You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo
Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
Perception is everything. For local community members going to the polls, if they knew these individuals, it could be that they'd be perceived as PROTECTING their right to vote.
The BPP made a point of publicly carrying weapons BECAUSE IT WAS THEIR RIGHT TO DO SO. This was perceived as a threatening act because it was black men doing it. What is the difference between the BPP carrying weapons, publicly, to reinforce their right to do so, and tea party members doing the same--to reinforce their right to keep and bear arms?
The menace is one of perception, not of intention, per se.
New Black Panther Party Mission:
They don't want "total black power." They want complete control of their own destiny.
Which, when you think about it apart from racial terms, isn't that different from the Tea Partiers.