On the death of Malcom Shabazz
Post of the day
There are very few thoughtful posts in this thread. I am about halfway through reading Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. His parents were militant Garvey-ites--many blacks raised themselves up to the middle class by following Marcus Garvey--and Malcolm's parents were repeatedly persecuted throughout his childhood. The family was forced to move many times. His dear father was murdered when Malcolm was very young. His mother was placed in an asylum, and it was 25 years before he was able to have her released.
His autobiography told of many more crimes than he ever committed, because he was trying to show he'd been a really bad guy before Elijah Muhammed picked him up and helped him 'become a man'. At 16, he went to live with his sister Ella, who was a habitual petty thief. In fact, his own actual police record was scant before he and his white girlfriend, with his buddy Shorty and another white girl, started burglarizing fancy homes in NYC. They were quickly caught because they never even tried fencing their stolen booty--Malcolm just wasn't a good criminal at all. But his girlfriend betrayed him at trial, and he was sentenced to a far longer prison term than was customary for his crimes, because public outcry about his relationship with a white woman tilted heavily against him.
Although Malcolm X was duped by Elijah Muhammed and his Fard-created pseudo-Islamic doctrine, when Malcolm learned that Muhammed had fathered at least 8 children out of wedlock with various secretaries, he began to study real Islam. He spoke out against Muhammed's crass infidelities, knowing the Nation of Islam would eventually murder him. By 1963-'64. Malcolm had become a true Muslim and had made a hajj to Mecca, where he discovered that true Islam embraced all races as one people. He changed from being a segregationist to joining the Civil Rights Movement. He had worked as a minister without pay for 17 years--along with his public speaking engagements, he visited the sick, arranged funerals, and helped the poor among his congregation at Mosque #7 in Harlem, performing all the regular duties of any pastor, of any faith.
Without the dichotomy between MLK's peaceful protests and the threat behind Malcolm X's fiery rhetoric, the Civil Rights movement would never have achieved as much as it did.
Then you have this boy, given Malcolm's same name but without the solid family, early childhood Malcolm had. His grandmother doubtless rubbed his nose in the fact he couldn't carry off Malcolm's legacy and shouldn't even bear his name. A child of 12, he set fire to their apartment--a thing any pubescent boy might be capable of, in a moment of uncontrollable rage. Afterward, barely a teen, he had to live with having killed her, which surely hadn't been his intent.
Criminals aren't born--they are made.
Whatever your political bent, and whether you are black, white, gray, or green, anybody with a shred of humanity must see that this Malcolm Shabazz never had a chance to develop as a normal person. From the very moment he was given his grandfather's entire name, he was cursed with a burden and a public legacy he couldn't possibly recreate, follow, or change. Faced with that, any one of you might have turned out to end exactly as he has. Yet not a moment of compassion, not any comprehension of his suffering, nor one iota of human mercy, is on display in this thread.
You whites who believe the playing field is equal just because you never owned any slaves are pitifully unaware of what black people in this country endure every day.
Recently my husband, who is black, drove our basketball star daughter to a championship conference. Unsure of where the gym was or where to park, with the clock ticking to start time, our girl jumped out and ran to be sure she got there on time. After he parked, he walked over to another car with a young Asian woman inside. She immediately rolled up all her car windows. He tried to ask her where the gym was. She refused to answer or even look at him. Now, my husband is almost 70. He dresses impeccably. He was wearing a very expensive camera around his neck, and a gold watch. Surely everybody on campus knew about the Championship Basketball Conference, because there were signs and pennants everywhere. This sort of thing happens to blacks, even to elderly, upper middle class folks like my husband, EVERY DAY.
Our basketball star is lighter and more exotic-looking than her sister; if people DO think she's mixed, they're okay with her because she plays basketball--that's an acceptable thing for her, as a partially black girl in white America.
Her sister, however, is academically gifted and wants to be a doctor. She's been fraudulently graded, verbally tortured BY HER TEACHERS, and even as she's about to graduate from a rigorous college back east with two degrees in four years, some professors are still insisting she can't be a doctor. She's been abused every day from when she was 16 months of age.
I'm just glad I'm not black. I am not strong enough to handle what half my family must put up with, day in and day out--or that the entire difference between what one child experiences and what the other does--is solely because one is darker and perceived to be academically brilliant. The basketball player holds a 3.5 GPA in junior college, but all anybody sees is she plays the game, and she's lighter, so she is barely scathed, while the other battles daily to stay focused and not lose the self-esteem white people keep trying to strip from her.
No white person in this thread has ever experienced this reality. I did not know of it, although I'd researched American racism in books--until I saw how it affects my own family. I see the huge difference in experience between one child and the other. I tell you, it is HEARTBREAKING.
Not a single post here reflects serious thought or sufficient consideration of black reality in the USA--which has become infinitely worse with both elections of a half-black President.
I'm beginning to think Malcolm X may have had it right, about the need for militancy. It certainly appears that we may have to revisit Civil Rights all over again, as it appears it didn't stick, the first time. I'm beginning to think we're headed to another Civil War, and for the same reasons: rightwing states seek to balkanize our laws, so your rights are determined by your zip code instead of your federal citizenship. And blacks are worse off than they were in the 1970s-'80s, despite the apparent gain represented in the White House.
Is that really what you want, a Civil War redux? Far greater circumspection is needed than appears here--all you achieve in this thread is exposure of your vulgar, arrogant, uneducated fear.
#2.48 - Sat May 11, 2013 4:16 AM EDT