A Short History of “Black Paranoia”

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A Short History of “Black Paranoia”

Postby American Dream » Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:09 am

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/10/24/ ... -paranoia/

Racism as Government Policy
A Short History of “Black Paranoia”

by ALEXANDER COCKBURN and JEFFREY ST. CLAIR

The fury among American blacks sparked by Gary Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series was powerful enough to cause serious concern to the U.S. government, urban mayors, and major newspapers, and even prompted CIA Director John Deutch to make an extraordinary appearance at a town meeting in South Central Los Angeles, where Rep. Maxine Waters was accused of fanning the flames of “black paranoia.” We will now briefly outline why this “paranoia” is amply justified and why Webb’s series very reasonably struck a chord in the black community.

In all discussions of “black paranoia” during the Webb affair, white commentators invariably conceded—as indeed they had to—that the one instance where such fears were entirely justified was the infamous Tuskegee experiments. Yet in the press coverage no more than a sentence or two was devoted to any account of what actually happened at Tuskegee.

The facts are terrible. In 1932, 600 poor black men from rural Macon County, Alabama, were recruited for a study by the United States Public Health Service and the Tuskegee Institute. The researchers found 400 out of the 600 infected with syphilis, and the 200 uninfected men were monitored as the control group. The other 400 men were told they were being treated for “bad blood” and were given a treatment the doctors called “pink medicine,” which was actually nothing more than aspirin and an iron supplement. No effective medical treatment was ever given to the Tuskegee victims because the researchers wanted to study the natural progress of venereal disease. When other physicians diagnosed syphilis in some of the men, the Public Health Service researchers intervened to prevent any treatment. When penicillin was developed as a cure for syphilis in 1943, it was not provided to the patients. Indeed, the development of a cure only seemed to spur on the Tuskegee researchers, who, in the words of historian James Jones, author of Bad Blood, saw Tuskegee as a “never-again-to-be-repeated opportunity.”

As an inducement to continue in the program over several decades the men were given hot meals, a certificate signed by the surgeon general, the promise of free medical care, and a $50 burial stipend. This stipend was far from altruistic because it allowed the Health Service researchers to perform their own autopsies on the men after they died. The experiments continued until 1972, and were canceled only after information about them had leaked to the press. Over the course of the experiments more than 100 of the men died of causes related to syphilis, but even after exposure, the lead researchers remained unapologetic. “For the most part, doctors and civil servants simply did their job,” said Dr. John Heller, who had headed the U.S. Public Health Services Division of Venereal Diseases. “Some merely followed orders, others worked for the glory of science.”

In 1996, President Clinton issued a public apology to the Tuskegee victims. Nor was this an entirely disinterested act of governmental contrition. Earlier in the year, Clinton had been approached by Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala regarding the scarcity of blacks willing to volunteer as research subjects. Shalala attributed this reluctance to “unnatural fears” arising from the Tuskegee experiments. George Annas, who runs the Law, Ethics and Medicine program at Boston University, notes that the apology was skewed and that Clinton and Shalala should have been finding ways of recruiting more blacks as medical students rather than research subjects. “If you were to look at the historical record, you will see that blacks’ distrust predated Tuskegee,” according to Dr. Vanessa Gamble, an associate professor of the history of medicine at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. “There were experiments dating back to more than a hundred years that were more often done by whites on slaves and free blacks than on poor whites.”

Another oft-cited explanation for the readiness of blacks to believe the worst about the white man’s intentions is briskly referred to as “the FBI’s snooping on Martin Luther King Jr.,” as Tim Golden put it amid his reflections on black paranoia in the New York Times. The government’s interest in Dr. King went considerably beyond “snooping,” however, to constitute one of the most prolonged surveillances of any family in American history. In the early years of the 20th century, Ralph Van Deman created an Army Intelligence network targeting four prime foes: the Industrial Workers of the World, opponents of the draft, Socialists, and “Negro unrest.” Fear that the Germans would take advantage of black grievances was great, and Van Deman was much preoccupied with the role of black churches as possible centers of sedition.

By the end of 1917, the War Department’s Military Intelligence Division had opened a file on Martin Luther King Jr.’s maternal grandfather, the Rev. A. D. Williams, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church and first president of the Atlanta NAACP. King’s father, Martin Sr., Williams’ successor at Ebenezer Baptist, also entered the army files. Martin Jr. first shows up in these files (kept by the 111th Military Intelligence Group at Fort McPherson in Atlanta) in 1947, when he attended Dorothy Lilley’s Intercollegiate School; the army suspected Lilley of having ties to the Communist Party.

Army Intelligence officers became convinced of Martin Luther King Jr.’s own Communist ties when he spoke in 1950 at the twenty-fifth anniversary of the integrated Highlander Folk School in Monteagle, Tennessee. Ten years earlier, an Army Intelligence officer had reported to his superiors that the Highlander school was teaching a course of instruction to develop Negro organizers in the southern cotton states.

By 1963, as Tennessee journalist Stephen Tompkins reported in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, U-2 planes were photographing disturbances in Birmingham, Alabama, capping a multilayered spy system that by 1968 included 304 intelligence offices across the country, “subversive national security dossiers” on 80,731 Americans, plus 19 million personnel dossiers lodged at the Defense Department’s Central Index of Investigations.

A more sinister thread derives from the anger and fear with which the Army’s high command greeted King’s denunciation of the Vietnam War at Riverside Church in 1967. Army spies recorded Stokely Carmichael telling King, “The Man don’t care you call ghettos concentration camps, but when you tell him his war machine is nothing but hired killers you got trouble.”

After the 1967 Detroit riots, 496 black men under arrest were interviewed by agents of the Army’s Psychological Operations group, dressed as civilians. It turned out King was by far the most popular black leader. That same year Maj. Gen. William Yarborough, assistant chief of staff for intelligence, observing the great antiwar march on Washington from the roof of the Pentagon, concluded that the Empire was coming apart at the seams. There were, Yarborough reckoned, too few reliable troops to fight in Vietnam and hold the line at home.

In response, the army increased its surveillance of King. Green Berets and other Special Forces veterans from Vietnam began making street maps and identifying landing zones and potential sniper sites in major U.S. cities. The Ku Klux Klan was recruited by the 20th Special Forces Group, headquartered in Alabama as a subsidiary intelligence network. The Army began offering 30-06 sniper rifles to police departments, including that of Memphis.

In his fine investigation, Tompkins detailed the increasing hysteria of Army Intelligence chiefs over the threat they considered King to pose to national stability. The FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover was similarly obsessed with this threat, and King was dogged by spy units through early 1967. A Green Beret special unit was operating in Memphis on the day he was shot. He died from a bullet from a 30-06 rifle purchased in a Memphis store, a murder for which James Earl Ray was given a 99-year sentence in a Tennessee prison. A court-ordered test of James Earl Ray’s rifle raised questions as to whether it in fact had fired the bullet that killed King.

Notable black Americans, from the boxing champion Jack Johnson to Paul Robeson to W. E. B. Du Bois, were all the object of relentless harassment by the FBI. Johnson, the first black superstar, was framed by the FBI’s predecessor under the Mann Act. Johnson ultimately served a year for crossing state lines with his white girlfriend (who later became his wife). Du Bois, founder of the NAACP, was himself under surveillance for nearly seventy years and was arrested and shackled for urging peace talks with North Korea.

Still fresh in the minds of many blacks is the FBI’s COINTEL-PRO program, started in 1956 and conceived as a domestic counterinsurgency program. Though its ambit extended to the New Left, Puerto Rican revolutionaries and Native Americans, the most vigorous persecutions under COINTELPRO were those of black leaders. A memo from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover described the program as it stood in August 1967: the purpose of COINTELPRO was to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit or otherwise neutralize” black organizations the FBI didn’t care for. And if any black leader emerged, Hoover’s order was that the Bureau should “pinpoint potential troublemakers and neutralize them before they exercised their potential for violence.”

“Neutralize” has long been a euphemism for assassination. At least six or seven Black Panther leaders were killed at the instigation of the FBI, the most infamous episode being the assassination of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark in Chicago. These two Panther leaders were shot in their beds, while asleep, by Chicago police who had been given a detailed floor plan of the house by an FBI informant who had also drugged Hampton and Clark.

During the mid-1970s hearings chaired by Idaho Senator Frank Church, the FBI was found to have undertaken more than 200 so-called “black bag” jobs, in which FBI agents broke into offices, homes and apartments to destroy equipment, steal and copy files, take money, and plant drugs. The FBI was also linked to the arson fire that destroyed the Watts Writers’ Workshop in Los Angeles.

In all the stories about “black paranoia” trolled forth by Webb’s assailants, one topic was conspicuously ignored: the long history of the racist application of U.S. drug laws. The first racist application of drug laws in the United States was against Chinese laborers. After the U.S. Civil War, opium addiction was a major problem: wounded soldiers used it to dull pain and then became habituated. One study estimates that by 1880, one in every 400 adults in the United States had such an addiction to opium. Chinese laborers had been brought into the United States in the wake of the Civil War to build the transcontinental railroad and, in California, to haul rock in the gold mines in the Sierras. Thousands of Chinese were also brought into the South to replace slave labor on the cotton and rice plantations. The Chinese brought opium smoking with them, their addiction having actively fostered in the Opium Wars by the British, who had successfully beaten down efforts by the Chinese government to curb the habit.

Then came the recession of the 1870s. The Chinese were now viewed as competitors for the dwindling number of jobs available. In 1875, San Francisco became the first city to outlaw opium smoking with legislation clearly aimed at the Chinese, who smoked the narcotic, as opposed to the main group of users, white men and women, who took opium in liquid form. This was the era when the use of opium-based patent medicines was pervasive. Women used them in “tonics” to alleviate pain in childbirth, and also to “soothe” their nerves. Unlike the “yellow dope fiends,” however, the white users were politely termed “habitués.” In 1887, the U.S. Congress weighed in with the Chinese Exclusion Act, which among other things) allowed Chinese opium addicts to be arrested and deported.

Similarly, racist attitudes accompanied the rise of cocaine use. Cocaine had been mass marketed in the United States in the late 1880s by the Parke-Davis Company (which many decades later had contracts to provide the CIA with drugs in the MK-ULTRA program). The company also sold a precursor to crack, marketing cocaine-laden cigarettes in the 1890s. In that same decade the Sears & Roebuck catalogue, which was distributed to millions of homes, offered a syringe and a small amount of cocaine for $1.50. But by the turn of the century the attitude of the medical and legal establishment to cocaine was beginning to change. In 1900 the Journal of the American Medical Association printed an editorial alerting its readers to a new peril: “Negroes in the South are reported as being addicted to a new form of vice—that of ‘cocaine sniffing’ or the ‘coke habit.’ ”

President Theodore Roosevelt responded to the new scare by creating the nation’s first drug czar, Dr. Hamilton Wright. Wright was a fanatic racist, announcing that “it is been authoritatively stated that cocaine is often the direct incentive to the crime of rape by the Negroes of the South and other regions.” One of Wright’s favored authorities was Dr. Christopher Koch of the State Pharmacy Board of Pennsylvania. Koch testified before Congress in 1914 in support of the Harrison Bill, shortly to pass into law as the first criminalization of drug use. Said Koch: “Most of the attacks upon the white women of the South are the direct result of a cocaine-crazed Negro brain.”

At the same hearing, Wright alleged that drugs made blacks uncontrollable, gave them superhuman powers, and prompted them to rebel against white authority. These hysterical charges were trumpeted by the press, in particular the New York Times, which on February 8, 1914, ran an article by Edward Hunting Williams reporting how Southern sheriffs had upped the caliber of their weapons from.32 to.38 in order to bring down black men under the influence of cocaine. The Times’ headline for the article read: “Negro Cocaine ‘Fiends’ are New Southern Menace: Murder and Insanity Increasing Among Lower-Class Blacks.” Amid these salvoes, the Harrison Act passed into law.

In 1930, a new department of the federal government, the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, was formed under the leadership of Harry Anslinger to carry on the war against drug users. Anslinger, another racist, was an adroit publicist and became the prime shaper of American attitudes to drug addiction, hammering home his view that this was not a treatable dependency but one that could only be suppressed by harsh criminal sanctions. Anslinger’s first major campaign was to criminalize the drug commonly known at the time as hemp. But Anslinger renamed it “marijuana” to associate it with Mexican laborers who, like the Chinese before them, were unwelcome competitors for scarce jobs in the Depression. Anslinger claimed that marijuana “can arouse in blacks and Hispanics a state of menacing fury or homicidal attack. During this period, addicts have perpetrated some of the most bizarre and fantastic offenses and sex crimes known to police annals.”

Anslinger linked marijuana with jazz and persecuted many black musicians, including Thelonius Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, and Duke Ellington. Louis Armstrong was also arrested on drug charges, and Anslinger made sure his name was smeared in the press. In Congress he testified that “[c]oloreds with big lips lure white women with jazz and marijuana.”

By the 1950s, amid the full blast of the Cold War, Anslinger was working with the CIA to charge that the newborn People’s Republic of China was attempting to undermine America by selling opium to U.S. crime syndicates. (This took a good deal of chutzpa on the part of the CIA, whose planes were then flying opium from Chiang Kai-shek’s bases in Burma to Thailand and the Philippines for processing and export to the U.S.A.) Anslinger convinced the U.S. Senate to approve a resolution stating that “subversion through drug addiction is an established aim of Communist China.”

In 1951, Anslinger worked with Democrat Hale Boggs to marshal through Congress the first minimum mandatory sentences for drug possession: two years for the first conviction of possession of a Schedule 1 drug (marijuana, cocaine), five to ten years for a second offense, and ten to twenty years for a third conviction. In 1956, Anslinger once again enlisted the help of Boggs to pass a law allowing the death penalty to be imposed on anyone selling heroin to a minor, the first linking of drugs with Death Row.

This was Anslinger’s last hurrah. Across John Kennedy’s New Frontier charged sociologists attacking Anslinger’s punitive philosophy. The tempo of the times changed, and federal money began to target treatment and prevention as much as enforcement and prison. But the interim did not last long. With the waning of the war in Southeast Asia, millions of addicted GIs came home to meet the fury of Nixon’s War on Drugs program. Nixon picked up Anslinger’s techniques of threat inflation, declaring in Los Angeles: “As I look over the problems of this country I see that one stands out particularly: the problem of narcotics.”

Nixon pledged to launch a war on drugs, to return to the punitive approach, and not let any quaint notions of civil liberties and constitutional rights stand in the way. After a Nixon briefing in 1969, his top aide, H. R. Haldeman, noted in his diary: “Nixon emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to.”

But for all his bluster, Nixon was a mere prelude to the full fury of the Reagan-Bush-Clinton years, when the War on Drugs became explicitly a war on blacks. The first move of the Reagan administration was to expand the forfeiture laws passed during the Carter administration. In 1981, Reagan’s drug policy advisers outlined a plan they thought would be little more than good PR, a public display of the required toughness. They proposed allowing the Justice Department to seize real
property and so-called “substitute property” (that is, legally acquired assets equal in value to illegal monetary gains). They also proposed that the federal government seize attorneys’ fees that they suspected might have been funded by drug proceeds. They even proposed to allow attorneys to be summoned by federal prosecutors before grand juries to testify about the source of their clients’ money. The Reagan plan was to permit forfeitures on the basis of a “probable cause showing” before a federal judge. This meant that seizures could be made against people neither charged nor convicted, but only suspected, of drug crimes.

