panthers to act."Cleaver helped found the Black Panthers, a militant, leftist, anti-establishment black nationalist group based in Oakland, California. Cleaver became its information minister, or spokesman.
In addition to its revolutionary rhetoric, the Panthers operated social programs for the African-American community.
"At that time, it was inspirational for us here in the South to see a group like that out in Oakland providing breakfasts, providing shelter for the needy," said Tobe Johnson, a professor at Morehouse College in Atlanta. "He could be thought of as a hero"http://www.cnn.com...
He could be thought of as a hero, and he helped found the Black Panthers. He also had a very politically active career. He also switched to the GOP, and ran as for senator. He influenced a lot of the decisions made my the Black Panthers, and also was very powerful in that party. He also was no idiot, because he had a very long history of speeches, and movements he joined. He was a Black Panther Leader. To say Cleaver was not a true Panther is true to an extent. He was a true panther, because he helped create the organization. Once, he got arrested, his views changed and became more radical.
Cleaver was either way an influential leader of The Black Panthers who commited acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
My opponent would have to argue that it is legal to shoot a cop, even if you believe that the particular cop was committing an illegal act. There would have to be a separate trial that would convict the cop, and plead him guilty. Con might try to argue that during those times it was impossible for them to do that. First of all, that would just give more publicity and support of Cleaver tried to bring this to court which he could with his influence. The cop already was announced to be guilty in a trial a few years later. This proves that a Black Panther leader dead commit domestic terrorism. Actions speak louder than words. Con can say that The Black Panthers do not permit such things, but no organization will openly say we are going to actively kill cops, and intimidate civilian populations. Again, Actions speak louder than words.

"The whole reason that the BPP entered the California legislature was of course to protest legislation that was created only to limit their ability to protect themselves from police brutality. Simply because someone feels intimidated of another"s constitutional rights does not constitute terrorism."
My opponent again does not deny that 30 armed Black Panther members entered California legislature to protest. 30 armed members tried to frighten or overawe (California Legislature), especially in order to make them do what one wants:
This is the definition of intimidation(Oxford Dictionaries). One cannot deny this, and how the people in the legislature can interpret this. The people in the legislature perspective(An angry black nationalist group has came in here with guns to protest. They have also evidently killed cops). With a reputation the Panthers had, it is completely acceptable to feel as though they are being intimidated. This is also a sign of domestic terrorism.

Another Example:
"Protest at the Statehouse

Awareness of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense grew rapidly after their May 2, 1967, protest at the California State Assembly. On May 2, 1967, the California State Assembly Committee on Criminal Procedure was scheduled to convene to discuss what was known as the "Mulford Act", which would make the public carrying of loaded firearms illegal. Eldridge Cleaver and Newton put together a plan to send a group of 26 armed Panthers led by Seale from Oakland to Sacramento to protest the bill. The group entered the assembly carrying their weapons, an incident which was widely publicized, and which prompted police to arrest Seale and five others. The group pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of disrupting a legislative session"
The Black Panthers were guilty in this scenario for disrupting a legislative session.

"Huey Newton charged with murdering John Frey

On October 28, 1967,[60] Oakland police officer John Frey was shot to death in an altercation with Huey P. Newton during a traffic stop. In the stop, Newton and backup officer Herbert Heanes also suffered gunshot wounds. Newton was convicted of voluntary manslaughter at trial, but the conviction was later overturned. In his book Shadow of the Panther, writer Hugh Pearson alleges that Newton, while intoxicated in the hours before he was shot and killed, claimed to have willfully killed John Frey"
This is an example of the Black Panthers being involved in dangerous acts that violate state and federal law.
https://en.wikipedia.org...

Additional facts that also prove how there radical ideas have incited The New Black Panther Party to be even more extreme.
The New Black Panther Party has been cited to be inspired by what the original Black Panthers did.
New Black Panther Party:
-Black Panther Party proclaims the idea of killing white babies by bombing nurseries.
http://www.examiner.com...
-Black Panther leader has been arrested for possession of illegal guns. He had a tattoo on him saying Kill Whitey.
dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2346713/Leader-Black-Panthers-sports-tattoo-reading-Kill-Whitey-cheek-arrested-carrying-unlicensed-loaded-weapon-wearing-bullet-proof-vest.html
Just two examples can give you an idea of how violent and radical this group is. But, they claim that they are inspired by The Black Panthers. This is probably due to The Black Panther's projection of Black Power, and there hateful rhetoric. Either way, I have proven that the Black Panthers have indeed committed Domestic Terrorism. Con has just provided there perspectives on why they have done this, yet still cannot disprove the reality that The Black Panthers committed acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion;
Debate Round No. 3
DeltaOhio

Con

DeltaOhio forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Ariesx 1 year ago
Ariesx
Sure
Posted by DeltaOhio 1 year ago
DeltaOhio
As I'm not nearly accustomed to this site as you I might as well ask.
Ariesx would you accept this definition for this debate?
Posted by DeltaOhio 1 year ago
DeltaOhio
Looks like I jumped the gun lol

Per https://www.fbi.gov...

"Domestic terrorism" means activities with the following three characteristics:

Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and
Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.
Posted by themohawkninja 1 year ago
themohawkninja
Define "terrorism" first.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by JustAnotherFloridaGuy 11 months ago
JustAnotherFloridaGuy
DeltaOhioAriesxTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture.