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Black Panthers To “Deal With” Duke Players

Again, the kind of story our major media ignores but the local newspapers and TV affiliates sometimes do cover.

From the Charlotte News & Observer:

Malik Zulu Shabazz (née Paris Lewis) protested the Mohammad cartoons outside the Danish Embassy in Washington, DC.

Panther group plans to visit Duke

The New Black Panther Party says it will deal with lacrosse players charged with rape

DURHAM – The national chairman of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense says his group intends to march at Duke University on Monday to "deal directly" with lacrosse players about charges of rape of an escort service dancer at a team party.

Duke's campus police are coordinating with the Durham Police Department to prepare for the black-separatist group, which has a reputation for coming to its protests armed.

Malik Zulu Shabazz, a Washington lawyer who is the leader of the New Panthers, said he will be in Durham to rally with local black leaders and monitor progress of the criminal case against Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann, the two students charged with raping and kidnapping the dancer.

"We are conducting an independent investigation, and we intend to enter the campus and interview lacrosse players," Shabazz said Thursday. "We seek to ensure an adequate, strong and vigorous prosecution."

Duke is a private institution, and its campus is private property. Shabazz said he has not sought permission to enter but that his group has "received no word that we are not welcome."

John Burness, Duke's vice president for public affairs and community relations, said Thursday that t he university will allow a controlled march on campus, as long as the New Black Panthers follow specific rules.

"As an institution we support free speech, and we will treat them like any other group," Burness said. "But we do not permit weapons. We will take necessary steps to keep the campus safe."

One of the key tenets of the New Black Panthers is owning firearms and knowing how to use them, according to the Anti-Defamation League, a national Jewish group that has monitored Shabazz and his followers for years.

"They are a racist and anti-Semitic group," said Myrna Shinbaum, a spokesperson for the New York-based league. "These guys come armed. They carry shotguns to demonstrations. The authorities down there should know this."

Asked whether his followers will be armed when they come to Duke, Shabazz chuckled and said, "I don't know if I can comment on that."

A flier distributed by the group this week displays photos of Finnerty and Seligmann and calls for those who have "had enough of disrespect and racism from Duke" to assemble at the front gates of the university's West Campus at 10 a.m.

"We as black men cannot sit idly by and allow white men to rape black women, regardless of what our sister (who by nature is a queen and a divine black woman) was doing," Shabazz is quoted as saying in a media release announcing the event.

In a telephone interview Thursday, Shabazz said he and several local black leaders will meet with Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong about the case Monday. Nifong did not return a message late Thursday seeking to confirm that a meeting is planned.

A "town hall" meeting is also planned at 6 p.m. Monday at St. Joseph's African Methodist Episcopal Church on Fayetteville Street. Shabazz is set to be the keynote speaker. The Rev. Philip R. Cousin Jr., the minister of the church and a Durham County commissioner, did not return calls about the event. Representatives of the NAACP and the Nation of Islam are also expected to attend.

New Panthers' origin

The New Black Panthers is listed as a racist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization more often cited for its efforts to monitor the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other white supremacists. The Panthers is also disavowed by the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation, named for the activist who helped found the original Black Panther Party in 1966.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, the New Panthers are a black separatist militia founded in 1990 by Khallid Muhammad, who was removed from a top leadership post at the Nation of Islam after Louis Farrakhan reportedly found his statements against Jews, Catholics and homosexuals too radical.

Shabazz became the group's leader in 2001, after Muhammad's death. He has drawn media headlines in recent years for claiming that Jews were evacuated from the World Trade Center before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and voicing support for Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called "20th hijacker" who was found eligible for the death penalty this month for his role in the Sept. 11 plot.

Shabazz, who said the group's current membership numbers in the "low thousands," backed away from claims published in a Durham newspaper Thursday that the New Black Panthers are providing security for the dancer and her family after she received death threats.

The accuser's mother told The News & Observer on Thursday that Panthers came by the family's house Wednesday and offered their protection, but the family declined.

Just what this circus needed. Another clown.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, April 30th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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