The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 Robert Trivers Archive
Wild Life: An Armed Robbery Leads to Protecting Children on Their Way Home from School
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeThanksLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

[Excerpted from Chapter 11 of Wild Life: Adventures of an Evolutionary Biologist by Prof. Robert Trivers.]

According to Huey, the Black Panther Party started as a simple, old-fashioned robbery, which he was planning with a number of confederates. Problem was he was reading Franz Fanon and becoming politically conscious. So he decided to use the robbery to start a new political party, as radical as its start-up funds. The hard part was selling it to his fellow robbers. They didn’t like the idea. “They almost killed me,” Huey told me, but finally he got them to sign off on it, and some of them even became Party members later.

ORDER IT NOW

Huey liked to tell me that there was nothing quite like the thrill of a bank robbery. He would act it out, coming around the corner with his gun drawn and pointed unerringly at his intended target, all while announcing the robbery in a calm, authoritative voice. When he was planning a bank robbery on behalf of the Party, a federal agent apparently overheard him telling his men, “Don’t worry about messing up, because if you do I’m going to kill you.”

Once, when he and I were driving through West Oakland, near Berkeley, Huey pointed out the site of the Party’s first political act. There was a street corner at which local African-American children were run over nearly every year while attempting to cross one particularly dangerous street near their school. Numerous requests had been submitted for a stop sign and a proper street crossing to protect the children. Nothing had been done.

One day the Panthers appeared at the street crossing at the appropriate time, dressed in their leather jackets and berets and each carrying a rifle or shotgun. They proceeded to direct traffic, standing in the highway to permit safe passage for the children. Six weeks later the city put up not a stop sign but a stoplight at that very corner. Nothing like armed black men to stir civic activity. At least in Oakland. In the Louisiana of their birth they would have been assaulted, arrested, and a few killed in the bargain.

Guns and Black People

Huey was a master of visual imagery in its many forms. “Wanted: Dead of Alive” posters featuring a policeman, named and pictured: “Must be presumed to be armed and dangerous at all times.” A poster of himself, seated on an old colonial wicker chair, an African spear in one hand, an American rifle in the other, Panther beret on his head, and a serious, straight look on his face. As if the Party were a new colonial power come out of Africa, one that was using what had helped so many others colonize the world – guns. When the Oakland police shot up the poster in the window of Party headquarters, Huey simply made another poster out of that image; it showed so clearly what the police would like to do to him were they not constrained by his Party, his fame, his financial backing, much of it from Hollywood, and the legal power that it bought. All you need to produce is “reasonable doubt” and a little planning can go a long way.

When the California legislature was meeting to decide whether to pass the “Huey Newton law,” as it was popularly called, which stated that you could no longer “ride shotgun” but instead had to keep your loaded gun in your locked trunk, Huey and thirty five other Panthers showed up in Sacramento on the day of the vote, most of them carrying rifles. They tried to enter the legislature with their guns, which was allowed by law at the time. Police stopped them from entering, ordered them out of the building, and shortly thereafter arrested them.

Huey told me that many black people argued against the public display: “Now they’re sure to pass the bill, why don’t you ease up the pressure?” Huey’s response was simple: they were going to pass the bill anyway, and he wanted to show black people that they had the right to show up in front of the legislature with guns and confront a mass of armed police. That was one of the main points of the Party – to encourage African Americans to use their right to bear arms in self-defense. It was in response to a lynching that President Harry Truman made the first and key decision in favor of equal gun rights for the black man in the U.S. when in 1948 he integrated the armed services. Before then Black soldiers sliced the carrots and did the dishes. Many African Americans of more recent times have a strong ambivalence or hostility toward Huey and the Panthers because they believe he helped spawn the culture of black gun violence among the urban young. There is probably some truth to the charge, but I think harsh drug penalties take a larger part of the blame. With the stakes so high for being caught selling illicit drugs, the chances of internecine war and murder inevitably rise as well.

