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Watergate: Nixon and the Black Panthers

Senior Thesis

Power to the people: The rise of the Black Panthers CBS News

"We were, from the beginning almost, the targets of the Federal government," said Brown. "J. Edgar Hoover, by 1968, was saying the Black Panther party was the greatest threat to internal security of the United States."

Hoover even brought his concerns about the Panthers to President Nixon, who on recordings can be heard on a telephone call pondering how the FBI could be used against them:

Nixon: "On a case-by-case basis, you could determine when you would want the Bureau to get in. In other words, where you sort of had the scent of the smell of a national conspiracy thing. You know, the kind of thing like the Panthers, and all that…"
Hoover: "Like the Black Panthers, the Students for a Democratic Society."
Nixon: "Something where it's basically that kind of an action."

"Found the tape, baby -- smoking gun evidence that the Nixon administration, starting with Nixon himself, this dude was giving directives to get rid of these Black Panthers," said Seale.

The Black Power Era: By Alan Maass

"President Richard Nixon himself could sympathize with this definition of Black Power. He declared in a 1968 speech that "[w]hat most of the militants are asking is not separation, but to be included in--not as supplicants, but as owners, as entrepreneurs--to have a share of the wealth and a piece of the action." Federal government programs, Nixon said, should "be oriented toward more Black ownership, for from this can flow the rest--Black pride, Black jobs, Black opportunity and, yes, Black Power."

The Stanford Daily, Volume 156, Issue 47, 4 December 1969

Panther Chief Nabbed for Threatening Nixon

Charging that David Hilliard had threatened President Nixon's life, Secret Service agents yesterday arrested the Black Panther Party Chief of State for remarks made at November's Moratorium rally. Hilliard, 27, of Berkeley, Calif., was arrested in an automobile without incident a few hours after a federal grand jury returned a secret indictment, said Tom Hanson, agent in charge of the Secret Service here.

Hilliard was held in lieu of $30,000 bail for a plea hearing, tentatively set for Dec. 17 by U.S. District Judge Stanley Weigel. The indictment charged that Hilliard "willfully and knowingly did publicly .. . make certain threats to take the life of and to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States." Over 175,000 people heard Hilliard's speech in Golden Gate Park on November 15, while others listened to it on the radio and educational television station KQED. Nixon Lambasted The exact quote for which Hilliard was charged, according to The Black Panther, newspaper of the Black Panther Party, is as follows: "This is the man that's responsible for all the attacks on the Black Panther Party nationally. This is the man that sends his vicious murderous dogs out into the black community and invade upon our Black Panther Party Breakfast Programs. Destroy food that we have for hungry kids and expect us to accept, shit like that idly. Fuck that motherfucking man. We will kill Richard Nixon. We will kill any motherfucker that stands in the way of our freedom. We ain't here for no goddamned peace, because we know that we can't have no peace because this country was built on war. And if you want peace you got to fight for it."

Hilliard's attorney, Charles Garry, argued against the amount of bail, saying that $30,000 was "ransom." Billiard is anxious to fight this charge, Garry said. "He is not going to run away. He will show he is innocent of any wrongdoing." Bail No Problem Justice Department attorney Victor Worheide of Washington said Hill iard "should have no problem raising the bail if he has the resources of the Black Panther Party at his disposal." Judge Weigel declined to lower bail, commenting that threatening the life of the President was "a very serious charge," The judge said Garry could seek reduction of bail later if circumstances warrant. Spokesmen for the Black Panther Party headquarters in Oakland declined to comment as they will issue a press statement this morning. The Stanford Community Against War and Fascism stated, "We are not surprised that David Hilliard was arrested. It is just one more illustration of the fart, that the Nixon regime is conscientiously attempting to wipe out the Black Panther Party. In 1774 the motto of the Sons of Liberty was "We Dare to be Free." David Hilliard was arrested for saying the same thing. More power to David. Power to the People."

Black Panthers

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