Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Lil' Bobby Hutton
This semester, I'm teaching a Racial and Ethnic Relations class, which I present more or less as a course in White Supremacy 101. Last week, I showed "Passin' It On," the story of Dhoruba bin Wahad, a Black Panther Party member who was targeted by the criminal justice system and spent nineteen years in a cell until he was finally acquitted and released. Reading the startled reactions written by my students after watching the film, I was caused to think about another Black Panther: Lil' Bobby Hutton.
Bobby was the first recruited member of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, joining in December of 1966 at the age of sixteen. Sixteen months later, two days after Martin Luther King, Jr., was gunned down by a police officer in Memphis, Tennessee, the Oakland, California, police department attacked the BPP office and shot Lil' Bobby more than twelve times when he walked out into the street in his underwear so they would know he was unarmed. Long live Lil' Bobby Hutton and all people who unite to fight those who carry on the traditions and practices of White Supremacy.