To those who make this charge against Huey, I would also ask what alternative they’d propose to black gun ownership. I suppose you could have armed whites all around disarmed black cities, therefore suffering no internal gun strife, but we have in fact gone through that period. Remember when a howling mob of armed whites burned the thriving black business community of Tulsa, Oklahoma to the ground in the 1920s, killing scores of black people in the process? To be the only unarmed people in a country built on armed violence is not a good position.

Another point I’d make to Huey’s detractors is to remind them that the Panthers helped usher in the wholesale integration of police forces throughout the country, and certainly in Oakland where the Party started. And while it is certainly true, as Huey pointed out, that painting a cop black does not in itself make the cop any better, still, in principle, the black cop is likelier to know how to judge whom from whom and is less likely to have racist attitudes toward his own kind.

A final point on Huey’s legacy: though people tend to assume that Huey was anti-police in principle, in fact he saw obvious value to community surveillance and organized protection. That’s why he regarded himself and Party members as on a par with the official police. He used to joke, “I’ve got nothing against the police as long as we are firing in the same direction.” When he met Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Huey asked him why he had to use random acts of terror against Israelis. Arafat replied that it was because he had no other weapon. Huey said, “Well in that case, ok.” But Huey himself never believed in random acts of violence. His violence – whether for good or evil – was always highly directed and specific.

Animal Imagery

Huey had an extraordinary, intuitive understanding of animals and animal imagery. Although he was not the inventor of the following usages, he seized upon them and popularized them: “Black panther” for black revolutionary and “pig” for a police officer.

Nothing as black at night or as terrifying as a panther. And pigs have a long, distinguished history of being unclean because of a parasite found in their meat. Personally, though, I’ve always had a fondness for pigs. They’re very bright. Few things are cuter than a family of bush pigs running across the high grass of the African veldt, father or mother in front and rear, everyone with their tails raised high, presumably the easier to follow. To see them tied to stakes and forced to root and live in a small space for their entire life is painful to me, though not nearly as painful as the grotesque way in which our “food industry” has produced conditions of mass torture unheard of even in our prisons – chickens, cows, and pigs unable to turn around for their entire life.

Huey once mimicked a moose giving its territorial defense call when challenged – a deep rising moaning sound. He said that he had brought out the moose call in me when, during an argument over splitting royalties evenly, he had suggested that instead of one-third to him and two-thirds to me, as we had originally agreed, it should be two- thirds to him and one-third to me. And I do, indeed, remember the feeling of territorial invasion that seized me, as if suddenly being attacked on two sides simultaneously. And there was a “moose” quality to my voice, as I said, “Wait one minute there, Huey!”

When his wife caught him returning from a three-day bender and was blistering him, he would imitate to me his response in front of her, head down, his paws raised to his chest and hanging limply while he said to her, “It’s the dawg in me, honey; it’s the dawg.”

The following is not quite animal imagery though it is close. Huey routinely used to refer to “your black ass” in a conversation – this without regard to your ethnicity or color. Once he caught a look in my eye because he leaned forward and said, “Bob, all asses are black if you look closely enough.”

I soon adopted the style as my own, which led to a fun minute one evening with a young African American graduate student at Santa Cruz with whom I was arguing. I made reference to my own black ass, at which point he stepped forward and said “Whose black ass?” I stepped forward and said, “My black ass.” He stepped back and said, “Your black ass?” I stepped back. “My black ass.” Problem solved; once we knew whose black ass was in play, tension abated quickly.

Huey was beyond racism, certainly way beyond my own. There were Asian and white Panthers from the beginning; I was only a late example. I naively assumed he would show a bias toward the darker side. Not so. Huey was the Godfather of my slightly darker-skinned twin daughter Natasha, and he once took me aside and said, “Don’t let your racism against white people cause you to discriminate against your lighter skinned twin, Natalia.” Guilty on both accounts. He himself was a quarter Jewish through admixture from the rape of his then 16-sixteen-year-old grandmother by the son of the man employing her mother, and he always respected that side of himself, despite its ugly origin. He would sometimes remind me that he was a quarter Jewish, knowing full well that I was almost half – as if to say, and if you want to compete with me in this area, go right ahead.

