The New Black Panther Party, Destroying Justice

During the past week, furor over the shooting of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida reached a fever-pitch. Thousands of people participated in marches across the country in support of this young man and his family. George Zimmerman, the killer, was forced into hiding out of fear for his own life. Conspiracies and racist plots were all thrown into the mix, creating a world of misinformation and unknowns. I’m not here to examine the details of this case, however. Instead, I want to talk about the appalling and illegal behavior of the New Black Panther Party, a group of radical black Americans who feel that by placing a bounty on Zimmerman’s head, they’re bringing justice to Trayvon. Their actions are embarrassing, because in the attempt to incite a racially fueled war against those who oppose them, they have revealed the New Black Panther Party to be the racist hate group it has always been (for those unaware, there is an “old” Black Panther Party, which has condemned the hateful actions of the NBPP. I am not in opposition to the old Black Panther Party, as I know very little about them; it’s the New Black Panther Party that I have issues with).

The New Black Panther Party, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, is a “virulently racist and anti-Semitic organization whose leaders have encouraged violence against whites, Jews and law enforcement officers.” Describing themselves as a military force, formed to protect black interests across the world, members of the New Black Panther Party immediately decided they had a vested interest in Trayvon Martin’s death. Leader Mikhail Muhammad swiftly offered a $10,000 bounty for George Zimmerman’s capture, claiming the power of “citizen’s arrest” as his justification. The problem is that U.S. citizens can only arrest people who have been charged with a crime and have an outstanding arrest warrant. George Zimmerman meets neither of those criteria. As such, the New Black Panther Party offered a monetary reward for the kidnapping of a civilian, which just so happens to be a felony in the state of Florida.

Sadly, the insanity didn’t end there. Reporter Anderson Cooper interviewed Mr. Muhammad shortly after the bounty was placed on Zimmerman, in order to try to understand why he and his hate group were injecting themselves into this tragedy. Muhammad responded to Cooper’s questions, saying that, according to “street” law, Zimmerman had been charged with murder. The New Black Panther Party’s leader proceeded to say that he didn’t follow the “white man’s law” and that his military was in Sanford to support Trayvon’s family.

After reading everything about the group’s involvement in this case, and watching the Cooper interview, I’m still in shock. I never knew that a group of people could harbor so much hate and such a fantastic desire for vengeance. It’s blatant and it’s unabashed. Their leader openly stated that he didn’t feel obligated to follow U.S. laws! I would like to remind Mr. Muhammad that we aren’t ruled by the mob. This is America. We vote for lawmakers, they pass laws, and like it or not, we follow them. If he doesn’t like that system, then he needs to leave, and bring his entire cadre of followers with him.

What happened was tragic. No one denies that. The days following Trayvon’s death should have been dedicated to an in-depth investigation and a time of mourning. Instead, the New Black Panther Party, as well as professional race-baiters like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, decided to use this opportunity to ignite a race-war in America. What should have been a peaceful time of remembrance turned into a media frenzy. I cannot fathom what Trayvon’s family is going through right now. It makes me sick to see Mikhail Muhammad stand up there and pretend he knows what’s right for them. He’s wrong.

Maybe George Zimmerman is a racist murderer; maybe he’s just a man who got into a bad situation and shot in self-defense. I don’t know, and anyone who thinks they know isn’t looking at the facts objectively. The case is muddled. Why did Zimmerman shoot? Who attacked first? Did anyone attack at all? So many questions, and so few answers. At this point, we just don’t have enough evidence to arrest someone, let alone convict them. It’s a shame that members of the New Black Panther Party have decided to take justice into their own hands. Their disgusting, vile, vitriolic message is not acceptable in this country. The Martin family agrees, and I’d be willing to bet that most of America, black and white, agrees as well. I want to make it clear that I am not a racist in any way, shape, or form. All I want is for the New Black Panther Party to leave, so that Trayvon’s family can properly mourn their loss and the authorities can do their job without the threat of violence.

“An eye for an eye, a life for a life,” said Mikhail Muhammad. Let me remind you, Mr. Muhammad, that an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. May Trayvon Martin rest in peace.