It's A Class Struggle, Goddammit! - Fred Hampton

Fred Hampton

Hampton discusses Bobby Seale's trial while criticising the reactionary nationalism of Ron Karenga, Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) and Leroi Jones (Amiri Baraka), (unfortunately using some homophobic language in the process). He also mentions the name of the cop (Glove Davis) who was to participate in his assassination a month later.

While libcom would disagree with the Marxist Leninist politics here (a critique which has been developed by ex-Panthers themselves such as Russell Maroon Shoatz and Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin), Hampton wasn't given time to develop those critiques himself due to the FBI and Chicago police.

Speech delivered at Nothern Illinois University, November, 1969 one month before his assassination.

What we're going to try to do, is we're going to try to rap and educate. We're glad to try to throw out some more information. And it's going to be hard to do. The Sister made a beautiful speech as far as I'm concerned. Chaka, the Deputy Minister of Information, that's his job--informing. But I'm going to try to inform you also.

One thing Chaka forgot to mention that Brothers and Sisters don't do exactly the same. We don't ask for any Brother to get pregnant or anything. We don't ask no brothers to have no babies. So that's a little different also.

After we get through speaking, for those people of you who don't think you understood all of the ideology exposed here so far, and the ideologies that I will espouse, we will have a question and answer period. For those people who have their feelings hurt by niggers talking about guns, we'll have a cry'in after the question and answer period. And for those white people that are here to show some type of overwhelming manifestation of guilt syndromes, and want people to cry out that they love them, after the cry-in, if we have time, we'll allow you all to have a love-in.

So now we'll get down to business. First of all, about what some people call the TRIAL. We call it a HECATOMB, we call it a hecatomb. That's spelled h-e-c-a-t-o-m-b. And I know there's enough dictionaries floating around up here to probably fill the room up, so you can check that out. It means a sacrifice. It usually means a sacrifice of an animal. So we'd like you, if you'd like to do that, so people ask you "Have you been to the trial," tell them that you've been down or heard about the hecatomb, because that's what it is. It's a public sacrifice. It's a situation where they're trying to unjustly, illegally try our Chairman.

We look at it as a 1969 manifestation of the Dred Scott Decision. We look at Chairman Bobby as being the manifestation of Dred Scott in 1857. And we look at Judge Hoffman as being a manifestation of Judge Taney in 1857. Because in 1857 Dred Scott was a negro, a former slave--he was still a slave, because we're slaves--who went into court and evidently had some type of misunderstanding about what he was in American society, where he fit in.

So he went to the Supreme Court to have Judge Taney answer him and try to clear up some mistaken ideas that he had floatin' around in his little old head. Ang Judge Taney did just that. Judge Taney explained to him very clearly that, "Nigger, you're nobody, you're property, you're a slave. That the systems--the legal system, the judicial system--all types of systems that are functioning in America today was set up long before you got here, brother. Because we brought you over to make money to keep what we've got going, these avaricious, greedy businessmen, to keep what we've got going, going on."

And Dred Scott couldn't understand this. There was a big rebuttal. And at that time, Judge Taney made a statement that has become famous. And that statement, maybe not in the same words but through actions ant through social practice, is being manifested down at the New reichstag Building at Jackson and Dearborn. It's being manifested through Judge Hoffman by saying the same thing that Judge Taney said in 1857. When he told Dred Scott that "Nigger, a black man in America has no rights which a white man is bound to respect." And that's the same thing that Judge Hoffman is telling our Chairman every day.

And we understand. You know a lot of people have hang-ups with the Party because the Party talks about a class struggle. And the people that have those hang-ups are opportunists, and cowards, and individualists and everything that's anything but revolutionary. And they use these things as an excuse to justify and to alibi and to bonify their lack of participation in the real revolutionary struggle. So they say, "Well, I can't dig the Panther Party because the Panthers they are engrossed with dealing with oppressor country radicals, or white people, or honkies, or what have you. They said these are some of the excuses that I use to negate really why I am not in the struggle."

We got a lot of answers for those people. First of all, we say primarily that the priority of this struggle is class. That Marx, and Lenin, and Che Guevara end Mao Tse-Tung and anybody else that has ever said or knew or practiced anything about revolution, always said that revolution is a class struggle. It was one class--the oppressed--those other class--the oppressor. And it's got to be a universal fact. Those that don't admit to that are those that don't want to get involved in a revolution, because they know that as long as they're dealing with a race thing, they'll never be involved in a revolution. They can talk about numbers; they can hang you up in many, many ways, but as soon as you start talking about class, then you got to start talking about some guns. And that's what the Party had to do.