Dummying Up

We normally think of deception where self-image is concerned as involving inflation of self: you are bigger, better, or better looking than you really are. But there is a second kind of deception – deceiving down – in which the organism is selected to make itself appear less large, less threatening, and perhaps less attractive, thereby gaining an advantage. Being less threatening to an individual may permit you to approach more closely. The most memorable instance of deceiving down that I learned about was when Huey Newton taught me the Black-American term “dummying up.” This refers to a tendency to represent yourself as being less intelligent and less conscious than you actually are, usually the better to minimize the work you have to do. So an employee may dummy up in order to avoid being required to do more difficult things. In Panama, I routinely saw many instances in which the Spanish-speaking people would misrepresent themselves as understanding less English than they did or as being considerably less intelligent than they actually were, all in order to gain benefits from the benighted gringos who all too easily believed the dummying up.

One day I asked Huey how he dealt with dummying up by others. As head of a large organization he must have repeatedly faced this problem among his underlings. It took him a while to catch on to what I was asking him, but when he did his whole face lit up and he became animated and said, “Oh, you want to know how I handle that?” He then launched into a brilliant verbal attack on an imagined example of dummying up. I only wish that one of Richard Nixon’s aides had been on hand to silently activate a tape recorder so that none of this was lost to posterity. Unfortunately, I can only give a rough sketch of Huey’s answer.

ORDER IT NOW

If I remember correctly, he imagined a situation in which a waiter is always managing to position himself so as to avoid seeing his boss calling him and to otherwise appear to be working while not actually doing any work. His own
monologue in response to this ran roughly as follows: “Oh, so you’re so dumb that you happen to be looking the other way whenever I’m trying to get your attention. And you’re so dumb that when you know I am watching you, you decide to polish silverware that needs no polishing. And you’re so dumb that you are always walking toward the pantry without ever reaching it. Well, you’re not that damn dumb!” – followed perhaps by slapping the organism to the ground, verbally or otherwise. In short, Huey revealed to the actor the hidden logic of his actions, and the final ironic punch line was that, “You’re not that damned dumb” since you’ve managed to arrange all this dumb-acting behavior in such a coherent pattern, designed to deceive your employer.

(Republished from Wild Life by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: History • Tags: Black Panthers, Huey Newton, Wild Life 
Hide 21 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. marwan says:

    i blame : zionists , the mossad , neocons , israel , jews , the msm . my tinfoil hat is never wrong !!!

  2. David says:

    Why is this simple-minded, poorly written tripe being promoted at Unz.com?

    • Replies: @J1234
    , @Thirdeye
    , @Aaron Gross
  3. Rehmat says:

    Mr. Trivers – do you know that most of European Jewish terrorist militias which formed Israel’s Armed Forces, were collaborators of Nazis and Italian Fascists?

    In 2013, FBI doubled bounty for Assata Shakur’s (born as Joanne Deborah Byron in 1947) capture ‘alive or dead’ to $2 million. Israel-First New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez praised FBI director Robert Mueller for raising the bar on Assata Shakur saying: “Adding Chesimard to your Top Ten list and the Top 25 Most Wanted Terrorists lists would very much aid local New Jersey law enforcement in their efforts to finally bring Joanne Chesimard to justice.”

