By Kevin ” Rashid” Johnson, Minister of Defense, RIBPP
Note: We publish this in solidarity with the comrades of the Revolutionary Intercommunal Black Panther Party (RIBPP). We, like many, were shocked and amazed at the level of duplicity and manipulative behavior of Tom Watts and his now exposed record of cultural appropriation (pretending to be Indigenous), meddling in the affairs of New Afrikan revolutionary organizations, and using New Afrikan political prisoners for his own purposes. This is the pinnacle of white chauvinism and we encourage comrades in FTP branches and all other revolutionary/progressive organizations and millieus to isolate him, along with his puppet Sharrod “Shaka” Zulu. We encourage our readers also to give full support and solidarity to the comrades of the RIBPP as they built their party without the interference of this reactionary clique.
“Myths are not built out of the concrete contradictions existing in given conditions and therefore are not a scientific reflection of reality. That is to say. In myths or nursery tales the aspects constituting a contradiction have only an imaginary identity, not a concrete identity. The scientific reflection of the identity in real transformation is Marxist dialectics.” -Mao Zedong “On Contradiction”It’s fitting that the response of the two individuals who continue to call themselves the New Arikan Black Panther Party (NABPP) to the Revolutionary Intercommunal Black Panther Party’s (RIBPP) split from them is based on a book of nonsense fiction. This because they are swimming in fantasy, just like their response. Which is why, instead of wading into the false reality of their fun house mirror, I’m going to take a scientific hammer to it.WHO’S BEHIND THE LOOKING GLASS? The initial focus of that article is on me and Shaka Zulu (aka Zulu Sharod), and the question of whether the split is about a power struggle between us. This deliberately evades what SHOULD be the first question, which is: Who is creating the narrative in that article? Who is the wannabe Lewis Carroll of this work of fiction?Obviously, Shaka didn’t write it. Shaka doesn’t write. He CAN’T write actually—not political theory. As our documents announcing the split pointed out, there is no one but Shaka and Tom Watts in what’s left of the NABPP. Anyone wanting to confirm who actually wrote the article can look at the Facebook page of Xing Eela (aka Tom Watts) to compare the writing styles.
Tom routinely ghostwrites for Shaka. So why is there an obvious omission of Tom and how he factors into all this? Why indeed? Because they want to hide the truth that it’s Tom, a Euro-Amerikan (white) man with a long history of appropriating and trying to take control of the cultures, histories, and organizations of people of color, who is the real one in power in the NABPP. Tom is controlling the narrative. It’s him, not Shaka that has the ‘power.’ As I revealed in my articles on the split, the NABPP is actually “Tom’s party.”Shaka is the black frontman used by Tom to hide his controlling hand in what’s supposed to be a New Afrikan/black organization. Look how Tom uses him in this article. This is white supremacy write large-one of the things I was struggling against leading up to split. Remember, our struggle is not just against capitalism but also racism. Just like he’s doing in his response, since Shaka got out of prison in Jan 2019, Tom has tried to pit us against each other. This is the only way he can keep himself relevant to the NABPP since I AM A WRITER and in fact, wrote most of the Party’s line and politics-see my book PANTHER VISION or just peruse my website rashimod.com.By keeping Shaka distrustful of me Tom causes Shaka to look to him and not me for political guidance. This is how Tom devised to stay in control of the NABPP even with Shaka on the street. Typical divide and rule plantation politics. As the revolutionary psychiatrist, Frantz Fanon stated, “The oppressor, who never loses a chance of setting the niggers against each other, will be extremely skillful at using the ignorance and incomprehension which is the weakness of the lumpenproletariat.” Tom DID sum me and Shaka up as politically inexperienced lumpen proletarians.
