Race and Revolution
Cultivating conflict, harvesting tyranny
On July 4th a group of law- abiding Americans found itself under assault by a communist mob for the "offense" of displaying the American flag and celebrating America's laws and civil institutions. The attack, which took place outside of the Los Angeles Federal Building in Westwood, California, resulted in injuries to ten people, most of them elderly, who were set upon by young thugs; one of them, 69-year-old Bob Schwarz, suffered serious head injuries that left his clothing soaked with blood. Although the communist attack was portrayed in the media as a "confrontation" over the question of immigration, in reality the incident was an unprovoked, premeditated act of revolutionary violence that may foreshadow even larger eruptions in the future.
The July 4th rally, according to co-organizer Glenn Spencer of the immigration reform group Voice of Citizens Together (VCT), was intended to be a "celebration of America's sovereignty and its laws. We were people who share concerns about the breakdown of our borders and runaway immigration, but we kept racial and ethnic questions out of the matter. Half of our speakers were black, and Americans of all backgrounds were invited to participate. Our theme was 'America for Americans,' and that means Americans of all kinds, including legal immigrants."
On July 1st, according to Spencer, news filtered back to him that a counter-demonstration was being organized by hard-core Marxist agitators, particularly those associated with the revolutionary communist Progressive Labor Party (PLP). A handbill distributed by the PLP denounced the planned Fourth of July observance as a "fascist rally" and libeled VCT as "Nazis.... They are the same racists who were behind the [Proposition] 187 campaign [to deny most state subsidies to illegal aliens] and the same racists who are burning churches in the South.... The 'Voice of Citizens Together' is a breeding ground for the KKK, the shock troops of a fascist movement to intimidate immigrants and all workers and students in Southern California."
According to the PLP flyer, the planned pro-America rally "is one battle in a war between the workers and the bosses. Voting will not stop fascism!... To destroy fascism we need communism.... The working class can and will destroy racism, borders, and wage slavery with communist equality." The drumbeat of class hatred was continued in the PLP's publication Challenger. "L.A. Fascists Call July 4th Rally: SMASH THEM!" screamed a headline in the tabloid's July 3rd edition, which reiterated the smear that VCT and its associates were "the same racists burning churches in the South" and urged malcontents to "Hang 'em high - all of them!"
"I sent information about the planned communist attack to the police and major media outlets, but nobody did anything about it," Spencer recalled to THE NEW AMERICAN. As the pro-America rally began, "Someone showed up and told me that our signs were being torn down and that flags were being stolen. So I ran up to the intersection [of Wilshire and Veteran Boulevards] to find out what was going on."
Although Spencer is not unacquainted with left-wing hate tactics, he was not entirely prepared for the spectacle that greeted him. "I saw a mob of about 150 people, including Mexicans displaying the Mexican national flag and people flying the communist flag, throwing soda cans and hitting people with sticks," Spencer testifies. "By the time I got there, people had already been taken to the hospital. Bob Schwarz, an elderly man who had been flying an American flag, was beaten by a radical, and another had a 'God Bless America' sign ripped from his hands."
Stan Hess of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform was also present at the July 4th rally. "The media said that there was a 'clash' between supporters and opponents of immigration reform, but there was no 'clash,'" Hess informed THE NEW AMERICAN. "This was an undisguised assault on law-abiding American citizens by hard-line communists."
Although numerous print reporters and no fewer than 12 cameramen were on hand to chronicle the attack, none of the mainstream journalists saw fit to mention the fact that the aggressors were communists. Not that the Reds attempted to conceal their affinities. A leaflet distributed by PLP activists tutored the mob in Marxist slogans:
"Build the party, smash the Reich, Citizens and Immigrants - Unite!"
"Smash all borders, workers of the world - unite!"
"No race or nationality, one world, one class, one PLP!"
"Raise the red flag, raise it high, the Communists are marching By!"
Subsequent to the attack, a PLP press release boasted that "150 anti-racists led by PLP routed the fascists gathering here to promote anti-immigrant racism. With our red flags waving proudly, PLP attacked the fascists before the cops came to rescue them."
Glenn Spencer correctly points out: "Those who attacked us on the Fourth of July were in large part made up of groups which are supporting the right of Mexican nationals to enter the United States illegally. Moreover, they support the claim of Mexico and Mexican nationals to territory of the United States of America" - specifically the Southwest United States, which they refer to as "Aztlan" - the mythical homeland of the Aztec nation. It is doubtful that the PLP or its Marxist allies understand or believe in the concept of Aztlan, beyond its strategic utility; their intention is to mobilize what Marxist theoretician Mike Davis calls a "nation within a nation" to foment violence and promote revolution.