When the Party started to talk about class struggle, we found that we had to start talking about some guns. If we never negated the fact that there was racism in America, but we said that when you, the by-product, what comes off of racism, that capitalism comes first and next is racism. That when they brought slaves over here, it was to take money. So first the idea came that we want to make money, then the slaves came in order to make that money. That means that capitalism had to, through historical fact, racism had to come from capitalism. It had to be capitalism first and racism was a by-product of that.

Anybody that doesn’t admit that is showing through their non-admittance and their non-participation in the struggle that all they are, are people who fail to make a commitment; and the only thing that they have going for them is the education that they receive in these institutions—education enough to teach them some alibis and teach them that you’ve gotta be black, and you’ve gotta change you name. And that’s crazy.

The minister of education of the Party, Raymond “Masai” Hewitt, and Chief of Staff, David Hilliard, just got back from Africa visiting Eldridge Cleaver. And they said niggers over there never will be wearing the type of garb that some of these Africanized fools over here wear. They’re wearing rags or either they’re wearing nothing. And if you want to dress like some African people, then you oughta dress like the Angolans or the people in Mozambique. These are the people that are doing something. You need to dress like people that are in liberation struggles. But nah, you don’t want to get that Africanized, because as soon as you have to dress like somebody from Angola or Mozambique, then after you put on whatever you put on, and it can be anything from rags to something from Saks fifth Avenue, you got to put on some bandoliers and some AR-15’s and some 38’s; you’ve got to put on some Smith and Wessons and some Colt 45’s, because that’s what they’re wearin’ in Mozambique. And any nigger that runs around here tellin’ you that when your hair’s long and you got a dashiki on, and you got bubus and all these sandals, and all this type of action, then you’re a revolutionary, and anybody that doesn’t look like you, he’s not—that man has to be out of his mind.

Because we know that political power doesn’t flow from the sleeve of a dashiki. We know that political power flows from the barrel of a gun. And that’s true. It has to be true. We know that in order to be able to talk about power, that what you’ve got to be able to talk about is the ability to control and define phenomena and make it act in a desired manner. That means that if you can’t control and define phenomena and make it act in a desired manner, then you don’t even have any dealings with power, you don’t know and you probably never will know what power is. And we know what power is, and we know who’s doing harm to the people—the enemy.

And everybody wants to talk about…the pork chops will tell you in a minute “The pigs don’t want you to get black. They don’t want you to get no black studies programs. They don’t want you to wear dashikis. They don’t want you to learn about the motherland and what roots to eat of the ground. They don’t want that—because as soon as you get that, as soon as you go back 11th century culture, you’ll be alright.”

Check the people who went back to 11th century culture. Check the people that are wearing dashikis and bubus and think that that’s going to free them. Check all of these people, find out where they’re located, find out the addresses of their office, write them a letter and ask them if in the last year how many times their office been attacked. And then write any Black Panther Party, anywhere in the United States of America, anywhere in Babylon, and ask them how many times the pigs have attacked them. Then when you get your estimation of both of them, then you figure out what the pigs don’t like. That’s when you figure out what the pigs don’t like.

We’ve been attacked three times since June. We know what pigs don’t like. We’ve got people run out of the country by the hundreds. We know what pigs don’t like. Our Minister of Defense is in jail, our Chairman is in jail, our Minister of Information’s in exile, our Treasurer, the first member of the Party, is dead. The Deputy Minister of Defense and the Deputy Minister of Information, Bunchy, Alprentice Bunchy Carter, and John Huggins from Southern California, murdered by some pork chops, talking about a BSU program. We know what the pigs don’t like.

We said nobody would shoot a Panther but a pig, because Panthers don’t pose a threat to anybody but pigs. And if people tell you that Panthers pose threats, then ask them what kind of sense it would make, unless it’s to get up at 5 o’clock in the morning to feed somebody’s son and then at 3 o’clock that afternoon shoot him—save a meal. We don’t need to do that. What sense does it make for us to open up a free health clinic where the only prerequisite that you got to have to receive free medical aid is the prerequisite that you be sick. And we’ve got students who jiving themselves and running around playing, talking about they doin’ something for the struggle, and I want to know what more could you do? And you all people come from Chicago.

People talking about the Party co-opted by white folks. That’s what that mini-fascist, Stokely Carmichael said. He’s nothing but a jackanapes. As far as I’m concerned, he’s a jackanapes, cause I’ve been knowing him for years, and that’s all he could be, if he go around murder-mouthin’ the Black Panther Party.

If we’re co-opted by white people, then check the locations of our offices, our breakfast program, our free health clinic is opening up probably this Sunday at 16th and Springfield. No does everybody know where 16th and Springfield is at? That’s not in Winnetka, you understand. That’s not in Dekalb. That’s in Babylon. That’s in the heart of Babylon, Brothers and Sisters.

