Table of Contents
What was the Black Panther 10 Point Program?
The Black Panther 10 Point Program, also known as the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense Ten-Point Platform and Program, refers to the activist group’s manifesto. The document, structured similarly to the Bill of Rights and U.S. Constitution, outlines the Blank Panther Party’s ideals, mission, and approach.
Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale drafted the 10 Point Program in October 1966, when they formed the Black Panther Party. The points of the platform established clear guidelines for all Black Panther Party members to actively follow every day. On May 15, 1967, it was released to the public in the second issue of the party’s weekly newspaper, The Black Panther. The 537 succeeding issues all included the 10 Point Program under the title “What We Want Now!.”
We at the Zero Theft Movement are working to eliminate the rigged parts of the economy so that all Americans can thrive. The Black Panther 10 Point Program, in many ways, applies to today’s world. While the platform is comprehensive, we wish to use the economic inequities highlighted by Newton and Seale in order to discuss how the system could still be rigged. Against U.S. citizens in general, not just one group.
The Basic Language of the Black Panther 10 Point Program
While the pair drew from complex social and economic theories, Newton and Seale intentionally wrote the platform in simple and plain language so that everyone could understand it. From the previous generations who had worked to the bone from a young age, to those who had not received a chance to receive a proper education, to the minorities and the poor.
As you can hear in the first minute of Seale’s 1968 ‘Free Huey’ speech embedded below, he describes the thought process behind the simple language of the Black Panther 10 Point Program: “We gonna draw up a basic platform…just basic, that black people can read. We don’t want to go real elaborate with all these essays, and dissertations, and all this stuff, because a brother gonna look at that and he gonna say, ‘Man, I ain’t got time for that. I got to go see what I can do for myself.’ Just a basic platform that the mothers, who struggle hard to raise us, that the fathers, who worked hard, that the young brothers in school, who come out of school semi-illiterate, saying…reading broken words. We just want a basic platform to outline black people’s basic political desires and needs, first.”
Dark pool trading accounts for ~30% of all trading. Do you think billions of concealed trades are happening without us even knowing it?
The Black Panther Ten-Point Program
Through the 10 Point Program, the Black Panther Party established their ten ‘wants’ and the justification for each one. Although some sources separate the ‘What We Want’ section from the ‘What We Believe’ section, they actually work together. You will find below that we quote a want and then the according belief/reasoning for each of the ten points.
The language comes directly from the original manifesto. We have not edited or altered anything.
1. We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black Community.
We believe that Black People will not be free until we are able to determine our own destiny.
2. We want full employment for our people.
We believe that the federal government is responsible and obligated to give every man employment or a guaranteed income. We believe that if the White American businessmen will not give full employment, the means of production should be taken from the businessmen and placed in the community so that the people of the community can organize and employ all of its people and give a high standard of living.
3. We want an end to the robbery by the capitalists of our black and oppressed communities.
We believe that this racist government has robbed us and now we are demanding the overdue debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules was promised 100 years ago as redistribution for slave labor and mass murder of Black people. We will accept the payment in currency which will be distributed to our many communities: the Germans are now aiding the Jews in Israel for genocide of the Jewish people. The Germans murdered 6,000,000 Jews. The American racist has taken part in the slaughter of over 50,000,000 Black people; therefore, we feel that this is a modest demand that we make.
4. We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings.
We believe that if the White landlords will not give decent housing to our Black community, then the housing and the land should be made into cooperatives so that our community, with government aid, can build and make a decent housing for its people.
5. We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present-day society.
We believe in an educational system that will give our people a knowledge of self. If a man does not have knowledge of himself and his position in society and the world, then he has little chance to relate to anything else.
6. We want all Black men to be exempt from military service.
We believe that Black people should not be forced to fight in the military service to defend a racist government that does not protect us. We will not fight and kill other people of color in the world who, like Black people, are being victimized by the White racist government of America. We will protect ourselves from the force and violence of the racist police and the racist military, by whatever means necessary.
7. We want an immediate end to POLICE BRUTALITY and MURDER of Black people.
We believe we can end police brutality in our Black community by organizing Black self-defense groups that are dedicated to defending our Black community from racist police oppression and brutality. The second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States gives us the right to bear arms. We therefore believe that all Black people should arm themselves for self-defense.
8. We want freedom for all Black men held in federal, state, county and city prisons and jails.
We believe that all Black people should be released from the many jails and prisons because they have not received a fair and impartial trial.
9. We want all Black people when brought to trial to be tried in court by a jury of their peer group or people from their Black Communities, as defined by the Constitution of the United States.