Davis has written approvingly of the revolutionary potential presented by "a prospective alliance of nonwhite Americans and Third World revolutionaries, all taking their orders from white Leninists." By provoking racial conflicts among Americans, and by capitalizing on the social hardships of unassimilated immigrants, Davis observes, revolutionaries "can act to bring 'socialism' to North America by virtue of a combined hemispheric process of revolt that overlaps boundaries and interlaces movements."
This was the strategy pursued by domestic terrorist groups in the late 1960s. Ethnic terrorist groups such as the Black Panthers, the Brown Berets, and the American Indian Movement (AIM) were given tactical, ideological, and material assistance by the Weather Underground and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) - which were composed primarily of middle-class white subversives bent on destroying the existing social order. The Weathermen and SDS acted as conduits between domestic terrorists and their Cuban, Soviet, and Chinese sponsors. Whatever the specific ethnic or ideological grievance, the subversive groups were united in a "common front" for the purpose of undermining American society.
Furthermore, many hard-core terrorists received federal subsidies through the now-defunct Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO). In early 1966, Communist Party spokesman Henry Winston stated after a briefing in Moscow that the OEO had "become the basis for organizing in the slums and ghetto communities and it offers the point of departure for helping to rally the rank and file millions to a mass movement." The impact of that "mass movement" was immediately felt: In the summer of 1967, 110 American cities were subjected to rioting and looting; between 1965 and 1968, urban guerrilla warfare claimed more than 130 lives and resulted in property damage in excess of one billion dollars.
It has happened before, and indications abound that it may soon happen again.
For the revolutionary left, the murderous Los Angeles riots of April 1992, which were abetted by and capitalized upon by hard-core Marxist agitators, were considered a trial run for a larger paroxysm intended to destroy America's "reactionary" institutions and clear the way for a new social order. According to the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), a Maoist group allied to Peru's incomparably vicious Sendero Luminoso insurgency, "in the flames of the L.A. rebellion, [we] saw the first light of a whole new world...." The RCP refers to the riots as a "multinational festival of the proletariat and other oppressed people" in which ethnic gangs, illegal immigrants, and hard-core subversives united in the revolutionary struggle.
About a year after the "rebellion," a "gang truce" was announced - a development with ominous portents for future upheavals. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, there are 1,000 gangs and more than 150,000 gang members in Los Angeles - which would translate into 12 divisions of revolutionary foot soldiers to be mobilized by the radical left. The effort to mobilize street gangs is getting some help from an interesting source: the new self-anointed leader of America's "black community," Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam.
On April 27th of this year, approximately 500 representatives of black and Mexican gangs met in the Watts section of Los Angeles for the fourth annual LA Gang Truce Rally - a celebration of Mexican and black gang unity. Gang colors and "Black Power" symbols were displayed alongside symbols of the "Aztlan Nation." The event featured a speech by Tony Muhammad, the West Coast representative of the Nation of Islam. Repeatedly emphasizing that he was conveying a personal message from Farrakhan, Muhammad urged the gangsters to unite in a common armed struggle against bourgeois society:
When we come together as one army, we can take Watts, we can take South-Central, we can take Los Angeles and then the West Coast, because God is going to send the Original Man. And when I say the Original Man that includes Mexicans - that includes La Raza - that includes the Brown, that includes the Yellow. God is going to bring us together, and from that he is going to raise a mighty army that's ready to move for God. So I'm not telling you to give up your weapons. I'm just telling you to turn them somewhere else.
Farrakhan himself extolled the virtues of La Raza during his speech at the Washington DC "Million Man March." Addressing white Americans, Farrakhan declared, "I know you call [some Hispanics] 'illegal aliens,' but hell, you took Texas from them, by flooding Texas with people that got your mind. And now they're coming back across the border, to what is northern Mexico: Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California. They don't see themselves as illegal aliens; I think they might see you as an illegal alien."
Like Mike Davis, Farrakhan has recognized the revolutionary potential of a "nation within a nation." During his month-long "World Friendship Tour" earlier this year, in which he visited Iran, Nigeria, Sudan, Libya, Iraq, and Syria, Farrakhan opened a correspondence with Libyan terror chief Moammar Khadafy. The dictator reportedly promised Farrakhan $1 billion to help "mobilize oppressed minorities to play a significant role in American political life." "Our confrontations with America used to be like confronting a fortress from outside," Khadafy declared. "Today, we have found a loophole to enter the fortress and confront it within."
