Interview with Bobby Seale
QUESTION 30
INTERVIEWER:

We're going to the Gary Convention now. You made a point in your speech at the Gary Convention, you're saying, "I won't call my brothers pigs, not in Gary, Indiana." What are, what are your most vivid recollections of going to a major, national Black political convention in a city with a Black mayor and with a Black, Black chief of police.

BOBBY SEALE:

Well, I thought that was positive to the extent that previously to that, the Afro-American Policeman's League in Chi--of the Chicago Police Department basically supported us. Most people don't know that there were quite a few policemen here and there who understood what we were getting at when we talked about structured racism inside the police department. Most people don't know that when Huey and I, around the time we first started the Black Panther Party, we had a Black policeman who was a friend of ours, who recruited with the police department. We didn't want to destroy the police department. What we wanted to do was run it. That's why I ran for mayor of Oakland in the first place, so we could reorder it and redirect it and make sure it served the real basic desires and needs of the people. So when we had a Black mayor, a Black police chief, et cetera, that was like a sign of things beginning to change, you know, to control those agencies of government was important in terms of when you started talking about power or Black Power.

INTERVIEWER:

Specifically, let's talk about Gary. Let's sta--

BOBBY SEALE:

Well, see, I don't know that much about Gary. I just made that statement as a sign of direction of change that was coming--I don't know much about Gary. I knew that we had a Black mayor. I thought that was great, that a Black mayor could be elected. The fact that we had our, uh, some policemen there and a po--a Black police chief, that was important. Now, on the other end of the fact, what if that Black policeman chief later had turned out to be a vicious c--vicious, I'm going to call him a vicious Black pig. You see what I mean? So, I mean, I can distinguish between the color you are and the content of your character. You see what I mean? So, it was like a hope for decent character that may hopefully evolve.