Letters: Short on facts

Chuck Prochaska’s Oct. 13 commentary on the Black Panther Party is rife with claims that are unsupported and questionable at best. His painting of the party as an organization promoting violence is unfounded. He states that their goal was “a total domination of American society,” but I cannot glean from the article what he means by this. Nor does he support his claim that they sought a “violent takeover of the American government.” This must have been an obscure plan, for I cannot with ease find any evidence of this.

He accuses the Black Panthers 10 point plan of reverse racism and violence. Can he tell us precisely which of the 10 points advocate either? Certainly the 10-point plan listed in the Wikipedia article he referred to does not strike me as promoting either.

Chuck proceeds to make wilder claims. Apparently, he felt that the party fought “injustice with injustice.” Can he give examples – either of party policy, indoctrination, or examples of party members carrying out such acts under the influence of the party? The “bombing of supermarkets in white neighborhoods” allegation again appears without any specific instances of the claim. A cursory Google search revealed no such bombings. But the search did reveal an actual bombing of a BPP clinic. And I found virtually no convictions of any violent acts performed while they were members of the BPP.

Finally, Chuck accuses Elaine Brown for advocating violent and illegal methods. And once again, he fails to provide any such examples.

Perhaps my research skills are not as well honed as Chuck’s, or perhaps he is sitting on a treasure trove of evidence that is poorly publicized. In either case, I look forward to his enlightening us with actual facts, instead of with bluster.

Mueen Nawaz

Graduate student