Contrary to the administration’s expectations, this plan sailed through Congress, eagerly supported by two Democratic Party liberals, Senators Hubert H. Humphrey and Joe Biden, the latter being the artificer, in the Carter era, of a revision to the RICO act, a huge extension of the federal conspiracy laws. Over the next few years, the press would occasionally report on some exceptionally bizarre applications of the new forfeiture laws, such as the confiscation of a $2.5 million yacht in a drug bust that netted only a handful of marijuana stems and seeds. But typically the press ignored the essential pattern of humdrum seizures, which more often focused on such ordinary assets as houses and cars. In Orange County, California, fifty-seven cars were seized in drug-related cases in 1989: “Even if only a small amount of drugs is found inside,” an Orange County narcotics detective explained, “the law permits seized vehicles to be sold by law enforcement agencies to finance anti-drug law enforcement programs.”

In fact, the forfeiture program became a tremendous revenue stream for the police. From 1982 to 1991, the U.S. Department of Justice seized more than $2.5 billion in assets. The Justice Department confiscated $500 million in property in 1991 alone, and 80 per cent of these seizures were from people who were never charged with a crime.

On June 17, 1986, University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias died, reportedly from an overdose of cocaine. As Dan Baum put it in his excellent Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure, “In life, Len Bias was a terrific basketball player. In death, he became the Archduke Ferdinand of the Total War on Drugs.” It was falsely reported that Bias had smoked crack cocaine the night before his death. (He had in fact used powder cocaine and, according to the coroner, there was no clear link between this use and the failure of his heart.)

Bias had just signed with the Boston Celtics and amid Boston’s rage and grief, Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill, a representative from Massachusetts, rushed into action. In early July he convened a meeting of the Democratic Party leadership. “Write me some goddam legislation,” he ordered. “All anybody in Boston is talking about is Len Bias. They want blood. If we move fast enough we can get out in front of the White House.” The White House was itself moving fast. Among other things, the DEA had been instructed to allow ABC News to accompany it on raids against crack houses. “Crack is the hottest combat-reporting story to come along since the end of the Vietnam War,” the head of the New York office of the DEA exulted.

All this fed into congressional frenzy to write tougher laws. House Majority Leader Jim Wright called drug abuse “a menace draining away our economy of some $230 billion this year, slowly rotting away the fabric of our society and seducing and killing our young.” Not to be outdone, South Carolina Republican Thomas Arnett proclaimed that “drugs are a threat worse than nuclear warfare or any chemical warfare waged on any battlefield.” The 1986 Anti-Drug Abuse Act was duly passed. It contained twenty-nine new minimum mandatory sentences. Up until that time in the history of the Republic there had been only 56 mandatory minimum sentences in the whole penal code.

The new law had a death penalty provision for drug “kingpins” and prohibited parole for even minor possession offenses. But the chief target of the bill was crack cocaine. Congress established a 100-to-1 sentencing ratio between possession of crack and powder cocaine. Under this provision, possession of 5 grams of crack carries a minimum five-year federal prison sentence. The same mandatory minimum is not reached for any amount of powder cocaine less than 500 grams. This sentencing disproportion was based on faulty testimony that crack was fifty times as addictive as powder cocaine. Congress then doubled this ratio as a so-called “violence penalty.” There is no inherent difference in the drugs, as Clinton drug czar Barry McCaffery conceded. The federal Sentencing Commission, established by Congress to review sentencing guidelines, found that so-called “crack violence” is attributable to the drug trade and has more to do with the setting in which crack is sold: crack is sold on the street, while powder cocaine is vended by house calls. As Nixon and Haldeman would have approvingly noted about the new drug law, it was transparently aimed at blacks, reminiscent of the early targeting of Chinese smoking opium rather than white ladies sipping their laudanum-laced tonics.

In 1995, the U.S. Sentencing Commission reviewed eight years of application of this provision and found it to be undeniably racist in practice: 84 per cent of those arrested for crack possession were black, while only 10 per cent were white and 5 per cent Hispanic. The disparity for crack-trafficking prosecutions was even wider: 88 per cent blacks, 7 per cent Hispanics, 4 per cent whites. By comparison, defendants arrested for powder cocaine possession were 58 per cent white, 26 per cent black, and 15 per cent Hispanic.

In Los Angeles, all twenty-four federal defendants in crack cases in 1991 were black. The Sentencing Commission recommended to Congress and the Clinton administration that the ratio should be one-to-one between sentences for offenses involving crack and powder cocaine, arguing that federal law allows for other factors to be considered by judges in lengthening sentences (such as whether violence was associated with the offense). But for the first time in its history the Congress rejected the Sentencing Commission’s recommendation and retained the 100-to-1 ratio. Clinton likewise declined the advice of his drug czar and his attorney general, and signed the bill.

One need only look at the racial makeup of federal prisons to appreciate the consequences of the 1986 drug law. In 1983, the total number of prisoners in federal, state and local prisons and jails was 660,800. Of those, 57,975—8.8 per cent—were incarcerated for drug-related offenses. In 1993, the total prison population was 1,408,000, of whom 353,564—25.1 per cent—were inside for drug offenses. The Sentencing Project, a Washington, D.C.–based watchdog group, found that the increase was far from racially balanced. Between 1986 and 1991, the incarceration rate for white males convicted on drug crimes increased by 106 per cent. But the number of black males in prison for kindred offenses soared by a factor of 429 per cent, and the rate for black women went up by an incredible 828 per cent.

The queen of the drug war, Nancy Reagan, said amid one of her innumerable sermons on the issue: “If you’re a casual drug user, you’re an accomplice to murder.” In tune with this line of thinking, Congress moved in 1988 to expand the crimes for which the federal death penalty could be imposed. These included drug-related murders, and murders committed by drug gangs, which would allow any gang member to face the death penalty if one member of the gang was linked to a drug killing. The new penalties were inscribed in an update of the Continuing Criminal Enterprises Act. The figures arising from implementation of the act suggest that “black paranoia” has in fact a sound basis in reality.

Convictions under the act between 1989 and 1996 were 70 per cent white and 24 per cent black—but 90 per cent of the times the federal prosecutors sought the death penalty it was against non-whites: of these, 78 per cent were black and the rest Hispanic. From 1930 to 1972 (when the U.S. Supreme Court found the federal death penalty unconstitutional), 85 per cent of those given death sentences were white. When it was reapplied in 1984, with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, the numbers for black death penalty convictions soared. Whether the offense is drug-related or not, a black is far more likely to end up on Death Row. Of those on Death Row, both federal and state, 50 per cent are black. Blacks constitute 16 per cent of the population. Since 1976, 40 per cent of the nation’s homicide victims have been black, but 90 per cent of death sentences handed down for homicide involved white victims.

In the drug war, Los Angeles was Ground Zero. On the streets of Los Angeles, gang-related killings were a constant presence to the residents of the mostly poor areas in which they occurred, as gangs fought out turf battles for distribution rights to the crack supplied by Ricky Ross and his associates in an operation connived at by the CIA. As long as it was confined to black areas of Los Angeles, little official attention was paid to this slaughter—an average of one murder per day from 1988 through 1990. However, in December 1987 a gang mistakenly killed 27-year-old Karen Toshima outside a cinema complex in Westwood, near the UCLA campus, prompting outrage from the city’s government: “The continued protection of gang activity under the guise of upholding our Constitution is causing a deadly blight on our city,” cried Los Angeles City Attorney Kenneth Hahn.

LAPD Chief Darryl Gates promptly rolled out his campaign to pacify inner-city Los Angeles, Operation Hammer. Even before this campaign, the LAPD was not known for its sensitivity to black people. In the 1970s, there had been more than 300 killings of non-whites by the LAPD, and Gate’s own racism was notorious. Responding to complaints about a string of choke-hold deaths, Gates blamed them on the physiology of blacks: “We may be finding that in some blacks, when [the choke-hold] is applied, the veins or arteries do not open as fast as they do on normal people.”

Operation Hammer was a counterinsurgency program that sometimes resembled the Phoenix program in Vietnam. There were hundreds of commando-style raids on “gang houses.” More than 50,000 suspected gang members were swept up for interrogation based on factors such as style of dress and whether the suspect was a young black male on the street past curfew. Of those caught up in such Hammer sweeps, 90 per cent were later released without charge, but their names were held in a computer database of gang members that was later shown to have included twice as many names as there were black youths in Los Angeles. Gates sealed off large areas of South Central as “narcotics enforcement zones.” There was a strict curfew, constant police presence, and on-the-spot strip searches for those caught outside after curfew.

In this war there were many innocent casualties. In 1989, the LAPD shotgunned to death an 81-year-old man they wrongly believed to be a crack dealer. Witnesses claimed that the old man had his hands up when he was blown away. In 1989, 75 per cent of all cases in the Los Angeles criminal courts were drug-related.

It would be difficult to find any documentary evidence that this War on Drugs had anything other than a deleterious effect. By 1990, black youth unemployment in the greater Los Angeles area was 45 per cent. Nearly half of all black males under the age of twenty-five had been in the criminal justice system. Life expectancy for blacks was falling for the first time in this century, and infant mortality in the city was rising. Some 40 per cent of black children were born into poverty.

Among those white people concerned by the awful conditions of life in the inner cities was government psychiatrist Fred Goodwin. In 1992, he was director of the umbrella agency ADAMHA, the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration. Goodwin was an eager crusader for a national biomedical program to control violence, the core notion being the search for a “violence” gene. In the quest for this supposed biological basis for social crisis in the poverty-stricken and crime-ridden ghettoes, Goodwin was replicating all the Malthusian obsessions of late nineteenth and early twentieth century white American intellectuals and politicians. Many of supposedly enlightened people like Woodrow Wilson believed that sterilization was the best way to maintain the cleanliness in the national gene pool. It was too late to stop the arrival of Africans, but these Malthusians inspired the race exclusion laws of 1923, designed to keep out genetically dubious Slavs, Jews, Italians and other rabble—legislation admired by the Nazis.

On February 11, 1992, Goodwin gave a speech to the National Mental Health Advisory Council on the future of federal mental health policy, calling for an approach that would focus on presumed genetic and biomedical factors. Among Goodwin’s observations in his address:

There are discussions of “biological correlates” and “biological markers.” The individuals have defective brains with detectable prefrontal changes that may well be predictive of later violence. The individuals have impaired intelligence, in this case “cognitive deficit.”… Now, one could say that if some of the loss of social structure in this society, and particularly within the high impact inner city areas, has removed some of the civilizing evolutionary things that we have built up and that maybe it isn’t just the careless use of the word when people call certain areas of certain cities jungles, that we may have gone back to what might be more natural, without all of the social controls that we have imposed upon ourselves as a civilization over thousands of years in our evolution.

If you look, for example, at male monkeys, especially in the wild, roughly half of them survive to adulthood. The other half die by violence. That is the natural way of it for males, to knock each other off and, in fact, there are some interesting evolutionary implications of that because the same hyperaggressive monkeys who kill each other are also hypersexual, so they copulate more and therefore they reproduce more to offset the fact that half of them are dying.

Goodwin called for early identification of these dangerous monkey-men. “There will be emphasis on the earliest detection of behavioral patterns which have predictor value, and two, what do we know and what can we learn about preventive interventions.”

Goodwin did not address treatment issues further, but a news story in the Washington Post by Boyce Rensberger noted that NIMH psychiatrists who supported Goodwin and his violence initiative were testing new medications to correct the biochemical imbalances supposedly found in both violent monkeys and men.

Goodwin’s remarks were reported in the press and created a commotion. There was a brief spasm of official admonition, and he was “demoted” to the post of director of the National Institute of Mental Health, a position for which he had been already slated.

Would black men or women, already “paranoid” about the idea of the problem of poverty being addressed by government chemists carrying “rebalancing” agents in their syringes, have been hyperbolically paranoid in seeing traces of a longer obsession on the part of the government agencies such as the CIA?

Goodwin was himself only following in the footsteps of Dr. Lewis “Jolly” West. West is a psychiatrist in UCLA who is well known for his suzerainty over the university’s Neuropsychiatric Institute. Back in 1969, he leaped to prominence with disclosure of his plan to put electrodes in the brains of suspected violent offenders at a spin-off of the institute called the Center for the Study and Reduction of Violence. Public uproar forced West to abandon this scheme. In 1973, West once again sought to set up a center for human experimentation, this time at a former Nike missile base in the Santa Monica Mountains. In this pastoral setting, the work of scientific experimentation would proceed undisturbed. “The site is securely fenced,” West wrote excitedly to the California state legislature. “Comparative studies could be carried out there, in an isolated but convenient location, of experimental model programs, for alteration of undesirable behavior.”

West had long worked with CIA chemists and kindred boffins on the use of LSD in altering human behavior—and not just that of humans, either. In 1962 West killed Tusko, a renowned elephant at the Oklahoma City zoo. He shot the mighty pachyderm full of LSD, and Tusko swiftly succumbed. West claimed that the zookeeper had brought him the elephant for treatment.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, neurologists and psychiatrists were much taken with the problems of urban violence. One of West’s mentors was Dr. Ernst Rodin, a Dr. Strangelove–type, heading up the Neurology Department at the Lafayette Clinic, who recommended psychosurgery and castration as appropriate medical technologies to apply to the dangerous classes.

Rodin equated “dumb young males who riot” to oxen and declared that “the castrated ox will pull his plow” and that “human eunuchs, although at times quite scheming entrepreneurs are not given to physical violence. Our scientific age tends to disregard this wisdom of the past.”

West made similar statements after the Watts rebellion, but for the castrator’s sickle he recommended the substitution of cyproterone acetate, a sterilizing chemical developed by the East Germans. By 1972, West was suggesting the use of prisoners as “subjects” in such treatment. There was a big stink about this, and in 1974 statewide protests led to cuts of state funding to West’s project. In his book, Operation Mind Control, Walter Bowart wrote that West is “perhaps the chief advocate of mind control in America today.”

West put his finger unerringly on the usefulness of drug laws as a way of imposing selective social control. “The role of drugs in the exercise of political control is also coming under increasing discussion,” he wrote in Hallucinations: Behavior, Experience and Theory, a book he edited in 1975. “Control can be imposed either through prohibition or supply. The total or even partial prohibition of drugs gives government considerable leverage for other types of control. An example would be the selective application of drug laws… against selected components of the population such as members of certain minority groups or political organizations.” As we have seen, sentencing patterns vindicate West’s analysis.

It is not in the least paranoid for any black person to conclude that since the late nineteenth century prominent white intellectuals and politicians have devoted much effort to reducing the number of black people by the expedient of sterilization, or selective medical assault, often chastely described as the “science” of eugenics.

Back in 1910, blunt as always, Home Secretary Winston Churchill used his position to secretly propose the sterilization of 100,000 “mental degenerates” in the U.K., using as intellectual buttress research by Dr. H. C. Sharp of the Indiana Reformatory in the U.S.A. In the first couple of decades of the twentieth century, American elites also were much concerned about the national gene pool (the founders of Cal Tech, for example, were rabid eugenicists). Between 1907 and 1913, starting with Indiana, twelve states put sterilization statutes on their books. Indiana’s Governor J. Frank Hanley signed a law authorizing the compulsory sterilization of any confirmed criminal, idiot, rapist or imbecile in a state institution whose condition was determined to be “unimprovable” by a panel of physicians.