THE DOCTOR OF SPIN: Tom is a master of spinning narratives, inventing history, manipulating people, and just plain out lying, which his response article demonstrates, starting with his deception by omission, of hiding his role in all of this. Like most things he writes, Tom’s “Looking Glass” article is full of theory that is not based on and has not produced any material practice that has benefitted the people. So how could it possibly provide guidance for the way forward?He’s right that Mao said, we should practice Marxism, not revisionism, unite not split, and be sincere and open and not plot and conspire; that ideological and political line determines everything. That with a correct line everything will come to a party: followers, guns, political power. But if its line isn’t correct it may lose even what it has.It’s because the RIBPP has applied these precepts that we are already gaining what we didn’t have in the NABPP, while the NABPP has lost everything AND EVERYONE, and after over fifteen years gained nothing but a social media celebrity cult around Shaka. What Tom fails to mention is Mao also pointed out that having a correct line without applying it organizationally amounts to nothing. “[A] political party,” he said, “must depend on the correctness of its own political line AND the solidity of its own organization.” Theory without practice is empty.What happened between the RIBPP and NABPP wasn’t really a split, it was a purge. Tom and Shaka separated themselves from the entire outside membership to avoid criticism and challenge to their power from below, and everyone simply left them behind—they are the only remaining members of the NABPP. Everyone joined us in reconstituting as the RIBPP. Lenin said, “A party that purges itself makes itself stronger.” It’s almost dishonest to speak of the NABPP as a Party and its having a governing Politburo—it’s only two individuals. Tom admits in his article that a party cannot be composed of individuals.Contrary to Tom’s typical fabrications, Shaka has not developed any footholds or bases in any Black communities in Newark, NJ. Most of the people he’s found to work with him on the ground were college students not people in the oppressed communities. And few of them stick around for very long due to fallouts with him or becoming disillusioned with his leadership.One of the only working-class people from the Black community that worked with him is now the RIBPP’s Chairperson, and she attests that there is not and has never been any grassroots involvement or support for Shaka or his work.The proclaimed Serve the People “program” he’s led has been weekly food distribution, (that operates much like any other charity), where he has others do all the work of bagging and distributing donated food while he keeps attention focused on himself live streaming the event as he yells to passersby on a megaphone, which he invariably posts on his personal, (not the NABPP’s), social media pages.The only people he’s been ‘serving’ in this regard has been himself.
“FACTIONALIZING” WITH WILLY CHINO: The claim that Willy Chino and I were plotting a “coup” to expel Shaka and take over the NABPP, (if THAT isn’t a storybook plot I don’t know what is), is only the latest of several different conspiracy stories invented by Tom that Will and I were “factionalizing,” which began when I criticized Tom for attempting to actually factionalize with me by snitch-jacketing Will (a Brown Comrade) in a private conversation with me.Tom told me he had a “hunch” that Will was a pig agent and I should trust his intuition on this because it “always” proved correct. I knew this was false because he’d previously said the same thing about others and his hunches NEVER proved true. Also, he always made these claims against people of color he was in actual or potential power struggles with.I immediately criticized him because Will had always been principled in his Party work as far as I saw, and I recognized Tom’s actions as a continuation of a destructive trend started within the NABPP, by its past Minister of Culture Kwame Shakur, of snitch-jacketing Comrades without evidence, which is a counterintelligence tactic used by the pigs to destroy independent political organizations and leaders. Kwame had actually started the rumors against Will among MANY others he’d snitch-jacketed in our organizations before he resigned. As Ward Churchill explained in his study of the FBI’s counterintelligence program titled, AGENTS OF REPRESSION: THE FBI’S SECRET WAR AGAINST THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY AND AMERICAN INDIAN MOVEMENT, at pages 49 and 212:
“‘Snitch-jacketing’ or ‘bad-jacketing’ refers to the practice of creating suspicion—through the spread of rumors, manufacture of evidence, etc.—that bona fide organizational members, usually in key positions, are FBI/police informers, guilty of such offenses as skimming organizational funds and the like. The purpose of this tactic was to ‘isolate and eliminate’ organizational leadership; such efforts were continued—and in some cases accelerated—when it became known that the likely outcome would be extreme physical violence visited upon the ‘jacketed’ individual(s). Bad-jacketing was a very commonly used technique…”At the juncture in which the bad-jacketing process takes hold within an organization, the police can be reasonably certain that it will begin to unravel, to eat itself alive. Its membership will become increasingly factionalized and isolated from one another; in cases where extreme physical jeopardy has also been imposed by the police (e.g., BPP), members may also begin literally to liquidate one another as a desperate expedient to perceived self-defense. Each of these outcomes—INCLUDING the ‘internal’ assassination of police-targeted individuals—are consciously calculated COINTELPRO objectives.”