Even if the additional aid from Khadafy fails to materialize, Farrakhan will not be left hurting for revolutionary seed money. The Nation of Islam has received an estimated $20 million in federal contracts for providing security at public housing facilities.
In early 1994, Farrakhan censured Khallid Abdul Muhammad, his top deputy, for anti-Semitic and anti-white remarks offered during a speech at New Jersey's Kean College. While expressing disapproval for the "tone" of Muhammad's statements, Farrakhan specified that he endorsed the "truths" supposedly spoken by him. The highly publicized "split" between Farrakhan and his erstwhile deputy helped cultivate an image of comparative "moderation" for Farrakhan, allowing him to build his influence nationally and internationally while Khallid Muhammad networks with militants. Indeed, this is a role that Muhammad has been preparing for since he was a college student.
As a young man named Harold Vann, Muhammad grew up in Houston, where he displayed impressive leadership potential. He excelled in school and was a star quarterback on his high school football team. Although he had originally set his sights on a religious ministry in the Methodist Church, Vann was reportedly offered a Ford Foundation grant to attend Harvard University as a student of "Urban politics and sociology." While at Harvard, Vann changed his name to "Harold 2X," embraced black nationalism, and converted to Farrakhan's Nation of Islam. He eventually went to New Orleans, where he became an associate pastor of a Nation of Islam mosque.
By the mid-1970s, "Harold 2X" had changed his name to "Maleek Rashaddin" and migrated to Uganda to work on behalf of the genocidal Marxist dictator Idi Amin. A telephone call from Farrakhan brought him back to the United States, where - newly christened as Khallid Muhammad - he helped reconstitute the Nation of Islam. After presiding over mosques in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and New York City, Muhammad was elevated to the position of "supreme captain" of the Nation of Islam under Farrakhan.
As Farrakhan's Grand Vizier, Muhammad has traveled to Egypt, Israel, Mecca, and throughout Africa. He claims to have lectured on "liberation" in every black township in South Africa, and to have been the featured speaker at a special United Nations Pan-African Congress session on apartheid. He has also propagated his message of "liberation" through rap albums recorded by Ice Cube and Public Enemy, seeking to "raise the consciousness of the black masses." In numerous speeches, Muhammad has exalted Colin Ferguson, the black racist who shot 23 people on a Long Island commuter train, as a man doing "God's work."
But Muhammad has also offered himself as a palliative for the racial tensions he has helped produce. His resum� states that he is the associate director of the Urban Crises Center in Atlanta, Georgia, a "diversity consulting" group whose clients supposedly include U.S. Steel, Inland Steel, Federal Express, IBM, Xerox, various other Fortune 500 companies, several police departments, and sundry state, local, and federal government agencies. Incidentally, according to the Los Angeles Times, Muhammad was convicted in 1988 of using a fraudulent social security number on a loan application and spent a year in prison.
Muhammad essentially disappeared from public view after being shot at the University of California-Riverside in 1994. However, he reappeared dramatically in Greenville, Texas on June 11, 1996, in the company of a group from Dallas calling itself the New Black Panther Party. He and his comrades had visited the town in response to the burning of two black churches in the community. Wearing paramilitary attire and brandishing automatic weapons, the New Black Panthers provided a militant backdrop as Muhammad announced:
We've come to Greenville to serve notice that we will not tolerate the burning of black churches. We will not allow rabid, racist Ku Klux Klan, skinheads, Aryan brotherhoods, [or] any of the paramilitary, right-wing, white organizations to terrorize black churches. We will stand up all across America. We will set up patrols all across the country. You catch a cracker lighting a torch to any black church, or any property of black people - we are to send them to the cemetery....
Muhammad has conferred what he considers high praise on New Panther leader Aaron Michaels: "I see now the new Huey Newton [in Michaels].... I see him walking in the spirit of a new Stokely Carmichael." Prior to its arrival in Greenville, the New Panthers had already created tensions in Dallas. On May 23rd, members of the New Panthers were arrested at a meeting of the Dallas School Board when they disrupted the proceedings. In early June, the school board was forced to cancel another meeting when the Panthers threatened to show up with loaded weapons.
Michaels is a muscular 34-year-old whose background includes a criminal record and an abortive military career. In addition to his work with the New Panthers, which he describes as an instrument in a war against "worldwide white supremacy," Michaels produces a radio talk show featuring John Wiley Price, a Dallas County Commissioner and notorious "Black Power" agitator. For Michaels, the proposition represented by the Panthers is a simple one: "We who are the children of the downtrodden, who have seen our men killed and our women defiled and our children oppressed, and who are descended from the Africans, who are the greatest people who ever lived - we will either transform this society today, or we will destroy it. One of the two; it can either be one way or the other."