Allan Chase in The Legacy of Malthus reports that 63,678 people were compulsorily sterilized between 1907 and 1964 in thirty states and one colony with such laws. But he also points out that these victims represent “the smallest part of the actual number of Americans who have this century been subjected to forced eugenic sterilization operations by state and federal agencies.” Chase quotes Federal Judge Gerhard Gessell as saying in 1974 in a suit brought on behalf of poor victims of involuntary sterilization: “Over the last few years an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 low-income persons have been sterilized annually in federally funded programs.” This rate, as Chase points out, equals that achieved in Nazi Germany. Across the twelve years of the Third Reich, after the German Sterilization Act of 1933 (inspired by U.S. laws) went into effect, 2 million Germans were sterilized as social inadequates.

Gesell said that though Congress had been insistent that all family planning programs function on a purely voluntary basis, “an indefinite number of poor people have been improperly coerced into accepting a sterilization operation under the threat that various federally supported welfare benefits would be withdrawn unless they submitted to irreversible sterilization. Patients receiving Medicaid assistance at childbirth are evidently the most frequent targets of this pressure.” Among the plaintiffs in this action was Katie Relf of Alabama, who fought off the advancing sterilizers by locking herself in her room. Writing toward the end of the 1970s, Chase reckoned that probably at least 200,000 Americans per year were the victims of involuntary and irreversible sterilization.

In the great program of sterilization, the note of commonsensical do-goodism was relentlessly sounded. Take the California sterilizer and racist Paul Popenoe, a man close to the Chandler family, who owned the Los Angeles Times. In a 1930 pamphlet, “Sterilization for Human Betterment,” Popenoe and his co-author E. S. Gosney cautioned thus:

One of the greatest dangers in the use of sterilization is that overzealous persons who have not thought through the subject will look on it as a cure-all, and apply it to all sorts of ends for which it is not adapted. It is only one of many measures that the state can and must use to protect itself from racial deterioration. Ordinarily it is merely adjunct to supervision of the defective or diseased.

The objection is sometimes made that sterilization will at least deprive the world of many useful, law-abiding, self-supporting citizens. They may not be brilliant, it is admitted; but isn’t there a need for a large portion of dull people in modern civilization, to do the rough and routine work that the intellectuals are unwilling to do? If the breeding of all the morons is stopped, who will dig the sewers and collect the garbage?

Fortunately or unfortunately, there is no possibility of stopping production of morons altogether. Many of them are born in families of normal intelligence, simply through unfavorable combination of genes which carry the heredity. There will always be enough of them produced to dig sewers and collect the garbage, without encouraging the reproduction of people who are likely to produce only morons.


Though race-specific terms were usually avoided by eugenicists, who preferred words like “weak-minded,” or “imbeciles” (a favorite of that enthusiast for sterilizing, Oliver Wendell Holmes, a jurist much admired by liberals), the target was, by and large, blacks. What direct sterilization could not prevent, incarceration or medically justified confinement has also sought to achieve.

So far as medical confinement is concerned, the magazine Southern Exposure has documented the excessively large number of blacks locked up in state-run mental hospitals in the southern U.S.A. In 1987, nearly 37 per cent of those involuntarily committed were black. The blacks were consistently diagnosed with more serious illnesses, more frequently subjected to sedative medicine, and held in greater numbers for indefinite confinement without judicial review. The pattern, so the article suggested, may extend beyond the South.

The history of bio-chemical warfare is also suggestive. The U.S. use of bio-weapons goes back to the distribution of smallpox-infected blankets to American Indian tribes in the 1860s. In 1900, U.S. Army doctors in the Philippines infected five prisoners with a variety of plague and 29 prisoners with beriberi. At least four of the subjects died. In 1915, a doctor working with government grants exposed 12 prisoners in Mississippi to pellagra, an incapacitating condition that attacks the nervous system.

In 1942, U.S. Army and Navy doctors infected 400 prisoners in Chicago with malaria in experiments designed to get “a profile of the disease and develop a treatment for it.” Most of the inmates were black and none was informed of the risks of the experiment. Nazi doctors on trial at Nuremberg cited the Chicago malaria experiments as part of their defense.

In 1951, the U.S. Army secretly contaminated the Norfolk Naval Supply Center in Virginia with infectious bacteria. One type of bacterium was chosen because blacks were believed to be more susceptible to it than whites. Savannah, Georgia, and Avon Park, Florida, were the targets of repeated army bio weapons experiments in 1956 and 1957. Army CBW researchers released millions of mosquitoes on the two towns in order to test the ability of insects to carry and deliver yellow fever and dengue fever. Hundreds of residents fell ill, suffering from fevers, respiratory distress, stillbirths, and encephalitis. Several deaths were reported.

The harmonious collaboration between the CIA and racist regimes of an overall Nazi outlook began with the importing of Nazi scientists. Among the CIA’s friends in later years was South Africa’s apartheid regime. It was, for example, a CIA tip that led the arrest of Nelson Mandela and his imprisonment for more than twenty years. Close CIA cooperation with South Africa’s intelligence agencies continued unabated and indeed mounted during the Reagan years, with close collaboration in attacks on Mozambique and other neighbors of South Africa deemed to be threats to South African and U.S. interests.

In a 1970 article in Military Review, a journal published by the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, a Swedish geneticist at the University of Lund named Carl Larson discussed genetically selective weapons. Larson stated that though the study of drug-metabolizing enzymes was in its infancy, “observed variations in drug responses have pointed to the possibility of great innate differences in vulnerability to chemical agents between different populations.” Larson went on to speculate that in a process similar to mapping the world’s blood groups, “we may soon have a grid where new observations of this kind can be pinpointed.” In the same vein, a January 1975 U.S. Army report noted in its conclusion that “it is theoretically possible to develop so-called ‘ethnic weapons’ which would be designed to exploit naturally occurring differences in vulnerability among specific population groups.”


This essay is adapted from a chapter in Whiteout: the CIA, Drugs and the Press (Verso.)
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Re: A Short History of “Black Paranoia”

Postby Joao » Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:50 am

American Dream » Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:13 pm wrote:The latest episode of Madness Radio asks:

How did the definition of schizophrenia change during the civil rights and Black Power era of the 1960s? Why did a disease primarily affecting withdrawn white housewives suddenly become focused on angry and "paranoid" African American men instead? Psychiatrist and historian Jonathan Metzl, author of The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease, discusses racism and social control in psychiatric diagnosis, and how Black protest was turned into a mental disorder.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sid ... than-metzl

For more info -- http://www.madnessradio.net

Go to this episode on the Madness Radio site:
http://www.madnessradio.net/madness-rad ... k-politics

Download episode file directly:
http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3 ... nMetzl.mp3


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Re: A Short History of “Black Paranoia”

Postby American Dream » Sat Oct 25, 2014 1:42 pm

Excellent linkage to make, Joao. I'm going to go out on a limb here a bit and quote Peter Breggin, mostly because I'm in a great rush. He is doubly problematic because of his direct linkages to Scientology many years ago, and also because- disturbingly, given that history- his critique of psychiatric medications is lacking in nuance. That said, these verifiable facts are still very relevant:

Campaigns Against Racist Federal Programs by the Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology

by Peter R. Breggin, M.D.

Originally published in Journal of African American Men 1:No. 3, 3-22. Winter 1995/96

The Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology was founded in the early 1970s to organize my international campaign to stop the resurgence of lobotomy and other forms of psychosurgery or psychiatric brain surgery. Initially, I had no idea that my campaign would end up focusing on the racist intentions of federally funded biological psychiatrists and neurosurgeons. I certainly could not have anticipated that twenty years later, the Center would once again be fighting a government-sponsored racist psychiatric program. This report tells the story of the first and second violence initiatives and the Center's efforts to counter them.

THE FIRST VIOLENCE INITIATIVE

In 1971 I discovered that psychiatrists and neurosurgeons were planning and implementing a worldwide revival of psychosurgery. At the time I was not an activist, but I was aware that no one had publicly opposed the first round of lobotomies in the 1940s and 1950s. I decided to take a stand.
My medical training convinced me that improving the techniques of psychiatric surgery-for example, by replacing the scalpel with hot electrodes--would not make the interventions any less damaging. Without harming the brain, there could be no "therapeutic" effect. The surgery must destroy enough function to flatten the patient's emotions. There is no way to accomplish that without creating more widespread mental devastation, including the relative loss of essential human qualities such as creativity, spontaneity, personal responsibility, self-insight, social sensitivity and awareness, and judgment. Research and my personal experiences would confirm this initial impression.2

Psychosurgery, Individual Vulnerability, and Public Health

Shortly after beginning my opposition to psychosurgery, I came under attack in the national media from an unexpected source, three Harvard professors-psychiatrist Frank Ervin and neurosurgeons Vernon Mark and William Sweet. Sweet was director of neurosurgery at perhaps the most respected hospital in the world, the Massachusetts General. Mark was head of the department of neurosurgery at Boston City Hospital.

As the controversy heated up, a physician who asked for anonymity directed me to published remarks made by the three doctors concerning the use of brain surgery to suppress black urban rioters. Soon after, in 1973, I received a brown envelope from an unidentified source in the Department of Justice (DOJ). It contained an in-house memo documenting that Mark and Ervin were receiving funds from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) for experiments in psychosurgery for violence control. Meanwhile, Ervin was also receiving money from the Department of Justice for research on genetic factors in violent crime. Sweet was involved as a supporter, co-author, and a member of the private foundation that funneled the government funds to Mark and Ervin.

In a 1967 letter entitled "Role of Brain Disease in Riots and Urban Violence" in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Mark, Sweet and Ervin, much like current violence-initiative advocates, focused on individual vulnerability rather than upon larger social, economic or political factors. They asked, "if slum conditions alone determined and initiated riots, why are the vast majority of slum dwellers able to resist the temptations of unrestrained violence? Is there something peculiar about the violent slum dweller that differentiates him from his peaceful neighbor?"

Mark, Sweet and Ervin went on to suggest that this "peculiarity" was "brain dysfunction." They called for large-scale studies of the inner city to "pinpoint, diagnose, and treat those people with low violence thresholds before they contribute to further tragedies." In a supportive "Medical News" report a few weeks later, JAMA lauded Mark and Ervin's psychosurgery as a "public health" measure.

Mark and Ervin must have felt they were on a heroic, Nobel Prize-winning endeavor-providing a solution to worldwide mayhem, and especially to America's urban uprisings. In 1968, a year in which they were aggressively experimenting on patients, they wrote in Psychiatric Opinion that "brain dysfunction" was "equally important" to "poverty, unemployment and substandard housing" as a cause of urban violence. They estimated that tens of millions of Americans might be violence prone as a result of brain damage.

In testimony on civil disorders before a New York State legislative committee in 1968 (Bird, 1968), William Sweet "said mass violence might be touched off by leaders suffering from temporal seizures of the brain." Sweet made a pitch for the electrical stimulation of surgically implanted electrodes as a method of calming violent people.

Mark, Ervin and Sweet had their greatest PR coup when their work made the cover of Life on June 21, 1968 (Rosenfeld, 1968). Life observed, "The psychobiology approach, new as it is, is gaining adherents so fast that it might almost be called a movement." Life seemed to endorse their efforts toward biomedical social control:

In a slum neighborhood, everyone may live under the same frustrating set of pressures and tensions, but only a small minority will engage in rioting, and even among the rioters only a handful will actually burn down a building or assault another person. Thus psychobiology proceeds on the premise that violent acts are carried out by violent individuals, even if the individuals are part of a mob.

The article gave a big spread to Mark and Ervin's psychosurgery for violence.

The fate of Thomas R

In their book, Violence and the Brain (1970), and elsewhere, Mark and Ervin described Thomas R (sometimes called Leonard K) as a young white man largely saved from epilepsy and completely saved from violence by psychosurgery. When describing his outcome, they mention no serious side effects. He was their star patient.

The patient's mother, Mrs. G., read my criticism of Mark and Ervin in the Boston Globe and realized for the first time what had been done to her son. She wrote to me that in reality he had been reduced almost to a "vegetable." Thomas's tragic story is retold in detail in Breggin and Breggin, The War Against Children.

Mark and Ervin Lose Their Funding

As a result of the antipsychosurgery campaign, all of Mark, Ervin and Sweet's federal funding for genetic and psychosurgical experimentation was cut off. As a long-delayed satisfaction to us, we learned this year that the Center's campaign against the DOJ's Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) funding for Ervin had brought about a dramatic reversal in official government policy. A guideline entitled "Use of LEAA funds for Psychosurgery and Medical Research" was signed by the LEAA administrator, Donald E. Santarelli, on June 19, 1974. The guideline declared that any future grant applications for psychosurgery would be denied. It further stipulated that all "medical research," unless risk-free, would be denied and referred instead to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (DHEW, now DHHS). It forbid states to use LEAA block grants to do psychosurgery or medical experimentation.

OPERATING ON LITTLE BLACK CHILDREN

As far as we know, Mark and Ervin did not perform their psychosurgery experiments on any African Americans. With more limited political aims, perhaps, another surgeon was operating on numerous black children. When I began researching the return of psychosurgery in the early 1970s, I quickly came upon the work of O.J. Andy, director of neurosurgery at the University of Mississippi-Ole Miss-in Jackson. He was publishing reports on multiple surgical interventions into the brains of small children, ages five to twelve, who were diagnosed as aggressive and hyperactive. Of his 30-40 patients, he wrote me in 1971, most were children.

Before the controversy hit the press, l phoned Andy, who told me he could not recall the race of any of the children. Later I contacted a civil rights attorney in Mississippi who was able to determine that most of them were housed in a segregated black institution for the developmentally disabled. The attorney got onto the wards, where the nurses told him with frustration that Andy had a completely free hand in picking children for psychosurgery.

In 1966 Andy described J. M., age nine, who was "hyperactive, aggressive, combative, explosive, destructive, sadistic." Over a three-year period Andy performed four separate mutilating operations involving at least six lesions with implanted electrodes. The youngster was at first said to be doing well. In a subsequent 1970 article, Andy again claimed that J. M. is no longer so combative and negative. Then he added, "lntellectually, however, the patient is deteriorating."

While Andy did not take an activist political position like Mark, Ervin and Sweet-he did tell B. J. Mason, a reporter for Ebony, that black urban rioters "could have abnormal pathologic brains" and "should undergo tests with whatever capacity we have now." Following world-wide publicity about his operations during the antipsychosurgery campaign, in 1973 a committee of his peers at the university declared his research experimental. When Andy did not establish appropriate experimental protocols, he was prohibited from operating. Andy himself declared in 1980 that he had been forced to stop operating due to "sociological pressures" in his home community.

VIOLENCE CENTERS THROUGHOUT URBAN AMERICA

In his 1973 State of the State message, California governor Ronald Reagan announced plans for the establishment of a biomedical facility, the Center for the Study of the Reduction of Violence. Supported by state and federal funds, the first center was planned for the psychiatry department at UCLA, headed by Louis Jolyn "Jolly" West, a flamboyant psychiatrist known for his ability to hitch himself to hot topics. An early draft of West's proposed UCLA center described using schools in Chicano and African American neighborhoods to screen for possible genetic defects. It also mentioned the possibility of psychosurgery. The suggestion of psychosurgery for control of violence was especially menacing in California because Santa Monica neurosurgeon M. H. Brown was strongly advocating it. In a January 22, 1972 letter to the Los Angeles Times, he wrote "It is either this [psychosurgery] or a further escalation of violence and chaos in society that does not serve the best interests of the United States."