    Joanne Deborah Byron faced racism then and now as a young woman. She joined the Black Panther Party and, later, the Black Liberation Army in order to fight racism against Blacks, Capitalism and American imperialism. In 1973, she was travelling in the company of Malik Zayad Shakur (no relation) and Sundiata Acol in New Jersey. They’re stopped by the state troopers reportedly because of a broken headlight. The three are made to exit the car with their hands up. All of a sudden, shots are fired. The state trooper Werner Foerster and Malik Shakur were found killed by Foester’s gun. Assata Shakur and Acoli were charged with the death of state trooper Foerster. But the Jewish press have its own story to demonize Shakur.

    And I must say, the Jewish Lobby has every right to hate Assata Shakur, and the current leaders of the New Black Panther Party including its president Malik Zulu Shabazz (born Paris Lewis) for believing that Israel was involved in 9/11 terrorist attacks,; Jewish elites control America’s monetary system, mainstream media, Hollywood and even country’s internal security agencies.

    On May 18, 2013, the Anti-Defamation League, the powerful Israeli advocacy group, declared Malik Zulu Shabazz, Nadia Assata Shakur and the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) being anti-Israel and anti-Jews; thus “antisemite”, even though studies after studies have proved that a great majority of Jews are not Semite people.

    In 1977, she was sentenced to life imprisonment by a bought-out jury for the crime which was not proven she committed. But, then, that’s what’s called ‘American Justice’.

    http://rehmat1.com/2014/09/18/assata-shakur-from-civil-rights-activist-to-terrorist/

    • Replies: @marwan
  4. marwan says:
    @Rehmat

    88 brother !!
    Love reading your pieces rehmat , you are truly a man of letters . I agree with everything you said about jews . One thing I would like to add . Do you agree that all bad muslims are really crypto jews , or at least controlled by jews ? Bin laden , Baghdaddi , Saudi royal family , san Bernardino shooters , nadal hasan , tsarnayev brothers , the paris shooters , shoe bomber , underwear bomber , the rapists at cologne ?? Makes sense to me . I have been advocating for an alliance between white nationalists and muslims for a long time now . I think your alliance with the leftists is unsound .

    • Replies: @Rehmat
  5. J1234 says:
    @David

    This is just a magnified example of a behavior that’s observable in everyday life. Watch how some (many, actually) white people react when another white person gives them a compliment (or acts friendly towards them), then compare it with how they react when a black person does the same things. When the compliment is given by a another white person, the recipient is polite and gracious. When the compliment is given by a black person, however, the white recipient starts gushing and acting as if he has been accepted by a whole race of people, even if the compliment is trivial. He feels validated, as if he has finally broken through a “barrier”…or something. It’s as if the recipient feels the compliment is some sort of gift…one that he doesn’t deserve.

    I see this all the time…or to the extent that blacks give compliments to whites, anyway, which isn’t often. The smiles are bigger if the compliment comes from a black person. I’m not imagining this. Robert Trivers is a moron. Not clinically, but in a life sense. He allowed himself to be manipulated by a master manipulator. That’s what leftist radicals are – manipulators. Turning a previously planned robbery into a “political statement” would be a prime example of this. And Robert Trivers would’ve seen that…if he weren’t a moron.

    Unz likes Trivers because of the Gould stuff.

    • Agree: Pseudonymic Handle
  6. Thirdeye says:
    @David

    Why is this simple-minded, poorly written tripe being promoted at Unz.com?

    It is indeed that, but certainly no worse than a lot of the WN/HBD crap that gets posted.

  7. Ragno says:

    He would sometimes remind me that he was a quarter Jewish, knowing full well that I was almost half – and he once took me aside and said, “Don’t let your racism against white people cause you to discriminate against your lighter skinned twin, Natalia.” Guilty on both accounts.

    Were Huey Newton fond of the Bard, he might’ve added “I am but mad north-northwest; but when the wind is southerly, I know a Jew from a white man.”

    And he did, too.

    The most memorable instance of deceiving down that I learned about was when Huey Newton taught me the Black-American term “dummying up.” This refers to a tendency to represent yourself as being less intelligent and less conscious than you actually are, usually the better to minimize the work you have to do. So an employee may dummy up in order to avoid being required to do more difficult things.

