See also: Khalid Abdul Muhammad Malik Zulu Shabazz
Founded in 1990, the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense (NBPP) is a militant black separatist organization, notorious for promoting racial violence against Jews and whites. According to an Anti-Defamation League report: "Much of the NBPP's ideology derives from the notion that African-Americans continue to suffer as a result of a racist white power structure that has oppressed them politically and economically since slavery. The primary perpetrators of this institutional racism, according to the NBPP, are whites, whom it views as ultimately responsible for Black exploitation; Jews, whom it sees as wielding disproportionate control of political and economic affairs; and law enforcement, which it sees as facilitating racial injustice on the ground."
NBPP preaches a “Ten-Point Platform” that includes such items as these:
Another NBPP document, titled "The Nationalist Manifesto," asserts that whites seek to exterminate people of African descent: "The Black man's menace has been, and still is, the white man's diabolical and determined plan to commit GENOCIDE! Even as they exterminated the American Indians, and the Australian Aborigines; so too, every plan, every scheme, points to their murderous intent to liquidate the African people."
Despite its name, NBPP is not a successor to the original Black Panther Party of the 1960s. Indeed, Black Panther co-founder Bobby Seale condemned NBPP for “hijacking our history” and “our name.” David Hilliard, also a former Panther and the Executive Director of the Huey P. Newton Foundation, similarly denounced NBPP: “Failing to find its own legitimacy in the black community, this band would graft the Party’s name upon itself, which we condemn.”
NBPP's earliest roots can be traced to Michael McGee, a former member of the original Black Panthers and a two-term Milwaukee city council member, who in 1990 recruited street-gang thugs and cobbled together a "Black Panther Militia." "They already know how to shoot," said McGee. "I’m going to give them a cause worth dying for." Later that year, McGee arranged a meeting at a local public school to recruit additional members for his new organization. "Our militia," he told those in attendance, "will be about violence. I’m talking actual fighting, bloodshed and urban guerilla warfare."
Inspired by McGee’s confrontational tactics, radio producer Aaron Michaels founded a similar group in Dallas in 1990; the following year, he registered the New Black Panther Party name. By the time it hosted a “National Black Power Summit and Youth Rally” on May 29, 1993, Michaels’ Dallas outfit had given rise to a national NBPP organization. McGee, who was a guest speaker at that event, claimed that there were now NBPP chapters in some 20 cities across America. Michaels had become the organization's acknowledged leader, and he soon recruited a number of radical and outspoken racists to his cause.
Khalid Abdul Muhammad, a former spokesman for Nation of Islam (NOI) leader Louis Farrakhan, was one of the most prominent extremists to join NBPP in the mid-1990s. By 1998, Muhammad had become NBPP's chairman, with Aaron Michaels agreeing to take the lesser position of “Minister of Defense.” When Muhammad died of a brain aneurysm in February 2001, Malik Zulu Shabazz, Muhammad’s longtime protégé, succeeded him as chairman of the organization.
In the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, NBPP promoted numerous conspiracy theories alleging Jewish complicity. NBPP officer Amir Muhammad, for instance, suggested that Jews had been forewarned of the terror plot and thus stayed away from the attack sites on 9/11: "There are reports that as many as 3,000 to 5,000 so-called Jews did not go to work [at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon] that day, and we need to take a serious look at that."
NBPP has consistently maintained that Jews were "significantly and substantially" involved in the transatlantic slave trade. At an August 2002 slavery-reparations demonstration in the District of Columbia, Party members sold t-shirts that read: "How did we get to America? Heartless Christian Buyer, Ruthless Jewish seller."
NBPP's traditionally close ties to Louis Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam (NOI) became strained during Khalid Abdul Muhammad's tenure as Panther chairman. But relations between the two groups took a decided turn for the better in February 2005, when Farrakhan appointed Muhammad's successor, Malik Zulu Shabazz, as national co-convener of the 10th anniversary commemoration of NOI's Million Man March. Since then, Shabazz has been a frequent guest at NOI events, and, conversely, NOI representatives have also taken part in NBPP events.
In 2006, some NBPP members worked on the security entourage of Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who was seeking re-election. After McKinney lost the Democratic primary in August to a fellow African American named Hank Johnson, one of those Panthers shouted expletives at the media, calling them "crackers" and telling them, "You got what you damn wanted. You got your Uncle Tom [a reference to Johnson], now go put your cameras on him." When a reporter subsequently asked McKinney why she thought she had lost the vote, an NBPP member interrupted, shouting, "Why do you think she lost? You wanna know what led to the loss? Israel. The Zionists. You. Put on your yarmulke and celebrate."
