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Old 03-30-2010, 10:19 AM   #1
Aquina1300
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Default Ex Black Panther Speaks

Eldridge Cleaver fled the United State in the 1968 due to murder charges connected with Black Panther activities. He had spent his youth in and out of jails. His young adult life was consumed with radical leftist racial politics that culminated in his Black Panther activities. (see Soul On Ice, a radical prison publication by Cleaver) He was a self-identified Communist. After fleeing the United States, Eldridge Cleaver lived in Algeria, North Korea, China, Cuba, the Soviet Union and later France. His opinions changed dramatically during that time. He died in 1998 but I just reread an interview that was given to Reason magazine in 1986. Reason is a Libertarian magazine.

Eldridge Cleaver is a repentant cop killer and admitted rapist who did so for revolutionary insurrections reasons. He referred to himself as an insurrectionary rapists.

Here are some interesting excerpts:

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"Pig power in America was infuriating," he wrote upon his return. "But pig power in the communist framework was awesome and unaccountable."
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I think we went overboard ideologically. And this is the legacy, that the left became so ideologically attached to anti-Americanism and pro-communism and Third Worldism that I believe that we have a problem on our hands.
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I don't have that hatred any more. I've had opportunities to kill Ronald Reagan going around the country, and it never occurred to me to do that. And knowing my own heart and how I've walked away from hatred, I think other people have done the same thing. This is the hopeful thing, and I think that people all over the world can do the same thing.
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we definitely were not sitting back waiting for the authorities to attack us. We used to lie about it, because the information was a weapon also. We would go out and ambush cops, but if we got caught we would blame it on them and claim innocence. I did that personally in the case I was involved in.
He's speaking about the death of Bobby Hutton when he says the Black Panthers ambushed cops in order to kill them. Eldridge Cleaver, a self admitted cop killer, is the only Black Panther to say that the Black Panthers deliberately assassinated cops even though it is widely believed that Black Panthers in Oakland did so on a regular basis.
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But policemen are like dogs on a leash. I'm not saying this to put them down, but you take the leash off a dog and it sics you, and that dog is going to bite if it is an obedient dog. The police function under political direction. They go after whoever they are sent after, and that's where the problem comes in.
Despite a sort of lingering hatred of cops, I find it surprising how much he empathized with Southern cops that tried to put down the Civil Rights movement.
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Sure I can understand J. Edgar Hoover, because he wasn't inaccurate. We were the most militant black organization, and we were serious in what we were going about. He said that we were the main threat. We were trying to be the main threat. We were trying to be the vanguard organization. J. Edgar Hoover was an adversary, but he had good information. We were plugged into all of the revolutionary groups in America, plus those abroad. We were working hand-in-hand with communist parties here and around the world, and he knew that. So from his position, he had to try to stop us.
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It's one thing to study Marxism on paper, living in a capitalistic country where you have individual freedoms and so forth—you don't really see the relationship between the ideology and the form of government that comes out of that ideology.
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My life, I think, spans the whole era of the welfare state. I was born in 1935. I remember when people were ashamed to be on welfare and receive state aid and all that, but we developed a situation where black people to a large degree and a lot of other groups such as elderly people, children and a lot of poor white people ended being harnessed by political forces, particularly the Democratic Party. In return for the federal appropriations that we now dependent upon, our leaders were obligated to get out the black vote for the Democratic Party. So this put us in a negative relationship with the economic system. We were dependent upon the federal budget—a very precarious situation, because when the political winds change, we get our living cut off.
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I had a great burning desire to help enlarge human freedom and no desire at all to increase human misery or totalitarianism, so I stood up in America to fight against what I saw as the evils of our system. Then to go to a country like Cuba or Algeria or the Soviet Union and see the nature of control that those state apparatuses had over the people—it was shocking to me. I didn't want to believe it, because it meant that the politics that I was espousing was wrong and was leading toward a very bad situation. So, I tried to figure out what was wrong. You know, the communists teach you that the dictatorship is a transient phase—that once capitalism is eliminated, then the state will wither away and you will have freedom. Well, when you look at those governments up close and see how they treat their own people, you can't believe in that. You see that people are using that preachment of the withering away of the state as their excuse to justify their own dictatorial power. The way that the goods and services of the economy are distributed, the way that the power mechanism is organized and the monopoly on power by the Communist Party, the control of the Communist Party apparatus by an elite—these things struck me as dangerous. And then when I had a chance to get to know people and see what the experiences had been in these countries since their revolutions, it made me realize that a new form, a worse form, of totalitarianism was creeping into the world and that it was necessary to sound an alarm against it, stand up and protest it—without sugar-coating anything that's wrong over here.
I was unaware that communist viewed dictatorship as a transitory phase. I think that's a naive and dangerous view. Tyrants are usually only dislodged by death and then another tyrant takes their place.
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When I first went to those countries boy was I impressed. If you would read some of the things I wrote then! I was full of praise, because I got that standard tour that they give people to impress them. I took the same tour that Barbara Walters took in Cuba, and Senator [George] McGovern, but after the tour I had a chance to meet other people and have a different experience. If I had gone only on the basis of how the governments treated me, I would have continued praising them, because really they did treat me well. They gave me a red-carpet treatment in those countries. But when you get off the red carpet and step down in the mud where the people are, you get a chance to talk to them and hear the stories that they have to tell, over and over again.
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They would choose to do it in the classical model of free institutions. Nobody chooses slavery. But they get pushed into these positions, because here we are offering the status quo and the communists are offering guns. If you are being oppressed and you can't feed your children, you get so angry that you want to kill whoever is in power, and what you don't see is that the guy giving you the gun is also putting a chain around your leg. You will see it later, but then it will be too late.
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I used to do things and never would admit that it was wrong. I always thought I was justified in doing these things. As long as I felt that way, nothing could penetrate me. But what I did, those rapes—okay, I didn't get sent to prison for that, I beat it in court. But it was in my own heart of hearts, when I confronted my own behavior, that I admitted that that's not right. That's the beginning of rehabilitation.
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So I would take the profit out of drugs and educate people to show them what they are doing to themselves. I started smoking weed when I was 13 years old. It's not because of the cops that I don't smoke it now. It's because I don't want to be unproductive. It's not out of fear of the cops that I don't go around snorting cocaine. It s because I don't want to be living like that. I know a lot of people who have done drugs in their life and who have quit because of the quality of their life.
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When I first came back to America, Huey Newton was in Cuba, Bernardine Dohrn and those people were still fugitives, and they all denounced my coming back. Then, when they saw me working out my own legal problems,- Huey Newton came back. The other people like Bernardine Dohrn and many others came back, but they still made the same kind of statements. Bernardine Dohrn is waiting to be admitted to the New York Bar, but you ask her what she thinks about America and she'll say nya, nya, nya. I think that's an unfortunate attitude.
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These football shoes were mine at Abraham Lincoln High School in Los Angeles. I never had a chance to use them, because I got busted. But I always kept them. My son has them now, and from the time that he was first born I always talked to him about football. I think it worked. He loves football.
Full Interview:
http://reason.com/archives/1986/02/0...-eldridge-cle/
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Last edited by Aquina1300; 03-30-2010 at 10:21 AM.
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