Meanwhile, Frank Ervin left the collapsing Boston project and came to join West at UCLA. Ervin's arrival at this critical juncture alerted people to the center's potential dangers. Despite denials from psychiatrists West and Ervin, the discovery of references to genetics and psychosurgery in the original proposal proved politically fatal. Opposed by the Center and a coalition of west coast reformers,3 the planned string of federal violence centers never got off the ground.
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Re: A Short History of “Black Paranoia”

Postby American Dream » Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:39 pm

WE WANT FREEDOM: A LIFE IN THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY

by Mumia Abu-Jamal

CHAPTER SIX: The Empire Strikes Back: COINTELPRO

History should teach us ... that in times of high emotional excitement, minority parties and groups which advocate extremely unpopular social or governmental innovations will always be typed as criminal gangs and attempts will always be made to drive them out.
-- Hugo Black, Associate Justice, US Supreme Court [1]

IF THE BLACK Panther Party was a Black rebel band (and it was), the State would, as has historically been the case, respond with repression (and it did). From the highest levels of government came threats of destruction and wild, exaggerated claims of the violence posed by the Black Panther Party. The incoming US Attorney General, John Mitchell, a law partner of the persnickety Richard M. Nixon, vowed to "wipe out the Black Panther Party by the end of 1969." [2] Mitchell was the head of the government department encompassing the FBI, and his threat was not empty. The longtime head of the nation's premier law enforcement agency, J. Edgar Hoover utilized the enormous powers of his agency to put meat on the bones of Mitchell's threat.

Hoover skillfully utilized not only the powerful bureaucracy that he built and controlled, but also the vast powers of the predominantly white corporate press to demonize the Black Panther Party in the eyes of most of America. This clever, cunning, and quite bigoted man used one of the most powerful weapons ever in the scabbard of a politician -- fear. The Black Panther Party, Hoover claimed, "represents the greatest threat to the internal security of the country." [3] Why did he claim this?

If Hoover was to be believed, the Black Panthers were "the most violent of all" the Black militant groups, and he lamented "that the Communist Party has not been able to control" them. What peeved the "minister of internal security" was his observation that "black militants are more or less a law unto themselves and want no leadership other than their own." One wonders why Hoover, an ardent anticommunist, would decry the lack of control by the Communist Party, or their self-leadership? Moreover, he testified, "leaders and representatives of the Black Panther Party travel extensively all over the United States preaching the gospel of hate and violence, not only to ghetto residents, but to students in colleges, universities and high schools as well." [4]

What seemed to bother the pugnacious Hoover most, then, was the political independence of the Panthers (and other "black militants") and his inability to use them to prove his long-held pet theories of communist infiltration and foreign control of Black revolutionary political movements. What angered him further was the Party's growing influence, not over "ghetto residents" but on white youth in the nation's educational institutions.

Which was the real "greatest threat"?

For, if the FBI chief was correct that the Black Panthers were teaching a "gospel of hate," isn't it unlikely that such a doctrine would find support on college campuses, which in the late 1960s were certainly overwhelmingly white institutions? There is then, clearly, something else that motivated the State in its scorched-earth campaign against an entity it deemed the greatest threat to internal security.

The problem wasn't that the Black Panther Party was a "hate-based group," but that it was not.

It wasn't that the organization had an ideological affinity to Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. It wasn't that the Party was (in FBI-speak) "violence-prone."

These were mere pretexts.

Much to the chagrin of their nationalist contemporaries, the Black Panthers viewed themselves as internationalists and worked with people from a wide range of racial and ethnic groupings. Through the offices of its National Fronts Against Fascism, the Party had information and propaganda centers functioning in white communities. People who were reticent or afraid about going into the Black community could visit to read or purchase firsthand accounts of the revolution being waged in other parts of the Empire.

If you "hate" someone, you don't work with him.

One case study should give us some telling insight into whether it was the Black Panther Party or the groups that targeted them, the FBI and other government agencies, that operated as hate groups. Let us examine the remarkable career of Chairman Fred Hampton, the brilliant Chicago Panther and organizer of the Illinois chapter who, while barely twenty, had built one of the most impressive branches of the BPP in the nation.

As youth leaders in the Chicago NAACP, Hampton and his boyhood friend, Bobby Rush, felt that the integrationist, assimilationist-type group did not address sharply enough the challenges faced by the Black community. They were drawn to the open militance of the Black Panther Party, and that attraction would set the stage for a drama and political tragedy of epic proportions.

By all accounts, Hampton was a revolutionary who submitted his whole being to the ideology of the organization and the revolution. A gifted, engaging, and passionate speaker, Hampton's country-cadenced speech touched listeners with his own enthusiasm and youthful brio. He would organize, if given the opportunity, everybody, everywhere within earshot. He worked with the Young Lords, a street gang in Chicago, and inspired the young Puerto Ricans to organize into a collective, political organization. The Young Lords Party was born. He did similar work among other ethnic groups.

Elaine Brown, with all her sophistication and worldly wisdom, found herself moved to tears when she and Chief of Staff David Hilliard saw this young Panther leader in action:

Hundreds of Panthers were lined up in a West Side Chicago schoolyard, ready to start the day's work. "Chairman Fred" was making sure his chief of staff would see the good work the Illinois chapter was doing. Chicago Panthers, Fred explained, lined up that way every morning. It was a demonstration of discipline and commitment. Fred felt it was an inspirational way to get the day started. It was.

"I ain't gon' die slippin' on no ice!" Fred shouted into a bullhorn, walking up and down the aisles of Panthers like a Baptist preacher.

"I ain't gon' die slippin' on no ice!" Panthers shouted back.

"I ain't gon' die in no airplane crash!"

"I ain't gon' die in no airplane crash!" they responded in unison.

"I'm gon' die for the People!" the chairman continued, his fist high, the steam of his breath bursting into the bitter early morning cold.

"I'm gon' die for the People!" came the echo.

" 'Cause I live for the People!"

" ... live for the People!"

" 'Cause I'm high on the People!"

" ... high on the People!"

" 'Cause I love the People!"

" ... love the People!"

"Power to the People! Power to the People! Power to the People!" [5]

The legendary Chicago wind -- the chilling, mighty Hawk -- was cutting through the West Side at seven a.m., freezing Brown's cheeks, she recalls. But her cheeks were warmed by her tears as the surge of revolutionary love went through her like a wave.


Continues at: http://www.american-buddha.com/Mumia.we ... edom.6.htm





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Re: A Short History of “Black Paranoia”

Postby American Dream » Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:22 pm

http://redneckrevolt.wordpress.com/2009 ... ti-racism/

YOUNG PATRIOTS AND PANTHERS: A STORY OF WHITE ANTI-RACISM

December 5, 2009

Forty years ago today, two young black men were killed in Chicago. Members of the Black Panther Party, they were murdered by the police as they slept.

Fred Hampton had proved to be a prolific organizer in the southside of Chicago. His skills were not just relegated to the black community, however. Through a long and arduous process, he had succeeded in building a “Rainbow Coalition” of working class blacks, latinos, and whites.

Black Panther Bobby Lee recalls his work with the white members of the “Young Patriots:”

First of all, the Patriots’ leader William “Preacherman” Fesperman was one of the best human beings I have ever met. He was originally from North Carolina before he moved to Chicago. However, many of the Panthers left the group when we built alliances. Some didn’t like the Patriots, some just didn’t like white people in general. They were heavy into nationalism. To tell the truth, it was a necessary purging, except for these niggers took themselves out of the organization. The Rainbow Coalition was just a code word for class struggle. Preacherman would have stopped a bullet for me, and nearly tried. Once, I was in a meeting up in Uptown, and I decided to leave by myself. I immediately determined that the police were following me. I made the mistake of leaving alone. The cop called out “You know what to do,” and I put my hands up against the wall. Preacherman came outside and saw what was going on, and in the cold of winter brought the men, women and the children outside. The cops put me in the car and they totally surrounded it, demanding my release. The cop called someone and they must have told him to let me go. I’ll never forget looking at all those brave motherfuckers standing in the light of the police car, but staring in the face of death. Looking back, was there enough basis for unity? Hell, yeah! When I went to Uptown Chicago, I saw some of the worst slums imaginable. Horrible slums, and poor white people lived there. However, two organizations prepared the way for the Rainbow Coalition, without them there wouldn’t have been a chance of forming one. Rising Up Angry (rua) and join Community Union. The uptown neighborhood was prime recruiting zone for white supremacists. Most of the cats who were in the Patriots also had at least one family member in the Klan. Cats like Mike James and Jewnbug, and Tappis worked hard to fight that mentality. Mike James and rua drove a wedge in that bullshit, that white supremacist bullshit, their groundwork was just amazing, out of this world. When did I first meet the Young Patriots? It was at the Church of the Three Crosses. There was a meeting, and it was the one recorded in the movie American Revolution II. After the crowd left, the Patriots were still there. We asked the Minister if he could let us have his office. We asked the Patriots if they could work with the Panthers and they said yes. I didn’t even tell Fred for the first three weeks of meeting with these cats. It wasn’t easy to build an alliance. I advised them on how to set up “serve the people” programs—free breakfasts, people’s health clinics, all that. I had to run with those cats, break bread with them, hang out at the pool hall. I had to lay down on their couch, in their neighborhood. Then I had to invite them into mine. That was how the Rainbow Coalition was built, real slow.

The coalition built by Fred Hampton brought leather clad Black Panthers together with white working class youth that dressed in jean jackets and Confederate Flags. Alliances were built along class lines, with a common enemy: the political and economic elite of Chicago.

The modern day “Patriot” Movement should be learning from the Young Patriot Party of the 1960’s. Only by building a cross-racial alliance of working class and poor people can we affect any real change. While the Young Patriot Party fought against the efforts of the Klan and white supremacists to attack blacks and latinos struggling for self determination, the modern Patriot Movement has allied itself with these racists and neo-fascists.

And that’s the reason Fred had to be murdered. The threat of a multi-racial movement of working class brown, black, and white people was an actual threat to political and economic hegemony. There’s probably a reason why the state isn’t murdering leaders of the new “Patriot Movement”. In the end, that movement is not a threat to the state. On the contrary, the movement merely acts to reinforce the state’s power and control.




American Dream » Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:39 pm wrote:
WE WANT FREEDOM: A LIFE IN THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY

by Mumia Abu-Jamal

CHAPTER SIX: The Empire Strikes Back: COINTELPRO



One case study should give us some telling insight into whether it was the Black Panther Party or the groups that targeted them, the FBI and other government agencies, that operated as hate groups. Let us examine the remarkable career of Chairman Fred Hampton, the brilliant Chicago Panther and organizer of the Illinois chapter who, while barely twenty, had built one of the most impressive branches of the BPP in the nation.

As youth leaders in the Chicago NAACP, Hampton and his boyhood friend, Bobby Rush, felt that the integrationist, assimilationist-type group did not address sharply enough the challenges faced by the Black community. They were drawn to the open militance of the Black Panther Party, and that attraction would set the stage for a drama and political tragedy of epic proportions.

By all accounts, Hampton was a revolutionary who submitted his whole being to the ideology of the organization and the revolution. A gifted, engaging, and passionate speaker, Hampton's country-cadenced speech touched listeners with his own enthusiasm and youthful brio. He would organize, if given the opportunity, everybody, everywhere within earshot. He worked with the Young Lords, a street gang in Chicago, and inspired the young Puerto Ricans to organize into a collective, political organization. The Young Lords Party was born. He did similar work among other ethnic groups.

Elaine Brown, with all her sophistication and worldly wisdom, found herself moved to tears when she and Chief of Staff David Hilliard saw this young Panther leader in action:

Hundreds of Panthers were lined up in a West Side Chicago schoolyard, ready to start the day's work. "Chairman Fred" was making sure his chief of staff would see the good work the Illinois chapter was doing. Chicago Panthers, Fred explained, lined up that way every morning. It was a demonstration of discipline and commitment. Fred felt it was an inspirational way to get the day started. It was.

"I ain't gon' die slippin' on no ice!" Fred shouted into a bullhorn, walking up and down the aisles of Panthers like a Baptist preacher.

"I ain't gon' die slippin' on no ice!" Panthers shouted back.

"I ain't gon' die in no airplane crash!"

"I ain't gon' die in no airplane crash!" they responded in unison.

"I'm gon' die for the People!" the chairman continued, his fist high, the steam of his breath bursting into the bitter early morning cold.

"I'm gon' die for the People!" came the echo.

" 'Cause I live for the People!"

" ... live for the People!"

" 'Cause I'm high on the People!"

" ... high on the People!"

" 'Cause I love the People!"

" ... love the People!"

"Power to the People! Power to the People! Power to the People!" [5]

The legendary Chicago wind -- the chilling, mighty Hawk -- was cutting through the West Side at seven a.m., freezing Brown's cheeks, she recalls. But her cheeks were warmed by her tears as the surge of revolutionary love went through her like a wave.


Continues at: http://www.american-buddha.com/Mumia.we ... edom.6.htm





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Re: A Short History of “Black Paranoia”

Postby Iamwhomiam » Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:00 pm

Thank you for this thread, AD. Haven't read counterpunch lately, though it use to be a daily read for me. Steve Breyman's our former ED, and his piece is interesting too.

This I will refer to a now retired local black newscaster who's been writing a blog on our local paper and is endlessly attacked by bigots, regardless his topic. He recently attempted to open a discussion about racism today and it was ugly. This of course prompted another post from him about the ugliness and denial from his readers to the reality of a black man in our society.

"White guilt" his detractors said he was trying to lay on them.

Empathy was the author's message. Only detractors in whom this quality is missing seemed to have responded, oblivious their racism was now made all the more obvious to all.

Which, I might add, no inkling of such was to be found in anywhere but in their own ignorant comments.

We've all experienced racism, whether we've acted it out ourselves or witnessed it in others, and though I speak only for myself, I feel that sometime in life we all have offered ignorant comments meant to demean another. I've certainly offered my share without much thought of their true impact. The ignorant glee's all passed by the time I hit the submit button, anyway, so there's not much joy in such wordslaying.

Alice Green, the ED of The Center for Law and Justice sometime ago released a report, (I referred to it in the Boston Bombing thread) "What Have We Done?: Mass Incarceration and the Targeting of Albany’s Black Males by Federal, State, and Local Authorities," Oct. 2014 and although limited in scope, it's most revealing.
http://www.cflj.org/cflj/what-have-we-done.pdf

Other reports available on their website:

Pathway to Change: African Americans and Community Policing in Albany September 2013

The Disproportionate Impact of the Juvenile Justice System on Children of Color in the Capital Region July 2012

The Disproportionate Impact of the Criminal Justice System on People of Color in the Capital Region

All the above authored by Dr. Alice Green, Ph.D., Executive Director, Center for Law and Justice, Inc.
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Re: A Short History of “Black Paranoia”

Postby American Dream » Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:02 pm

Life really doesn't have to be so hard.

I like this:

Abolish the White Race - By Any Means Necessary

The white race is a historically constructed social formation - historically constructed because (like royalty) it is a product of some people's responses to historical circumstances; a social formation because it is a fact of society corresponding to no classification recognized by natural science.

