Propping Up The New Black Panther Party — It’s A Right-Wing Thing

Now that George Zimmerman has finally been arrested for his role in the death of Trayvon Martin, many on the right are loudly calling for the arrest of Mikhail Muhammad, leader of the Florida-based chapter of the New Black Panther Party, for his offer of a $10,000 bounty for the capture of George Zimmerman.

Of course, the right has been engaged in a fit of angst over the existence of this group for years, mostly stemming from what they have persistently called Eric Holder’s negligence for refusing to prosecute NBPP members for having supposedly intimidated voters in Philadelphia by standing outside of polling stations during the 2008 Presidential election. Never mind that no actual VOTERS ever stepped forward to complain of being intimidated, apparently Mr. Holder was supposed to find the means to press charges anyway on account of Fox News watchers around the country suffering a collective case of the vapors upon seeing such “scary” individuals on their TV sets.


Instead, Mr. Holder’s refusal to prosecute people for standing in public kicked off a smear campaign against both Attorney General Holder and President Obama over their supposed association with the NBPP that has been mainly defined as follows: both self-identify as black men, and lookie here, the NBPP has the word “black” right there in its name, thus, they’re obviously connected. Ta da!

The Washington Times recently editorialized about this “association” by accusing the Justice Department of ignoring black-on-white crime as a result of Mr. Holder’s Black Panther blind spot — a supposed “blind spot” solely credited, naturally, to that same 2008 case. The editorial helpfully went on to cite several Florida statutes they believe Muhammed guilty of violating, and called on Mr. Holder to take action.

Did you catch that, how the enforcement of FLORIDA statutes is now somehow Mr. HOLDER’s personal responsibility? One is seriously left to wonder just how desperate one must be to attack Mr. Holder that one would completely absolve Florida of any responsibility, as if Florida somehow lacks its own AG, or worst, the law enforcement means to enforce their own statutes.

Fox News’ Hannity recently got in on the act as well, preferring to direct his latest dig at the other member of this NBPP/Holder/Obama triumvirate with a breathless tale about there being a “picture” of President Obama with the NBPP. Of course, no such picture was produced, but the opening did give him the opportunity to repeat the same old whines about that same old 2008 case, as well as play the lunatic ravings of Michelle Williams, the chief of staff of that same Florida-based unit.

Yet, as I sat there listening, it suddenly occurred to me that BUT for right-wing media outlets, no one would ever hear from (or know anything about) the NBPP. THAT’s how insignificant this group is on their own. In fact, at this point, right-wing media outlets pretty much constitute their only means of propagating messages on a national scale, seeing how no one else wants anything to do with them. Including members of the original Black Panther Party (now operating under the auspices of the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation), who have repeatedly denounced the NBPP as nothing more than an “illegitimate” band that merely “graft[ed] the Party’s name upon itself.”

But why should the NBPP worry about that, when they can rely on the Fox News universe to keep them in the news?