And that free health clinic was put there because we know where the problem is at. We know that black people are most oppressed. And if we didn’t know that, then why the hell would we be running around talking about the black liberation struggle has to be the vanguard for all liberation struggles? If there’s ever going to be any liberation in the mother country, ever gonna be any liberation in the colony, then we got to be liberated by the leadership of the Black Panther Party and the black liberation struggle. We don’t negate that fact.

We’re not hung up in anybody’s not a Panther. We don’t want to get you thinkin’ that, because we can dig Fred, I mean Everett, we can dig him. But we can’t dig Ron Karenga and LeRoi Jones. We can’t dig that. We can’t see any social practice on the part of them Brothers. We know that they both have names longer than my arm. And both of them supposed to be so intelligent and so smart. And that’s the problem right now.

We’re talking about destroying the system, and they have hang-ups doing that because they’re constantly buying property within the system. And it’s kind of hard to burn up on Tuesday what you bought last Monday. Because they’re a bunch of unrepentant capitalists. They’ll never repent. And they know better. We try to make excuses for them—“Maybe they’ll have to go through stages, Fred.” No, that’s not it. Because they’re much older than we are—I’m 21. We’re all young. So stages, they don't went through them. Ron Karenga has more degrees than a thermometer. That’s right, he has more degrees than a thermometer and he continues to do what he’s doin’. And how do they fool you? Because they pick the leaders they want. And they put those people up there and portray them as being your leaders when, in fact, they’re leaders of nobody.

…we call the oppressed apologists. Because after something’s happened, all they can do is apologize for it. Look in the papers. Now they’re drawing pictures of the Chairman chained and gagged. Don’t you know that if the news media, the established press, had moved before this, that they could have stopped this rising tide of fascism years ago. But they endorsed, they joined, they supported what fascists were doing at the time. And now it’s being heaped down upon all of the people.

And a lot of people think now that their hands are getting dirty. We call them ideological servants of United States fascism. And that’s what they are, because they serve fascism by doing nothing about it until the law goes over and then they apologize for it, they get apologetic. But we say it’s the same press that we’ll look at and believe and think is bona fide; the same press that talked us into believing that we was somebody when in fact we were nobody.

I don’t think there’s anything more important. I think that what Malcolm says is important. Now think back. Those students were laughing at Malcolm. Can you dig it? They were laughing at Malcolm. Why? Regis Debray, he says the revolutionaries are in the future. That militants and pork chops and all these people, radical students, are in the present, and that most of the rest of the people try to remain in the past. That’s why when somebody comes that’s in the future of a lot of us can’t understand him. And the same thing that you don’t understand Huey P. Newton now, you didn’t understand Malcolm when he was living. But we know that when Malcolm left, the well almost ran dry. You don’t miss the water til the well runs dry, and it almost ran dry.

Huey P. Newton got to reading, and he’s not like a lot of us. A lot of us read and read and read, but we don’t get any practice. We have a lot of knowledge in our heads, but we’ve never practiced it; and made any mistakes and corrected those mistakes so that we will be able to do something properly. So we come up with like we say more degrees than a thermometer, but we’re not able to walk across the street and chew gum at the same time, because we have all that knowledge but it’s never been exercised, it’s never been practiced. We never tested it with what’s really happening. We call it testing it with objective reality. You might have any kind of thought in your mind, but you’ve got to test it with what’s out there. You see what I mean?

They talked us into buying candy bars and throwing the candy away and eating the wrapper. They’re the only people in the world, you understand, that’s right, that can sell ice boxes to Eskimoes. They can sell natural wigs to niggers that’s got natural hair already. And see, this is a shame. They can sell a one-legged man probably 24 tickets in a asskicking contest, and he knows he has no business being there. See, these are the things they can do to us and then they have us believe that what they’re tellin’ us is right, it’s bona fide, it’s justified. We say that’s wrong, that’s incorrect, that Malcolm, when he spoke to students, and you probably heard that record, he speaks to some Jews, some slick people, and he told them.

You might say, “Well, the way I feel, people ought to be able to walk around naked because rape is love.” That’s idealism. See what I mean? You’re dealing in metaphysics. You’re dealing in subjectivity, because you’re not testing it with objective reality. And what’s really wrong is that you don’t go test it. Because if you test it, you’ll get objective. Because as soon as you walk out there, a whole lot of objective reality will vamp down upon your ass and rape you of whatever you have. So whenever this happens, this is when people get a whole lot of mistaken ideas. That’s why a lot of you can’t understand and can’t agree with a lot of what we said. You’ve never tried it.

You don’t know whether people relate to the breakfast program, because you’ve never fed anybody. You don’t know anything about the free health clinic because you never asked anybody. You don’t know anything about the good that a gun does you, because you never tried one. And we say that if you was born and if you said you didn’t like pears and you never tasted pears, you’d have to be a liar. You don’t know whether you like pears, but you can’t claim that you don’t like pears. The only way that anybody can tell you the taste of a pear is if he himself has tasted it. That’s the only way. That’s the objective reality. That’s what the Black Panther Party deals with. We’re not metaphysicians, we’re not idealists, we’re dialectical materialists. And we deal with what reality is, whether we like it or not.

