We do not fight racism with racism. We fight racism with solidarity. We do not fight exploitative capitalism with black capitalism. We fight capitalism with basic socialism. We do not fight imperialism with more imperialism. We fight imperialism with proletarian internationalism. These principles are very practical, humanistic, necessary and functional to the party. They should be understood by the masses of the people.
- Bobby Seale
Bobby Seale, chairman of the Black Panther party self-defense, made this statement in his 1970 publication Seize the Time. The significance of this statement is that it reveals a few things about the Panther mentality/ideology. It reveals that there was a clearly abundant Marxist perspective adopted by Seale, which is illustrated by his mentioning of "battling" imperialism with proletarian internationalism. The overemphasized language reveals their militant influence from early black power activists such as Donald Warden and Malcolm X. The Black Panthers were very clear about crediting their influences, as they boasted a new perspective toward civil rights with a closed fist and a Marxian twist.
The two major figures responsible for the development and exposition of the party, Bobby Seale and Huey P Newton, were well read in the writings of such communist/socialist figures as Mao Zedong, Che Guevara, and Frantz Fanon. Their Marxian ideals and militant attitudes were essentially derived from frustration that the non-violent action being taken in the south was not enough to assess the problems and struggles that northern blacks faced. While black organizations in the south were protesting in the form of boycotts to integrate busses or schools, northern blacks dealt with lynchings, police brutality, and discrimination that affected the economic well being of many. The Black Panther party was formed to assess the needs of northern blacks promoting a Marxist, nationalistic and aggressive approach to achieving...