I’d like to describe and analyse the political violence displayed in the context of the Black Panther Party through the perspective of symbolic interactionism. Also, my analysis uses labelling, conflict, identity, and radical theories to explain the process of political violence. I’d like to show how false identity leads to racism and oppression, and how police brutality triggers self-defence in a form of violence. I want to show the history of racism, poverty, and inequality in the context of political conflict. I analyse the Black Party activities in the years 1967-1975 from the perspective of Malcolm X’s military self-defence approach. Also, I explain why violent ways of self-defence had been necessary and replaced M. L. King's passive resistance approach. I’d like to present the power game between the white authorities and oppressed black societies. I think that everybody has a right to self-defence and that ongoing coercive oppression must end in a political conflict which had been seen in the history of humanity multiple times in various socio-geographical settings. Still, there is a question of what if the core of any conflict is a false identity.
The Black Panther Party
The Black Panther Party was created because of inequality, racism, poverty, and authority violence against black people in America. Although white people had seen America as a country of opportunities where ambitious, hard-working men could make a living, it was not the case for black people. Coloured people had limited access to education, job, and health care. It was not uncommon that Blacks were first to fire due to their skin colour. Black people mostly were able to do jobs, such as taxi drivers, carpenters, and similar services. For example, Malcolm X as a child was the only one in his class who was unencouraged to follow his dream to become a lawyer and encouraged to become a carpenter because he was Black. Factually, without a source of income families were struggling to make ends meet which often led to family breaks, where social services were taking kids away from their parents. Moreover, black communities use to be patrolled by white-armed police officers. Stop and search without any reason was a common thing. While in fact, Blacks had been often victims of violence administered by Whites. For example, Angela Davis, as a child witnessed a bomb attack that was administered by Whites, she lost her friend at that time (Olsson, 2011). After this event, black men had to do armed patrols to protect their families. At the same time, black and white Americans were fighting together in the war in Vietnam but after returning to America, Blacks faced discrimination and racism from Whites. African Americans lived in and loved America, but it was not a mutual feeling.
What is the real reason and solution for this and any other type of discrimination?
If you look deeper into the topic of your real identity and ask yourself the question ‘who am I?’, am I my name, am I my nationality, am I my race, religion, profession, or gender? Then you may realise that those labels can be easily replaced. You can change your name, nationality, religion, profession and nowadays even your gender or skin colour. Thus, the question is if you change everything in your body, all labels, are you still, inside the same person? Or you are a totally new entity? If, you asked a mother whose child was a boy but changed the gender and now is a girl, is the child a different person to that mother? Of course, not (of course it depends on the mother but the example is based on a real-life story of a loving mother and child). Thus, the person inside the body, the person that decided to change gender is still the same. Thus, the question is who are you? If, you are not Black or White, Catholic, or Muslim, man or woman, American or Russian, if you are not those labels then who are you? And why do you want to fight, discriminate, dominate, control and abuse others based on those changeable labels? Is there any sense at all? I will leave you with that question for now and I will continue the topic in part 2. In the meantime, I wonder what you think.