New Black Panther Party

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The New Black Panther Party (NBPP), or New Black Panther Party for Self Defense, is a U.S. interest group, formed in 1989, which calls for nationhood for, and reparations to, African-Americans. [1] The Black Panther Party disavows it and has announced it has no right to the name. [2] In 1997, the Black Panthers obtained an injunction against the use of the name, which the NBPP ignores. [3]

In 2000, it was designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).[4] According to the Anti-Defamation League, it is "the largest organized anti-Semitic and racist black militant group in America." Originally led by Khalid Abdul Muhammad, it has developed strong ties with the Nation of Islam and Louis Farrakhan. In 2005, Farrakhan appointed Malik Zulu Shabazz, a Washington, DC-based attorney as the new leader.[5]

Voter intimidation charges

In late 2008, it gained brief notoriety when the U.S. Department of Justice charged the group and several members with voter intimidation, stemming from an incident at a polling station in Pennsylvania during the 2008 elections. In January 2009, the Justice Department filed charges against the group and three of its members. However, a few months later the Obama Administration concluded that the case could not be prosecuted due to lack of evidence. Charges were dropped against all but one of the defendants.[6]

The Anti-Defamation League, which offers expert testimony against it, terms the Party "virulently racist."[7] The SPLC, however, has been silent on the recent developments, and has been accused, by Carol Swain, of drifting away from its goals and being more focused on criticizing conservatives. [8] Swain, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, said the Commission is challenging the dropping of charges, and has been investigating the matter. [9]