It has become apparent that this month’s Black History extravaganza has provided evidence as to why it is Black History every day, 365, and not just a moment to be celebrated in February. What has also become clear is that America continues to feign ignorance of its part in making lives miserable for an entire race of people. As hallowed words from TheBlaze‘s Tomi Lahren ring throughout the online stratosphere aboutBeyonce and the Black Panther Party, I am expecting a lot of anger and angst to be directed at, Malcolm X, a true civil rights martyr, on what is the 51st year of his assassination.
February 21, 1965. The Audubon Ballroom in New York City’s Washington Heights neighborhood held 400-plus people all awaiting to hear Malcolm X address the Organization of Afro-American Unity. Days after telling Gordon Parks that he knew the Nation of Islam, an organization that helped reform him from a criminal to a public defender of black civil rights, was attempting to kill him. Three men shot the leader with a sawed-off shotgun and semi-automatic weapons, right in front of his co-workers, friends and family. As black Americans honor his memory and legacy today, there will undoubtedly be a flood of revile and bad words directed at Malcolm X.
After his assassination, many in the media called Malcolm a “demagogue,” a “twisted man” and said that he lived a life that was “strangely and pitifully wasted”. To that, we say that you are foolish and by spouting disrespectful rhetoric without respecting the full history of a man cut down too soon — you are the worst kind of human being. In Malcolm X’s posthumously published autobiography, he wrote about his life as a hoodlum and a “hustler” in an attempt to relate his story to the countless black Americans who found themselves in similar predicament with seemingly no way out.
With chapters such as “Detroit Red” and “Mecca,” these expressed the thinkings, experiences and traps witnessed by the man born Malcolm Little. At the end of the book, Malcolm’s intentions are laid bare, saying, “If I can die having brought any light, having exposed any meaningful truth that will help destroy the racist cancer that is malignant in the body of America — then, all of the credit is due to Allah. Only the mistakes have been mine.” 51 years since his murder, we are constantly seeing just how strong the racist cancer continues to be within the body of America, as young and old black Americans alike are being killed at an epidemic rate.
Michael Brown. Sandra Bland. Bettie Jones. Miriam Carey. Tamir Rice. Trayvon Martin.
Those are just a few names on the laundry list of others that have been buried before their time thanks to police brutality and racist ignorance. It is not a trend that just happened in the 21st century, either, as this has been a problem for a long as the black community can remember. And as America continues to be ignorant of its place as the cause of so much calamity, it is wrong of anyone to label Malcolm X a “menace” or to limit his creed as one of violence.
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Copyright 2016 IAR Magazine