Interview with Bobby Seale
QUESTION 14
INTERVIEWER:

What was Huey Newton's particular gift? What, why, why did you work with him, I mean, what, what in, in, in forming the party? What was, what was Newton's particular gift?

BOBBY SEALE:

His, uh--

INTERVIEWER:

And, and you should, should rephrase that question.

BOBBY SEALE:

Huey, Huey's basic, uh, genius as we used to call it was his ability--

INTERVIEWER:

We just rolled out, I'm sorry.




BOBBY SEALE:

Huey Newton's genius as we used to call it was his great ability, starting from a theoretical point of view, to show how we could move to heighten the contradiction as a means, one to educate the people to capture their imagination. I mean the very idea of patrolling the police was really grounded in a theory that Huey had that if the idiot Ku Klux Klans could stand on the Capitol steps and get publicity then we could do the same thing, only our publicity would be about trying to raise the conscious of Black people to understand that we have to take a posture against destruction of racism. So raising the contradiction to a high level was key to how Huey thought and understood and analyzed the situation.

INTERVIEWER:

Once again, you might explain what you mean by contradiction. That--once again, what was Huey Newton's particular gift?

BOBBY SEALE:

Huey Newton's basic genius, as we used to call it, was his ability to deal with the contradiction and raise the contradiction. In a sense, ah, I would say that Huey Newton's genius was a, just say it, like this is. Huey was able to take the Panther Party and take the very concept of civil disobedience and put it on the cutting edge. But at the same time holding a legal posture. In other words, he distinguished civil disobedience from criminality. The power structure would say, "You're all criminals." But we know that a civil disobedient stands out loud on the corner and states what he or she is opposed to, whereas the criminal is covert. So, Huey put it on the cutting edge without becoming criminal and put it on the cutting edge to make the issue sharp enough, to make even the White racists realize that they have to pay attention to what's going on here. That was Huey Newton's genius.