Why FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover Saw Black Panther Party as a Threat to Internal Security of United States

John Edgar Hoover acted as the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from 1924 to 1972. In June 1969, John Edgar Hoover got involved with the Black Panther Party when he was against the party’s existence. The Back Panther Party was a Black Nationalist organization founded in California in 1966 by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton. When the party began to gain prominence during late 1960s, Hoover declared that it represented the greatest threat to the United States’ internal security. According to Hoover, the leaders of the Black Panther Party had committed various assaults and had continuously confronted police officers throughout the United States. Hoover also claimed that the party’s leaders travelled all over the United States spreading their message of violence and hate to residents and students (Shakur, 2010).

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In 1960s, the norm of the United States government was discrimination against the black community. The leaders of the Black Panther Party struggled to challenge the status-quo, a move that was completely opposed by the United States government. The government developed a general suspicion for the Black Panther Part, and the powerful organizing skills of the party’s leaders made them ‘wanted people.’ On December 4, 1969, the two leaders of Black Panther Party, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were killed by police officers of Chicago after they attacked the apartment where the Panthers were residing. Some public officials supported the killing stating that the Black Panthers were criminals. A number of White Chicago resident and the black community however condemned the police actions, terming the deaths of the two leaders as an assassination. The black community expressed their feelings of rage and frustrations over the overall mistrust and failure of police officers (Wilkins and Clark, 1973).

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