A lot of people can’t relate to that because everything they do is gagged by the way they like things to be. We say that’s incorrect. You look and see how things are and then you deal with that. We runnin’ around talking about “We gonna love all black people. We have an undying love for all black people.” And you know what? That if Malcolm came back, he’d walk pas a million Klansmen to get to Stokely and whoop his motherfuckin’ ass. Because Malcolm was standing right like this in a room, where white people weren’t even allowed. You hear me? They wouldn’t allow no white people in there. But Malcolm’s dead. Now what happened? What’d that fool’s name, James Whitmore. Didn’t he do his little skin?

Because they had names with 37X, 15X, blacker than black, and they were able to sneak in because of this ignorant potient #9 that these maniacs are trying to whoop on us—“We gonna love all black people because every Negro is a potential black man.”

The man that testified against Chairman Bobby in the Conspiracy Trial down in Chicago was a black man. The man that has Chairman Bobby on a murder trial in Connecticut is a black man. The man who murdered Malcolm X is a black man. The judge that denied Eldridge Cleaver bond after a white man had granted him bond—a nigger who investigated on his own and said, “Nigger, I don’t think you ought to be on the street,” was a black man, Thurgood Marshall, Thurgood NOGOOD Marshall, that the NAACP put in. That’s one of the things about sittin’ in and dyin’ in and waitin’ in and cryin’ in got us. If Thurgood Marshall hadn’t been there, then Eldridge Cleaver would probably still be here with the people.

He’s a nigger, a bootlicker, a tonto, a jackanapes. You understand? Goin’ “I don’t think you should be on the streets.” And we runnin’ around lettin’ niggers tell us we got to love all black people.

You heard about the conspiracy trial on the West Side that they were able to win, with Doug Andrews and Fat Crawford, when they had the big burn on the West Side in the Martin Luther King riot? Ask ‘em! Brothers, what’s wrong with you, Brothers and Sisters? Ask ‘em was that a white man. No! Because Doug and them they criticized us for our liberal stand. They call it liberal. So they let nobody in their hood but black people. But they didn’t know. Anybody ever hear about Gloves on the South Side of Chicago? He’s not white. [Glove Davis was later one of the Chicago policemen that participated in Fred’s assassination.] Did you think Buckney was white? Buckney, who’s taking all of your Brothers and all of your little Sisters and all of your little cousins and nephews, and he’s gonna continue to take ‘em. And if you don’t do anything, he’s gonna take your sons and your daughters. And a lot of niggers is going to school now trying to make a name. We don’t hear nobody running around talking about “I’m Benedict Arnold, III,” because Benedict Arnold’s children don’t want to talk about they his children. You hear people talking about they might be Patrick Henry’s children—people that stood up and said “Give me liberty or give me death.” Or Paul Revere’s cousin. Paul Revere said, “get your guns, the British are coming.” The British were the police.

Huey said “Get your guns, the pigs are coming.” Same thing. There’ll be a lot of Newtons running around. A lot of your kids will be calling themselves Huey P. Newton, III. They won’t be calling themselves Ooga-Booga or Karangatang Karenga, or Mamalama Karenga—none of that shit. They won’t be calling themselves that. You see, ask the pigs in California. Ask them! You see that? Hand me one of them posters, Brother. The one right there. Now if you think I’m lying, look at this. Take a look at this. Now all you Sisters here, tell me what looks better—a nigger runnin’ around in a robe and a staff pole, lookin’ like Moses, or these bad—these are the baddest lookin’ …. You might think, you might say you’re chauvinistic, organizational chauvinistic you might call it. You might call me wrapped up in the Party’s own ego. But I’m wrapped up in the truth. And I think the Sister can verify that these are the baddest. These are the movie stars for Babylon, Godamnit. Huh? Fuck John Wayne and all this other shit.

Alright. But you see, if you look at that, that’s what we look good in. We don’t care if niggers wear dashikis. You understand? That’s not gonna mean anything in the final analysis. But we’re saying that you need some tools.

You ever had the occasion to have a doctor come to your house, or a plumber comes to your house? Suppose a plumber came to your house, he opened up his bag and he had stethoscopes and thermometers and hypodermic needles and syringes. You’d say “You came to fix the plumbing? Brother, you got the wrong tools. Something suspicious is going on because you don’t even have the proper tools.” Ain’t that right?

