Dec. 4, 1969—48 years ago today—police officers from the Cook County, Ill., State Attorney’s Office, in collusion with the FBI, assassinated Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, and Black Panther Party leader Mark Clark.
Hampton and Clark were 21 and 22 years old, respectively.
At approximately 4:45 a.m., 14 police officers raided the apartment on Chicago’s West Side and opened fire in the orchestrated hit. Four other Panthers were shot; several were beaten; and Deborah Johnson, Hampton’s eight-months-pregnant fiancee, barely escaped with her life.
Noam Chomsky once called Hampton’s assassination “the gravest domestic crime of the Nixon administration.” It was brutal and intended to send a message to revolutionary “niggers” that freedom in the United States comes with an asterisk.
“When I leave, you’ll remember I said, with the last words on my lips, that I am a revolutionary. And you’re going to have to keep on saying that. You’re going to have to say that I am a proletariat, I am the people.”
In the current political resistance—fueled, in large part, by the election of white supremacist and sexual predator Donald Trump and by red-baiting amplified to near hysteria by the Democratic Party—the FBI has enjoyed a rise in popularity.
“Comey is my homey” became a liberal rallying cry right before the FBI released a dishonest, violent and alarmist report on so-called “black identity extremists” who attacked police officers.
Make no mistake: The FBI has never been a friend to black America, and if it has, then who needs enemies?
Today we salute the Black Panther Party.
Today we honor Fred Hampton’s and Mark Clark’s legacies.
May their lives and their deaths not be in vain—and may we never forget that the FBI has black blood all over its corrupt hands.