FACT CHECK: Are Black Panthers planning to kill white students and teachers on 9/11?

Claim:   Black Panthers are planning to kill white students and teachers on 9/11.

  PROBABLY FALSE

Example:   [Collected via Facebook, September 2015]

Origins:   A warning about “Black Panthers” having been “given the order to go into schools and colleges and kill all the white kids and teachers” on 9/11 (supposedly issuing from “General Greg Black” at the University of South Carolina Aiken) hit social media in early September 2015:

ATTENTION ATTENTION ATTENTION

JUST GOT A CALL FROM A VERY GOOD FRIEND HE WORKS FOR THE NSA AND DHS HE TOLD ME THAT ALL GOVT AGENCYS HAVE BEEN PUT ON HIGH ALERT FOR 9/11 I KNOW THIS IS NOTHING UNUSUAL BUT HE STATED THIS I QUOTE. “THE BLACK PANTHERS HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE ORDER TO GO INTO SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES AND KILL ALL TO WHITE KIDS AND TEACHERS THEYVE ALSO BEEN GIVEN THE ORDER TO KILL ALL WHITE COPS AND CRACKERS” UNQUOTE I URGE YOU TO ALL STAY IN GROUPS OF ATLEAST 4 MORE IF POSSIBLE IVE ALSO BEEN TOLD THAT IN THE UNION, GAFFNEY SPARTANBURG AREAS THAT GANG MEMBERS ARE BUILDING UP TO ATTACK WHITE PEOPLE ON 9/11 PLEASE DO NOT SEND YOUR KIDS TO SCHOOL ON MONDAY PLEASE THIS IS A DIRECT ORDER FOR YOUR CHILDS SAFETY! MAKE SURE YOU ARE ARMED AT ALL TIMES! THE COMMANDERS ARE SETTING UP QRFs (QUICK REACTION FORCES) TO RESPOND TO ANY ACTS OF VIOLENCE

THANK YOU GENERAL GREG BLACK USCA S.C. COMMANDING

The message echoes countless other false rumors about black gang members supposedly planning murder sprees involving the killing of innocent, randomly-selected (white) victims. Police in the South Carolina cities mentioned in the warning (Union, Gaffney, Spartanburg) told us they had no information indicating that “Black Panthers” or “gang members” were planning to attack schools in the area on Monday, 11 September 2015, and that parents were not being advised to keep their children home from school that day (which is actually a Friday, not a Monday).

Some radical groups have been promoting a #FYF911 protest against “imperial powers” on 9/11, but that protest involves burning flags, not invading schools to murder people:

We, the people, are psychologically and physically breaking free of the imperialist, colonialist, and racist empires by burning representations starting on September 11th 2015. Why September 11th? We recognize that these imperial powers attacked their own citizens on 9/11 in an attempt to gain more power from its people. We are not disrespecting any citizen that may have died during these attacks on this day,instead we are acknowledging that, from this day forward, we are holding ALL imperial nations responsible for their needless deaths! On 9/11 we will be burning American flags, confederate flags, police uniforms, and ALL representations of organized evil and oppressive nations. We also will be raising the Liberation flag and building on a new nation for the people. This is an INTERNATIONAL movement and a day of unity, progressive action, and liberation. To all OPPRESSIVE AND ORGANIZED EVIL after #FYF911 the people will not be bound to you any longer!! FUCK YOUR FLAG!! Hastag #FYF911 to see what people are doing in your area

The original Black Panther Party for Self-Defense created in the mid-1960s essentially ended in the early 1980s, by which time membership had dwindled to a couple of dozen members. The New Black Panther Party originated in Dallas in 1989 and disclaims a relationship with the original. Some members of the New Black Panther Party have engaged in protests (during which they ostentatiously carried firearms) over the killings of unarmed blacks by police, but they have not advocated the wholesale slaughter of innocent white schoolchildren and teachers as a form of revenge.

On 8 September 2015, Cherokee Co. Sheriff Steve Mueller said the rumors were “not credible.”

Last updated:   10 September 2015

Originally published:    4 September 2015