Also in 2006, NBPP organized a number of marches outside Duke University and made numerous media appearances to demand that a jury convict the three white Duke lacrosse team members whom a black female had accused of rape. When the prosecution's case ultimately collapsed in April 2007, and it became clear that the defendants had been falsely charged, NBPP steadfastly maintained that the rich, white families affiliated with Duke had placed political pressure on the investigation and had forced the charges to be dropped.
On Election Day, November 4, 2008, NBPP was involved in a controversial incident outside an open polling station in Philadelphia, where Jerry Jackson (an elected member of Philadelphia’s 14th Ward Democratic Committee and an official Democratic Party polling observer) and Minister King Samir Shabazz (chairman of NBPP’s Philadelphia chapter) intimidated white voters with racial slurs (e.g., "white devils") and threats of violence. “You are about to be ruled by the black man [a reference to Barack Obama], Cracker!” they yelled at voters. Samir Shabazz, who brandished a police-style nightstick, was eventually led away by police.
On January 7, 2009, the Justice Department under President Bush filed criminal charges against Jackson, Minister Shabazz, and NBPP chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz for violating the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The failure of all three men to appear in court led to an order by U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell to seek judgments or sanctions against the three Panthers.
As of May 5, 2009, the Justice Department (which was now under President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder) was still considering the case. But in the middle of that month, the Department filed a notice of voluntary dismissal. It did ask for a default judgment against King Samir Shabazz, but limited the punishment to an order that he not exhibit a “weapon within 100 feet of any open polling location on any election day in the city of Philadelphia” until November 15, 2012.
In June 2010, J. Christian Adams, who had served in the Voting Section of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for five years, resigned over what he called the “corrupt nature of the dismissal of the [Philadelphia] case.” Adams was one of the five lawyers who had initially begun litigating the case and had urged continuing it to the end, but he was overruled by associate attorney general Thomas Perrelli, an Obama appointee, and later by assistant attorney general Thomas Perez. In July 2010, Adams testified before the U.S. Civil Rights Commission that the DOJ had instructed attorneys in its civil rights division to ignore cases involving black defendants and white victims. According to Adams, the Obama DOJ had shown "hostility" to such cases "over and over and over again."
On September 21, 2010, NBPP members dined with Louis Farrakhan and Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at New York City's Warwick Hotel.
In March 2012, NBPP weighed in on the explosive case of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager who had recently been shot and killed under disputed circumstances by a "white Hispanic" named George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. Declaring that “White America” had “failed black people” for “400 years” and would no longer be permitted to “kill black children and get away with it,” the Panthers initially offered a $10,000 bounty for the “capture” of Zimmerman. Lest there be any ambiguity about what was meant by “capture,” the group not only demanded “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” but also circulated a flyer that read: “MURDERED in Cold BLOOD—Child killer of Trayvon Martin—WANTED DEAD or ALIVE.” Soon thereafter, the Panthers upped the ante to $1 million, a sum which they expected to collect in donations “from the black community [including] athletes and entertainers.” The Panthers’ southern regional leader, Mikhail Muhammad, said: “He [Zimmerman] should be fearful for his life. You can’t keep killing black children.”
On April 6, 2012, three NBPP leaders conducted a group phone call to discuss a scheduled rally that was to be held in memory of Trayvon Martin. During the course of that call, they said:
For additional quotes from the NBPP conference call, and to hear an audio recording of the call, click here.
Also on April 6, 2012, an NBPP leader called for "the complete removal of capitalism," on grounds that it "sets up a class structure and a class society" founded on "racism" and the exploitation of the "have nots."
In May 2012, NBPP's national field marshal, King Samir Shabazz, made a number of incendiary statements, including the following:
In a June 2012 segment on NBPP Radio, an NBPP member known as "General TACO" (acronym for "Taking All Capitalists Out") warned that his organization would “hunt” white people's “pink asses down” and kill them because of their “history” of pushing “crack, AIDS and unemployment” on black people in order to “exterminate” them. He then added: “Once [white people] die, we should dig ‘em up, and kill 'em again, bury 'em, dig 'em up, and kill 'em again, and again, and again!”
In October 2013, Malik Zulu Shabazz announced that he was stepping down from his position as NBPP's national chairman in order to focus on his career as an attorney with Black Lawyers for Justice, though he pledged to continue serving NBPP as a “spiritual guide.” His replacement as NBPP's national chairman was Hashim Nzinga, who had previously served as the organization's chief of staff and had been involved with the group since 1994, when he was Khalid Abdul Muhammad's personal assistant.
