Interview with William O'Neal

How do you think members of the Black community at that period would have perceived what you were doing?


Well, those members of the Black Panther Party, those members of the community that weren't informants, I'm sure that they wouldn't understand, but there was quite a few informants back then. Quite a few. I mean, what am I supposed to do? Feel guilty right now about it? I didn't feel guilty then, I was hurt because Fred Hampton died. I was hurt because a lot of other people died in the Panthers. There were a lot of Panthers that died in Chicago, got killed needlessly and senselessly. At this point I questioned the whole purpose of the Black Panther Party. It got a lot of people hurt, did, did very little else. I mean, if you associate the Black Panther Party with the Civil Rights Movement, that's, that's a mistake. In my, in my thinking, they were necessary. It was a shock treatment for White America to see Black men running around with guns just like Black men had saw White men running around with ru--guns. Yeah, that was a shock treatment. It was good in that extent. but it got a lot of black people hurt.**