The (Attempted) Rebooting of Malcolm X

malcolm x2

We’re down to the last days of Black History Month and I haven’t focused very much on it.   Like at all.   I’m of the belief Black History Month has gone on past its sell-by date, but that’s not my focus today.   I was given a reason to pay some attention  when found out some enterprising conservatives had seized upon  Malcolm X  ripping Democrats a new hole with his “political chumps” speech

First they came for Dr. King and tried to turn him into a Republican and now its Brother Malcolm  who is next in line to be body-snatched by the Right.

Anytime you throw your weight behind a political party that controls two-thirds of the government, and that Party can’t keep the promise that it made to you during election time, and you’re dumb enough to walk around continuing to identify yourself with that Party, you’re not only a chump, but you’re a traitor to your race.

They try and pass the buck to the Dixiecrats. Now back during the days when you were blind, deaf, and dumb, ignorant, politically immature, naturally you went along with that. But today as your eyes come open, and you develop political maturity, you’re able to see and think for yourself, and you can see that a Dixiecrat is nothing but a Democrat in disguise.

They’ve been down there four years, and they’re — all other legislation they wanted to bring up they brought it up and gotten it out of the way, and now they bring up you. And now, they bring up you. You put them first, and they put you last, ’cause you’re a chump, a political chump. –

Too Black, Too Strong, Too Malcolm.

I like that speech.   Malcolm was in the business of speaking truth to power and he didn’t hold back based upon which party was in power.   It’s easy to see why a conservative annoyed over President Obama and the Democrats constantly pulling down 80 to 90 percent of the Black vote would also like the speech.   Nearly 50 years after Malcolm made those remarks they still resonate (though the Dixiecrats part not so much).   Cutting to the chase and making it plain was a specialty of Malcolm.

But that doesn’t mean Malcolm was Herman Cain before Herman Cain.

You think Malcolm X hated on liberals alone? If you do, you know the words, but you’re lost on the melody.   You can’t cherry-pick the man’s speeches looking only for the parts that jibe with your own beliefs.  Either you take Malcolm in his totality or you leave him the hell alone!

Malcolm X didn’t simply reject Democrats. He rejected the whole damn political game because he considered it institutionally and systematically racist and discriminatory. His goals with the Nation of Islam were in direct opposition to what Dr. King and the civil rights movement was about.   Malcolm left it up to King to fight to integrate buses and lunch counters and get arrested and have dogs turned loose on him.

Martin spoke of his American dreams while  Malcolm spoke of his American nightmares.

“And when I speak, I don’t speak as a Democrat. Or a Republican. Nor an American. I speak as a victim of America’s so-called democracy. You and I have never seen democracy – all we’ve seen is hypocrisy. When we open our eyes today and look around America, we see America not through the eyes of someone who has enjoyed the fruits of Americanism. We see America through the eyes of someone who has been the victim of Americanism. We don’t see any American dream. We’ve experienced only the American nightmare.”

“They know that as long as they keep us undereducated, or with an inferior education, it’s impossible for us to compete with them for job openings. And as long as we can’t compete with them and get a decent job, we’re trapped. We are low-wage earners. We have to live in a run-down neighborhood, which means our children go to inferior schools. They get inferior education. And when they grow up, they fall right into the same cycle again. This is the American way. This is the American democracy that she tries to sell to the whole world as being that which will solve the problems of other people too.”

“Sitting at the table doesn’t make you a diner, unless you eat some of what’s on that plate. Being here in America doesn’t make you an American. Being born here in America doesn’t make you an American.”

“Me, a Republican? Now that’s funny.”

It’s fine with me if conservatives searching for a Black hero bashing liberals as vigorously as they do  and they try to misappropriate some of Malcolm’s words to do it.   I’m not concerned because its pretty hard to retrofit a Black Nationalist acolyte of Elijah Muhammad like Malcolm X for the Fox News generation.  If they’re not careful they might mess around and expose themselves to a worldview that was at war with their own.  Enlightenment is what Black History Month is supposed to be about after all.   However, if they delude themselves it was only the asses of liberals he had a foot in they will totally miss what Malcolm made plain.

It’s fine with me if conservatives searching for a Black hero bashing liberals as vigorously as they do  and they try to misappropriate some of Malcolm’s words to do it.  It’s  hard to retrofit a fiercely symbol of Black manhood like Malcolm X as a Fox News Republican, but the Right can try if they want.    It won’t stick.   Malcolm rejected the choice of Democrat or Republican as a false choice,  but  if some White Tea-Party types want to read though The Bullet of the Ballot speech looking for some grenades to lob at Barack Obama they can go for it.    They should be careful not to mess around and expose themselves to a worldview  at war with their own.  Enlightenment is what Black History Month is supposed to be about after all.   However, if they delude themselves it was only the asses of liberals he had a foot in they will totally miss what Malcolm made plain.

…the black masses are learning for the first time in 400 years the real truth of how the white man brainwashed the black man, kept him ignorant of his true history, robbed him of his self-confidence. The black masses for the first time are understanding that it’s not a case of being anti-white or anti-Christian, but it’s a case of seeing the true nature of the white man. We’re anti-evil, anti-oppression, anti-lynching. You can’t be anti-those things unless you’re also anti-the oppressor and the lyncher. You can’t be anti-slavery and pro-slavemaster; you can’t be anti-crime and pro-criminal. In fact, Mr. Muhammad teaches that if the present generation of whites would study their own race in the light of their true history, they would be anti-white themselves.

This was a brother who didn’t play favorites.   Malcolm X didn’t see any distinction between White liberals and White conservatives.  He only saw oppressors whose shared racial identity made them adversaries of his own.    Too Black.  Too Strong.  Too much Malcolm to be any kind of Republican.

Any attempt by half-wit right-wingers seeking to body-snatch Malcolm X and turn him into  yet another zombiefied chicken-n’-biscuit eatin’ disgrace to the race like Herman Cain will be met with the acidic contempt and brutal truth it deserves.

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8 thoughts on “The (Attempted) Rebooting of Malcolm X

  1. Agreed. Check out black conservative George Schulyer’s last published column entitled “Malcolm X: Better to Memorialize Benedict Arnold”. The conservative movement had no love or respect for Malcolm X and of course the feeling was mutual.

  2. Agreed. Conservatives had no love for Malcolm X during his life. Check out any articles by George Schuyler, the premier black conservative of Malcolm’s era. They debated on a few occasions and after Malcolm X’s death, Schuyler was outraged at any efforts to memorialize him. Schuyler’s last published article was entitled “Malcolm X: Better to Memorialize Benedict Arnold”.

  3. This is a great post for sure
    Today we have way to many shoe shining,coonery types running around trying to fit into the nightmare of the 21st century

  4. Pingback: Quote of the day: Malcolm X |

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