Suppose somebody came to deliver your baby and he had plumber's tools? I know you Sisters would scream bloody murder. No but you’d say, “This is not right, Brother. We can’t have this. You got to, you understand, you gotta come a little easier, you got to show me something better. You got to have some tools that are more appropriate for the occasion, you understand, because I don’t have any runny faucets or anything.”

So when people come into our community with tanks, when they come into Babylon or Warsaw, or whatever you want to call it, like they did into Henry Horner Projects—and that’s a manifestation of, a very clear manifestation of what’s happening in Babylon. When they do that, when they come in there with tanks and those tanks are tools, those tanks are tools of war, they’re declaring war on the community. And if you, when they come into the community with tanks, you come out with dashikis and nothin’ but dashikis, bubus and nothin’ but bubus, sandals and nothing but sandals, then you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people. You’d better go back in the house, if you have to strip buck naked, if you got to get asshole naked, put you on even if it ain’t nothing but a holster and a gun and some ammunition. Take your bear ass, you understand, and they won’t consider you being naked. Nobody will try, you understand, to whistle at you, or anything. Cause this will be gone from the minute …any kind of sexual attraction you had will be gone. Cause they will be looking at Mr. and Mrs. Colt .45, Mr. and Mrs. .357 Magnum. And the shapes on them are the best shapes we have in Babylon to deal with. And you Brothers holdin’ a .357 Magnum in your hand, there ain’t nothin’ that feels like a .357 Magnum, except one of these beautiful black Sisters. But we need them.357 Magnums also.

When we go out there, we’ll be able to protect ourselves. Huey P. Newton issued a mandate a long time ago. It was executive Mandate #3. It said we need to draw the line of demarcation. And when pigs move on our cribs, we have to protect our crib with gun force. Pigs don’t move on Panther cribs. When they move on Panther cribs, they make sure the Panther’s out of town. We had a situation where they moved on a Panther crib and they had three helicopters above his crib. I’m serious, I’m serious. See, they come prepared. Because they know when they comin’ to a Panther’s crib that we might talk a lot of rhetoric, but we deal with the same basic jargon that the people in Babylon deal with. It takes two to tango, motherfucker. As soon as you kick that door down, I have to kick it back to you. We don’t lock our doors. We just get us some good guns and leave them motherfuckers open and when people come in there we put something on them that will make them go to the hardware, buy a lock, come back, pull the door closed, lock it and stay their ass outside!

We’re gonna move as quickly as we possibly can for the people with the questions and answers and the people with the guilt syndrome and the people that have been embarrassed and shamed and disgraced. And we’ve talked about their leaders like LeRoi Jones and Mamalama Karangatang Karenga, a big bald-headed bazoomie as far as we’re concerned. That’s what he is. And we think that if he’s gonna continue to wear dashikis, that he oughta stop wearin’ pants. Cause he’s look a lot better in miniskirts. That’s all a motherfuckin’ man needs in Babylon that ain’t got no gun, and that’s a miniskirt. And maybe he can trick his way out of somethin’. Cause he not gonna shoot his way outta nothin’. He won’t fight temptation, but he never killed anybody but the Black Panther member. Name somebody. Name me a time you read about Karangatang’s office being attacked. The only time he ever had the occasion to use a gun was on Alprentice Bunchy Carter, a revolutionary. This Brother had more revolutionary poetry for a motherfucker than anybody. Revolutionary culture. John Huggins. The only time they lifted a gun was against these people.

As Huey says in prison when they lifted their hands against Bunchy and when they lifted their hands against John, they lifted their hands against the best that Babylon possesses. And you should say that. You should feel anytime when revolutionary Brothers die. You never heard about the Party going around murdering people. You dig what I’m saying? Think about it. I’m not even gonna tell you. You think about it for yourself.

We started the Black Panther Party in 1966. I’m gonna tell you the whole story in a minute. We started dealing with pigs. You think we scared of a few karangatangs, a few chumps, a few male chauvinists? They tell their women “Walk behind me.” The only reason a woman should walk behind a faggot like that is so she can put his foot knee deep in his ass.

We don’t need no culture except revolutionary culture. What we mean by that is a culture that will free you. You heard your Field Lieutenant talking about a fire in the room, didn’t you? What you worry about when you got a fire in this room? You worry about water or escape. You don’t worry about nothin’ else. If you say “What’s your culture during this fire?” “Water, that’s my culture, Brother, that’s my culture.” Because culture’s a thing that keeps you. “What’s your politics?” Escape and water. “What’s your education?” Escape and water. When people ask us about our culture, we say our culture’s guns, baby. Our culture’s revolutionary art, like that. And when you see those two Brothers who picked up them guns and went out into Babylon in ’66 when a lot of us were scared to do anything except lock ourselves up in the closet and listen to Coltrane—ain’t that something for woopin’ a motherfucker’s ass. And this turned us on and this made us black enough that we were bad. Then this made us black enough to get out and launch a blanket indictment at the murder-mouthin’ rest of the black people. Nigger, you ain’t got no natural. Nigger, how come your name ain’t changed? Ask the pigs in California. Ask ‘em. “Who do you fear most? Ron Mamalama Karenga, or Huey P. Newton, who is named after a demagogic, lyin’ politician, Huey P. Long?” And pigs don’t care about that. Because you don’t have to call, if your shotgun’s a Browning, you don’t have to give it no African name, because believe me, it shoots the same. You understand? It shoots the same….

