I have been fascinated with the over-hyped coverage of Beyoncé’s performance at Super Bowl 50, and the subsequent idiotic responses by over-sensitive individuals in this country – including many members of the mainstream media and many members of law enforcement.
The “Formation” performance that Beyoncé put on during Super Bowl 50 was amazing and deserved to be praised, as opposed to her being vilified. More importantly, the messages in her music deserve even more praise than her appearing in a vintage Michael Jackson replica outfit or having dancers named the “Black Panthers.”
Let’s get something straight here…Beyoncé was performing during Black History Month and had just dropped her new hit single the day before, so it is clear that Beyonce was looking to make a statement with both her music and her performance. There is nothing wrong with that.
Even the other performers during the Super Bowl halftime show were sending a message during their performances, but somehow Beyoncé stood out amongst the crowd. Why though?
You know why and I’ll tell you why!
It is because some people, including some members of law enforcement, didn’t like the fact that Beyoncé chose to salute the Black Panthers during her Super Bowl halftime performance – during Black History Month. Why would members of law enforcement get so upset at Beyoncé’s acknowledgement of the Black Panthers before millions of people during a Super Bowl halftime show, that they would go so far as to refuse to offer her police protection when she comes to various cities to perform during her tour?
It is because the Black Panthers have always stood for what was right and only sought to bring attention to the brutal attacks against Black people and the consistent abuse suffered at the hands of law enforcement officials – most of you have heard that referred to as police brutality.
For those of us who are students of history, we refuse to allow the mainstream media and the racist propaganda that has been spewed about the Black Panther Party to permeate our minds and dominate the headlines. Those of us who know the true origins and spirit of the Black Panther Party have, and will continue to, be messengers who spread the truth about who they were, what they stood for and what they accomplished.
Since the inception of the Black Panther Party in 1966, the organization has been under attack with a barrage of lies and even government intervention that is unbelievable.
Even to this day, if you go on the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) website, and go to their vault files, you will see the following false narrative about the Black Panther Party:
The Black Panther Party (BPP) is a black extremist organization founded in Oakland, California in 1966. It advocated the use of violence and guerilla tactics to overthrow the U.S. government. In 1969, the FBI’s Charlotte Field Office opened an investigative file on the BPP to track its militant activities, income, and expenses. This release consists of Charlotte’s file on BPP activities from 1969 to 1976.
This false narrative has permeated the minds of many American citizens, including Black ones, for decades, and it was the brainchild of a known terrorizer of African Americans in this country – FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover.
Do you know that J. Edgar J Hoover, as the head of the powerful FBI, referred to the Black Panthers as “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country”?
Are you kidding me? Not the Ku Klux Klan or the bad actors in the Jim Crow South, but the Black Panther Party. I would call this foolish statement unbelievable, but this is the type of thing that J. Edgar Hoover did to just about every Black organization or leader in America – including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who the FBI is on record as terrorizing with threats and wiretapping.
Do you know that J. Edgar Hoover instructed FBI field operatives to use their power and resources to implement strategic measures that would take down the Black Panther Party?
They went as far as sending in informants to infiltrate the organization, so that FBI would know every single move they would make, as well as all of the Black Panther Party leaders. I consider the FBI, under J. Edgar Hoover’s reign, as one of the most destructive and harmful entities against progressive African Americans in the history of this country. The actions of the FBI weakened the Black Panther Party, especially after the arrest of many of their leaders – actions which subsequently led to the downfall of the organization.
For anyone, including members of law enforcement, to view the Black Panthers as some sort of violent group that was focused on taking over the government and attacking police, I would challenge you to do your research.
Not only did the Black Panthers create their famous Free Breakfast Program that fed poor Black children whose families could not afford to do so, they also developed free medical research health clinics that provided basic health care for those who couldn’t afford it.
BTW, the Free Breakfast Program became so popular that the Black Panthers set up kitchens in cities all across the nation, feeding over 10,000 children every day before they went to school. After their calculated demise, and in historical fashion, the Black Panthers Free Breakfast Program program was hijacked by the government, and in 1975 the National School Breakfast program was launched, serving free or reduced priced breakfasts to needy school kids every day.
If you really want to know what the Black Panthers felt about law enforcement and police brutality, how about we simply read it for ourselves from their Ten-Point Program:
We Want An Immediate End To Police Brutality And Murder Of Black People.
We believe we can end police brutality in our Black community by organizing Black self-defense groups that are dedicated to defending our Black community from racist police oppression and brutality. The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States gives a right to bear arms. We therefore believe that all Black people should arm themselves for self-defense.
I don’t see anything in there about brutalizing cops; just about cops brutalizing Black people and Black people having the rights to carry guns, which the powers-that-be seem are supportive of.
With the number of cases of police brutality and the continued murders of African American people by law enforcement officials across this country, it is important that we remember the Black Panther Party and share their message of self-empowerment and self-love to all Americans and all young people.
Jeffrey L. Boney serves as Associate Editor and is an award-winning journalist for the Houston Forward Times newspaper. Jeffrey is a frequent contributor on the Nancy Grace Show and has a daily radio talk show called Real Talk with Jeffrey L. Boney. He is a Next Generation Project Fellow, dynamic, international speaker, experienced entrepreneur, business development strategist and Founder/CEO of the Texas Business Alliance. If you would like to request Jeffrey as a speaker, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org