I also knew Tom had an ulterior motive for targeting Will. He’d already told me he didn’t trust Will because he couldn’t “read” him because Will remained aloof from him. The problem was Tom only wanted people around him who he believes he can control and who relate to him as a superior.In fact, he maneuvered to create a CC composed of only people whom he related to as his children. This is why he and I fell out—I challenged HIM and rejected his paternalistic notion that I was his child instead of his Comrade.It was NEVER about Shaka and me, which is what he’s trying to make it now to shift attention from himself.At first, his conspiracy story was, Will and I were factionalizing to expel HIM because he’d been excluded from the UPM’s social media pages when he kept trying to dominate them, which Will and I had nothing to do with. Next, he claimed we were factionalizing to create a rival leadership against HIM within the UPM, prompted by UPM members criticizing a statement in an article by him that the NABPP doesn’t care about the oppression suffered by LGBTQ people; criticisms that Will and I had nothing to do with, but with which I agree. Nor did I have anything to do with the development of the UPM’s organizational structure. NOW that there’s a PUBLIC split he claims we were factionalizing to expel Shaka. Pay attention folks…he can’t make the earlier claims about plots to expel him now because that would publicly expose and confirm his controlling role in the NABPP. So he’s now made it all about me and Shaka, to remove himself from the picture altogether and “pit the n—— against each other.”Not long before the split, I exposed Tom’s game to Shaka. Shaka suggested that we could “retire” Tom, a move I knew Tom would resist. I also knew Shaka didn’t have the commitment to follow through with this because of Tom’s sway over him—plus I DO have contradictions with Shaka’s leadership.This was all confirmed when I attempted to raise my critiques of Tom before the rest of the Party and have them vote in new leadership, (which also exposes Tom’s lie that I was angling to “expel” Shaka). Tom responded by threatening to publicly expel ME—and I’m the NABPP’s cofounder and theoretical leader—if I dared go forward with the meeting. The very next day he got Shaka to join with him in expelling the entire rank and file NABPP membership, to prevent any such challenge to his control. Such is the power Tom wields over Shaka and the NABPP from behind the scenes. THIS is why and how the split happened.Tom is now using an invented factionalizing conspiracy story as a smokescreen and Shaka as a red herring. His angle is to pit everyone else against each other while staying out of the picture by throwing Shaka under the bus but posing as his ally and advocate. In this way, he can continue to influence Shaka as they try and rebuild the NABPP with Tom still in control. His political rhetoric?… it’s all just bait to hook the less informed.
THE SMOKING GUN: Here’s where Tom’s warped looking glass shatters into a thousand pieces revealing the conniving settler hiding behind it…But while he portrays the entire struggle as one between me and Shaka to totally exclude himself from the picture, Tom overlooks one major detail. He forgets all about the DOCUMENTED EMAIL RECORDS that show that my struggles for months leading up to the split were not against Shaka, (nor to expel Shaka), as he lyingly portrays it. It was ALL against Tom Watts, AND TOM WROTE RESPONSES TO IT ALL!!! In fact, in several of his responses, Tom laments that I constantly “blame [him] for everything.”RIBPP’s General Secretary Shupavu wa Kirima has every one of those emailed documents, with the dates they were exchanged. I will even post some with this response, in particular one article I wrote which criticizes Tom and how he manipulated and frustrated the development of the NABPP going back 15 years, titled, “The Great White Hope or Great White Hoax: Who is Tom ‘Big Warrior’ Watts aka Xing Eela?”That article was one of the criticisms I circulated and wanted the entire NABPP cadre to meet and consider in deciding whether to elect a new leadership. THIS is why Tom convinced Shaka to expel everyone rather than allow that meeting to happen.After I exposed what he did in expelling the entire NABPP cadre, Tom tried to recast the claim that there were no legitimate outside Party members on the basis that no one had completed a political education (PE) course with passing grades that’s supposedly required for NABPP recruitment.Again Tom absent-mindedly forgets that he sent Comrade Shupavu, who he was supposedly grooming to recruit as Minister of Education for the NABPP, an email on Dec 24, 2020, for her input. That email contained his proposal to create and use this previously nonexistent PE and testing course for new recruits. A copy of Tom’s email to her will be posted with this article.NO ONE was ever required to pass any such course to be legitimately recruited into the NABPP before they expelled everyone on Dec 23, 2020. In several cases, CC members acting alone, recruited people even into leadership positions, and some without any PE at all which I struggled against. This is actually how Kwame Shakur, the NABPP’s past MOC, became a member. Acting on his own and without giving him any PE, Shaka recruited Kwame and made him deputy Chair for Indiana during Mar 2020. Kwame was later promoted by the CC to MOC. On Dec 24, 2020, after they expelled the rank and file, Shaka went on his Facebook page and promoted a comrade Jaylen as being an outstanding NABPP member. Jaylen who came with us into the RIBPP had a lot of information on Shaka’s misuse of NABPP funds and even stealing drugs (the handling and use of which was strictly forbidden in the NABPP). Shaka thus had a clear agenda for recognizing Jaylen. Comrade Shupavu saw Shaka’s post on Dec 26th and promptly messaged Tom asking how Shaka was promoting Jaylen as a NABPP member, when they had just claimed there were no outside NABPP members besides Shaka and Tom. Tom replied that Shaka didn’t know how to stick to a plan. Tom’s “plan” was obviously that they lie by claiming there were never any legitimate outside NABPP members, to cover up the expulsion that he’d engineered. Shaka’s post will be posted with this article.Tom is a fantastic liar! But one so absent-minded that he forgets about his own electronic exchanges that contradict and expose him.Then he claims after nearly two decades of never having a single negative thing to say about me, that at just the point I began to struggle against and criticize him, I am untrustworthy, and have suddenly made a total character reversal overnight—if that is even possible for someone to do.
