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To My Black Brothers In Vietnam (1970)

To My Black Brothers In Vietnam
By Eldridge Cleaver
Minister of Information
Black Panther Party

I’m writing this on January 4, 1970. We are starting out a new year. On August 31, I’ll be 35 years old. I’m married, and I have one child with another one on the way. I am in love with my wife and I would like to enjoy a happy life raising a family. But I am not free to live the type of life that I would like. Pigs—the racist fascist rulers of the United States—won’t let me.



And I would like to ask you Brothers: are you living the life that you want to live? Are these same pigs cramping your style? I don’t believe that you actually prefer to be way over there, fighting against our Vietnamese Brothers and Sisters who are fighting for their freedom. Because your own People, whom you left behind in Zion, are also fighting for their freedom against the very same pigs who have you over there doing their dirty work for them. And your people need you–and your military skills—to help us take our freedom and stop these racist pigs from committing genocide upon us, as they have been doing for the past 400 years.

I am the Minister of Information of the Black Panther Party, and I am speaking to you now for the Party, but I want to put a personal note into this because I know that you niggers have your minds all messed up about Black organizations, or you wouldn’t be the flunkies for the White organization–the U.S.A.–for whom you have picked up the gun. The Black Panther Party has picked up the gun too, but not to fight against the heroic Vietnamese people, but rather to wage a war of liberation against the very same pigs whom you are helping to run their vicious game on the entire world, including upon your own People. Dig it. I wonder, can you dig it? Can you dig niggers, brothers and sisters off the block, who have said later for the pigs and have picked up guns in Babylon, to bring to fulfillment the dreams of freedom that have kept our people alive for 400 years, under the racist yoke of the White man. From the said days of slavery in the cotton fields of the South, to the present bleeding years of the Democrats, Republicans. Uncle Toms, Lyndon B. Johnson and now, the foulist racist pig ever to become president of the United States, Richard Meally Mouth Nixon- your Commander in Chief and the Number One Enemy of our people

The struggle of our people for freedom has progressed to the form where all of us must take a stand either for or against the freedom of our people You are either with Your People or against them. You are either part of the solution or part of the problem. We either help our people or, by refusing to help them, make it easier for the enemy to destroy us. There are no two ways about it. While you are over there in Vietnam, the Pigs are murdering our People, oppressing them, and the jails and prisons of America are filling up with political prisoners. These political prisoners are your own Black Brothers and Sisters. We have a desperate, life and death struggle on our hands, and if we as a people are going to survive, then we must save ourselves. We need your help, desperately, before it is too late.

This is the moment in history that our people have been working, praying, fighting, and dying for. Now, while the whole world is rising up with arms against our oppressors, we must make a decisive move for our freedom. If we miss this chance, this golden opportunity who knows when we will get another chance? We cannot afford to gamble with this chance by putting things off. Now is the moment for decision. This very moment, right where you are. You do not have to wait until later, until after you are back home and out of the army. You can make your move now, while you are still inside the army, because the army is one of the key weapons which the pigs have up their sleeves to use against us when the time comes. And make no mistake about it, that time is coming and it is almost here. The pigs are using G.I.’s from Vietnam on the Police forces and National Guard units inside Babylon. Many of our Black Brothers go to Vietnam and learn how to kill human beings, then when they are released from the army they return home and end up on the Police force. On the police forces, they carry out the same dirty work against us, in the name of Law and Order that they carried out against the Vietnamese people.

In 1968-69, the pigs murdered 28 members of the Black Panther Party and nobody even knows how many other of our Black Brothers and Sisters were shot down by the pigs. But it is a long list. Scores of our Party members are being held as Political prisoners because they took a stand for the freedom and liberation of our people. Huey P. Newton, Minister of Defense of the Black Panther Party, our leader, is in prison in California. Our Chairman, Bobby Seale, is in jail and the pigs are trying to put him in the electric chair, in Connecticut, on trumped up charges. Pigs in Chicago murdered Fred Hampton while he was asleep in his bed. Shot him in his head with a shotgun, with 00 Buckshot. The pigs have been making mass arrests of our Party members, with 21 arrested in New York, 14 in New Haven, 18 in Los Angeles, and 16 in Chicago.

We appeal to you Brothers to come to the aid of your people. Either quit the army, now, or start destroying it from the inside. Anything else is a compromise and a form of treason against your own people. Stop killing the Vietnamese people. You need to start killing the racist pigs who are over there with you giving you orders. Kill General Abrahms and his staff, all his officers. Sabotage supplies and equipment, or turn them over to the Vietnamese people. Talk to the other Brothers and wake them up. You should start now weeding out the traitors amongst you. It is better to do it now than to allow them to return home to help the pigs wipe us out. Especially the Uncle Tom officers should be dealt with now, because the pigs will use them as effective tools against our people. When you can no longer take care of business inside the army, then turn yourself over to the Vietnamese people and tell them you want to join the Black Panther Party to fight for the freedom and liberation of your own people. If you do cross over, you don’t have to worry about the Vietnamese people abusing you. They will be glad to see you drop out of the army because what they want most in life is to stop the fighting in their land. You have a duty to humanity as well as to your own people not to be used as murderous tools by racist pigs to oppress the people.

Think about it, Brother, and act on it, because you don’t have much time. Organise all the Brothers around you and move. Force the pigs to understand that you will no longer be their slave and hired killer. Let the pigs know that, instead, you want the persecution of your Black Brothers and sisters to stop, and that you intend help stop it. Demand that Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale be set free. Especially, help us force the pigs not to murder Bobby Seale in the electric chair.

We have dedicated our lives, our blood, to the freedom and liberation of our people, and nothing, no force can stop us from achieving our goal. If it is necessary to destroy the United States of America, then let us destroy it with a smile on our faces. A smile for the freedom and liberation of our people. The Black Panther Party calls for freedom and liberation in our life time, because we want to leave behind us a decent world for our children to grow up in. Let’s turn 1970 into a year in which our people make heroic drive for freedom and liberation.

ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!


SEIZE THE TIME!

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