We believe that the courts should follow the United States Constitution so that Black people will receive fair trials. The 14th Amendment of the U.S Constitution gives a man a right to be tried by his peers. A peer is a persons from a similar economic, social, religious, geographical, environmental, historical, and racial background. To do this the court will be forced to select a jury from the Black community from which the Black defendant came. We have been, and are being tried by all-white juries that have no understanding of “the average reasoning man” of the Black community.
10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace.
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature’s god entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, and that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its power in such a form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accused. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, and their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards of their future security.
Examining Point 3 of the Ten-Point Program
“We want an end to the robbery by the capitalists of our black and oppressed communities.”
As we mentioned in the introduction, the Zero Theft Movement seeks to eliminate the rigged parts of the U.S. economy in order for the good businesses and citizens to thrive. Point 3 of the Black Panther 10 Point Program directly pertains to our mission, so we want to take some time to examine it a bit more closely.
The Black Panther Party’s call for economic justice was and potentially still is justified. Black people were effectively ‘robbed’ for years. Not just economically of course, but of their general human rights. While debate can and should be had on the best economic system, slavery and racism arguably stemmed from unchecked greed more than anything else.
Plantation owners obviously used black laborers for free work but also sowed hate against them in order to keep their poorly paid white employees in check. In a retrospective on the slavery system, The Atlantic wrote“…it was the very existence of enforcement work in the slave system that militated against coalition-building. Slave-driving and overseeing were the only kind of labor in the slave system that could not be entrusted to blacks, and thus was guaranteed to poor whites. Revolution sounds nice, until you consider that it meant poor whites sacrificing the only exclusive means they had for feeding and sheltering their own families.”
These two oppressed groups (of course, to varying degrees) were pit against each other. Why? So that plutocrats, the corrupt among the elite, could continue to profit as much as possible. Give the mistreated a bit of power, show them there’s at least one group who’s ‘lesser than,’ and maybe they won’t rebel.
Famed civil rights activist and sociologist W.E. Dubois wrote, in Black Reconstruction in America 1860-1880, “… [slavery] fed [the white worker’s] vanity because it associated him with the masters. Slavery bred in the poor white a dislike of Negro toil of all sorts. He never regarded himself as a laborer, or as part of any labor movement. If he had any ambition at all it was to become a planter and to own ‘niggers.’ To these Negroes he transferred all the dislike and hatred which he had for the whole slave system. The result was that the system was held stable and intact by the poor white.”
While the particulars are different, you can see how greed has played a major part in the oppression of communities and even entire countries all around the globe. From the Three Estates system, to the disenfranchisement of women, to European colonization, and so on. We can track this throughout history, even to the U.S. today.
Economic Takeaways for Today
The Black Panther 10 point platform clearly established the party’s principles and goals in a way that could be understood by all. Having everyone on the same page as much as possible makes a movement stronger, and the Zero Theft Movement must operate in the same way.
As it stands, greed could still be rigging parts of the economy against the majority of Americans. While it can sometimes occur through white-collar crime, megacorporations and wealthy individuals can use their vast wealth to hire lobbyists and ultimately capture regulators and legislators.
Have you wondered why U.S. drug prices are so high? How capital gains tax laws potentially creates a privileged investor class? Or how private, largely unregulated stock exchanges called dark pools could involve insider trading and front running? Many more potential problem areas exist where the market has been rigged and Americans are paying more than they should.
We need to band together to start receiving our fair share of the steadily growing GDP. Here’s how you can help.
The Zero Theft Movement, along with our growing community, works to calculate the most accurate estimate for the monetary costs of corruption in the United States. We achieve this collectively through our independent voting platform.
The public investigates potential problem areas, and everyone votes on whether (1) theft is or isn’t occurring in a specific area of the economy, and (2) how much is being stolen or possibly saved. Through direct democracy, we can collectively decide where the problem areas are and start working on addressing them systematically.
Only through hard evidence can we prove where the rigged parts of the economy exist and force Congress to hold all the bad actors accountable.
The revolving door refers to (1) legislators or regulators, after term completion, taking a position in the industry they oversaw and (2) industry lobbyist or executives getting appointed as the legislators or regulators of the industry they once worked for (and, perhaps, plan to return to).
The Zero Theft Movement does not have any interest in partisan politics/competition or attacking/defending one side. We seek to eradicate theft from the U.S economy. In other words, how the wealthy and powerful rig the system to steal money from us, the everyday citizen. We need to collectively fight against crony capitalism in order for us to all profit from an ethical economy.
Terms like ‘steal,’ ‘theft,’ and ‘crime’ will frequently appear throughout the article. Zero Theft will NOT adhere strictly to the legal definitions of these terms (since congress sells out). We have broadly and openly defined terms like ‘steal’ and ‘theft’ to refer to the rigged economy and other debated unethical acts that can cause citizens to lose out on money they deserve to keep.