CONCLUSION: Tom employs the sort of dirty tricks that V.I. Lenin criticized the renegade Karl Kautsky for using in his debates; namely, of inventing patently foolish positions and claiming them to be ones that his opponent took, then refuting them as if responding to something the opponent actually said. Tom is himself a renegade, who doesn’t deal with facts at all, and definitely doesn’t seek any truth from them as Mao enjoined us to do.In conclusion, I want to answer all other as yet unaddressed falsifications he made in his “Looking Glass” article and also state those points with which the RIBPP agrees.First, Willy Chino wasn’t at fault for any perceived errors in structuring the UPM. The CC tasked him to create a structure for the mass organization. In taking on this assignment, with which he admitted he had no prior experience, he and UPM members REPEATEDLY sought guidance from the CC, and especially Tom who portrayed himself as having extensive experience with revolutionary organizing. Will even requested that an article be written outlining how such a mass organization should look. Tom refused to provide any concrete guidance, he couldn’t actually, and once responded in rhetorical exasperation to Will’s persistent questions, “I’ve told you repeatedly, you’ve got to cut the shoe to fit the foot!” as if this were a blueprint for any sort of organization. When Will had to wing it on his own, Tom attacked the outcome as wrong, then accused Will of deliberately getting it wrong in order to create a rival to the NABPP’s CC because the UPM had a politically advanced leading body [!!?]. Because he felt this was countering his leadership he then accused me and Will of factionalizing to create this structure, (a process I took no part in at all), and Will of creating it because he was supposedly a pig agent working to undermine the Party. This makes about as much sense as challenging a child to play chess who has never played before, refusing her repeated requests to be taught or given the rules, then ridiculing her for developing her own set of rules for playing the game. Such is the incompetence and disorganization one had to frequently contend with in “Tom’s Party,” which I constantly struggled against.Second, Tom claims it was “charges of factionalization” that the UPM secretariat brought against Shaka and he was right not to answer them. EVERY member of the RIBPP and our mass organization knows this to be the most outrageous! Shaka was charged with repeated mistreatment of women comrades, commandism, and other abuses. Third, he claims Will and I were discussing inner party business with UPM members. I can’t speak for anything Will may have discussed with them because unlike Tom, I don’t pretend to know the content of conversations I wasn’t apart of. But again as to me, this is a completely invented claim, since he was never once privy to any conversations I had with any UPM members and as said, I had no part in Will’s efforts to restructure the UPM.Fourth, he claims I demonstrated a steady downward spiral over the past year which I resisted all opportunities to correct. Interestingly, until I came into sharp contradictions with him, beginning in October of 2020, Tom always praised me as the most fair-minded, principled, and honest party member, who had genuinely ‘proletarianized’ my world outlook and character. What he also doesn’t mention is it was me who initiated the rectification campaign to correct problematic tendencies in the NABPP, which began when I wrote and introduced my article to the CC on Jan 12, 2020, titled, “We Must Rectify Our Leadership Methods”. The CC recognized the campaign to be directed at the behaviors and tendencies of Shaka and another CC member Chui Almasi who was later expelled as a result of the campaign. I was never the target of any rectification campaign. Tom, however, became particularly incensed and intensified his factionalization accusations against me in reaction to my moving to extend the rectification campaign to his own liberal and commandist tendencies, when I wrote and introduced yet another article to the CC on Oct 10, 2020, titled, “We Must Combat Subjectivism and Liberalism.” It was HE who resisted every opportunity to correct these tendencies and expelled the entire rank and file membership to avoid criticism and correction just as he’s tried to divert all attention onto me and Shaka in his “Looking Glass” article to avoid all scrutiny when the principle struggle was between me and him.Otherwise, the RIBPP agrees with the line and strategy of linking the Party with the masses to carry out cultural, social, and political revolution in the oppressed communities, uniting the mass organizations with the Party based on the 10 point program and working to transform the prisons into schools of liberation. These strategies which were the bases for organizing the NABPP we continue to uphold in the RIBPP. Because we purged Tom and Shaka doesn’t mean we’ve abandoned our organizational line and strategy. Contrary to Tom’s representations, he and Shaka are not “the Party,” and Pantherism does not rise and fall with them.The RIBPP does differ, however, in certain aspects of organization building, which has always been a weakness under Tom’s control of the NABPP, and which they refused to accept criticism for and correct. Lessons we’ve learned and will correct as we forward in building the RIBPP, its mass and intermediary organizations, and our political work. Dare to Struggle Dare to Win! All Power to the People!