Conservative Opposition Shuts Down Federal Funding of Black Panther Memorial

Aaron Colen, The Blaze, October 30, 2017

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The project was called the “Black Panther Party Research, Interpretation & Memory Project.”

Its goal would have been to “discover new links between the historical events concerning race that occurred in Richmond during World War II and the subsequent emergence of the BPP in the San Francisco Bay Area two decades later through research, oral history and interpretation,” according to a park service notice.

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The National Park Service initially awarded the project a $98,000 grant. It was led by Ula Taylor, incoming chair of the University of California-Berkeley’s African-American studies department.

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The backlash was spearheaded by the Fraternal Order of Police, which sent a well-publicized letter to President Donald Trump on October 19.

“Mr. President, as far as we are concerned the only meaning they brought to any lives was grief to the families of their victims,” the letter read. “According to our research, members of this militant anti-American group murdered 16 law enforcement officers over the course of their history.”

The letter also referenced the contradiction of the NPS funding a Black Panther project while the nation is in the midst of a mass removal of unflattering historical monuments.

“At a time when many in our nation feel strongly that memorials to aspects of the darker times in our history be removed from public lands, why would the NPS seek to commemorate the activities of an extremist separatist group that advocated the use of violence against our country — a country they perceived as their enemy?”

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“At present, I can confirm that the project in question will not receive funding from the National Park Service,” said spokesman Craig Dalby.

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