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.

The Strange Friends of Minister Farrakhan

Now this is one strange relationship

You will never hear any Black leader of prominence take on and repudiate Minister Louis Farrakhan in a direct, clear and unmistakable way.   Jesse Jackson won’t do it.  Al Sharpton won’t do it.  The NAACP won’t do it.  Even President Obama won’t do it.   That is a fight they do not want and know they can not win.

Farrakhan warned the president not to allow the United States to be drawn into a war with Libya and attempt to depose (or kill) the dictator Muammar Gaddafi.   The leader of the Black Muslims said Obama should reach out to Gaddafi.

“Why don’t you organize a group of respected Americans and ask for a meeting with Khadafy? You can’t order him to step down and get out, who the hell do you think you are?”
Farrakhan’s support of the dictator is in part based upon Gaddafi loaning the Nation of Islam $5 million dollars. 

Nothing has happened to change my mind that the U.S. and its allies should stay out of the civil war in Libya.  If Obama wants to take a giant step to reassure his reelection he should take full advantage not to drag the United States into yet another Middle East minefield.  There’s no upside to it.

The President IS wrong on Libya. I agree with Farrakhan that it is a Libyan civil war to be fought for and won (or lost) BY Libyans.   Obama is now saying he will arm the rebels.  The same rebels whom are being assisted by Al Qaeda.  Sure, we want to get rid of Gaddafi, but by indirectly giving a helping hand to America’s sworn enemy?   That seems incredibly wrong-headed.

Farrakhan has some advice for Obama. Some bad advice.

However, being criticized by the buddy of a dictator can’t hurt Obama.  If anything it makes the president look more mainstream when he’s blasted by someone so firmly out of it.

The question is, does Farrakhan know he can’t win a popularity contest against Obama?   A choice between backing the president and the minister is no choice at all for me.  I have heard Farrakhan speak live three or four times.  He is a charismatic and electrifying speaker.  Nobody sleeps when Farrakhan rocks the mic.   I’ve attended as part of the press pool and watched the White reporters shaking their heads grimly while the Black reporters would exchange knowing glances between them.

Farrakhan is an anti-White, anti-Semitic, homophobic demagogue who preaches Black separatism.  His appeal is he knows how to tap into Black resentment and he never puts any distance between himself and his audience by talking down to them.   Only Farrakhan could have pulled off the Million Man March.  Only Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam have demonstrated the ability to take the most wretched and hopeless and teach them how to clean up their lives and carry themselves with pride and dignity.

But Obama being wrong does not make Farrakhan right. I don’t care about his “disenchantment” with Obama and the Nation of Islam vote isn’t large enough to make a dime’s worth of difference in a national election. Besides, do Black Muslims even vote? Anybody who wants to take their political cues from a guy who says the president is caring out the agenda of “the Jews” probably isn’t anybody whom I want to be associated with.

Farrakhan has set himself an impossible goal if he hopes to sway the opinion of over 30 million Black people to side with a racist dictator who approved a terrorist attack that took American lives over that of the president.

What I WON’T do is bang on Obama because I think “the Jews” have him by the short and curlies. What I WON’T do is follow the lead of a man who possibly played a key role in the death of one of the strongest Black men to walk the earth. What I WON’T do is think Louis Farrakhan is Blacker and more down for the cause than Barack Obama because he speaks pretty and knows how to raise an audience to their feet.

Obama can do that to. And he doesn’t have to use hatred of other people to do it either.

If Farrakhan wants to make the case Blacks should be supporting Gaddafi and not Obama he only has to answer two questions before I switch my allegiance.

1.  Will Minister Farrakhan repudiate Gen. Gaddafi for ordering the 1988 bombing of Pan-Am 103 where 243 passengers, 16 crew members and 11 people on the ground in Lockerbie, Scotland died?   189 of the 270 who perished were Americans, so in some way isn’t the hell Obama unleashing upon Gaddafi long overdue?

2.  Speaking in Rome in August 2010, Gaddafi said on the subject of illegal immigration from Africa, “Europe runs the risk of turning Black” and  “We don’t know what will happen, what will be the reaction of the white and Christian Europeans faced with this influx of starving and ignorant Africans.”    Does the minister agree with the dictator’s remarks?

3.  Where does the minster stand on the arrest of Iman al-Obeidi, a Libyan woman who was dragged away after screaming to foreign journalists she had been gang-raped by Gaddafi loyalists?

A Libyan woman is dragged away after telling foreign journalists she was raped by Gaddafi supporters.

A distraught Libyan woman stormed into a Tripoli hotel Saturday to tell foreign reporters that government troops raped her, setting off a brawl when hotel staff and government minders tried to detain her.

Iman al-Obeidi was tackled by waitresses and government minders as she sat telling her story to journalists after she rushed into the restaurant at the Rixos hotel where a number of foreign journalists were eating breakfast. She claimed loudly that troops had detained her at a checkpoint, tied her up, abused her, then led her away to be gang-raped.

Her story could not be independently verified, but the dramatic scene provided a rare firsthand glimpse of the brutal crackdown on public dissent by Moammar Gadhafi’s regime as the Libyan leader fights a rebellion against his rule that began last month.

Before she was dragged out of the hotel, al-Obeidi managed to tell journalists that she was detained by a number of troops at a Tripoli checkpoint on Wednesday. She said they were drinking whiskey and handcuffed her. She said 15 men later raped her.

“They tied me up … they even defecated and urinated on me,” she said, her face streaming with tears. “The Gadhafi militiamen violated my honor.”

As al-Obeidi spoke, a hotel waitress brandished a butter knife, a government minder reached for his handgun, and another waitress pulled a jacket tightly over her head.

Al-Obeidi said she was targeted by the troops because she’s from the eastern city of Benghazi, a rebel stronghold.

The waiters called her a traitor and told her to shut up. She retorted: “Easterners, we’re all Libyan brothers, we are supposed to be treated the same, but this is what the Gadhafi militiamen did to me, they violated my honor.”

This is the fiend we’re supposed to feel sorry for?  A murderous, mad dog dictator with American blood on his hands whose supporters rape their opponents?   Or does Farrakhan think this is a made-up story by a CIA financed insurgent?

As he ages Farrakhan’s star is settling not rising.  He has lost his relevance to Black America.  His cozy relationship with maniacs like Gaddafi only erodes what little credence he has left.