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August 16, 2013

Mayor Chokwe Lumumba Lends Support To New Black Panther Party

Jackson, Mississippi, Mayor Chokwe Lumumba is the latest public figure to lend support to the New Black Panther Party’s (NBPP) upcoming Million Youth March in Harlem.

On the New Black Panther Party’s (NBPP) online radio program on July 31 promoting the march, Lumumba mentioned that he learned from Dr. Khalid in the past, presumably referring to Khalid Abdul Muhammad, the vehemently racist and anti-Semitic former leader of the NBPP.

An image of Lumumba claiming he “proudly supports the Million Youth March” is being promoted by the NBPP on their website and social media as well.chokwe-lumumba-new-black-panther-party-mayor-jackson

Lumumba has been involved in NBPP events over the years, including as a speaker at NBPP conferences in Atlanta in 2009 and 2010, as a speaker at an event titled “A Call for Revolution” in New Orleans in March 2006, and as co-convener of the NBPP’s Million Youth March in New York in 2003.

The NBPP, the largest orga­nized anti-Semitic and racist black mil­i­tant group in Amer­ica, is also promoting supposed endorsements from other public figures, celebrities such as Nick Cannon and Erykah Badu, as well as some business leaders.

By tak­ing on racially-charged issues under the guise of cham­pi­oning civil rights, the NBPP has, at times in the past, received national atten­tion for its efforts, gar­nered some sup­port from promi­nent mem­bers of the African-American com­mu­nity and attracted fol­low­ers. The group’s demon­stra­tions, con­fer­ences, and other events often blend inflam­ma­tory big­otry with calls for vio­lence, tar­nish­ing its efforts to pro­mote black pride and consciousness.

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April 17, 2013

Language In Ricin Letters Not So Mysterious

Federal authorities have intercepted letters sent to President Obama and Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker that have tested positive for ricin in preliminary or follow-up tests.  Ricin is a poison derived from castor beans that operates as a deadly toxin when ingested or swallowed.

Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS)

Extremists in the United States, especially on the far right, have long been fascinated with ricin.

According to an FBI bulletin obtained by Fox News, the ricin-laced letters were sent from Memphis on April 8 and both contained the phrase “to see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance.”  Both letters were signed “I am KC and I approve this message.”

The identity of “KC” may not yet be known, but the language that he used does have a source.  The sentence about seeing a wrong is actually a quotation that traces back to an obscure chiropractor, John Raymond Baker, from Longview, Texas.  Baker claims to have originated the quotation for a Web site he created to express grievances about a major insurance company.

Over the years, visitors to this site picked up the quotation and began using it elsewhere.   Activists and extremists across the political spectrum—from right-wing extremist groups to the left-wing Animal Liberation Front—have repeated Baker’s nostrum, both with and without attribution.   They typically use it as language to justify or rationalize their actions.

Baker himself noticed this phenomenon as early as 2006, observing that “now, people are using it about all kinds of injustices.”

No evidence has emerged to suggest that Baker himself might in any way be connected to the ricin letters.  Clearly, though, someone has exploited his language in order to justify their potentially deadly actions.

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