    Laziness as political resistance: a potent reminder to us all that there are some ideas that are so f%$!#@n’ stupid only a college professor could ever believe them.

  8. Rehmat says:
    @marwan

    Correction sir – In my book, all Jews are not bad – only Zionist Jews. I have several Jewish writers and bloggers (Gilad Atzmon, Roger Tucker, Paul Eisen, Lasse Wihelmson, Mary Rizzo, etc. as friend. Some of them have re-blogged my articles.

    Al-Baghdadi aka Simon was born into a French Jewish family and trained by Israeli Mossad.

    Al-Saud ‘royals’ belong to an old Iraqi Jewish family.

    Osama Bin Laden worked for CIA and Saudi Arabia ‘royals’ for decades.

    Major Nadal Hassan and tsarnayev brothers were framed as was Pakistani mother of two and currently serving 85 year in jail while America’s top Jewish traitor Pollard is walking free.

    San Bernardino shooters, Paris shooters, Shoe bomber, Underwear bomber, 9/11, 7/7, Mumbai shooters, Bali bombing, etc. and many more have been proven to be inside jobs with Mossad-CIA collaboration.

    None of my friends are victims of the rapists at cologne – but if some of yours’ have been – then I do apology on behalf of 1.7 billion Muslims.

    Rehmat

    http://rehmat1.com/2010/09/25/aafia-siddiqui-victim-of-zionist-justice/

    • Replies: @marwan
  9. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The article confirms what many have known all along, that the Panthers were a criminal organization that adopted a political veneer as cover. Being able to quote and discuss Fanon and class struggle (just the leadership, the rank-and-file were sub-literate) endeared them to the mostly well-to-do youth of SDS and other lefty groups and individuals such as Bernstein who thought they were embarking on a new ‘popular front’ against the system, leading to a brave new world.
    Adult males dressed in black leather jackets, berets and carrying rifles working as school crossing guards. That sounds nice, what could go wrong with that? That’s a good example for young children, right? In actual fact children were just props for their political stunts. They always make a big deal about the Panther school children free food program. Since none of them ever worked for a living has anybody ever wondered where the money for all that actually came from? They were running extortion rackets against businesses and shopkeepers; one for the kiddies, one for me, etc.
    Trivers got his excitement hanging on to Newton’s coattails with all his bad-boy behavior and ever present specter of danger, the epitome of a nerd groupie. He never went to prison for some hard time or got in a shootout himself, oh no, he had a career ahead for himself.

  10. marwan says:
    @Rehmat

    ive never seen reliable statistics , what percentage of world jewry is zionist ?

    • Replies: @Rehmat
    , @Art
  11. Rehmat says:
    @marwan

    I go by the ACID TEST recommended by Israel-born writer, author and Jazz musician, Gilad Atzmon. He says a Jew who believes that Israel has the right to exist, is a ZIONIST JEW.

    “It is an obvious fact that the Israelis do not belong to the region. The Jewish claim for Zion i.e. Palestine is beyond pathetic. It is in fact as ridiculous as a bunch of Italian settlers invading London’s Piccadilly Circus claiming their right to return to a land once occupied by their Roman forefathers. Obviously Italians would not get away with it, Zionists, on the other hand, have managed to fool the nations for more than a while,” Atzmon said.

    http://rehmat1.com/2010/06/18/palestine-the-third-option/

    • Replies: @marwan
  12. marwan says:
    @Rehmat

    the proper term is litmus test , sorry to quibble ,but that doesnt tell me a percentage . highly subjective and bereft of any quantifiable data . a jazz musician is also not a reputable source , as he has no background or expertise . akin to asking john q six pack off the street and holding it up as reliable data .

