The PCUSA’s Presbyterian Mission Agency has recently chosen to proclaim their pride in one of the most shameful acts of political action conducted by a Presbyterian denomination. I’m here (and in the previous post) excerpting the section of my under development book, A Denomination’s Debacle, that discusses this appalling episode.
Supporting the Black Panthers and Angela Davis (Part 2)
It’s difficult to convey the depths of depravity and outright evil associated with this support, but the following discussion at least scratches the surface.
The following excerpt summarizes Angela Davis’ career.
A Communist true believer, Davis became a Soviet propaganda icon as an American “political prisoner” in 1970, when she was charged with murder for her alleged role in a deadly courthouse attack intended to free three members of the Black Panthers. … After her acquittal, she made a triumphant tour of Communist countries, received honors and prizes, and pointedly refused to speak up for Eastern-bloc political prisoners, even those who were Communist reformers. She did not leave the slavishly pro-Soviet Communist Party USA until 1991 when the USSR was about to collapse.
Although her acquittal may have at the time appeared to justify the UPUSA’s support, their support of the Black Panthers remains a vile stain on thats denomination’s leadership.
A good summary of the Black Panther’s ideology and violence can be found at the History News Network.
The American Black Panthers were probably the most violently racist of all the black groups in the United States. It was founded in 1966 and its leaders promoted their organisation as one which advocated self-help and keeping drugs out of black communities across the United States. The original philosophy behind the Panthers combined militant black nationalism with Marxism-Leninism (later Mao Zedong and Ho Chi Minh would inspire them) and advocated black empowerment and self – defense, often through confrontation. During its heyday, members of the Black Panthers murdered more than a dozen law-enforcement officers. Today, former Panthers Eddie Conway, Mumia Abu-Jamal, H. Rap Brown, Ed Poindexter and David Rice are serving life sentences.
Lest you come to the false conclusion that the Black Panthers only murdered police, the following excerpt from a review of The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution contains a partial description of other crimes.
Further, the movie makes no mention of his [Huey Newton] other murders. These include his involvement in the slaying of Panther Party secretary Betty Van Patter and of teenager Kathleen Smith. Newton also confessed to committing the Smith murder and was indicted, though he then fled to Cuba to avoid prosecution. Nonetheless, prior to running off, Newton sent henchmen to kill witness Crystal Gray. When his lieutenants failed in that plot, Newton decided to cover his tracks by arranging for Panther member Nelson Malloy to be fired upon, then buried alive. When Malloy managed to survive, he identified Newton for his role as the planner and organizer of his attempted murder.
If you have the stomach for it, here in his own words is an excerpt from Soul on Ice (published in 1968) by Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver.
‘I became a rapist. To refine my technique and modus operandi, I started out by practicing on black girls in the ghetto — in the black ghetto where dark and vicious deeds appear not as aberrations or deviations from the norm, but as part of the sufficiency of the Evil of the day — and when I considered myself smooth enough, I crossed the tracks and sought out white prey. I did this consciously, deliberately, willfully, methodically — though looking back I see that I was in a frantic, wild and completely abandoned frame of mind.
Rape was an insurrectionary act. It delighted me that I was defying and trampling upon the white man’s law, upon his system of values, and that I was defiling his women — and this point, I believe, was the most satisfying to me because I was very resentful over the historical fact of how the white man has used the black woman. I felt I was getting revenge.
Note well, this book was published two years before the UPUSA decided to contribute $25,000 to the Black Panthers. I simply ask, how was it that members of a murderous domestic terrorist organization could be supported by a Christian denomination? This support occurred both in 1970 by the UPUSA and in 2011 by the PCUSA. In 1970 there was easily available information about the Panther’s evil, and in 2011 that information had been on the public record for over 40 years. In both cases not only was their violence and cruelty overlooked, but they were actually celebrated as making positive contributions to society.
In his essay, “Black Murder Inc.” David Horowitz (who collaborated with the Black Panthers before breaking with them over the murder of Betty Van Patter) explains why Progressive organizations, most definitely including some Christian denominations behaved in this manner.
The existence of a Murder Incorporated in the heart of the American left is something the left really doesn’t want to know or think about. Such knowledge would refute its most cherished self-understandings and beliefs. It would undermine the sense of righteous indignation that is the crucial starting point of a progressive attitude. It would explode the myths on which the attitude depends.
It is this radical environment within which the PCUSA continues to operate as a small appendage to the secular, radical Progressive political movement. Although most (but not all) of their actions don’t rise to the murderous level of supporting the Black Panthers, they are unified by a hatred of the United States and a determination to undermine its civilizational confidence. They are also united by the unmerited sanctimony of a self-identified elite class who never need repent of or even acknowledge their moral faults, or take responsibility for the disastrous failure of their supported policies.