Black Panther 10 Point Program & Code of thug life
During the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power Movement, in particular, community self-determination was central to many peoples’ struggles. The Black Panther Party for Self Defense sought social justice for African Americans and other oppressed communities through a combination of revolutionary theory, education, and community programs.
Their party platform, better known as the Ten Point Program, arose from the Black Panthers’ assessment of the social and economic conditions in their community. It became part of the party’s philosophical backbone and served as a model for many other community groups such as the Brown Berets, the Young Lords, and the Red Guard.
In 1992, rapper Tupac Shakur, whose mother — Afeni Shakur — was a member of the Black Panther Party, helped create the T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E. code, a set of guidelines which were designed to control violence in the black community, which had become increasingly volatile due to the rise of street gangs. And, much like he did in his music, Tupac called on the same philosophies that made up the 10-Point Program when creating the guidelines.
The Black Panthers: Ten Point Program
1. WE WANT FREEDOM. WE WANT POWER TO DETERMINE THE DESTINY OF OUR BLACK AND OPPRESSED COMMUNITIES.
We believe that Black and oppressed people will not be free until we are able to determine our destinies in our own communities ourselves, by fully controlling all the institutions which exist in our communities.
2. WE WANT FULL EMPLOYMENT FOR OUR PEOPLE.
We believe that the federal government is responsible and obligated to give every person employment or a guaranteed income. We believe that if the American businessmen will not give full employment, then the technology and means of production should be taken from the businessmen and placed in the community so that the people of the community can organize and employ all of its people and give a high standard of living.
3. WE WANT AN END TO THE ROBBERY BY THE CAPITALISTS OF OUR BLACK AND OPPRESSED COMMUNITIES.
We believe that this racist government has robbed us and now we are demanding the overdue debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules were promised 100 years ago as restitution for slave labor and mass murder of Black people. We will accept the payment in currency which will be distributed to our many communities. The American racist has taken part in the slaughter of our fifty million Black people. Therefore, we feel this is a modest demand that we make.
4. WE WANT DECENT HOUSING, FIT FOR THE SHELTER OF HUMAN BEINGS.
We believe that if the landlords will not give decent housing to our Black and oppressed communities, then housing and the land should be made into cooperatives so that the people in our communities, with government aid, can build and make decent housing for the people.
5. WE WANT DECENT EDUCATION FOR OUR PEOPLE THAT EXPOSES THE TRUE NATURE OF THIS DECADENT AMERICAN SOCIETY. WE WANT EDUCATION THAT TEACHES US OUR TRUE HISTORY AND OUR ROLE IN THE PRESENT-DAY SOCIETY.
We believe in an educational system that will give to our people a knowledge of the self. If you do not have knowledge of yourself and your position in the society and in the world, then you will have little chance to know anything else.
6. WE WANT COMPLETELY FREE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL BLACK AND OPPRESSED PEOPLE.
We believe that the government must provide, free of charge, for the people, health facilities which will not only treat our illnesses, most of which have come about as a result of our oppression, but which will also develop preventive medical programs to guarantee our future survival. We believe that mass health education and research programs must be developed to give all Black and oppressed people access to advanced scientific and medical information, so we may provide ourselves with proper medical attention and care.
7. WE WANT AN IMMEDIATE END TO POLICE BRUTALITY AND MURDER OF BLACK PEOPLE, OTHER PEOPLE OF COLOR, ALL OPPRESSED PEOPLE INSIDE THE UNITED STATES.
We believe that the racist and fascist government of the United States uses its domestic enforcement agencies to carry out its program of oppression against black people, other people of color and poor people inside the united States. We believe it is our right, therefore, to defend ourselves against such armed forces and that all Black and oppressed people should be armed for self defense of our homes and communities against these fascist police forces.
8. WE WANT AN IMMEDIATE END TO ALL WARS OF AGGRESSION.
We believe that the various conflicts which exist around the world stem directly from the aggressive desire of the United States ruling circle and government to force its domination upon the oppressed people of the world. We believe that if the United States government or its lackeys do not cease these aggressive wars it is the right of the people to defend themselves by any means necessary against their aggressors.
