Remembering Malcolm X
by, 05-19-2008 at 12:13 AM (1040 Views)
From The Ramparts
Junious Ricardo Stanton
Remembering Malcolm X
“You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom. ” Malcolm X
It is right and proper to pause and remember the life, legacy and works of El Hajj Malik El Shabazz also known as Malcolm X on his natal day. His dedication and sacrifice for the upliftment and liberation of our people are exemplary. Malcolm Little aka “Red” aka Malcolm X aka El Hajj Malik El Shabazz is a shining example of transformation, personal redemption, true manhood, integrity and courage in an age of wholesale emasculation, cowardice, mindless treacherous self-negation. Many of us are familiar with his story, how he was born into a family who were supporters of the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey. His father Earl Little was a fiery and courageous preacher who was an organizer for the UNIA. His father was killed under mysterious circumstances which left a gaping hole in the family structure. Malcolm’s mother who was suddenly forced to raise her family without the support of her murdered husband suffered a nervous breakdown and was institutionalized. The family was scattered, forced to live in foster homes and with relatives. Young Malcolm was naturally bright but his intellect was not nurtured in the white schools he attended in Michigan. Like many black boys, then and now, his white teachers discouraged him and deliberately attempted to crush his spirit and frustrate his dreams of becoming a lawyer.
Eventually Malcolm left the Mid-West and went to stay with a half sister in the Boston area where he fell into the thug life which landed him in jail. While incarcerated, Malcolm was introduced to the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam. Malcolm was accepted into the organization and began training in its doctrines and philosophy. His mental agility and love of earning helped him grow and demonstrate his natural leadership skills which were soon recognized within the NOI . Malcolm went on to become one of the NOI’s top organizers and recruiters and eventually became the national spokesman for Mr Muhammad and the Nation of Islam. As subsequent rift with the Nation lead to his suspension and eventual departure from the NOI. Nevertheless, Malcolm used that situation to expand his horizons and offer a broader message of liberation, political engagement and global awareness. Once out from under the constraints of the Nation of Islam and their parochial message, Malcolm attempted to link up with world leaders in an effort to bring the United States before the World Court for its crimes against Africans in America and its imperialist and genocidal policies around the world. His activities caused the US government much concern and so he was “neutralized” to use their language in a futile effort to halt the rise of African consciousness and liberation.
Malcolm X was the catalyst for a much more militant and global response to European colonialism and AmeriKKKan oppression. His speeches and his fearlessness were a beacon showing the way to manhood to a new generation of Blacks. Hence the plutocrats exploited ideological differences between Malcolm and the NOI and used it as a cover for his assassination. They killed Malcolm but not the movement he ignited. Malcolm was the direct progenitor of the Black Power, Black Arts, Black Consciousness and Pan-African movements still alive today. Despite his assassination and the vicious counter insurgency activities of the US government like COINTELPRO, Operation CHAOS and the militarization of local police and the corporate media,these movements still percolate within our consciousness. Malcolm’s words are just as relevant and powerful today as they were in the mid ‘60's; mainly because our enemies are just as psychopathic and lethal , some might say even more so than they were then.
Regarding US imperialism and oppression which is just as rampant today in Haiti, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and threatening to erupt in Iran, Syria and Lebanon as it was in Southeast Asia in the ‘60's Malcolm said, “The same rebellion, the same impatience, the same anger that exists in the hearts of the dark people in Africa and Asia is existing in the hearts and minds of 20 million black people in this country who have been just as thoroughly colonized as the people in Africa and Asia.” Malcolm put our struggle in global context and this unnerved the ruling oligarchy. We have to familiarize ourselves with his message today because it; just like Martin Luther King’s later speeches makes the link between domestic violence and oppression here and the dastardly deeds the US government is doing overseas on behalf of their corporate masters. The system has neither repented nor reformed in the thirty three years since Malcolm’s murder. It has gotten worse.
Speaking of the system, just as Malcolm astutely revealed the weaknesses of the Civil Rights movement versus a genuine human rights struggle; I’m sure if he were alive today he would point out the blatant contradictions of Barack Obama’s candidacy. Malcolm was an uncompromising champion of truth and freedom. He knew the US system was throughly corrupt which is why he talked about revolution. In his “The Ballot or The Bullet” speech in Detroit he outlined the options, true reform or revolution. Given the stranglehold the corporate elites have on the government today, humane reform appears highly unlikely.
What are our options? Do we have any viable choices? Our options appear to be limited to: continuing the insanity, the delusion of inclusion or going into serious survival mode based upon race first, ethnocentric organization, mobilization and actualization of our innate genius, resources and energies. Once we do this we can begin providing for our own protection, security, food, commerce and necessities. This was the same message of Booker T Washington, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Noble Drew Ali, Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X. It is fitting on his natal day we revisit Malcolm’s message and rededicate ourselves to bringing it into fruition.
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