Hashim Nzinga (pictured), a top brass member of the New Black Panther Party, was arrested Monday at his probation office in Lawrenceville, Ga., and charged with a possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, reports The Atlanta Constitution-Journal. A warrant was put out after evidence surfaced that Nzinga allegedly tried to pawn a semi-automatic handgun at a Stone Mountain, Ga., pawn shop.
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Nzinga’s previous convictions of felony deposit account fraud in Gwinnett County last month made his most-recent attempt a criminal one, subjecting him to arrest.
This past weekend, the New Black Panther Party’s chief of staff went on CNN to offer a $10,000 reward for the capture of George Zimmerman, the man accused of fatally shooting unarmed 17-year-old Florida high school student Trayvon Martin.
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The new movement party, which was formed in 1989, has called for the mobilization of 10,000 Black men to find Zimmerman who has fallen off of the radar.
The New Black Panther Party, which has been labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “virulently racist and anti-Semitic organization whose leaders have encouraged violence against whites, Jews, and law enforcement officers” has also been condemned by another group.
The Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation was founded in 1993 in Oakland, Calif., by David Hilliard and Fredrika Newton to honor the legacy of the Black Panther Party co-founder Huey P. Newton. The foundation, whose purpose is to affect progressive social change by teaching practical lessons of community service, has clearly stated that as guardians of the history of the Black Panther Movement, the New Black Panther Party is an offshoot organization that is not only exploiting the name but also the history of the original organization.
The foundation also claims that the new party members pretend to walk in the honorable footsteps of the original Panther heroes, yet they have failed to find their own legitimacy in the Black community. According to the foundation, the New Black Panther Party is basically a sham:
“The people in the New Black Panthers were never members of the Black Panther Party and have no legitimate claim on the Party’s name. On the contrary, they would steal the names and pretend to walk in the footsteps of the Party’s true heroes, such as Black Panther founder Huey P. Newton, George Jackson and Jonathan Jackson, Bunchy Carter, John Huggins, Fred Hampton, Mark Clark, and so many others who gave their very lives to the black liberation struggle under the Party’s banner.
Secondly, they denigrate the Party’s name by promoting concepts absolutely counter to the revolutionary principles on which the Party was founded. Their alleged media assault on the Ku Klux Klan serves to incite hatred rather than resolve it. The Party’s fundamental principle, as best articulated by the great revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara, was: “A true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love.” The Black Panthers were never a group of angry young militants full of fury toward the “white establishment.” The Party operated on love for Black people, not hatred of white people.
Furthermore, this group claims it would “teach” the Black community about armed self-defense. The arrogance of this claim is overwhelmed by its reactionary nature. Blacks, especially in the South, have been armed in self-defense for a very long time; indeed, the spiritual parent of the Party itself was the Louisiana-based Deacons for Defense. However, the Party understood that the gun was not necessarily revolutionary, for the police and all other oppressive forces had guns. It was the ideology behind the gun that determined its nature.
The question the Foundation raises, then, is who are these people laying claim to the Party’s history and name? Are they reactionary provocateurs, who would instigate activities counterproductive to the people’s interests, causing mayhem and death? Are they entertainers, who would posture themselves before the media, and, according to numerous sources, with empty guns, to spin gold for themselves? Are they, given the history of their late-leader Khalid Muhammad, a group of anti-Semites like the very Ku Klux Klan they allegedly oppose? What is their agenda?”
Meanwhile, Nzinga is awaiting a hearing which has been set for Tuesday.