The white race cuts across ethnic and class lines. It is not coextensive with that portion of the population of European descent, since many of those classified as "colored" can trace some of their ancestry to Europe, while African, Asian, or American Indian blood flows through the veins of many considered white. Nor does membership in the white race imply wealth, since there are plenty of poor whites, as well as some people of wealth and comfort who are not white.

The white race consists of those who partake of the privileges of the white skin in this society. Its most wretched members share a status higher, in certain respects, than that of the most exalted persons excluded from it, in return for which they give their support to the system that degrades them.

The key to solving the social problems of our age is to abolish the white race. Until that task is accomplished, even partial reform will prove elusive, because white influence permeates every issue in U.S. society, whether domestic or foreign.

Advocating the abolition of the white race is distinct from what is called "anti-racism." The term "racism" has come to be applied to a variety of attitudes, some of which are mutually incompatible, and has been devalued to mean little more than a tendency to dislike some people for the color of their skin. Moreover, anti-racism admits the natural existence of "races" even while opposing social distinctions among them. The abolitionists maintain, on the contrary, that people were not favored socially because they were white; rather they were defined as "white" because they were favored. Race itself is a product of social discrimination; so long as the white race exists, all movements against racism are doomed to fail.

The existence of the white race depends on the willingness of those assigned to it to place their racial interests above class, gender or any other interests they hold. The defection of enough of its members to make it unreliable as a determinant of behavior will set off tremors that will lead to its collapse.

RACE TRAITOR aims to serve as an intellectual center for those seeking to abolish the white race. It will encourage dissent from the conformity that maintains it and popularize examples of defection from its ranks, analyze the forces that hold it together and those which promise to tear it apart. Part of its task will be to promote debate among abolitionists. When possible, it will support practical measures, guided by the principle, Treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity.

Dissolve the club

The white race is a club, which enrolls certain people at birth, without their consent, and brings them up according to its rules. For the most part the members go through life accepting the benefits of membership, without thinking about the costs. When individuals question the rules, the officers are quick to remind them of all they owe to the club, and warn them of the dangers they will face if they leave it.

RACE TRAITOR aims to dissolve the club, to break it apart, to explode it. Some people who sympathize with our aim have asked us how we intend to win over the majority of so-called whites to anti-racism. Others, usually less friendly, have asked if we plan to exterminate physically millions, perhaps hundreds of millions, of people. Neither of these plans is what we have in mind. The weak point of the club is its need for unanimity. Just as the South, on launching the Civil War, declared that it needed its entire territory and would have it, the white race must have the support of all those it has designated as its constituency, or it ceases to exist.

Elsewhere in this number, readers will find an account of John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry and some of the events it set in motion. Before the Civil War, the leading spokesmen for the slaveholders acknowledged that the majority of white northerners, swayed above all by the presence of the fugitive slave, considered slavery unjust. The Southerners also understood that the opposition was ineffective; however much the white people of the north disapproved of the slave system, the majority went along with it rather than risk the ordinary comforts of their lives, meager as they were in many cases.

When John Brown attacked Harpers Ferry, Southern pro- slavery leaders reacted with fury: they imposed a boycott on northern manufactures, demanded new concessions from the government in Washington, and began to prepare for war. When they sought to portray John Brown as a representative of northern opinion, Southern leaders were wrong; he represented only a small and isolated minority. But they were also right, for he expressed the hopes that still persisted in the northern population despite decades of cringing before the slaveholders. Virginia did not fear John Brown and his small band of followers, but his soul that would go marching on, though his body lay a-mould'rin' in the grave.

When the South, in retaliation for Harpers Ferry, sought to further bully northern opinion, it did so not out of paranoia but out of the realistic assessment that only a renewal of the national pro-slavery vows could save a system whose proud facade concealed a fragile foundation. By the arrogance of their demands, the Southern leaders compelled the people of the north to resist. Not ideas but events were in command. Each step led inexorably to the next: Southern land-greed, Lincoln's victory, secession, war, blacks as laborers, soldiers, citizens, voters. And so the war that began with not one person in a hundred foreseeing the end of slavery was transformed within two years into an anti-slavery war.

It is our faith - and with those who do not share it we shall not argue - that the majority of so-called whites in this country are neither deeply nor consciously committed to white supremacy; like most human beings in most times and places, they would do the right thing if it were convenient. As did their counterparts before the Civil War, most go along with a system that disturbs them, because the consequences of challenging it are terrifying. They close their eyes to what is happening around them, because it is easier not to know.

At rare moments their nervous peace is shattered, their certainty is shaken, and they are compelled to question the common sense by which they normally live. One such moment was in the days immediately following the Rodney King verdict, when a majority of white Americans were willing to admit to polltakers that black people had good reasons to rebel, and some joined them. Ordinarily the moments are brief, as the guns and reform programs are moved up to restore order and, more important, the confidence that matters are in good hands and they can go back to sleep. Both the guns and the reform programs are aimed at whites as well as blacks - the guns as a warning and the reform programs as a salve to their consciences.

Recently, one of our editors, unfamiliar with New York City traffic laws, made an illegal right turn there on a red light. He was stopped by two cops in a patrol car. After examining his license, they released him with a courteous admonition. Had he been black, they probably would have ticketed him, and might even have taken him down to the station. A lot of history was embodied in that small exchange: the cops treated the miscreant leniently at least in part because they assumed, looking at him, that he was white and therefore loyal. Their courtesy was a habit meant both to reward good conduct and induce future cooperation.

Had the driver cursed them, or displayed a bumper sticker that said, "Avenge Rodney King," the cops might have reacted differently. We admit that neither gesture on the part of a single individual would in all likelihood be of much consequence. But if enough of those who looked white broke the rules of the club to make the cops doubt their ability to recognize a white person merely by looking at him or her, how would it affect the cops' behavior? And if the police, the courts, and the authorities in general were to start spreading around indiscriminately the treatment they normally reserve for people of color, how would the rest of the so-called whites react?

How many dissident so-called whites would it take to unsettle the nerves of the white executive board? It is impossible to know. One John Brown - against a background of slave resistance - was enough for Virginia. Yet it was not the abolitionists, not even the transcendent John Brown, who brought about the mass shifts in consciousness of the Civil War period. At most, their heroic deeds were part of a chain of events that involved mutual actions and reactions on a scale beyond anything they could have anticipated - until a war that began with both sides fighting for slavery (the South to take it out of the Union, the north to keep it in) ended with a great army marching through the land singing, "As He died to make men holy, let us fight to make men free."

The moments when the routine assumptions of race break down are the seismic promise that somewhere in the tectonic flow a new fault is building up pressure, a new Harpers Ferry is being prepared. Its nature and timing cannot be predicted, but of its coming we have no doubt. When it comes, it will set off a series of tremors that will lead to the disintegration of the white race. We want to be ready, walking in Jerusalem just like John. What kind of journal is this?

RACE TRAITOR exists, not to make converts, but to reach out to those who are dissatisfied with the terms of membership in the white club. Its primary intended audience will be those people commonly called whites who, in one way or another, understand whiteness to be a problem that perpetuates injustice and prevents even the well-disposed among them from joining unequivocally in the struggle for human freedom. By engaging these dissidents in a journey of discovery into whiteness and its discontents, we hope to take part, together with others, in the process of defining a new human community. We wish neither to minimize the complicity of even the most downtrodden of whites with the system of white supremacy nor to exaggerate the significance of momentary departures from white rules.

We should say that there are some articles we are not interested in publishing. Since we are not seeking converts, we probably will not publish articles which lecture various organizations about their racial opportunism. Also we probably will not publish articles promoting inter-racial harmony, because that approach too often leaves intact differential treatment of whites and blacks and provides subtle confirmation of the idea that different races exist independently of social distinctions.

In the original film version of ROBIN HOOD (starring Errol Flynn), the Sheriff of Nottingham says to Robin, "You speak treason." Robin replies, "Fluently." We hope to do the same.



From Race Traitor no. 1 (Winter 1993)


http://racetraitor.org/
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Re: A Short History of “Black Paranoia”

Postby Iamwhomiam » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:16 pm



This shouldn't be missed.

The image below reminded me of a young boy who once was neighbor of mine who wished he was white. He was shot and killed by a cop, a black cop, after a tussle, who claimed the kid shot himself in the head with a gun he had. The cop used his drop weapon to kill a kid he disliked who didn't adequately respect him.

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Re: A Short History of “Black Paranoia”

Postby American Dream » Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:02 pm

http://melanoidnation.org/did-you-know- ... ion-camps/

Did You Know That Government Documents Exists That Advocate Putting All Black Americans in Concentration Camps?

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For years, there have been certain government documents floating around that suggested the mass interment of Black people in America. Documents such as the King Alfred Plan have long been dismissed by government officials as works of fiction because it cannot be traced back to a specific author or origin.

But recently a new document was discovered.

A thesis written by President Ronald Reagan’s FEMA director Louis Giuffrada at the US Army War College in 1970, entitled “National Survival-Racial Imperative” goes into elaborate details about the logistics of rounding up Black Americans to be placed in concentration camps.

This document did not use code words or euphemisms like many recent comparative documents and policies today. The National Survival-Racial Imperative thesis was very specific about targeting Black Americans.

Here is an excerpt for the thesis:

“In the past decade, the United States has had an epidemic of confrontations in which outbreaks of bitter racial violence have brought death and destruction and widened the gap between Negro and white. Inevitably, the rising tensions and mutual distrust have led to more violence and disruption.

For purposes of discussion let us assume that racial relations have degenerated to the point where armed militants embark on a massive violent attempt to immobilize the normal routine of a large city. The militants have occupied the city hall, taken over the mayor’s office, and are shooting at police attempting to oust them. An extremely militant Black Nationalist group has seized the main radio stations and has been calling on all sympathizers to arm themselves and “join the people’s revolution.”

As soon as the violence starts, there are similar, though not necessarily preplanned, outbreaks of violence in other cities across the entire nation. The level of violence has quickly exceeded the control capacity of the various state and local agencies. Federal troops have been requested and are already committed. Fierce fighting is taking place in several major cities and intelligence reports indicate the disorder is likely to spread still further. Large numbers of United States troops are still committed overseas and cannot be readily recalled to the United States. To further complicate the problem, white vigilante groups have surfaced and are taking independent counteractions against blacks — without too much attempt to discriminate between militant and nonmilitant…

Faced by mounting death and destruction, as well as increasing demands that he do so, the President reluctantly declares a state of national emergency and puts the entire country on a war basis. The previously murmured suggestion that all Negroes be locked up now swells to a roar. It is like 1941 again, except that now it is the “Black Peril” rather than the “Yellow Peril.”

In the extremely unlikely event that the government were to order the evacuation and detention of all blacks from actual or potential trouble spots, how and by whom would the order be enforced? What are the yardsticks for collecting, evacuating, and interning either militant or pacifistic minority groups; or dissident, potentially disloyal elements; or law-abiding citizens whose only offense is accident of color? Where would the internees be kept? … What would be done with the blacks in the Armed Forces and in civil service and in Congress? The task would be far too large for the Justice Department; it would have to be greatly augmented by military forces, primarily from the United States Army.

The government has historically had the right to protect itself. A government faced with prolonged, simultaneous, apparently coordinated riots disrupting the entire nation to the point where the government feared its very existence was in jeopardy would take many actions which in calmer times would never be considered. “The authority to decide whether the exigency has arisen, belongs exclusively to the President and … his decision is conclusive upon all other persons.” (Martin v. Mott, US Supreme Court 1827).”




Giuffrada’s views could be compared to those of National Security Council staffer Oliver North, who, the Miami Herald reported in 1987, devised a contingency plan for national crises that involved abandoning the constitution. As FEMA administrator, Giuffrida and North collaborated, and the agency supplied the staff for Ronald Reagan’s Emergency Management Preparedness Board, which featured North among its directors.

Oliver North wrote the infamous REX 84 Plan,which was basically patterned after Giuffrada’s Racial Imperative thesis.The Rex 84 Plan and other subsequent documents like it simply replaced the words “Negro” and “Black” with code words like “civilians”,”refugees” (remember how the head’s of FEMA and media outlets were referring to Black people during 2005’s Hurricane Katrina as “refugees”) and now “evacuees”.

The Racial Imperative also described how the media was used to demonize the image and public perception of Japanese-Americans during World War II in order to justify rounding them up to place them in internment camps.

Fast forward to today. Many media outlets are demonizing the public perception of Black Americans around the country, which in turn, is creating a nationwide resentment and justification for so many Black people being murdered in cold blood by white police officers. Almost everyday on news shows we hear propaganda rhetoric such as “Black people are the problem,” “Black thugs”,”what about Black on Black crime”, “Blacks are more violent”,etc,repeated over and over into the collective psyche of the dominant society.

The swift mobilization of police and military forces against African-American protesters and freedom fighters around the country recently, fall right in line with the logistics of the Racial Imperative thesis.


So the question we must ask the dominant white society is, if Black people are the “problem”, the what is the ultimate “solution?
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Re: A Short History of “Black Paranoia”

Postby seemslikeadream » Fri Sep 23, 2016 6:42 pm

this might be a good one to read again
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Re: A Short History of “Black Paranoia”

Postby American Dream » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:42 am

Mass Surveillance and “Smart Totalitarianism”

AUTHOR
Chris Spannos


The threat of a far-right white supremacist movement rising to the surface in the US has long been a possibility. But few could have imagined that billionaire businessman Donald Trump would actually win the US presidential election. That possibility alone was hard to accept. He had no prior experience holding public office. But the sobering reality is starting to sink in. As US “commander-in-chief,” this dangerous man will have his hands on the levers of power overseen by the previous administration of Barack Obama. This includes the powers of mass surveillance and weapons of mass destruction.

Writing in Time Magazine the day after Trump’s upsetting victory, transgender and digital rights activist Evan Greer observed that Obama has “a matter of weeks to do one thing that could help prevent the United States from veering into fascism: declassifying and dismantling as much of the federal government’s unaccountable, secretive, mass surveillance state as he can — before Trump is the one running it.” On November 10, Edward Snowden tweeted: “The powers of one government are inherited by the next. Reforming them is now the greatest responsibility of this president, long overdue.” Snowden continued: “To be clear, ‘this president’ means this president, right now. Not the next one. There is still time to act.” Insurgent publisher WikiLeaks tweeted a reminder to those in the US who “let Obama legalize” assassinating anyone, spying on everyone and prosecuting publishers and sources alike. “It’s all Trump’s in 69 days,” they warned.

During his election campaign, Trump shot off a litany of verbal missiles that should have sunk his own candidacy. Echoing darker periods in US history, such as the FBI’s COINTELPRO which carried out covert, violent and illegal actions against domestic groups, Trump called for surveillance of mosques,suggested he might direct his attorney general to investigate the Black Lives Matter movement, and threatened journalists and freedom of the press. These threats by Trump, as worrisome as they are, are not new. After the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, New York City police systematically surveilled Muslims. The FBI surveilled the Black Lives Matter movement in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray in April last year. And during his eight-year term, Obama has persecuted more whistleblowers under the archaic 1917 Espionage Act than all previous presidents combined.

