Huey P. Newton, the person for which the group is named, was one of the original founders of the Black Panthers in 1966.
Huey Freeman, one of the around three dozen members who were out Wednesday, said, “Black people have a right to self-defense and self-determination. We want to be proactive.”
“We believe we can police ourselves and bring security to our community, ridding our community of black-on-black crime, violence, police terror, et cetera, et cetera,” Freeman added.
A man calling himself Commander Drew X said, “If they don’t get these killer cops and corrupt cops under control, what happened in Ferguson is going to happen nationwide.”
“Unfortunately, it takes things like this to bring national attention to the things that are going around,” Priest Brazier, a man who claimed to be a member of the New Black Panther Party said. “If the protests hadn’t happened, you wouldn’t have the attorney general, and all these people, the FBI and the federal people looking at the situation. They normally would have ignored it.”
Something tells me you’re not going to see Fox News, or many conservatives, out supporting this particular gun rights group. While I can’t quite put my finger on it, my gut tells me that there’s something just a little bit different about this particular open carry group that many conservatives won’t be eager to support.
That was sarcasm by the way.
But what do I think about what this group is doing? To me, a gun nut is a gun nut. Any group of people walking around our city streets, wielding semi-automatic rifles is ridiculous. I don’t care if you’re white, black, brown, purple or rainbow colored. It’s 2014, we don’t need citizens marching around our neighborhoods, and into our businesses, with loaded AK-47’s or AR-15’s strapped to their backs.
And while I get the sentiment behind this group (trying to reduce violence and crime within the African American community), I just don’t see how it makes sense for anyone, of any race, to “patrol” around our streets acting like some kind of group of vigilantes.
If you want to start neighborhood watch programs, great. If you want to form groups that raise awareness within your community about potential crime, how to report it and how to prevent crimes from happening, go right ahead. Heck, if you want to try to create outreach programs to improve relationships between law enforcement officials and local communities that’s an even better idea.
But it’s not up to ordinary citizens to patrol our streets and “dish out justice.”
Because it’s only a matter of time before a group of these open carry gun nuts ends up in some kind of public shootout where innocent people end up injured or killed.
Watch the report below via NBCDFW: