Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Malcolm X'd Out

Malcolm X'd Out

“There are those who will consider it their duty, as friends of the Negro people, to tell us to revile him, to flee, even from the presence of his memory, to save ourselves by writing him out of the history of our turbulent times. Many will ask what Harlem finds to honor in this stormy, controversial and bold young captain—and we will smile. Many will say turn away—away from this man, for he is not a man but a demon, a monster, a subverter and an enemy of the black man—and we will smile” – Ossie Davis

"There is no memorial site in harlem save the one we are building in the streets of our young minds till our hands & eyes have strength to mould the concrete beneath our feet" - Edward S. Spriggs

"Let nothing in us rest until we avenge ourselves for his death, stupid animals that killed him, let us never breathe a pure breath if we fail, and white men call us faggots till the end of the earth" - Le Roi Jones/Amiri Baraka

"We talk a lot about Malcom X and Martin Luther King JR, but It's time to be like them, as strong as them. They were mortal men like us and everyone of us can be like them" - Tupac Shakur

“I think right about now we have to beware of marketed Malcolm’s and Martin’s. Real people do real things” – Chuck D

"They put your mind right in a bag, and take it wherever they want" - Malcolm X

Once upon a time Malcolm X was a fiery, furious, and fear inspiring “field Nigga.” A one-man-dingo messiah. An insolent, insurrectionary anti-icon who shook up the status quo with his raging and revolutionary rhetoric and his call for the creation of a Black nation. He spoke his mind with articulated aim and eloquent execution like no (other) son of a son of a slave or any omowale outcaste had ever dared, and dissected the truth with a precision that revealed 400 years of lies. He laid it into the reactionaries, reformists, and real racists, and laid the groundwork for a thing called Black Power. From the “blue eyed devils” to the sell out “negroes”, Malcolm X was the (first) Nigga everyone loved to hate. Or as the irginal X man once put it:

I’m a field Negro. If I can’t live in the house as a human being, I’m praying for a wind to come along. If the master won’t treat me right and he’s sick, I’ll tell the doctor to go in the other direction.

When questioned concerning his statements that white people were devils, Malcolm X once stated plainly that "history proves the white man is a devil” and he also described Black civil rights leaders as
"stooges" for the white establishment, criticizing the “farce on Washington” as a demonstration "run by whites in front of a statue of a president who has been dead for a hundred years and who didn't like us when he was alive.” When asked about the X in his name, he made clear that it “replaced the white slave master name of 'Little' which some blue-eyed devil named Little had imposed upon my paternal forebears.”

But it’s been a long time since the Black revolution seemed like it was just around the corner, and Black prophets like Malcolm, and Huey, and Fred, and Stokeley, and Frantz used to trod hard on this dark earth beckoning us to seize the time. Yeah, it seems like a lifetime (and for some it's several) since brothers was trying to work it out by picking up a gun and aiming it at the real enemy, or picking up the step towards real freedom. Nowadays, the only thing being picked up is a check, and the revolution is the latest pair of expensive sweat-shop sneakers. Yes, sometime after the murder of Malcolm, one day during the making of Spikes Lees joint, and somewhere in the midst of the quiet parole of the last man left charged in Malcolm’s assassination, Malcolm’s real legacy was whitewashed and Malcolm X became little more than an iconic image on a cheap T-shirt and a u.s. postage stamp (ready for the licking), where none of our heroes had ever appeared before.

Back during slavery, when Black people like me talked to the slaves, they didn’t kill ‘em, they sent some old house Negro along behind him to undo what he said. You have to read the history of slavery to understand this. There were two kinds of Negroes.

Sadly, the new school “pro-people” Malcolm scheme-addicts surfaced when Black people needed the original, old school, uncut pro-Black prophet most. All the Black heroes were dead or dying, replaced by shitstem sanctioned sellouts and Black (faced) Republicans. The White power structure was trying to turn back the clock, doing away with the “reverse racism” of affirmative action, quotas, and school grants for “minorities”, and continuing to ignore the call for reparations to the sons and dawters of slaves. If Black people wanted to be part of the American scene and the American dream, they would have to get with the program. After all, 400 plus years of slavery, discrimination, Jim Crow, oppression, injustice, abuse, brutality and second-class citizenship where not the real reason why Black folks were wallowing in ghettos all over America. Yes, in this second half of the century, Black folks were in fact equal to Whites. And if they weren’t it was just ‘cause they weren’t working hard enough. There were still “two kinds of negroes”, but now it was the hard working media manu-fractured Malcolm-as-mogul cultural capitalist African-American, versus the lazy, shiftless angry no good (for nada) nigga with a (bad) attitude.

It’s just like when you’ve got some coffee that’s too black, which means it’s too strong. What do you do? You integrate it with cream, you make it weak. But if you pour too much cream in it, you won’t even know you ever had coffee. It used to be hot, it becomes cool. It used to be strong, it becomes weak. It used to wake you up, now it puts you to sleep

Yeah, it was a new century and a new day, and America was turning back the clock to a time when we were all “color-blind” and society was “post racial” and so called once called “Negroes” knew they place (whether that be the sit-coms and dot.coms or the prison cells or as ring tones on cell phones). So with this in mind, out came the “jiggaboos” like a culture clown cotillion gracing every hollyweird film and empTV screen in America. In living color, of course. We re-realized, and accepted, that we could be coloured butlers, (Black) buffoons, and mamacita maid(s) in manhattan and get paid in full. So what if we were tarnishing the legacies of those who had fought (and, yes, died) in the battle for Black Power. Real Black power was measured by how big your bank account is. We would be implicit in our own oppression and laugh in the face of diversity and adversity. We had finally overcome! Just look at Mr Obama and sister Oprah, for Christ sake! And if we hadn’t overcome, then why were we smiling so wide and laughing so hard every night on prime time television? The price of “freedom” was the cost of our souls.

