New Black Panther chair backs away from 2nd Amendment comments
By Evan Lips | July 14, 2016, 14:58 EST
CLEVELAND — The chairman of the New Black Panther Party, who was quoted earlier this week saying members would be openly expressing their constitutional right to bear arms ahead of the Republican National Convention, now says he was misquoted.
Hashim Nzinga, who had told Reuters in an interview that members “will exercise our Second Amendment rights because there are other groups threatening to be there that are threatening to do harm to us,” later took to social media in an apparent attempt to clarify his comments:
Rt:The #Reuters article is disingenuous, I have not told anyone to bring any type of weapons to the Republican National Convention.
— HASHIM A NZINGA (@HASHIMNZINGA) July 13, 2016
Nzinga and more than 100 members of the New Black Panther Party are expected to attend a different convention of sorts — a black unity rally dubbed the National Convention of the Oppressed — scheduled for Thursday night:
POLICE BRUTALITY/TRUMP FOCUS OF NATIONAL CONVENTION OF THE OPPRESSED – It will be a peaceful rally and convention. pic.twitter.com/1vbd7i87OC
— Atty. Malik Shabazz (@blacklawyersfj) July 13, 2016
The National Convention of the Oppressed is scheduled to last until Sunday. In a prepared statement, Black Lawyers for Justice National President Malik Z. Shabazz, an attorney, said there is “absolutely no truth to the guns story or rumor” regarding party members intention to express their right to bear arms while in Cleveland.
“They will be there with 50 other groups and it will be a peaceful rally and convention — no guns are planned,” Shabazz added. “Any reports due to contrary are false.”
According to a press release, “the four-day convention focuses on police brutality, black economic empowerment, legal training and activists.”
Nzinga told Reuters his organization plans to leave Cleveland on Sunday, a day before the official start of the RNC.
According to a website set up by activists, there is a fee of between $10 and $60 to attend the Black Unity Convention.