Interview with George Clements

What about the response that they got in the White community? How did you see how different that was? What kinds of things did that lead to struggling with in the community.


Well, see once again, ah, many White people have really been trained, ah, very effectively how to use euphemistic terminology and actually say nothing. So, ah, White people, many White people just looked upon the, ah, Black community as again a continuation of slavery. They may, they may have chains off their bodies, but they, they have chains on their minds, and so we don't really have to worry about them. Here come these vociferous group of young, volatile Blacks, and, ah, they didn't have no chains on anything, and they were prepared to actually fight. So, ah, ah, I was delighted when I saw that the White community was upset about the Black Panthers. And of course, ah, they, ah, carried their anxiety over to anybody who was concerned with the Black Panthers. So I was called the "Black Panther priest," and the group of police that we formed, the Afro-American Patrolman's League, they were "Black Panther police". And, ah, you know, ah, they, they figured, they used these kind of scare tactics, then, then they would get over. And the, the thing, too, to bear in mind is that, um, there were large numbers of Black people who were only too happy to denounce me and the Panthers and all of these groups because they felt that, you know, we were upsetting equilibrium. We were rocking the boat.