9. WE WANT FREEDOM FOR ALL BLACK AND OPPRESSED PEOPLE NOW HELD IN U. S. FEDERAL, STATE, COUNTY, CITY AND MILITARY PRISONS AND JAILS. WE WANT TRIALS BY A JURY OF PEERS FOR All PERSONS CHARGED WITH SO-CALLED CRIMES UNDER THE LAWS OF THIS COUNTRY.
We believe that the many Black and poor oppressed people now held in United States prisons and jails have not received fair and impartial trials under a racist and fascist judicial system and should be free from incarceration. We believe in the ultimate elimination of all wretched, inhuman penal institutions, because the masses of men and women imprisoned inside the United States or by the United States military are the victims of oppressive conditions which are the real cause of their imprisonment. We believe that when persons are brought to trial they must be guaranteed by the United States, juries of their peers, attorneys of their choice and freedom from imprisonment while awaiting trial.
10. WE WANT LAND, BREAD, HOUSING, EDUCATION, CLOTHING, JUSTICE, PEACE AND PEOPLE'S COMMUNITY CONTROL OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY.
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are most disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpation, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
Code of THUG Life
Someone must dare put the street life back on track, because it is clear to anybody that can see – that the hustling game has gone stark raving mad.
The short and long range result, will not only be detrimental to the street game, but more importantly, the combination of the self destruction & turf warfare, coupled with the government’s police terrorism, fascist laws designed to capture and keep our Black men and women in prison for the rest of their lives, leaves a defenseless Black community – which will result in our genocide.
For as long as the street game / hustle has existed in our community, which is the result of many factors (and will only be resolved through our liberation), it has been viewed as a necessary tolerance between the legal and illegal economy and culture.
The underground economy has, in many areas, been supportive of the uplifting of the Black community. Although, for a fact, it has been the downfall of individuals, the dynamics of struggle between the do-gooders and the thugs has kept a consistent battle for balance in The Black Community which at least was under our control.
The rules of engagement of the hustle was a code of the thug life. This code was the A, B, C’s of how the street game should and would be played. These rules allowed for money to be made by the crews in the different fields of the game, and determined how disputes between and among the players
should be handled.
It also allowed the people who were not in the game to pressure the enemy of our people, and allowed the people who would work in the interest of our people (education, health, housing, legal, etc.) to feel that the effort was worth it.
The game today, as it exists, is a complete violation of the code. Historically, the street hustler was hip to the enemy and would never work in the government’s interest to destroy their own people.
The thug life is a tool of the enemy as it exists today; it must change. The interests of outside forces are being served by the hustlers, because the crew has no dignity or honor – and this must be corrected. A council must be called to put a code to the thug life.
We accept that the game will go on until our liberation. What we won’t accept is that the game will destroy us from within before we get another chance to rumble and rebuild. We will not allow ourselves to be played by the covert operations, COINTELPRO, and low intensity warfare waged by the United States government.
A code must be established. As we look at the West coast, the majority of the life is controlled by gangs (Latin/Chican and of the Black community as well). The gangs are the force behind the underground economy in our hoods.
In the mid-East, the common denominator there is also the gangs, which are responsible for the street life. Politically, culturally, and economically, these forces attempt to put the game back on track and work in the interests of the community and to resist the strategy of the government. They have begun setting down a platform for the street game in full effect – we praise this effort.
The code of the thug life must become a part of East coast street life as well. There must be a common denominator.
The original gangsters behind the walls of the dungeon will take some responsibility to putting force to the council and the code.
We must act now. The Code of the Thug Life will save us to fight another day. If we don’t, then we will lose…
While other forces attempt to bring peace and unity to the gangs and crews of the street life…Although we re down with that, and shout out to those attempts, we have always tried to be real with the people. Some folks may oppose what we say and do.
What we’re putting out here is a code to the true dwellers in the thug life. We don’t see this as an end of the game, or the street game as a real end. What we need is liberation. But what we do see if the bringing of some honor to being true to the life – and being real to our family which is a giant step to being down with the true thug life.
Code of THUG LIFE:
– Tupac Shakur