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Democrat Black Caucus Chair Admits She Was a Member of the Radical Black Panther Party

Black Panthers
AP/Walt Zeboski

Virgie Rollins, the Democratic National Committee’s Black Caucus chairwoman, was caught on tape admitting that she was once a member of the violent Black Panther Party in the late 1960s.

Video of Rollins’ admission was taken during a town hall-style meeting held in Detroit, Michigan, on March 30. Rollins called the radical Black Panther Party a “movement for us,” according to the Washington Free Beacon.

“I’m a former Black Panther and, when we talk about the movement, as a former Black Panther with Angela Davis and Kathleen Cleaver, it was important … to make people understand it was about the movement for us. Educating us. We got out, and we taught kids, we fed the hungry, and we clothed the naked,” Rollins said Saturday as DNC deputy Keith Ellison looked on.

After her statement, Rollins asked blacks to vote for Democrats in the 2018 midterms to help the party take Congress back from the GOP.

“We got to turn back to the revolution!” Rollins yelled to attendees of the town hall.

This is not the first time that Rollins aired her membership in the violent, black power activist organization.

Back in 2016 Rollins told the Michigan Chronicle that she joined the Black Panther Party in 1966 after she moved to Detroit.

“My father was probably the only African American pastor in Benton Harbor at the time,” she said. “So what happened was, I had never seen that many black people in my life [when I moved to Detroit]. So I joined the Black Panther Party. In Detroit.”

During the interview, Rollins also excitedly related how the Panthers were gathering guns and threatening revolution and noted how she is the “real McCoy” because she approved of the behavior.

“And so Angela Davis, Huey Newton, and all them come. And so where do they want to meet? At the bishop’s house. At our house. So my husband is working for Chrysler, and he comes home and I just got all into it. And they had all these guns and they were talkin about we gotta start shootin and reorganizing. And they were organizing this big rally and H. Rap was gonna be speaking,” she said.

“There are nine girls and seven boys in my family. So we all learned how to shoot. And the Black Panthers were talking about walking down the street with a rifle? I’m getting all into this stuff! Cause, you know, it’s in the blood, and I’m the real McCoy.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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