Black History Month the time for us to resurrect the opinions, ideals and philosophies of Malcolm X. Incidentally, February 21 makes it 39 years since he was assassinated. Yet, his killers achieved nothing. Today, Malcolm X is alive-alive in our hearts for therein we sincerely and honestly know and believe that what he said for us is true and what he demanded for us is legitimate.
Many including our own kind have stigmatized him as a racist demagogue and a militant. History reveals that black leaders who denounce the economic exploitation and oppression of their own people by whites, are often labeled and demonized by the media or imprisoned or executed by their government, backed by the USA, Britain, Canada, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, France and Holland whom are all partners of the infamous slave trade.
We need only to take a look at the lives of Marcus Garvey, Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Jomo Kenyatta, Huey P. Newton, Che Guevara, Nelson Mandela, Medger Evers, Toussaint L’Ourveture, Fred Hampton and countless other and realize what fate awaited them all.
Militancy in pursuit of overdue freedom and justice to my honest conviction is no vice. Malcolm’s militancy was with words not with bullets and booms, water-hose and billy-clubs. He was not for war but for human justice. It is only logical to think that as long as a robber retains the loot the man that has lost his property cannot be at harmony with the vicious thief or anyone else whom he suspects. As long as a man is a constant victim of oppression and injustices, he has the God given right to free himself with even a greater measure of force than that which is used against him.
To the Malcolm X antagonist I ask, what crime did he commit then as a black nationalist preaching against oppression and injustice? All Malcolm X demanded which to some degree we are still denied today are rights, equalities, freedom and black pride. He taught us that black is beautiful at a time when our black skin was viewed by many as a mark of servitude and a burden of shame. He also taught us that freedom was ours to claim and should, “by any means necessary.” So we should never try to judge him by the means he employed to obtain black consciousness, instead we should focus on the objectives.
There are no known people today, no country, and no island that has not employed force to secure their freedom. How the USA became free from the grip of British rule? Was it through a non-violent revolution? How did the colonial masters oppress blacks, was it in a non-violent way? So force and arms are always used to seek whites’ objectives, be it to liberate or to oppress. Yet the aims and objectives of Malcolm X are for self help, self defense, discipline, education, economic advancement and a commitment towards unity. Let us never forget his denunciation of white imperialism in all its insidious forms. Never must we undermine his achievements as a self-educated Blackman who debated at the world’s most prestigious university of Oxford and at Harvard Law forum. Let us always recall that in 1984 the government of Iran honored Malcolm X by issuing a stamp in his image for the Universal Day of the Struggle against Race Discrimination.
We must all remember the words of Malcolm X, “we are not persecuted because we are Christians, Atheist or Muslims, we are not oppressed because we are immigrants from the Caribbean or from Africa, and we are not denied jobs because we are uneducated or unskilled but simply because we are black. We are brutalized by the police because we are defenseless and we are convicted in their courts because we are not united in our fight for justice.” We must recognize his efforts within the Organization Afro-American Unity that he had formed. Malcolm X has internationalized America’s race problem by lifting it from the level of civil rights to a struggle for the universally recognized Human Rights. He was truly determined to bring The US government before the United Nations under the charges of violating the UN Declaration of Human Rights but sadly he was gunned down before this was ever attained.
Today, there are many books on the life of Malcolm X, herein I name some:
Malcolm X Make it plain
Malcolm X Speeches at Harvard
Malcolm X: The FBI Files
Malcolm X: The Man and His Time
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
There are also many documentaries on his life and we all owe it to ourselves to be acquainted with his struggles which are ours as well, for as Malcolm X once said, “ Of all our studies, History will best reward us for our research.”