“we’ve got to face the fact that some people say you fight fire best with fire, but we say you put fire out best with water. we say you don’t fight racism with racism. we’re gonna fight racism with solidarity”
Today marks the 50th anniversary since the homicide of Fred Hampton.
In 1969 the charismatic black panther chairman Fred Hampton was gunned down by fourteen police officers in Chicago Illinois. The officers were allegedly serving a search warrant for illegal weapons.
What was to be a routine search turned into what many believed to be a shoot out between Hampton and the officers. However, as time went on Chicago citizens found out it was a targeted hit coordinated by J. Edgar Hoover and his cointelpro operation.
Hoover considered the black power movement public enemy number one. He created the cointelpro operation to disturb, disrupt and destroy the movement.
Hoover feared that the movement would bring about a black messiah which would electrify the black community. After the shooting Hampton and another panther associate Mark Clark were dead. Hampton shot in his bed died from two gunshots to the head.
In addition to Hampton and Clark. Seven other Panthers were charged with attempted murder. As two police were shot during the early morning melee. However, forensics revealed that the officers were hit by a few ricocheting bullets from the 100 they shot.
The history between the panthers and the Chicago police has been a violent one. After two police officers were killed in 1969. The Chicago Tribune wrote that “the panthers have declared war on society.
The sixties at this time saw the death of many black leaders from Medgar Evers in 1963, Malcolm X in 1965, Martin Luther king in 1968 and Fred Hampton in 1969.
Fast forward to today
We see that the same issues that Fred Hampton and the panthers were fighting are alive. Furthermore, it seems that the same tactics are being used to pacify the situation.
After the death of Mike Brown, black lives matter became a major movement in the fight for police accountability. Eventually, black lives matter were classified as a terrorist organization. Making social change under the name impossible ultimately demonizing the movement and weakening its power.
Like George Zimmerman, the man who murdered Trayvon Martin sues Martin’s parents for $100 million many are asking what really is justice? Why does racism have such a hold on America? Will we as a country ever overcome it?
let us know your thoughts in the comment section.