“We’re having truth class tonight,” said Quanell X, leader of the New Black Panther Party, at a speech he gave last night at the Lowman Student Center Theatre. “White people have a great obligation to us, and don’t tell me they are not responsible for what their ancestors did to us.
“They bear the burden of what their ancestors did, and they are accountable to repair it,” he said. “They have a duty to stop the madness.”
Quanell X presented his views on reparations, and said that white people owe black people more than they have given them in the past.
“I’ve had many black Americans be angry with me because of my position on reparations,” he said. “We should not be given reparations in the form of individual checks. If the white people give the black people a check, the white people would get it back the next day.”
Quanell X said reparations should be used for people coming out of prison without jobs, helping to find a cure for AIDS, and ensuring proper health care for black people.
“Reparations should be used to produce better services for us as a people, not as individuals.”
Quanell X said white people have paid reparations to Jewish, Indians, Japanese-Americans. However, he said white people owe black people 400 years of reparations, beginning in 1555 with the first slave trade until 1955 when African-Americans were still fighting for civil rights.
“The whites have gunned down black leaders, and white people in office went into every black organization and assassinated all the black leaders with their character and with their lives,” he said. “Night riders in the south lynched black people, and white people bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church and killed innocent children, and no one was arrested for this for years. You have been terrorists in this nation to black people.
“You don’t mind if black people kill each other in the hood, but when they start to kill white people you tell them to love everyone,” Quanell X said. “We wouldn’t need Affirmative Action if we got reparations.”
Quanell X also presented his views on Affirmative Action, and how it affects the African-American community and the way minorities seek higher education.
“I am not a supporter of Affirmative Action,” he said. “Affirmative Action is not the answer, it’s a Band-Aid on cancer.”
He said there are too many black schools that need more bright black minds.
“We should not fight white people so that we can go to school with them,” he said. “We can make our own decent, respectable, meaningful places for education.
“Don’t come to our black high schools seeking our black athletes,” he said. “Let these white folks see what it’s like to have all white baseball, basketball, and football teams. They would never win the NCAA again. Maybe the black athletes here should get out of SHSU and go to one of our own schools.”
Quanell X also opposed the idea of a U.S. war with Iraq. He said America is sending poor white, black and Hispanic people to fight in the war instead of sending the children of the rich. He said America’s main motive is to have control of everything, not to preserve our government.
“Bush was not elected by a popular vote, he was elected by the Supreme Court. How can they tell you your vote really counts?” he said. “For all the white people that are listening, your nation is going straight to hell. America’s arrogance and egotistical pride will bring her down. She is like Babylon, and believes no one will harm her.
“The people in the Middle East don’t hate American citizens, they hate the government. Notice that during the events of Sept. 11, no planes went into Harlem and no Anthrax letters made it to the ghetto.”
He also said white people need to get used to the fact that they will not be the majority much longer.
“The world is becoming increasingly black and brown,” he said. “In less than 25 years, we will be the majority. If black people ever came to power in America, we would not do to you what your ancestors did to us.”
He also urged African-Americans to organize their own facilities.
“We as black people must organize for ourselves,” he said. “Asian-Americans don’t have problems in the United States because every city has a China Town. We need to build something for ourselves.”
During his speech Quanell X also spoke on religion, and said people who have faith in God and love Jesus should realize that Jesus was black. He referred to the book of Revelations in the Bible where it states that Jesus had hair of lamb’s wool and his eyes burned.
“Jesus himself was a black man,” he said. “Don’t tell me his skin was olive. If it’s burnt, it’s black, baby.”
He also referred to Jesus’ mother Mary’s lineage from Egypt.
“How can Jesus have a mother from Egypt and be white with long, blonde hair? That’s white supremacy in religion.”
Quanell X thanked the people who worked to bring him to SHSU, and also addressed those that opposed him.
“I just want to thank all of you who worked tirelessly to make sure this would be a successful event,” he said. “For those of you who oppose me, I thank you too. I love you, and I respect you. Why wouldn’t you want me to come to your campus? If it’s God’s will for me to be here, you don’t have the power to keep me away.
“I don’t understand how you can bring other speakers to this campus who have nothing to offer this university. Those people are only allowed to come and speak because white people approve them to come here.”
He also urged African-Americans to come together and be proud of their heritage.
“Black people, we need to be honest with ourselves and stop playing games. We can’t ask anyone to respect us if we don’t respect ourselves,” he said. “You can never become a better person if you don’t change the way you think. Don’t be ashamed of having big lips and a broad nose, because that is how God made you. You’re not black because you’re cursed, you’re black because you’re first.”
Some students who attended the speech voiced their opinions about the events of the evening.
Sophomore Tice Bain stood outside the Lowman Student Center with a large sign that read, “Do Not Support Racism.”
“I want people to listen to the speech but not believe what is said,” Bain said.
“I don’t think the Black Panthers are any better than the Ku Klux Klan or the Neo-Nazis,” freshman Matt Elliot said. “They’re just another hate group. They take the truth and put a twist on it, forcing it to validate their cause. Martin Luther King, Jr. had the right idea, and that idea is that a Christian learns to love, not hate.”
Others wished Quanell X had offered more solutions to the problems he addressed.
“Anyone can rant and rave about the problems of the world. However, it takes real men and women to solve them and Mr. X offered no solutions,” freshman Kyle Volkmer said. “In the 1960s, the Black Panthers really seemed to have a cause, and now it seems like the blind are leading the blind.
“I can sum up my beliefs in a song. ‘Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.'”