Changing your name is not gonna change our set of arrangements. The only thing that’s gonna change our set of arrangements is what’s gotten us into this set of arrangements. And that’s the oppressor. And it’s on three stages, we call it the three-in-one: avaricious, greedy businessmen; demagogic, lyin’ politicians; and racist, pig fascist, reactionary cops. Until you deal with those three tings, then your set of arrangements will remain the same. The only difference will be that you’re still under fascism, but instead of Fred being under fascism, I’ll be Oogabooga under fascism. But I’ll feel the same. Instead of me goin’ to the gas chamber, I’ll go to an African section of the gas chamber. We so Africanized over here that if Africans came over here, you’d have to give them a catalogue to find out what the fuck they were buyin’. That’s right, you’d have to give them a catalogue to find out what the fuck they were buyin’. You got posters and pictures and names, we’re namin’ things and namin’ ourselves names they never even heard of. And we call ourselves Africanized. And ain’t that somethin’? You understand?

If you’re racist, let me tell you somethin’. Or if you’re a reactionary nationalist. White folks run it. Go to south Africa and ask ‘em. Go ahead. If you want an example of cultural nationalism, the best one I can give you is Papa Doc, Duvalier. In Haiti, all the black people, “We need some black-ness” Papa Doc—naw, Duvalier said “Right on, we need some blackness. Let’s get all the white folks out of here.” Got all the white folks out, and now he’s oppressing all the black folks. When the black folks complain about it, he says, “Well, godamn; what you all complainin’ about now? I’m black. I can’t do nothin’ wrong brother. We already qualified that.” That’s why these apologists like Wesley South come on the air, and to rap that sophistry that the Sister was talkin’ about. Talkin’ about, they’re ballyhooing, really. Just rappin’ about nothin’ because they’re jackanapes in our community allowed to remain there only because of their skin complexion. And we ought to drive them out. Think about it.

You’ve got Bobby Seale chained and gagged at the Federal Building. You’ve got James and Michael Soto who was murdered in two days. By the way, for all you white folks who claim you’re radicals, that claim you’re gonna support the Party. We move in and we’re saying that there’s no better, there’s no higher Marxist than Huey P. Newton. Not Chairman Mao Tse-Tung or anybody else. We’re saying that unless people show us through their social practice that they relate to the struggle in Babylon, that means that they’re not internationalists, that means that they’re not revolutionaries, truly Marxist-Leninist revolutionaries. We look at Kim Il Sung. We look at Comrade the Marshall, Marshall Kim Il Sung of Korea as towering far and high above in his social practice as Mao Tse-Tung. If you can relate to that, cool. If you can’t relate to that, walk out with your as picked clean like the chickens do, you dig? If you can’t relate to that. And we’re tellin’ you that.

And you motherfuckers who think you’re so radical that you’re trying to radicalise everything in Washington. And I don’t know what the fuck you could radicalise, because you ain’t gonna do nothing but walk between the bodies of two dead men, Lincoln and Washington. And I know you’re not gonna stand up and gain no redress. And there’s just as much chance for Nixon giving you some redress. If you can’t get 200,000 people to march on Washington for something that’s in Vietnam, why the fuck can’t you get 200,000 people to come to Jackson and Dearborn, the Federal Building, and march for the Chairman of Babylon, the man who did more for Babylon, and more for Vietnam than you marchin’ maniacs will ever do. Because you’re not doin’ nothin’ for nobody but Florsheims and Stetsons or Stacy Adams and anybody else, because you’re gonna wear your soles out—your metaphysical souls and the soles on your shoes. And we say if you can’t relate to that, then fuck you.

Because our line’s been consistent. We know the Marxist-Leninists. People who might not want to dig on it, they say Marxist-Leninist they don’t curse. This is something we got from slave masters. We know niggers invented the word motherfucker. We wasn’t fuckin’ nobody’s mother. It was the master fuckin’ people’s mothers. We invented the word, you dig? We relate to that. We Marxist-Leninist niggers, and we some Marxist-Leninist cussin’ niggers, and we gonna continue to cuss, godamnit. Cause that’s what we relate to, that’s what’s happening in Babylon. That’s objective reality. Don’t nobody be walkin’ around in Babylon spoutin’ out at the mouth about a whole lot of academic bullshit, intellectually masturbating, catching diarrhea of the mouth. We say to those motherfuckers if you want to catch a mouth disease, you come and talk that shit in a community where the Panthers are at, and you’ll get a mouth disease alright. You’re gonna get hoof-in-mouth; Panther hoof-in-mouth. So if you radicals can’t relate to that, then fuck you, because we know what Chairman Bobby did for the struggle.