    • Replies: @Rehmat
  13. Thirdeye says:

    I’m sure Trivers was charmed by Newton. But underneath that charm Newton was nothing but a thug, as many in Oakland during the 1970s found out the hard way. If Trivers had anything Newton wanted from him, he probably would have found out too.

  14. Thirdeye says:

    When the California legislature was meeting to decide whether to pass the “Huey Newton law,” as it was popularly called, which stated that you could no longer “ride shotgun” but instead had to keep your loaded gun in your locked trunk, Huey and thirty five other Panthers showed up in Sacramento on the day of the vote, most of them carrying rifles.

    Kind of like something the Oregon Militia might do.

    Many African Americans of more recent times have a strong ambivalence or hostility toward Huey and the Panthers because they believe he helped spawn the culture of black gun violence among the urban young. There is probably some truth to the charge, but I think harsh drug penalties take a larger part of the blame. With the stakes so high for being caught selling illicit drugs, the chances of internecine war and murder inevitably rise as well.

    Oh, so gangstas shoot each other from fear of going to prison. It’s not like the drug gangs are doing it for money, turf, and machismo or anything. The original Crips gang was inspired by the gun posturing and gangland activities of the Black Panther Party.

    To those who make this charge against Huey, I would also ask what alternative they’d propose to black gun ownership.

    It’s not about blacks owning guns. It’s about Panther-inspired thugs owning guns. The thug legacy of the Panthers and others of their ilk has done more damage to blacks than any police department has.

  15. Art says:
    @marwan

    ive never seen reliable statistics , what percentage of world jewry is zionist ?

    88%

  16. anon • Disclaimer says:

    “mob of whites burned Tulsa to the ground…”

    Almost a 100 years ago. How many whites have been victimised by black criminal activity in the last 50 years?

    “..to be the only unarmed people in a country built on armed violence is not a good thing”.

    Right. Because its not like black on black shootings are commonplace.

  17. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    We’ve all witnessed (including in ourselves?) an aspect of what has been described elsewhere as “GoodWhiting,” flustering, emulating, or otherwise trying too hard when encountering members of a perceived victim group. And then felt embarrassed afterward.

    But to do so in print, years later, remaining clueless? The racial self-flaggelation and worshipful view of Newton in these excerpts from Mr. Trivers’ book are downright creepy. It’s like watching the least popular kid in 7th grade asking the cheerleader, yet again, to dance.

  18. Rehmat says:
    @marwan

    You’re a typical brainwashed Israeli “shifting sands” idiot who cannot stay on one topic.

    NOPE: My non-Zionist dictionary do mention ACID TEST.

    Your “discredited Israeli musician” has 100-times better record than your SPOOKY, TERRORIST, TERRORIST prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu – says Israeli professor Neve Gordon.

    Shalom – Rehmat.

    http://www.wrmea.org/1996-october/spook-terrorist-or-criminal-america-s-mysterious-files-on-netanyahu.html

    • Replies: @marwan
  19. marwan says:
    @Rehmat

    Hi Rehmat . Devolving into childish name calling is the surest sign of someone that does not have a convincing argument . Nevertheless I am grateful to people like Ron Unz that give an open comments platform to people like you . Other more mainstream sites may censor or block a commenter like you who is obviously unhinged and not capable of conversing without calling people idiots . You not having a safe space to rant and rave might cause you to take your verbal jihad to real life , like your fellow countryman Farook the pakistani san bernardino terrorist .

  20. marwan says:

    Islam fueling most violent persecution of christians in modern history .
    The murderers , terrorists , slavers , rapists and decapitators of christian populations in 2015
    is done exclusively by muslims . They must take responsibility for their actions and repent and change their behavior .

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/01/20/report-2015-saw-most-violent-persecution-of-christians-in-modern-history/

  21. @David

    I think Trivers’ memoirs are better written than practically anything else on this site. It’s fun to read, too. Keep posting it, Mr. Unz!

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Commenting Disabled While in Translation Mode
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Robert Trivers Comments via RSS