Trump has promised to bring back waterboarding interrogation methods and even apply “unthinkable” torture techniques. He has expressed his wish to fill the Guantánamo Bay prison camp in Cuba with more prisoners. He demanded that Apple help the FBI unlock the iPhone belonging to a San Bernardino shooter. He will oversee Obama’s drone program. Trump’s list of vile promises and possibilities spans from the dark and macabre to the dark and comedic. Even those of Dr Strange Love proportions instil a macabre sobriety about the situation. Ten former US nuclear launch officers have expressed concern about Trump gaining access to nuclear weapons. These officers, who were responsible for executing nuclear launch orders, signed a letter warning that Trump should not have his “finger on the button” because of his volatile temperament.

There are good reasons to be deeply concerned about what Trump will do with his newfound presidential authority. He has, after all, vowed to take revenge on his adversaries. Whether he means this threat or was playing up the hatred of his xenophobic electoral base to whip up votes is unknown. But what we do know is that Trump’s election brings us into dangerous and uncharted territory.


Read more: https://roarmag.org/magazine/mass-surve ... tarianism/
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Re: A Short History of “Black Paranoia”

Postby American Dream » Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:54 am

Capitalism Plus Dope Equals Genocide

By Michael Cetewayo Tabor (Political Prisoner, NY 21)

Black Panther Party, USA

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Dope selling is beyond a doubt one of the most profitable capitalist undertakings. The profits from it soar into billions. Internationally and domestically the trade and distribution of heroin is ultimately controlled by the Cosa Nostra, the Mafia.

Much of the profits amassed from the drug business is used to finance so-called legitimate businesses. These legitimate businesses that are controlled by the Mafia are also used to facilitate their drug-smuggling activities. Given the fact that organized crime is a business and an ever-expanding one at that, it is constantly seeking new areas of investment to increase profits. Hence, more and more illegal profits are being channeled into legitimate businesses. Partnerships between the Mafia and "reputable businessmen" are the order of the day. There is a direct relationship between legitimate and illegitimate capitalists.

Over the years a number of politicians and foreign ambassadors and wealthy businessmen have been arrested in this country for drug activities. Others, because of their wealth and influence, were able to avoid arrest. In the fall of 1969 it was discovered that a group of prominent New York financiers was financing an international drug smuggling operation. No indictments were handed down. Shortly after that a group of wealthy South American businessmen were arrested in a plush New York City hotel with over $10 million worth of drugs.

Given the predatory and voracious nature of the capitalist, it should come as no surprise that so-called legitimate businessmen are deeply involved in the drug trade. Capitalists are motivated by an insatiable lust for profits. They will do anything for money. The activities of organized crime and the "legitimate capitalists" are so inextricably tied up, so thoroughly interwoven, that from our vantage point any distinction made between them is purely academic.

The legitimization of the Mafia, their increased emphasis upon investing in, and establishing corporations, has been accelerated by the stiffer prison sentences that are being meted out to drug profiteers. In New York this has resulted in the gradual withdrawal of the Mafia from their position of actual leadership of the New York drug trade. The New York drug trade is now dominated by Cuban exiles, many of whom were military officers and police agents in the pre-revolutionary, repressive Batista regime. They equal the Mafia in ruthlessness and greed.

These new local dope kingpins have established a broad network of international smuggling operations. They utilize the traditional trade routes and create new ones, as indicated by the increased number of Narcotics Bureau seizures of dope coming from South America.

The concept of Black Power has influenced the thinking of every segment of the Black community. It has come to mean Black control of the institutions and activities that are centered in the Black community. Black teachers demand Black community control of the ghetto schools. Black businessmen and merchants advocate the expulsion of White businessmen from the ghetto so that they can maximize their profits. Black numbers-game operators are demanding total control of the ghetto numbers operations. And Black dope dealers are demanding community control of heroin. It is a tragedy that in New York the greatest gains made in the realm of Black community control have been made by Black racketeers, numbers-game bankers and dope dealers, by the Black illegal capitalists. Prior to 1967 it was a rarity to find a Black dope dealer who handled more than 3 kilos (1 kilo equals 2.2 lbs.) of heroin at any given time. Independent Black importers were unheard of. Now, there is an entire class of Blacks who have become importers, using Mafia supplied lists of European connections.






https://vimeo.com/106876875
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Re: A Short History of “Black Paranoia”

Postby American Dream » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:45 am

The Cybernetic Cop: The Future of Policing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUbQh8HegLU


A film essay on technology and policing…
Music, text, voice & RoboCop collage by Jackie Wang, produced by Alexander Fleming for the Whitney Museum of Art’s S/N exhibition at The Kitchen.
This film is an adaptation of a multimedia performance originally conceived for the LA Film Forum’s Cinema Cabaret (curated by Konrad Steiner). It was also performed at MoMA PS1 at “The Return of Schizo-Culture” on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Semiotext(e).
The outro quote is from Tiqqun’s Cybernetic Hypothesis.

http://loneberry.tumblr.com/post/154693 ... cing-music
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Re: A Short History of “Black Paranoia”

Postby American Dream » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:18 pm

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AIDS CONSPIRACY THEORIES—TRACKING THE REAL GENOCIDE (DAVID GILBERT, 1997)

We are reprinting here an essay from David Gilbert, a political prisoner who has spent the last several decades working on AIDs education and advocacy in prison. He deep work on the AIDS crisis has put him up against the growing conspiracy theories around the disease, which even penetrate black communities where the disease has had a special trail of death. These conspiracy theories have far right roots in white nationalist organizations, as do many conspiracy theories, and there is a pattern there that is common to many of the far right conspiracy theories that creep into left wing political spaces. This essay is about twenty-years old, but we decided to bring it back into the conversation by re-publishing it to contribute to the discussion about the cost of conspiracy theories and how to confront them as we do with any form of far-right entryism. This pamphlet is published in a print form by Kersplebedeb Publishing, an incredible Canadian publishing house that publishes a number of anti-fascist classics. Please support their work.

An Almost Perfect Fit

AIDS – which can so heartlessly take people away in their prime of life – is the lethal scourge of our day, and it is still light years away from being brought under control. This epidemic seems to have an uncanny knack for attacking people that the dominant society considers “undesirable”: gays, injection drug users (IDUs), and prisoners. And AIDS has increasingly become a grim reaper in the Black and Latino communities within the U.S. and among Third World people internationally.

The commonly cited U.S. statistic that Black people have twice the rate of AIDS as white Americans understates the problem because it is based on a cumulative figure (that is, the total number since 1981). But early on in the epidemic a large majority of the diagnosed cases were among white gay men. (It is very possible that there were many undiagnosed cases among IDUs – particularly Black and Latino – who lacked access to decent medical care.) Looking at new rather than cumulative cases gives us a better picture of what is going on now. In 1992 the rate of new cases for Latinos was 2.5 times higher than for whites. 1 The stark Black/white ratios for the rate of new AIDS cases in 1993 was 5/1 for men and 15/1 for women. 2 By then, AIDS had become the leading cause of death of Black people between the ages of 25 and 44, 3 And it continues to get worse as the AIDS hurricane moves deeper into the ghettos and barrios.

Internationally, the racial disparity is even worse: about 80% of the world’s 9 million deaths from AIDS through the end of 1995 have occurred in Africa, 4 and this plague has already orphaned over 2 million children there. 5 In short, there is a powerful correlation between medical epidemiology and social oppression. What is more, that mesh fits – like a tailor made suit – on the extensive body of history of chemical and biological warfare (CBW) and medical experiments against people of color, prisoners, and other unsuspecting citizens. Such CBW in North America started when the early European settlers used smallpox infected blankets as a weapon of genocide against Native Americans. It includes the pre-market testing of birth control pills, before proper dosage was known, on Puerto Rican and Haitian women who were not warned of the potentially severe side effects.

Recent revelations about U.S. human radiation experiments led to a comprehensive review of all government agencies by a Presidential Advisory Committee. They found that there had been at least 4,000 U.S. government sponsored human radiation experiments, involving as many as 20,000 people, including some children, between 1944 and 1974. 6 It has also been documented that the U.S. Army conducted hundreds of tests releasing “harmless” bacteria, viruses, and other agents in populated areas, including a test to see how a fungal agent thought mainly to affect Black people would spread. 7(For an excellent summary of U.S. CBW, see Bob Lederer’s article in Covert Action Information Bulletin, #28, Summer, 1987.)

The most apposite example is the four decade-long Tuskegee Syphilis study. Starting in 1932, under U.S. Public Health Services auspices, about 400 Black men in rural Alabama were subjects in an experiment on the effects of untreated syphilis. They were never told the nature of their condition or that they could infect their wives and children. Although penicillin, which became available in the 1940s, was the standard of treatment for syphilis by 1951, researchers not only withheld treatment but forbade the men from seeking help elsewhere. This shameful “experiment” was stopped in 1972, only after a federal health worker blew the whistle. 8

Nor is experimentation on people of color a thing of the past. Beginning in 1989, 1,500 children in West and East Los Angeles and Inglewood were given the experimental Edmonston-Zagreb, or E-Z, measles vaccine as part of a government-sponsored trial. Most of the subjects were Latino or New Afrikan (Black). The parents of these children were never told that they were part of an experiment with an unlicensed drug, and thus had a less than adequate basis for giving their consent. The E-Z vaccine was also tested in Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Guinea, and more than a dozen other Third World countries. Trials in Los Angeles, conducted with the cooperation of Kaiser Permanente, the Centers for Disease Control and John Hopkins University, were stopped two years later after questions were raised about the vaccine’s relationship to an increased death rate among female infants. 9

On another level, the drug plague in the ghettos and barrios has the effect of chemical and biological warfare against those communities. The government’s role in this scourge is probably much more direct than the obvious stupidity and corruption. There has been considerable evidence, going back to the 1960s, of CIA involvement in international drug-trafficking in order to raise money to finance anti-Communist guerrilla forces in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Nicaragua.

A new bombshell has just hit with the August 18-20, 1996 series of articles by Gary Webb in the San Jose Mercury News. Based on recently declassified documents, court testimony, and personal interviews, Webb describes how a CIA operation was instrumental in the new influx of cheap cocaine into Black communities in the early 1980s, paving the way for the emergence of the devastating crack epidemic. The CIA set up and ran the “Contras,” a terrorist force fighting to overthrow the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Starting in 1982, two key Contra fundraisers (Norwin Meneses and Danilo Blandón), enjoying obvious protection from investigation and prosecution, brought the first large-scale and cheap supplies of cocaine into South-Central Los Angeles.

Once we move beyond specific health issues into the political realm, government plots to prevent or destroy Black liberation are a continual and central feature of U.S. history. The most relevant example for today’s dire political situation is the FBI’s “Cointelpro” (counterintelligence program), which peaked (but undoubtedly didn’t end) in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This secret but extensive sabotage campaign against Black liberation and other movements of oppressed people, as well as against white radical groups allied with them, was exposed only after activists broke into an FBI office and found some of the documents. For example, a 1968 FBI memo calls on agents to:

…prevent the coalition of militant black nationalist groups…prevent militant black nationalist groups and leaders from gaining respectability. ..prevent the rise of a black “messiah” who would unify and electrify the militant black nationalist movement. Malcolmb X (sic) might have been such a “messiah”…


The program included a devilish array of dirty tricks and disruptions. While of course none of the documents explicitly discuss assassinations, about 40 Black Panthers were murdered over this five year period, and the Panthers were hit with over 1,000 arrests on trumped-up charges. Another grisly example is what was done to the Native American movement. In the three years following their 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee, at least 69 American Indian Movement members and supporters met violent deaths. (For more detail on Cointelpro, see Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall, Agents of Repression, Boston: South End Press, 1990.)

The violent plots against these movements have everything to do with the terrible setbacks in power and conditions for oppressed peoples today.

In light of all the documented horrors, there are good reasons why so many prisoners as well as a significant portion of the New Afrikan community believe that government scientists deliberately created AIDS as a tool of genocide.

There is only one problem with this almost perfect fit: It is not true. The theories on how HIV – the virus that causes AIDS – was purposely spliced together in the laboratory wilt under scientific scrutiny. Moreover, these conspiracy theories divert energy from the work that must be done in the trenches if marginalized communities are to survive this epidemic: grassroots education and mobilizations for AIDS prevention, and better care for people living with HIV



Dangerous to Your Health

It is this dangerous diversion from focusing on the preventive measures so urgently needed to save lives that makes the rash of conspiracy theories so disturbing. That’s the concern that compelled the writing of this paper. I’ve been doing AIDS education in prison for over nine years; these conspiracy myths have proven to be the main internal obstacle – in terms of prisoners’ consciousness – to concentrating on thorough and detailed work on risk reduction. What’s the use, believers ask, of making all the hard choices to avoid spreading or contracting the disease if the government is going to find a way to infect people anyway? And what’s the point of all the hassles of safer sex, or all the inconvenience of not sharing needles, if HIV can be spread, as many conspiracy theorists claim, by casual contact such as sneezing or handling dishes?

The core of the mind-set that undermines prevention efforts is “denial.” People whose activities have put them at risk are often so petrified that they don’t even want to think about it. Conspiracy theories serve up a hip and seemingly militant rationale for not confronting one’s own risk practices. At the same time, such theories provide an apparently simple and satisfying alternative to the complex challenge of dealing with the myriad of social, behavioral, and medical factors that propel the epidemic.

In addition to my extensive personal experience, a recent study out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that New Afrikans who believed in the conspiracy theories are significantly less likely to use condoms or to get tested for HIV. 10 To put it bluntly: The false conspiracy theories are themselves a contributing factor to the terrible toll of unnecessary AIDS deaths among people of color.

While convinced by scientists I know that humans did not design HIV, my main concern here is not to disprove the conspiracy theories. Neither do i attempt to solve the problem of the origins of AIDS or even review the many different theories and approaches to that question. The origin of this disease, as of many others, is likely to remain unsolved for years to come. Various theories of AIDS origins include: a virus that jumped species, an accidental byproduct of biological warfare experiments on animals, a new viral mutation, and a virus that lived in an isolated ecological niche until new social conditions facilitated the explosion of an epidemic. There is also a set of theories based on the now highly dubious proposition that HIV is not the cause of AIDS. (For excellent discussions of HIV’s likely history and the social factors that facilitated the explosion of the epidemic, see Gabriel Rotello, “The Birth of AIDS,” OUT, April, 1994, and Laurie Garrett, The Coming Plague, pp. 281-390.)

Instead this article examines the validity of one set of theories being widely propagated to prisoners and to New Afrikan communities: that HIV was deliberately spliced together in the lab as a weapon of genocide. These theories have had important public health and political implications. My urgent, life and death purpose is to refocus attention on AIDS prevention and care and, more broadly, on the struggle against the racist and profit-driven character of a public health system that is causing tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths.

Readers not interested in a detailed critique of the conspiracy theories are invited to skip right to the last three sections of this essay, starting with “The Real Genocide.” Hopefully, that is also where all readers will concentrate their attention.



Scientific Unraveling

When first introduced to a conspiracy theory in 1987, 1 believed it because of the sordid history of U.S. chemical and biological warfare. The version I saw then was based on the work of two East German scientists, Jakob and Lilli Segal, and was published by the Soviet news agency Tass on 3/30/87. They claimed that HIV couldn’t have possibly evolved naturally and that it was obviously an artificial splice between visna virus (a retrovirus is one that infects the nervous system of sheep) and HTLV-1 (the first retrovirus known to infect humans). They argued that the splice was created at the notorious CBW lab at Fort Detrick, Maryland and then tested on prisoners in the area.