It was a seamless transition from Shabazz to Nzinga, as the latter had long trafficked in identity politics and tribal hatred. Continuing that tradition, Nzinga in 2015 claimed that because America had “declared war on us” – as evidenced by the presence of “military police in the black neighborhood” – NBPP members were “willing to die or kill to save our babies and to save a black nation that is dying before our eyes” as a result of the “state racism” that was “protecting the rich and the powerful.” “So if we say we are at war,” added Nzinga, “we should be applauded like George Washington. We should be applauded like Thomas Jefferson. We should be applauded like the Founding Fathers of the country.”
NBPP reacted with outrage when a white police officer named Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, a black male who had forcibly robbed a convenience store in Ferguson, Missouri just 10 minutes before his death on August 9, 2014. The Panthers and other radicals attributed the shooting to police racism, and black mobs engaged in several days of violent rioting, looting, and arson.
Racial tensions in Ferguson remained high during the ensuing weeks, as NBPP—along with notables like Al Sharpton and members of the Revolutionary Communist Party—worked tirelessly to advance a false narrative which maintained that Officer Wilson had killed Brown in cold blood while the latter's hands were raised in the air to indicate peaceful, submissive surrender. Other key organizers of the massive protest movement that developed after Brown's death were the Occupy Wall Street movement, the Progressive Labor Party, the ANSWER coalition, the NAACP, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the SEIU, national LGBT organizations, climate environmentalists, amnesty groups, pro-Palestinian organizations, and Christian social justice groups. All of these groups depicted white police bruatlity against African Americans as a nationwide epidemic.
When compelling ballistic, eyewitness, and forensic evidence eventually (in late October 2014) indicated that Brown in fact had assaulted the officer and tried to steal his gun just prior to the fatal shooting, the radicals' fanatical rage over the incident was undiminished. On November 21, 2014, the FBI arrested two NBPP members from the St. Louis area—Brandon Orlando Baldwin and Olajuwon Ali Davis (a Muslim convert)—on charges that they had purchased illegal guns as well as explosives that they intended to convert into pipe bombs for use in Ferguson street demonstrations. Among other things, they were plotting to blow up the famed Gateway Arch, a St. Louis landmark. They also planned to assassinate Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson and prosecuting attorney Bob McCulloch.
When a grand jury announced on November 24, 2014 that it would not indict Officer Wilson—because of overwhelming evidence indicating that he had shot Brown in self-defense—another wave of rioting, looting, and arson ensued.|
On August 12, 2015, a group of about 15 NBPP members—armed with shotguns, hunting rifles and AR-15 style rifles—marched in the street in front of the Waller County (Texas) Jail, chanting slogans that called for the murder of police officers (“pigs”). In one of the chants, two separate groups of participants shouted in a back-and-forth exchange:
“The revolution is on!” / “Off the pigs!”
“Time to pick up the gun!” / “Off the pigs!”
“No more pigs in my community!” / “Off the pigs!”
“No more brothers in jail!” / “Off the pigs!”
“No more sisters in jail!” / “Off the pigs!”
“The pigs are gonna get scared!” / “Off the pigs!”
“The pigs are gonna get dead!” / “Off the pigs!”
In other chants, they shouted slogans like “Oink Oink … Bang Bang”; “All power to the people”; “Whose streets? Our streets”; “Freedom or Death”; and “We want our damn freedom. We don’t want no more of your God damn legislation.”
The protesters were met, in a standoff, by a large contingent of Harris County (Houston) Sheriff’s Office deputies. Despite the tense atmosphere, there was no violence and no one was arrested during the protest.
In a July 10, 2016 radio interview, NBPP's “national minister of defense” and co-founder of the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, Babu Omowale, said that his group and its allies were intent upon establishing a separate black nation. “The end game is land ownership,” Omowale elaborated. “The endgame is our own government in a nation within a nation. Okay. So we claim the states of Louisiana, we claim the states of Mississippi, we claim the states of South Carolina, we claim the states of Alabama, and we claim the states of Georgia. We just need to start migrating back to those states and taking control of the economics in those states. If black people move in, most definitely white people will move out. So it’s not a hard process for us to have our own country within a country.”
Over the years, NBPP leaders and representatives in New York have worked with elected officials such as former city councilman Charles Barron, who has appeared at a number of local NBPP events.
To help disseminate its message as broadly as possible, NBPP airs its own programming on Black Power Radio.