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Taxpayers in California have long been accustomed to sponsoring unusual uses for their dollars, such as the San Francisco Bay Area program that pays “at-risk” youths from $300 to $1,000 a month to take GED classes, but the knowledge that two public universities are hosting speeches by a Black Panther leader convicted of attempting to murder six police officers may be a step too far even for Californians.

Sekou Odinga, a black Muslim whose real name is Nathaniel Burns, served thirty-three years in federal prison for taking part in a shootout with police in relation to robbery of a Brinks armored truck, and his role in assisting fellow Black Panther, Assata Olugbala Shakur, escape from prison break where she was serving a sentence for the murder of a New Jersey State Trooper, the serious wounding of another and multiple other felonies.

With Odinga’s help, Shakur fled to asylum in Cuba where she remains today designated as a  by the FBI with a $1 million reward for assistance in her capture.

Odinga, who was released in 2014, describes himself as a “political prisoner” and said the robbery was necessary to fund “the revolution,” justifying the gun battle as “retaliation for ongoing atrocities.”

The 72-year-old radical claims to be a citizen of the non-existent “Republic of New Afrika” and advocates the seizure of land in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina for the establishment of a predominantly black nation, saying, “many of us never agreed to become Americans.”

Apparently, the two California institutions of higher learning, the University of California-Irvine and California State University, Los Angeles find Odinga’s version of his resume preferable to his criminal record as they post a bio for his talks emphasizing both his role as a “husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather” and a “U.S.-held political prisoner” for 33 years.

 

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