Upon receiving and believing this article, I immediately sent it to a professor of molecular genetics and microbiology (now at the University of Massachusetts Medical School), who specializes in immunology, Janet Stavnezer. My friendship with Janet goes back to the 1960s and her support for civil rights and the anti-war movement. While that does not make her analysis infallible, there is certainly no way she could be a conscious part of a conspiracy against oppressed people. Stavnezer’s response to the article I had found so politically credible was unequivocal: the splice theory that the Segals posit is scientifically impossible. (All references in this paper to Stavnezer’s analysis, as well as to her colleague at U. Mass. who specializes in virology – professor of molecular genetics and microbiology, Dr. Carel Mulder – come from personal correspondence and discussions.)

A couple of years later the Soviet Union withdrew the Segals’ charges. But it is open to interpretation whether they did so because the “science” involved is so demonstrably dishonest or because with “ Perestroika, ” they were now cultivating diplomatic favor with the U.S. In any case, there are other fatal flaws in the Segals’ theory. First, in an obvious error of U.S. geography, they speculated that Maryland prisoners, once released, congregated in New York City to become the seedbed of the epidemic; but most Maryland prisoners would return to Baltimore, or Washington D.C., and neither of those cities was an early center of AIDS. Second, they posit sophisticated forms of genetic engineering and cloning that hadn’t yet been invented in 1977. 11

Since the Segals there have been a number of related theories that HIV was man-made. One posits a splice of visna virus and equine infectious anemia virus; another, a splice of visna virus and bovine leukemia virus. One sets the date at Fort Detrick back to 1967; another implicates the World Health Organization (WHO), starting in 1972. Most of these other theorists (such as Robert Strecker, John Seale and William Douglass) come from the far right politically and charge that – whether it was engineered at Ft. Detrick and/or by WHO – the AIDS virus is a Soviet biological warfare assault on the Western world.

I sent these various splice theories to Stavnezer and Mulder for review; none of them holds water scientifically. The method for analyzing the relationship of different viruses is to compare the base pairs of nucleic acids that constitute the DNA. None of the viruses posited in the various splice theories has nearly enough similarity (or homology) with HIV to be one of its parents.

At the same time as my 1987 inquiry, another, and far more exhaustive, study independently came to a similar conclusion: the various genetic engineering theories were fundamentally flawed. Investigative journalist Bob Lederer researched the topic for Covert Action Information Bulletin (CAIB), a publication that has been outstanding at exposing CIA and related operations. Lederer, an anti-imperialist and an AIDS activist, also started out with a political predisposition for believing the government could well have created AIDS. His in-depth research led him to conclude that the series of HIV-splice theories were false. One of his prime sources was Dr. David Dubnau, a long-time activist against CBW, who was emphatic: the HIV splice theorists “are simply wrong.” This movement scientist independently offered the same explanation as Stavnezer and Mulder: HIV does not have any nearly sufficient sector of homology with the proposed parent viruses. 12

Needing a vehicle for the deliberate dissemination of the allegedly spliced virus, the conspiracy theorists also characterize various vaccination programs (against smallpox in Africa, hepatitis-B among gay men in the U.S., and polio in various places) as examples of CBW campaigns. While vaccination programs with inadequate controls for contamination may have contributed to the spread of infection, they could not have been a prime cause: The geography of the vaccination campaigns does not correspond with the locations of early centers of AIDS 13 – and retrospective tests have not found any such contamination. l4

Meanwhile, such unsubstantiated rumors can dangerously discourage people here and in the Third World from getting the same protections for their children that have done so much to stop diseases among more privileged whites. The danger is illustrated by the unnecessary and serious 1989-91 outbreak of measles among children within the US. More privileged children had routinely been protected by a safe and effective vaccine (not the later, experimental E-Z variety) in use since 1963. The tragic result of the public health system’s failure to carry out thorough vaccination campaigns in poor, primarily Black and Latino, communities was 27,000 cases of measles and 100 deaths in 1990 alone. 15

There is another major problem with the splice theories – timing. Why in the world would scientists searching for a weapon of genocide in the early 1970s plunge into the then-completely-uncharted territory of human retroviruses when there were already many known and available lethal agents? Marburg virus, for example, discovered in 1967, would make an excellent candidate. 16On the other hand, scientists had no reason to even consider the class of viruses to which HIV belongs as possible CBW agents to destroy the human immune system.

The first human retrovirus (HTLV-I) was not discovered until 1977, and even then it could not immediately be linked to any disease. Yet the epidemiological evidence shows that AIDS already had appeared in several countries by 1978. 17 For full-blown AIDS cases to already be so geographically dispersed, HIV (a virus with a long incubation period) had to have existed at least several years before that.

And it is probably considerably older. Retrospective tests on blood taken in 1971-72 from 238 IDUs across the U.S. found that 14 of the 1129 samples – or 1.2 percent – were HIV antibody positive. l8 There are also a number of known cases of patients who died of AIDS-defining diseases decades ago. These include: a teenager who died in St. Louis in 1968 with four different opportunistic infections; a Norwegian sailor, his wife and a child in the late 1960s; and a sailor in England in 1959. Preserved tissue and blood samples from all of these cases later tested HIV antibody positive, although when the more difficult direct test was tried in two of these cases they could not recover HIV itself. 19

Medical case histories going back to the 1930’s – the earliest period in which accurate records were kept – show isolated cases with all the earmarks of AIDS. Various analyses of the DNA sequences – a technique used for broad assessment of a species’ age – have provided estimates for the age of HIV that range from 30-900 years.20

Whenever HIV first arose, and however long it may have subsisted at a low level in isolated populations, there is no mystery as to why its spread would take off in the mid-1970s. There were a host of new social conditions to serve as powerful amplifiers for any infectious agent: international jet travel flourished; a sexual revolution provided many more opportunities for multiple sexual partners; injection drug use greatly accelerated; there was a revolution in the use of a range of blood products, including multiple-donor blood-clotting factors for hemophiliacs; and there was the scandalous practice, born of poverty, of multiple re-use of syringes for legitimate medical practices in Third World countries.

The travel, sex, drug and blood products revolutions all combined by the mid 1970s to create powerful amplifiers for the rapid global spread of infectious diseases. 21 Far from being an anomaly, AIDS is a harbinger of other pandemics to come if humanity doesn’t radically change our approach to worldwide public health.

In brief, the lack of knowledge of any human retroviruses before the late 1970s and the compelling evidence for the earlier genesis of HIV virtually eliminate the possibility that scientists deliberately designed such a germ to destroy the human immune system. More specifically, and decisively, Stavnezer and Dubnau independently confirm that all the alleged splices are in fact impossible because HIV does not have nearly enough genetic similarity with any of the proposed parent viruses.



Shyster Science

The most common article on the alleged conspiracy theory circulating in New York State prisons is “WHO Murdered Africa,” by William Campbell Douglass, M.D., which appeared in Health Freedom News, September, 1987. (“WHO” stands for the World Health Organization.) Douglass has developed these themes at book length in AIDS: The End of Civilization (Brooklyn: A & B Books, 1992). His work deserves careful scrutiny because he has become a prime source for many Black community militants and prisoners who embrace the conspiracy theory out of a sincere desire to fight genocide. Douglass, however, who is white, expresses little concern for Black lives. Instead his avowed purpose is the defense of Western civilization, and he describes his politics as “conservative” – which turns out to be quite an understatement for his ultra-right wing political agenda.

The authorities’ response to the AIDS crises has been disastrously inadequate, and establishment science has tended to be arrogant and glib. Their quick pronouncement of the African green monkey theory of the origins of HIV and their intense promotion of AZT as the main medical response to AIDS were particularly suspect. This experience makes people prone to embrace any attacks on establishment science. But the crisis we face demands that we think critically rather than become simply reactionary.

Douglass is clearly opposed to mainstream science, but what he offers instead is a bizarre cocktail of half-truths, distortions, and lies. He may be an MD, but he obviously has little or no background in genetics, virology, or epidemiology. On p. 171 (all page references are to his book) he confuses the most basic distinction in epidemiology between the cause of AIDS (a virus) and a means of transmission (dirty needles). He evidently thinks (p. 230) that all RNA viruses are retroviruses, which is like thinking all fruits are citrus. In fact his whole discussion there and in his article as to the possibility of transmission by insects displays a fundamental ignorance of the science involved. 22 There is also something radically wrong with his statistics, as he offers five very different figures for the number of HIV infections in the U.S. (pp. 53, 60, 63, 168, 170) without making any effort to reconcile the variations.

Douglass “proves” that HIV is a splice of two other viruses by comparing the shapes as depicted in his own crude and inaccurate sketches of them (p. 231). But the scientific method for determining the degree of relatedness of different viruses is by detailed comparison of the sequence of base pairs of nucleic acid in the DNA. Such an analysis in fact disproves the splice theory.

Douglass also promotes a strange cure for numerous ailments – photoluminescence – in which small amounts of blood are drawn, irradiated with ultraviolet light and reinjected (pp. 251-252). Treatment at his Clayton, Georgia clinic can span several weeks and cost thousands of dollars. 23

Disinformation

Douglass goes beyond such misconceptions and distortions to perpetrating fraud. His “smoking guns” to prove the conspiracy are two key articles, one from Bulletin of the World Health Organization, the other from Science. If you take the time to read the actual articles, they don’t say anything like what he claims they do. Douglass must be consciously promoting a disinformation campaign.

His centerpiece is that WHO actually called for engineering a retrovirus to cause AIDS. He “proves” this by citing a 1972 article in the WHO Bulletin (A. Allison, et. al., “Virus-Associated Immunopathology: Animal Models and Implications for Human Disease,” 47:1, pp. 257-264). Douglass is emphatic: WHO is talking about “retroviruses” and is calling for scientists to “attempt to make a hybrid virus that would be deadly to humans.” As Douglass sums it up:

“That’s Aids. What the WHO is saying in plain English is ‘Lets cook up a virus that selectively destroys the T-cell system of man, an acquired immune deficiency. ‘”
(The above quotes are from Douglass’s “WHO Murdered Africa,” and the underscorings are all his. He presents an almost identical description in his book, p. 80.)

On the surface, it is astonishing that any conspirators would reveal themselves by openly publishing a call for such an evil project. If one takes the time to find and read the WHO article in question, it becomes totally obvious that Douglass completely flipped the whole meaning and intent. The article in question (1) is NOT primarily about retroviruses; (2) is NOT at all about engineering new viruses; (3) NEVER discusses making hybrids; and (4) is absolutely NOT about making a virus to destroy the human immune system.

Instead, the article is all about a number of viruses already known at the time that cause various illnesses (in humans and other mammals). Evidence was emerging by 1972 that some of these known viruses, in addition to their direct damage, worked in part by selective effects on the immune system – in some cases by impairing and in other cases by overstimulating immune responses. There is a call to study these secondary effects. The article is simply a legitimate inquiry into existing diseases and has absolutely nothing to do with creating some new virus to cripple the immune system.

Douglass offers only one quote from the original article. Not only does he completely change the context, he also makes a crucial deletion from the quote: the list of viruses they are studying (Bulletin , op. cit., at p. 259). All the listed viruses were related to already recognized illnesses most are not retroviruses; none is a retrovirus that affects humans; and none is suspect in any of the proposed scenarios for HIV-splicing. Douglass has created a bogeyman out of thin air.

The other key and verifiable fraud is Douglass’s oft-repeated claim that “Seventy-five million Africans became infected, practically simultaneously.” [his emphasis] (p. 83 of his book). The cite offered for this figure is an article by T.C. Quinn, J.M. Mann, et. al. in Science 234, p. 955. But this 1986 article never mentions 75 million people infected or anything like that, not on the page Douglass cites, not anywhere else. The authors, who’ve done very valuable work on AIDS in Africa, don’t offer a specific figure because not enough was known at the time. But they do cite, on p. 962, “estimates of several [i.e. two to ten] million infected in Africa.” Incidentally, Douglass never mentions that this same Science article presents strong evidence contradicting his allegations that HIV can be transmitted by mosquitoes and that HIV was spread by vaccinations.

Aids Holocaust in Africa

Douglass’s citation of seventy-five million infected practically simultaneously is a far cry from the actual discussion of between two and ten million over the course of five years. But the actual numbers are a true horror and have continued to rise over the years. By flaunting blatantly phony figures, Douglass makes a cruel mockery of the real AIDS conflagration consuming Africa. He would have us write Africa off as a lost cause, making AIDS medical care and prevention there already beyond hope. This direction is the exact opposite of what is needed: to fight fiercely for world health resources for this most pressing human need. (See my articles on the AIDS holocaust in Downtown, 1 1/10/93, and in Toward Freedom, August, 1996.)

Awareness of the real and horrendous human toll must serve as a rallying cry to promote the urgently needed measures that can stem the current march of death. WHO’s official estimates of the world wide toll reached by the beginning of 1995 was 18.5 million HIV infections, 6 million cumulative cases of AIDS, 4.5 million AIDS deaths. About 2/3 of these HIV infections and 3/4 of those AIDS cases occurred in Africa. 24 The Global AIDS Policy Coalition offers figures that are somewhat higher, and probably more accurate. They estimate that 1.3 million Africans died of AIDS in 1995 alone, bringing the cumulative death toll there to 7.6 million. 25

The lies about a WHO conspiracy serve as a diversion from attacking the real causes of this tragedy: the way imperialism and neo-colonialism have drained and crippled Africa. As Dr. Pierce M’pele, director of Congo’s Anti-AIDS Program, puts it: “It is undeniable that AIDS is a disease that comes with poverty.” 26

Here are some of the ways the exploitation of Africa and the resulting poverty have blown the dangerous spark of HIV into a raging AIDS forest fire:

300,000 Africans are becoming infected with HIV each year from blood transfusions alone 27 because those plundered nations don’t have the money to screen their blood supply.
HIV is also being spread because many health clinics can not afford disposable needles and have to reuse old ones. For example, a mission hospital in rural Zaire had just 5 syringes to use for its 300 to 600 daily patients. 28
One of the most powerful factors in the sexual transmission of HIV is untreated sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). A recent pilot project in rural Tanzania showed that proper treatment for STDs can reduce HIV transmission by 42 percent. 29 The high rate of untreated STDs in Africa is a direct result of the lack of the most basic public health resources.
At the same time, the prevailing poverty means that many Africans with AIDS don’t have even the most basic medication – such as an aspirin to relieve pain or a lotion for itches that can have them scratching until bloody. 30


These conditions result not only from the history of exploitation but also from current programs imposed by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund that force these governments to spend money on debt payments to banks rather than on health care for people. Uganda is typical; they spend just $3 per person a year on health care compared to $17 per person on debt payments. 31 But in another way Uganda is atypical. Despite the poverty, community initiatives and government education on prevention have resulted in a major decline in new HIV infections. 32 Given this courageous start by people in Uganda, think what they could accomplish with a workable public health budget.

Overall, the world has failed to marshal even one-tenth of the $2.5 billion a year that WHO says is needed to mount an effective prevention campaign throughout the Third World. Compare that paltry but unattainable sum to the more than $40 billion a year these same countries lose in debt payments to banks in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. The phony charges about WHO actually serve to reinforce the prevailing and deadly neo-colonialism. The U.S.’s failure to pay any of its 1995 assessment of $104 million – one-quarter of WHO’s budget 33 – has gutted that agency’s already grossly inadequate program of assistance to vulnerable and impoverished countries. Meanwhile over 2.7 million human beings worldwide are becoming newly infected with HIV every year. 34

The crimes around AIDS are just one part of a global economic order where 14 million children die from hunger and easily preventable diseases each year, where 2 billion people are illiterate and where 1.5 billion people have little or no access to health care.35

Douglass would have us believe that Africa was essentially already murdered by 1981 and have us off chasing the WHO bogeyman. In contrast the urgent need is to stop the murders in progress , to save lives in Africa, by attacking the real source of the problem – global exploitation and the misuse of resources.