And we know that the people in Vietnam, they know that peace, just like Huey P. Newton tells about our motto, that we are the advocates of the abolition of war. We do not want war, but we understand that war can only be abolished through war. That in order to put down the gun, make a man get rid of the gun, it’s necessary to pick up a gun. And you motherfuckers that’s for peace in Vietnam, the Black Panther Party is for victory in Vietnam. We say that they’re aggressors, they’re a bunch of lackey running dogs, that they’re imperialists. They’re a bunch of Wall Street warmongers. And they need to be driven out of there.

And the only way that the liberation of the oppressed people Vietnam or the oppressed people of Babylon’s freedom can be founded, it has to be founded on the land that is fertilized by the bones and blood of these aggressive pig dogs that come into our communities and occupy our communities like troops occupy a foreign territory and go into Vietnam and fight and struggle relentlessly against the people in Vietnam to have a right to self-determination. We don’t care whether anybody likes it or not. That’s our line. It’s a Marxist-Leninist line. It’s consistent. It’s going to remain that way, and it’s been that way.

If you can’t get 200,000 people to come see about Bobby, then we say you’re counter-revolutionary. That what you’re doing is you’re taking some kind of route from DeKalb where you’re going to get to Vietnam without even passing the Henry Horner Projects on the West Side of Chicago. That’s impossible. You think Vietnam is bad? Check the laws. In Vietnam if you lose one son they allow you to keep the other one. They say, “Here, mother dear, hold him—hold him tight.” He can stay at home, you understand. If you have two in there and one dies, they’ll ship him back. They’ll ship him back and get him out of the war where there’ll be no chance of him dying, because “Miss, this war is not going to take both of your sons.” And then you’re marchin’ on this cruel war in Washington, all you radicals, and what about Mrs Soto, who lost two sons in one week? That proves to us through historical fact that Babylon is worse than Vietnam; we need to have some moratoriums on the black community in Babylon and all oppressed communities in Babylon.

And Charles Jackson, from Altgeld Gardens. Last week a 14-year-old boy throwing rocks. The pigs told him to halt, and the motherfucker shot and murdered him. Murdered him in cold blood. And then you motherfuckers got the nerve to go tramping off to Washington, marching between two dead motherfuckers. The Panther Party is going to criticize you motherfuckers. We gonna criticize you out open because we believe in mass revolutionary criticism. We’re gonna tell you that you’re wrong, because we done had a lot of criticism levelled at us for fucking around with you. You will either be part of the problem or you’re gonna be part of the solution. And if we find out you motherfuckers is part of the problem, we’re gonna start turning the guns on you crazy motherfuckers.

We’re gonna have some questions and answers. We’re gonna do one thing, too. And this is another thing out of sight to show the people where we come from. We come from Babylon. The Black Panther Party’s ran solely by black people. If you get a chance—I don’t think it’s gonna be this Sunday, but we taped this Sunday and shown next Sunday, I’m almost sure. It’s gonna be taped this Sunday and shown next Sunday. There’ll be a big round table discussion that’s gonna be on “For Blacks Only”, any you can check the thing and see what it is. And either myself or Chaka will be there. We’ll be presenting the Black Panther Party. And if you get a chance, why don’t you look at it.

If you wanna do something for me, we’d like to do something for Chairman Bobby, if you just clap your hands for me. This is what we call—you don’t have to clap to loud—this is what we call the people beat. It’s a beat that was started in 1966 by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. It’s a beat that never stops because it’s the beat they got because they knew it couldn’t be stopped. It’s the beat that manifested in you, the people. Chairman Bobby Seale says that as long as there’s black people, there’ll always be the Black Panther Party. But they never can stop the Party unless they stop the beat. As long as you manifest the beat, we can never be stopped. You think the beat is dangerous? We know it’s dangerous. Because when the beat started out on the West Coast, the chief pig out there, Mafioso Alioto, said to the rest of his people that helped him with his fascism out there, he said, “Listen to those people beat. Hey, they’re beating much to fast. Why don’t they go back home where they belong.” When that beat started last November a year ago in Chicago, Illinois, at 2350 W. Madison, when me and Chaka and Bobby Rush and Che and some more Brothers and Jewel got together and said we’re gonna start a Black Panther Party right here. Because this is part of Babylon; the Party exists tight here too. That we might be in school now, might think we’re on the mountain top, but we’re gonna come down to the valley, because people in the valley, commitment’s in the valley, oppression’s in the valley, aggression, repression, fascism, all exists in the valley. No matter how nice it might be on the mountain top, we’ve got a commitment, so we’re going back. We got to go back to the valley.