The house Negro could afford to do that because he lived better than the field Negro. He ate better, he dressed better, and he lived in a better house. He lived right up next to his master-in the attic or the basement. He ate the same food his master ate and wore his same clothes. And he could talk just like his master - good diction. And he loved his master more than his master loved himself. That’s why he didn’t want his master hurt.

After years of counter intelligence and corporate co-optation Black people no longer perceived themselves as frontline troops in a protracted revolution or even as amerikas most wanted with a price on they head. O.K., so there was the occasional “prophet of rage” attempting to waken the slumbering Black man with calls to “fight the power” or the occasional Nigga with Attitude talkin’ loud and saying something from straight out the ‘hood (within the confines of “the mans” blessings, of course), but they too would be canceled or crushed by the corporate (media) (anti-nigga) machine in a time when we pick our prophets by how adept they are at making a profit. Henceforth, the system would quickly “shut down”, smash or render irrelevant every public enemy who reared and roared his militant mouth. Or as Malcolm himself put it:

You had some field Negroes, who lived in huts, had nothing to lose. They wore the worst kind of clothes. They ate the worst food. And they caught hell. They felt the sting of the lash. They hated their master. Oh yes, they did. If the master got sick, they’d pray that the master died. If the masters house caught afire, they’d pray for a strong wind to come along.

So the plan was nearly finished and so were we. But as a final blow, it was still necessary to completely rewrite history (our-story), in order that Black America would never again see itself as a revolutionary people. That retelling of the story of Black resistance would have to start with the man who most embodied Black militancy and the Black revolution, Mr. Malcolm X. They began by focusing on Malcolm’s “new” outlook, using his last speeches with there “humanist” stance

our problem was no loner a Negro problem or an American problem, but a human problem

and his trip to Mecca where

The people of all races, colors, coming together as one… has proved to me the power of the one God

as “proof” positive that his earlier Black (nationalist/NOI) stick-it-to-the-man period was just a faze that Malcolm would move beyond once he’d “matured” as a political (and proper) thinker.

So now, no longer the “white devils” that his-story had proved them to be, we re-discovered that white people could be just as good as black people. Or rather, Black people could be just as bad as white people had always been. Or, as Tupac Shakur candidly put it

I mean, there's some [foul] niggaz out there [in the streets]; the same niggaz that did Malcolm X, the same niggaz that did Jesus Christ- every brother ain't a brother. They will do you.

Implicit in this re-creation of Malcolm’s true legacy and the racial “sharing of guilt” was the idea that pro-Black politics equaled immature politics, and so Black folk should be guided towards a smarter way of picking their leaders (re-gardless of color/race) and a better way of looking at the world. In other words, Black folks should be content to be swallowed whole by the capitalist cancer, rather than attempt to liberate themselves from it with this silly Black Power preach-ifyin’. Malcolm would then be transformed into a pacifist and pacified spokesman for the “human rights” struggle, a sit down strike “civil rights leader” alongside the deified, de-mistified and doomed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. Deified, demystified, doomed, duped, de-clawed and rope-a-doped, Malcolm X would forever an ever, amen, cease to be the threat he was born to be.

When Malcolm was killed the New York Times wrote that Malcolm X was "an extraordinary and twisted man" who "turn[ed] many true gifts to evil purpose.”

But lest we forget, Malcolm X could (and would) always speak for (and about) his damn self

There is nothing in our book, the Koran, that teaches us to suffer peacefully. Our religion teaches us to be intelligent. Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery. That’s a good religion


If violence is wrong in America, violence is wrong abroad. If it is wrong to be violent defending black women and black children and black babies and black men, then it is wrong for America to draft us, and make us violent abroad in defense of her. And if it is right for America to draft us, and teach us how to be violent in defense of her, then it is right for you and me to do whatever is necessary to defend our own people right here in this country

and finally

I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the systems of exploitation

Nowadays, the average neo (new) African-American is more likely to wax poetic about how “my president is Black” in the/a white house, than about how “our Black shining Prince” once prayed for the masters house to catch fire, Condoleeca Rice and Colin Powell were a (first) step black to the future, Oprah is the most loved lady in the u.s.of a, Bill Cosby hates "niggas", and the Black youth without reference or reverence becomes the latest late registrants to the revolution or undercover republican in “black face”, or beter (or worse) yet, just another genuflectin’ “Jigga” on a quest for the cream. And Malcolm X is (still) dead.

More Malcolm X On W.E. A.L.L. B.E.:

1 comment:

XYBØRG said...

Just how long will it be before the incredible shrinking gaffe-machine that is RNC chairman Michael Steele is forced into yet another foot-shuffling, head-scratching and Uncle-Tomming recant following his latest declaration that he regards the (supposedly "anti-white") Malcolm X as his favorite leader? Or will Mr Steele display some of the backbone that was Malcolm's hallmark and stand up to the political Eyjafjallajökull that will shortly erupt about his ears?