New Black Panther Party for Self Defense
Posted: June 1, 2011
The New Black Panther Party for Self Defense (NBPP) is the largest organized anti-Semitic and racist black militant group in America. The group is led by Malik Zulu Shabazz, a Washington, DC-based attorney who has been active with the NBPP since the mid-1990s.
By taking on racially-charged issues under the guise of championing civil rights, the NBPP has received national media attention for its efforts, garnered some support from prominent members of the African-American community and attracted followers. The group's demonstrations, conferences, and other events often blend inflammatory bigotry with calls for violence, tarnishing its efforts to promote black pride and consciousness.
In January 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit against the group in response to an alleged incident of voter intimidation involving two of its members at a Philadelphia polling station on Election Day 2008.
Following the incident and the public scrutiny it prompted, the group has undertaken efforts to unify its leadership and expand its member base. In advance of its December 2009 National Summit in Dallas, Shabazz called for pursuing the NBPP's ultimate goals of Black Nationalism and Black Power "by any means necessary," adding that, "We must unite and build up the New Black Panther Party… or die trying!"
The NBPP's divisive positions have been condemned by members of the original Black Panthers. Co-founder Bobby Seale believes that the NBPP has "hijacked our name and are hijacking our history." David Hilliard, a former Panther and executive director of the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation, has said that the racism that the group "espouse(s) flies directly in the face of the Black Panthers' multicultural ideology and purpose." The NBPP continues to use the Panther name and logo in spite of a permanent injunction prohibiting them from using either, which the original Panthers obtained in May 1997.
A version of this report was originally published in April 2010.