Speaking to THE NEW AMERICAN at the studios of KKDA radio in Dallas, Michaels explained that his revival of the Panthers began in late 1989. "I started a resurgence of the idealism and the ideology of the former Black Panther Party basically because the atrocities in the African-American community still existed.... We still have economic imparities [sic]. Banks still red-line our districts; police departments still occupy our community like a foreign troop occupies territory. So we are still in a police state."
In the early 1990s, Michaels and his comrades became aggrieved over what they described as "a regression on democratic human rights," particularly racial entitlements such as affirmative action and set-asides. Michaels and John Wiley Price assembled a group called the "Warriors" that waged high-profile campaigns of harassment against Dallas businessmen in order to "have them experience a little of what the African-American community experiences every day."
The Warriors began by picketing theaters whose choice of films was judged to be degrading to the "African-American community," and escalated into attempted street blockades of targeted businesses. Predictably, confrontations erupted between the Warriors and the police, leading to what Michaels describes as "atrocities" - meaning the arrest of some Warriors on civil disturbance charges.
By 1990, Michaels and his group were ready for a more militant approach. At that time, he became aware of the activities of Michael McGee, a former Black Panther Party member in Milwaukee who was organizing a new "Black Panther Militia" in that city for the purpose of extorting political favors from that city's government. "We invited him down to Dallas to speak to a community group," Michaels recalled to THE NEW AMERICAN. "He came down and he told us his campaign, though he didn't give us the whole strategy for security reasons, but we understood that."
Following his contact with McGee, Michaels created a Black Panther cell in Dallas. Michaels claims that new Black Panther chapters have also been formed in Los Angeles, Indiana, Chicago, South Carolina, and several other cities, and that "people are asking me to come to their cities and help them organize." He is convinced that only a revival of the Maoist Panther movement can create the social upheaval he regards as necessary: "The Panthers were the only African-American group that would have been able to actually change America and would have actually brought another civil war in the late 1960s if they hadn't been destroyed."
Michaels sees his group as part of a global pan-Africanist movement rooted in Marxism: "We're part of a resurgence of the Black Nationalist movement, with a twist and a turn on what Malcolm X was beginning to move toward in the mid-1960s, which was pan-Africanism. We are now seeing the resurgence of the Black Power movement based on the church burnings in the South and the [use of the] same fear tactics that Anglos used in the late 1950s and 1960s to keep blacks in their place." He also perceives a "dialectical" relationship between the armed Black Power movement and "the resurgence of the armed hate groups, the white anti-government folks, with the Aryan Nations arming themselves and training their young."
But according to Michaels, the renascent Black Power movement is not confined to this country: "We want a united, socialist Africa now.... We have to identify with our brothers in the [African] Diaspora. Fidel Castro says it very well: 'I am an African. My roots are entrenched in Africa.' Fidel Castro understood very clearly that he needed Africa to be free. He sent troops into Africa, as the Soviet Union did. They sent guns. They sent tanks and other aid to liberate Africa."
Although he was vague about the details, Michaels insisted that the Soviet/Cuban role in fomenting "liberation" struggles continues - both abroad and here in the United States: "Even with the falling of the [Soviet Union] I still support Russia. They were the big bogeyman that could take out America, and they are still a power to be reckoned with, because they never [disposed of] their nuclear arms, the same people who controlled them then control them now. Their nation could still arise again as a power tomorrow, because they never actually stopped being one." Asked by THE NEW AMERICAN specifically about a possible Russian/Soviet role in the "liberation" struggle here in America, Michaels answered somewhat cryptically: "They still have their intelligence agencies intact."
Predictably, Michaels has fond memories of the Los Angeles "Uprising." "There will be more uprisings like the one in LA," Michaels predicts. "It's coming, and you had better get ready for it." Although the spark may come from the friction between races, the intention is to ignite a Marxist-inspired class war:
The next civil war that will be fought in the United States will not be a civil war between black and white. It will be between the haves and the have-nots. It's already happening. You see white people, poor white people, fighting against the government.... You see all types of movements, including the Oklahoma bombing. Those people in the Federal Building [in Oklahoma City] were casualties of war. In every war, there are innocent casualties.
We have a low-intensity war that is being fought right now. On the front lines, you'll see more of the race hate groups coming up, and you'll see escalation between civil rights organizations and race hate groups. It began in the late 1980s, and it's on a peak now with the resurgence of the Black Power movements nationally and internationally. We are seeing the beginnings of a new civil war.