And when we did that, even Daley and Hanrahan and Judge—we call him Adolph Hitler Hoffman—the chief fascist who knows the art of tapista, the art that Mussolini was supposed to have mastered. We say that Hoffman is better at the art of tapista than Mussolini ever was, because we know what the art of tapista is: it’s an art of good timing. And when we started that beat, Judge Hoffman and Mayor Daley and hammerhead Hanrahan said, “Hey, listen to the people. It’s Chicago beat. Politically they are even beating beating much too fast. Why don’t they go back home?” To live with all black people where they belong, to live in dashikis and bubus and to be porkchop nationalists and cultural nationalists. Why don’t they go back home to thinkin’ what you’re wearin’ is going to change you? Why don’t they go back to “Political power flows from the sleeve of a dashiki.” And we said, No!” As long as that beat continues, we continue, because it gives us in the Party a type of intoxication, that it let’s us understand… we’re so revolutionary proletarian intoxicated that we cannot be astronomically intimidated.

Don’t worry about the Black Panther Party. As long as you keep the beat, we’ll keep on going. If you think that we can be wiped out because they murdered Bobby Hutton and Alprentice Bunchy Carter and John Huggins, you’re wrong. If you think that because Huey was jailed the Party’s gonna stop, you see you’re wrong. If you think because Chairman Bobby was jailed the Party’s gonna stop, you see you’re wrong. If you think because they can jail me you thought the Party was gonna stop, you thought wrong. Because they can “Rage”, Eldridge Cleaver out of the country…you’re wrong. Because we said it before we left and we said it today. That you can jail a revolutionary, but you can’t jail the revolution. You can lock up a freedom fighter like Huey P. Newton, but you can’t lock up freedom fighting. You might hire some pork chops like Mamalama to murder Alprentice Bunchy Carter, a liberator, but you can’t murder liberation, because if you do, you come up with answers that don’t answer, explanations that don’t explain, conclusions that don’t conclude.

We say that if you dare to struggle, than you dare to win. If you dare not to struggle you don’t deserve to win. We wouldn’t go into the ring with Muhammad Ali and not fight and wonder why we lost, would we? If you don’t fight, then you don’t deserve to win. If you don’t move on these fascists, then you’re crazy. We say it’s no longer a question of violence or non-violence. We say it’s a question of resistance to fascism or non-existence within fascism. We say let’s stop the war in Vietnam. Let’s stop it by acquiring victory for the spirit of Ho Chi Minh. We say let’s stop the war in Babylon. Let’s initiate the decentralization of the police….

The only real thing is the people, because pigs bite the hand that feeds them and they need to be slapped. And like Chaka said, when you catch them in you’re house, hit ‘em with anything. You shouldn’t argue about whether to hit ‘em with a chair or a table, because they’re out of order from the start. We say that the oppressor—fuck Judge Taney—the oppressor has no rights which we, the oppressed, are bound to follow.

If you get a chance, come see about Bobby. You oughta come see about Bobby because Bobby came and saw about you. You oughta come see about Bobby because in 1966, when we didn’t even think we were important enough to protect ourselves, Bobby and Huey got their guns and went into the community. They left college. They where pre-engineer students, that was Bobby, and Huey was a pre-law student. And what they read they put into practice. You oughta come see about Bobby because Bobby came and saw about you. I’m gonna see about Bobby and if you have anything to say you’ll come see about Bobby. Come down to Jackson and Dearborn and see about our Chairman, because he’s the Chairman of Babylon. He’s the father and the founder of the breakfast programs and the free health clinics, and there’s nothing wrong, nothing in the world wrong with that.

All power to the people. Northern Illinois power to the people that go here to Northern Illinois University.

We say that we need some guns. There’s nothing wrong with guns in our community, there’s just been a misdistribution of guns in our community. For one reason or another, the pigs have all the guns, so all we have to do is equally distribute them. So if you see one that has a gun and you don’t have one, then when you leave you should have one. They way we’ll be able to deal with things right. I remember looking at T.V. and I found that not only did the pigs not brutalize the people in western days, they had to hire bounty hunters to go arrest them. They shoot somebody with no intention of arresting them. We need some guns. We need some guns. We need some force.

Thank you. I’m going to call Chaka end Sister Joan back up here to deal with any questions that you want answered, because we have plenty of time to spend; we don’t have any time to waste. As the sister said, “Time is short, let’s seize the time.”

Reproduced from http://www.lfks.net/en/content/fred-hampton-its-class-struggle-goddammit-november-1969 with minor editing by libcom.org for typos.