A video published Monday by the Center for Investigative Reporting reveals that the man responsible for arming and training members of the Black Panther Party in the 1960s did so while acting as a federal informant.
According to reporter Seth Rosenfeld, Richard Aoki was approached by FBI agent Burney Threadgill Jr. in the late 1950s, around the time he was graduating high school, and developed into a source into the activities of various political groups during the following decade.
“I said, ‘Well, why don’t you just go to some of the meetings and tell me who’s there and what they talked about?'” Threadgill is quoted as saying. “Very pleasant little guy. He always wore dark glasses.”
Aoki, who committed suicide in 2009 after working as an educator for 25 years following his involvement with the party, has been remembered for his activism. He was the subject of the biography Samurai Among Panthers: On Race, Resistance And A Pardoxical Life, which traced his ascent within the organization, where he became the highest-ranking non-black member of the party.
Rosenfeld wrote that he discovered Aoki’s double-identity while researching a book of his own, scheduled for release this week. He also noted that Aoki disputed the allegation during a 2007 interview, saying he thought Rosenfeld was mistaken before adding, “People change. It is complex. Layer upon layer.” Aoki did, however, admit to “cutting a deal” with military authorities while serving in the U.S. Army, sealing the criminal record he had amassed in his youth.
Aoki would go on to serve in the Army reserves, during which time, Rosenfeld writes, he filed reports to Threadgill detailing his involvement in groups like the Communist Party, the Socialist Party, the Young Socialist Alliance and the Vietnam Day Committee. By the time Aoki met Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in Oakland, when Newton and Seale were developing what would become the Black Panther Party’s 10-point program, Aoki had been assigned to another agent.
In his interview with Rosenfeld, Aoki said he provided weapons and training to the Panthers.
“I had a little collection, and Bobby and Huey knew about it, and so when the party was formed, I decided to turn it over to the group,” Aoki said. “And so when you see the guys out there marching and everything, I’m somewhat responsible for the military slant to the organization’s public image.”
Watch Rosenfeld’s report in its entirety below.
[h/t Hyphen Magazine]
Buttigieg says Trump can ‘do chores’ if he’s unwilling to leave White House
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg joked on Monday about what he would do if President Donald Trump is unwilling to leave the White House after a 2020 loss.
During a campaign event in Reno, a voter worried that Trump might call his loss a hoax if the election is close.
"I mean, if he won't leave, I guess if he's willing to do chores, we can work something out," the candidate said to laughter and cheers.
Buttigieg argued that the best way to prevent Trump from "cheating" is to win by a significant margin.
"At the end of the day, there's only one president," he explained. "This is one of the reason we not just eke out a win, not just club everybody over the head and hope that we get to 51% and our Twitter followers outnumber your Twitter followers and we somehow piece together a squeaker."
C-SPAN caller scorched by Muslim comedian for ignoring Jesus after she rants ‘gays are abomination to God’
Comedian Dean Obeidallah, who is Muslim, told a C-SPAN caller that Republicans are not following the teachings of Jesus Christ even though they may oppose abortion and other policies advocated by evangelicals.
"I am independent," Pam, who called from Arkansas, told Obeidallah. "I vote according to my conscience of who would Jesus vote for if he were here on Earth. And he would not vote a group of people who believe in murdering children in the womb, on gays, which is an abomination to God, on false gods from other countries."
Obeidallah, who hosts a SiruisXM radio program, replied with a lesson on the Christian savior.
GOPers claiming Trump learned from impeachment ‘look like fools’ after his ‘crazy-pants’ speech: MSNBC contributor
Appearing on MSNBC on Sunday morning, Washington Post conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin mocked Republican lawmakers -- specifically Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) -- for defending her vote to acquit Donald Trump in his impeachment trial by saying the president "learned" from the experience.
Speaking with host Ali Velshi, Rubin said any lawmaker who made such a statement looks like "a fool" now considering the president's demeanor following his acquittal.
"Jennifer, you have recently tweeted that those who defend the president are 'as depraved or nuts as he is' and, 'hey, Republican senators, proud of defending a lunatic?'" host Velshi began. "The president's defenders are not prepared to go out on a limb to say that he, virtually none of them, said he did anything wrong."