Deadly Lies

Douglass’ disinformation becomes a deadly threat when he discredits the very prevention measures needed to save lives:

It is possible that even the government propaganda concerning intravenous drug use is a red herring. If the intravenous route is the easiest way to catch AIDS, why does it take as long as five to seven years for some recipients of contaminated blood to come down with AIDS?


(p. 171)
Here he seems to forget the well established incubation period between infection with HIV and the onset of AIDS, although he manages to remember it later when he refers to a “latency” period of 10 years. (p. 245).

And arguing that there isn’t a perfect correlation between the number of acts of intercourse and infection, he declares, “AIDS is not a sexually transmitted disease.” (p. 243)

Then, after sabotaging prevention efforts by disparaging the well-established danger of needle sharing and unprotected sex, Douglass fuels hysteria with claims that AIDS can be contracted by casual contact. In his article he says, “The common cold is a virus. Have you ever had a cold? How did you catch it?” By failing to differentiate between airborne and bloodborne viruses, he is conjuring up a scare tactic as scientific as a warning that your hand will be chopped off if you put it in a goldfish bowl because, after all, a shark is a fish. He also asserts, citing no evidence, that “the AIDS virus can live for as long as 10 days on a dry plate,” and then asks, “so, are you worried about your salad in a restaurant that employs homosexuals?”

While people are understandably skeptical of government reassurances on any matter, we can turn instead to the experiences of families of people with AIDS and of grassroots AIDS activists: There are hundreds of thousands of us who have worked closely with infected people for years without catching the virus. The unwarranted fears about casual contact deter sorely needed support for our brothers and sisters living with HIV infection and divert attention from the most common means of transmission: unprotected sex and shared drug injection equipment.



Reactionary Politics

Despite the apparent irrationality, there is a coherence to Douglass’ distortions and fabrications. They are driven by an ultra-right wing political agenda which, as research by Terry Allen of Covert Action Quarterly shows, goes back to the 1960s. Douglass, a member of the John Birch Society, ran a phone line spouting a 90-second “patriotic message.” In it, he railed against the Civil Rights Movement, and denounced the National Council of Churches and three presidents as part of a “Communist conspiracy.” Among the nuggets he offered callers in at least 30 U.S. cities was the likelihood “that those three civil rights workers [presumably Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman] in Mississippi were kidnapped and murdered by their own kind to drum up sympathy for their cause.” In another he predicted that “The Civil Rights Act will turn America into a Fascist state practically overnight.” 36

Two decades later he was blaming gays for AIDS in The Spotlight , the organ of the ultra-right Liberty Lobby, for which he wrote regularly and in which he ran advertisements for “The Douglass Protocol,” his cure-all medical clinics. In 1987, he wrote, “Some have suggested that the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] is waiting for the majority of the homosexuals to die off before releasing ribavirin,” a drug he was at the time promoting as a miracle cure for AIDS. Douglass, however, opposed withholding a “suppressed” cure, “although I feel very resentful of the homosexuals because of the holocaust they have brought us.” 37

The political heart of AIDS: The End of Civilization is quite explicit: AIDS is part of the “entire mosaic of the current attack against western [sic] civilization.” (p. 14). The term “western” is a thinly veiled way of saying “white.”

Douglass sees AIDS as a diabolical plot perpetrated by WHO, which “is run by the Soviets.” (p. 118). He weaves an elaborate and intricate plot for how the Communists – much like an invading virus – took over the machinery of the U.S. Army CBW labs at Ft. Detrick and the U.S. National Institutes of Health in order to use them to create and propagate AIDS.

Douglass is so deep into the tradition of the Communist bogeyman that he doesn’t bother to revise this scenario for his 1992 edition – after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Nor does he explain how such an involved and extensive plot would not get exposed now that there is no Soviet loyalty and coercion to prevent past operatives from talking about it. He even goes so far as to charge that a Soviet functionary named Dr. Sergei Litivinov was the head of WHO’s AIDS control program in the late 1980s. But it is a matter of indisputable record that the American Jonathan Mann, whose writings Douglass cites favorably, was the Director from the founding of the program in 1986 until 1990 – when he was replaced by another American, physician Michael Merson. 38

Historically, one important function of generating anti-Communist hysteria has been to use it as a political cover to mobilize Americans against Third World people’s efforts to achieve control over their own land, labor, and resources. The Vietnam War is one of many examples. Many of us who are anti-racist are very critical of WHO because it is Western-controlled and offers such a pitifully inadequate response to the health needs of the world’s majority. But self-avowed rightists like Douglass hate the UN and WHO because of the little bit of say that Third World nations have there. Rather than put this in explicitly racist terms, the issue is rationalized as “Soviet control” – even to the degree of misstating who was the director of WHO’s AIDS prevention program and even after the Soviet Bloc has collapsed.

In the guise of a program against AIDS, Douglass proposes a basketful of traditional ultra-right and neo-Nazi political policies:

Support and strengthen the powers of local law enforcement (p. 139)
Make preemptive military strikes against Russia (p. 138)
Abolish the UN and WHO (p. 120)
Stop all illegal Mexican immigration into the U.S. (p. 253)
Then there are a number of other proposals more directly about AIDS:

Mandatory testing for HIV (p. 66)
Quarantine of all those with HIV (pp. 165-6)
Removal of HIV children from school (p. 161)
Incarceration, castration, and even execution to stop prostitution (p. 158)


While these may have some visceral appeal to people’s fears, a wealth of public health and activist experience has shown that such repressive measures are counterproductive in practice. Discrimination and repression drive those with HIV and the risk activities underground, making people unreachable for prevention, contact notification, and care. But while completely negative in terms of public health, such proposals are very useful for furthering the right wing’s police state agenda.

Douglass fans fears about casual transmission in order to promote a political platform. He argues that if we don’t overcome a tradition “where civil rights are more revered than civil responsibility” hundreds of millions will die (p. 165). And here is the final appeal in his book: “[I]t appears that regulation of social behavior, as much as we hate it in an egalitarian society such as ours, may be necessary for the survival of civilization” (p. 256).



A Sign of the Times

As bizarre, self-contradictory, and refutable as his pronouncements are, Douglass is not an isolated crackpot. Not only does his material readily get published but it also has been widely propagated among Black prisoners. In addition, his program is in perfect harmony with the politics of Lyndon LaRouche, a notorious neo-Nazi with documented links to U.S. intelligence agencies. Somehow, for 28 years now, LaRouche has always had plenty of money for a host of slick publications and for a series of front organizations that operate on a national and international scale. 39

LaRouche’s “National Democratic Party Committee” organized the intensely homophobic campaign in 1986 for Proposition 64 in California, which would have mandated an AIDS quarantine. (Fortunately the voters rejected this measure.) The “scientific” source the LaRouchites used for their reactionary campaign was Robert Strecker, MD. Douglass has worked closely with Strecker, considers him a mentor, and dedicates End of Civilization to him.

We live in a strange and dangerous period when the attractive mantle of “militant anti-government movement” has been bestowed on ultra-right wing, white supremacist groups. The only reason they can get away with such a farce is that their big brother – the police state – did such an effective job in the blood-soaked repression of the genuine opposition, such as the Black Panthers, rooted in the needs and aspirations of oppressed people. With people’s movements silenced, the right has coopted the critique of big government and big business to achieve new credibility.

The resurgence of the ultra-right is based on growing discontent. The previous guarantee of economic security and significant privileges for a wide range of middle and working class white people has become threatened by global capital’s relentless quest to boost profits. The right wing, however, portrays the threat as primarily coming from the inroads made by women, immigrants and people of color. Thus their vehemence and militancy springs from the same legacy of white supremacy and violence that is the basis of the government they criticize, and their program is in essence a call far a return to the pioneer days’ ethos that any white male had the right and power to lay a violent claim to Native American land or New Afrikan labor, and female subservience. In short, while capitalizing on legitimate anger against the establishment, the far right’s logic leads only to an intensification of white supremacy and violent repression.

Michael Novick reported in White Lies/White Power (p. 309) that within the far right “The LaRouche groups are particularly dangerous because, despite their fascist orientation, they have been attempting to recruit from Black groups for some time.” Another source or AIDS conspiracy theorists is the political analysis of Bo Gritz, head of the “Populist Party.” 40 As Novick’s book shows, the “Populists” use anti-business rhetoric to try to recruit among the left, but the organization has clear roots in the Klan and definite ties to the extremely white supremacist “Christian Identity” movement.

When such forces propagate AIDS conspiracy theories among New Afrikans, one result is to divert people from the grassroots mobilization around prevention and education that could serve to foster greater cohesion, initiative, and strength within the Black community. At the same time, the right fans the flames of homophobia, which has combined with racism within the predominantly white gay & lesbian movement to prevent the forging of a powerful alliance of the communities being decimated by the government’s negligence and inaction on AIDS.

Whatever the right’s motives are, the practical consequences are clear: There is a definite correlation between believing these myths and a failure to take proven, life saving preventive measures.

To put it in three words: These Lies Kill.


Continues at: https://antifascistnews.net/2017/02/28/ ... bert-1997/
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Re: A Short History of “Black Paranoia”

Postby American Dream » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:03 am

On 48th Anniversary of Fred Hampton's Murder, Rampant Surveillance of Black Liberation Movements Continues

Monday, December 04, 2017
By Flint Taylor, Truthout | Op-Ed


Image
American political and social activist and Black Panther Party member Fred Hampton (1948 - 1969) raises his arms at the "Days of Rage" rally, Chicago, Illinois, October 11, 1969.


Under the leadership of Chairman Fred Hampton and Minister of Defense Bobby Rush, the Chicago BPP grew into a strong organization. Hampton began to negotiate with Chicago street organizations, attempting to convince them to give up their violent activities and embrace the Panther philosophy. Under his leadership, the Party built the original Rainbow Coalition that united the Panthers, the Puerto Rican Young Lords Organization, the Young Patriots (a group of radical Appalachian whites) and the Students for a Democratic Society.

The BPP opened a Breakfast for Children program at several locations in the city, and fed hundreds of hungry young children before they went to school. Hampton frequently spoke at colleges and high schools and met with a wide range of leaders and organizations. He led by example, starting his day at six in the morning at the Breakfast program, and would never ask someone to do something he would not do, from selling the Panther newspaper to defending the Panther office from police attack.

At the same time, the FBI, both nationally and locally, was increasing its efforts to "neutralize the Panther Party and destroy what it stands for." Not only had the Bureau targeted the leadership, including Hampton, whom it registered on its Rabble Rouser, Agitator and Security Indexes, but it also specifically set out to destroy the BPP newspaper and the Breakfast program, as well as the Panthers' liberation schools and health clinics. Under the COINTELPRO banner, utilizing "ghetto informants" who often acted as provocateurs, Racial Matters operatives sought to exploit ideological differences and resultant tensions between the Panthers, street organizations and Black nationalist organizations. In Chicago, RM agents attempted to provoke the Blackstone Rangers to attack Hampton and the Panthers by sending a forged letter to Ranger leader Jeff Fort, that purported to warn him of a "hit" the Panthers had ordered against him -- with the stated goal of provoking Fort to physically attack Hampton. Continuing his work as a COINTELPRO operative, FBI informant O'Neal, who later played a key role in setting up the murderous December 4 raid by supplying the floor plan of Hampton's apartment, blossomed as a provocateur who repeatedly -- and unsuccessfully -- encouraged the commission of illegal acts.

The local police and prosecutors also sought to destroy the BPP with a vengeance. Panthers were constantly harassed and arrested, often for selling the Panther paper. Hampton had been arrested in Maywood for allegedly taking $71 of ice cream and distributing it to neighborhood children. The politically aggressive Cook County state's attorney, Edward V. Hanrahan, put Hampton on trial for robbery. In May 1969 he was convicted and sentenced to two to five years in prison. In August, the Illinois Supreme Court granted Hampton appeal bond, and he returned to Chicago to a joyous welcome at People's Church on South Ashland Avenue. In an inspiring and memorable speech, he told of how he heard the "beat of the people," and was "high off the people" while he was locked up in a downstate maximum-security prison. Upon his release, Hampton immediately resumed his speaking and organizing at a breakneck pace. His unique leadership skills had been duly noted, not only by the FBI, but also by the national leadership of the BPP, and he was being groomed to be an important national spokesperson.

Three months later, Hampton lay dead on his bed in a pool of blood, assassinated by a Chicago police raider who shot him twice in the head at close range. Hampton was a victim of the FBI's COINTELPRO program.

As evidence emerged over time, it was established that the 14-man, pre-dawn police raiding party, operating under the direct supervision of State's Attorney Hanrahan, was armed with O'Neal's floorplan that marked the bed on which Hampton would be sleeping. They carried a submachine gun, semiautomatic rifles, shotguns and handguns. The raiders were led by Chicago police Sgt. Daniel Groth, a shadowy figure with suspected connections to the CIA, and included James "Gloves" Davis, so nicknamed because he donned gloves before he beat people up.

The raiders burst in the front and back doors of the tiny apartment, and Davis killed Mark Clark, who was just inside the front door, with a shot through the heart. They then charged into the front room, shooting Brenda Harris, a 17-year-old Panther who was lying on a bed next to the wall, and "stitched" that wall with machine gun and semiautomatic fire. These bullets tore through the wall and into the middle bedroom, where three Panthers were huddling on the floor, and many of those high-powered bullets continued through another wall into the bedroom where Hampton and his fiancé, Deborah Johnson, who was eight-and-a-half months pregnant, were asleep. The trajectories of many of these bullets were toward the head of Hampton's bed.

In the back bedroom, the mattress was vibrating from the gunfire as Panther occupants Louis Trueluck and Harold Bell were unsuccessfully trying to wake Hampton. The raiders burst through the back door, firing at the bedrooms. They then took Bell, Trueluck and Johnson out of the back bedroom into the kitchen, leaving Hampton alive but unconscious on the bed. In the front, the officer with the machine gun had moved to the doorway of the middle bedroom and fired several machine gun blasts at the defenseless occupants. Ronald "Doc" Satchel was hit five times, while Blair Anderson and another terrified teenager, Verlina Brewer, were also shot.

In the kitchen, Johnson and Bell heard two shots ring out from Hampton's bedroom, and heard a raider say, "He's good and dead now." The toxicological evidence strongly suggested that O'Neal had put secobarbital in Hampton's Kool-Aid hours earlier so that he would not wake up.

Hampton's body was dragged from the bloodstained bed to the hallway floor, to be displayed as the raiders' trophy, while the seven survivors were physically abused, subjected to threats and racial epithets, and then jailed on charges of attempted murder. The raiders then rushed from the apartment to the state's attorney's office where they appeared with Hanrahan at a press conference. There, Hanrahan described a fierce gun battle initiated by the "vicious" and "criminal" Black Panthers, during which his raiders acted "reasonably" and with "restraint."


http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/4 ... undeterred
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