Larry Pinkney was written about in the November 30, 1984, MAC WEEKLY (Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota) Newspaper article entitled Pinkney speaks on ‘John Wayne mentality’ by Michael Orenstein.

Contents of the article (image below):

Pinkney speaks on ‘John Wayne mentality’

By Michael Orenstein

America is engaging in a war of genocide.

So says Larry Pinkney, former leader of the Southern California Black Panthers, who spoke to an overflow crowd in the Chapel basement on November 20. He spoke of what he saw as the grave problems facing the country, and his solutions.

Pinkney characterized America’s history as a history of genocide. He spoke of the United States’ “John Wayne mentality,” and cited attacks of native Americans, the Kent State and Jackson State killings and the atomic bomb attacks on Japan as examples of genocide.

According to Pinkney, the situation is no better today. He said repeatedly that “anything you do not control can and will be used against you.”

He said President Reagan, whom he characterized as John Wayne’s “buddy,” was committing genocide against black and white poor, through budgetary and social policy.

He also accused the United States’ courts of genocide in the penal system. He said that he had been in jails and had found “institutional brutality” in the treatment of prisoners.

Pinkney also attacked the United States’ foreign policy. He told the audience that the U.S. supported the “brutal, brutal” government of Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua and criticized Reagan’s policy toward the new government there. He said the U.S. had a policy of opposing the revolutions when, in actuality, “revolution is as American as apple pie.”

Finally, Pinkney turned to the issue of arms control and nuclear war. He warned that he sees a real danger of nuclear war, and that the Reagan Administration has only increased that risk.

He said the issue is crucial, since humankind “can knock the planet off its axis.”

Pinkney turned to his solutions to problems. Pinkney called for continued struggle in the fight against “genocide.” “The history of liberty is a history of resistance,” said Pinkney, quoting Woodrow Wilson.

He called for students to fight against “Reagan and Reaganism.” He said that this requires a certain state of mind.

He said that those who would resist should be militant. It is not enough, however, to be militant, said Pinkney. “Without the correct political and economic consciousness,” said Pinkney, “your militancy can be turned against you. Think politics!”

He said also that those who would resist genocide should strive to “sophisticate the struggle,” and “draw upon lessons of 1984.”

He warned that what he sees as the other side will “surely sophisticate” their tactics.

Pinkney declared that “you [students] hold the key to liberation around the world,” and warned not to “leave it to elected officials.”

Much of the speech dealt with the subject of violence. Pinkney said that when someone complains about radicals using violence, he replies, “hunger, pain, degradation, that’s violence!”

While stopping short of an outright endorsement of violence as a tool of political action, he labeled it “understandable,” and warned against being swung against “the liberal abhoration of violence.” He said it is important to draw the distinction between “revolutionary violence,” and indiscriminate violence.”

Image of 1984 Mac Weekly Newspaper article entitled 'Pinkney speaks on 'John Wayne mentality'

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