It will come as no surprise that Michaels envisions a Bosnia-like development on the North American continent: a World Court tribunal to investigate "atrocities" committed by the U.S. "We are getting ready to put together a tribunal, like the one Malcolm X called for back in the 1960s," Michaels explained to THE NEW AMERICAN. "We will gather our facts and put our claim before the World Court. We are working with individuals from what's called the far left of the spectrum. We plan to bring Fidel into the U.S. to speak at this tribunal, along with people from Germany, lawyers from around the world, and we'll send the results to the World Court and the United Nations."
Michaels recalled that "most of the money that the original Panthers collected came from white people, business people, and celebrities. They also received a lot of support from the Peace and Freedom Party, who were mostly white anti-war activists who saw a need for their struggle to be entrenched in the African culture and community here." He also recalled the nexus between the Panthers and the Weather Underground, a hard-core Maoist terror network that connected the Panthers, the American Indian Movement, and other domestic subversive groups to the Terrorist International.
"The Weathermen - those people were cold," Michaels mused admiringly. "They were white guys who said that all white people deserved to die, including the white children. They said that they should kill white children because if they grow up, they'll be racist just like their mothers and fathers, which was a very intelligent analysis. The SDS [Students for a Democratic Society] was the same way."
Michael McGee, who inspired Aaron Michaels to create the New Black Panthers, is a veteran militant who has employed extortion and terrorism to advance his political ends. A member of the original Black Panther movement, McGee is a proponent of "Urban Guerrilla Warfare" as pioneered by Brazilian Marxist Carlos Marighella - a model in which violent insurrections provoke increasingly draconian responses from government, until the social order is completely transformed.
A Vietnam veteran and former city councilman in Milwaukee, McGee is the founder and leader of that city's Black Panther Militia. In 1990, McGee issued an ultimatum on behalf of his organization, declaring that "if conditions for the black community don't change I will support such actions as [terrorism], as well as bombings, sniper attacks, assassinations, etc."
Predictably, mainstream media mavens fell over themselves to offer McGee a forum to promote urban guerrilla warfare. Speaking on 60 Minutes, McGee explained that "when I say I want to wage urban guerrilla warfare, I ain't talking about Saudi Arabia. I'm talking about right here in our home court." When interviewer Mike Wallace inquired, "What kind of violence does the Black Militia have in mind?" McGee elaborated: "Sniping at tires going on the freeway, sabotage, tearing down electrical wires. You know, complete chaos and confusion outside of our community."
Speaking on the Phil Donahue television program on January 15, 1991 - the eve of the Gulf War - McGee reiterated his inflammatory message: "[W]hen you talk about guerrilla warfare, that's what we're talking about, undercover, because we're fighting a superior armed enemy, so we will use what we call 'urban guerrilla tactics.'" He also took pains to point out that "there are whites that are involved in the militia, too, so don't anyone get that wrong, either. We have white members as well."
The April 1992 Los Angeles riots appeared to be a partial fulfillment of Michael McGee's predictions, and McGee was among the "experts" invited to comment on the riots on the May 4th edition of CNN's Larry King Live program. "[W]e had riots in 1930, 1929, 1960, the '90s," McGee observed. "And we're going to have them in the year 2000, except they're going to be, hopefully, what I call an insurrection, versus a riot, where we actually take complete control of our lives."
"I'm talking about something that I am right now organizing that will make these riots look like a Fourth of July picnic," McGee boasted. "I mean armed insurrection in the inner cities so that when you bring the National Guard in they [will have] to stay in the inner cities for 10 years." This was a curious statement from someone who perceives the police as an invading army to be driven from the inner cities - but it is entirely appropriate for someone committed to the Marighella strategy of summoning tyranny through armed insurrection.
Nor would McGee be satisfied with a federal police state; his designs envision something even more drastic:
[Y]ou've also got to remember that if the UN could go into Beirut, if they go into Lebanon, if they go into Iraq, eventually the UN, I think, is going to have to come in here, because what I'm talking about organizing is something that's going to be called urban guerrilla warfare. It's something that's not going to be fought like a riot.
As McGee's remarks illustrate, the urban insurrectionists of the 1990s are pursuing a sophisticated and diabolical strategy: using anarchy to summon tyranny into existence. With the help of foreign sponsors, federal largesse, and the blessings of the mainstream media, the nouveau guerrillas are laying the groundwork for future eruptions like the July 4th communist attack in Westwood and the much-invoked Los Angeles "Uprising."