The extremist New Black Panthers Party has predicted “unrest all over America” if George Zimmerman is acquitted, although the group denied that it was organizing riots in light of claims its leader had vowed to burn down white communities.
A quote being attributed to New Black Panthers leader Samir Shabazz by numerous Internet sites states, “This time we’re doing it right… This time we’re not burning down our communities. This time we’re going out to Whitey’s suburbs and burning down HIS community. We’re going to make Whitey feel the pain.”
There appears to be no primary evidence that Shabazz actually made that statement, although he has previously made vile threats about murdering white people.
According to the group’s Twitter feed, it will “engage in no unlawful activity” in response to the verdict, but the organization also states, “We can’t and WON’T try to control the general dissatisfied population. For sure we are ORGANIZING.” The group is also planning “rallies and street maneuvers” but refuses to provide details
In another tweet, the group comments that there is “a HIGH chance of rebellion across the nation if Zimmerman is acquitted on all charges,” in addition to another message which states, “If Zimmerman is acquitted there is likely to be unrest all over America, It will be way beyond the capacity of the NBPP.”
“For the record whatever God moves Black People to do after the verdict, it can never be called a riot – it’s a rebellion,” states another tweet.
Other rumors are circulating that the Panthers are transporting busloads of agitators into the town of Sanford in order to stir up trouble, although evidence for this doesn’t seem to extend beyond unsubstantiated claims being made on the Internet.
Members of the original Black Panther party have insisted the NBPP is illegitimate and has no connection with its predecessor. The NBPP, founded in 1989, is classified by the Anti-Defamation League, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights as a hate group. The organization is noted for its ability to draw large numbers of people out to protest.
In March last year, the NBPP offered a $10,000 bounty for the capture of George Zimmerman. When Mikhail Muhammad was asked if he was inciting violence he responded, “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
Thousands of Trayvon Martin supporters have vowed to riot, loot and attack white people if Zimmerman is found not guilty, prompting authorities to prepare for civil unrest.
Although nobody wants to see violence in the aftermath of the Zimmerman verdict, labeling preparation for unrest by police racist, as Time Magazine did yesterday, is clearly naive and dangerous given what happened during the 1992 LA riots.