Dexter Rogers

Dexter Rogers

Friday, May 23, 2008

Malcom X was the greatest African American leader of all time


May 19, 1925 he was born Malcolm Little. He lived as Malcolm X, and on February 21, 1965 he was slain as El Ha Malik El Shabazz: the best African American leader we’ve ever had.

Malcolm had only 8th grade education. One of his elementary teachers told him that a nigger should look to do something with his hands and being a lawyer is outside of the realm of possibility.

Malcolm ascended from humble beginnings as a child, to a career criminal who evolved to be the best African American leader of this century. He rose from the gutter and took hold of his greatness and lived his truth. No one has taken the torch.

Malcolm was about real change. No disrespect to Obama today but Malcolm was talking about something over and above that of any other leader of this century including Martin Luther King.

Malcolm provided the African American community with a thorough blueprint in order to achieve societal respect. Malcolm was a nationalistic thinker: he wanted African Americans to think and do for self.

Malcolm didn’t endorse begging the white establishment to qualify them: he said we should own and control the economics in our communities and elect political officials who have our best interest at heart or elect no one.

Socially Malcolm advocated knowledge of self. He preached we should know who we were before the white man made us slaves and robbed us our collective identities. Once we become aware of our ancestral greatness then we’d act as if the odds are on our side rather than against us.

King was from a different school. He attempted to utilize a strategy as a way of life. A strategy is something one employs in their quest to achieve a desired result. Strategies can't be utilized as a way of life: one need a concrete systematic plan of action in order to bring about change. Malcolm did that for us.

For example, when a doctor diagnoses a patient for an ailment he attempts to get to the root of the problem in order to prescribe a remedy. The problems are lack of leadership and racism. Leadership is vital to any movement: if it wasn’t why was Malcolm and other great African American leaders slain?

Malcolm’s vision, self-taught intellect, and oratorical skills made him one of a kind. Malcolm once said, “Yes we hate laziness, we hate dope addiction, we hate nicotine. We hate all the vices the white man has taught to partake in. And he accuses us of hating him.”

He continues, “Who are you? You don’t know. Don’t tell me Negro, that’s nothing. What were you before the white man named you a Negro. What did you have? What tongue did you speak? What language did you back then? What was your name? It couldn’t have been Smith, Jones, or Bunche or Powell. That wasn’t our name. They didn’t have those type of names where you and I came from. No! What was your name? And how come you don’t know now what your name was then?

It’s obvious Malcolm provoked thought and kept it real.
King on the other hand was tolerated and endorsed by the establishment because he wasn’t a real threat: Obama has ascended today and speaks of change yet in my opinion MLK and Obama together can’t touch Malcolm. Malcolm’s words, wisdom, and nationalistic thinking was bringing about a true change. His actions measured up to his deeds.

The societal conditions were less than ideal during Malcolm’s ascendance to prominence in the early 1960’s. African Americans were still being lynched, Jim Crow was the law, and there was no societal inclusion. African Americans didn’t have any rights that were recognized with any degree of seriousness.

There was no cable, internet, or websites in Malcolm’s day yet his messages still resonates loud and clear in the African American community. Malcolm X was bold enough to say publicly what many mainstream African Americans were afraid to say: he was the mouthpiece for those who were dogged and neutralized by America’s oppressive system.

African Americans today are victims of elitism. You have a few African Americans who have made it yet the resources are scattered amongst themselves and not amongst the masses.

When marquee African Americans with visibility and dollars can make a true difference many refuse to step forward. What if the hip-hop artists, athletes, entertainers would listen to and learn Malcolm’s philosophy? What if Barack Obama got together along with the ex-convicts, gang members, and teachers across the land and put together a comprehensive program for the betterment for African Americans?

Won’t happen soon.

What keeps the latter from happening is the subconscious fear of the establishment. Malcolm cared little about the white establishment: he simply wanted to make a difference and provide African Americans with direction and he let it be known.

Obama is currently making history and he’s vying to occupy the oval office. He’s creating an energy that’s been lacking for many years but we don’t need history or moving speeches-we need results. African Americans need someone to keep it real about the condition of our neighborhoods while not fearing the white establishment.

If Malcolm were alive he wouldn’t stand for Kelly Tilghman saying players on the PGA tour should lynch Tiger Woods. He wouldn’t stand for Bill O’Reilly saying he wanted to get out a “lynch mob” for Obama’s wife. Nor would he sit idle while white America continues to pounce on African Americans in the mainstream media.

When the Nation of Islam was at the apex of its existence in the early 1960’s Malcolm X was at the forefront. Malcolm built the Nation and made it what it was. But an unfortunate combination of jealousy amongst the higher ups in the Nation, the CIA, FBI, and the NYPD created an atmosphere that called for Malcolm’s untimely death.

In March of 1964 Malcolm was forced to leave the nation. Once Malcolm severed ties he started the OOAU (Organization of Afro-American Unity).
Being free of the restrictions of the Nation of Islam he exposed them.

The Nation of Islam talked tough yet when it called for action they were largely silent. They spoke of how the white man was devil yet when racists killed African Americans in the streets they took no action.

The Nation of Islam only looked out for those African Americans who were in the Nation of Islam. They accused the government as being racist yet silenced Malcolm for making his “chickens coming home to roost” statement.

Wasn’t Malcolm’s analysis true?

Malcolm was silenced because of jealousy, money, and power. Elijah was on his last legs and Malcolm would have been the logical successor. Higher ups didn’t want that because Malcolm would do some serious house cleaning.

What did the Nation do when African Americans were being sprayed with fire hoses and bombing their churches? They preached white people were the devil yet when time came to do something they were silent and immobile yet they can kill Malcolm?

Hypocrisy.

Malcolm was unfairly labeled as a racist, hate-teacher, and African American supremacist.

Why?

Whites wanted to soften the sting of the message he was delivering by negatively labeling him. White America fears those who have the key to freedom. He was labeled and invariably slain for waking people up, making a difference and provoking thought.

When I look at Malcolm’s life it was one of transformation. He was a teen hustler who ended up in prison who was reformed himself. He was a reformed criminal as he entered the Nation of Islam as a fiery minister. Malcolm preached whites were the devil and was eventually slain as man evolving to love all people through an orthodox form of Islam.

The man whom took his place was trained by Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan. He moved into Elijah Muhammad’s mansion in Chicago and became wealthy. Malcolm died broke without a place for him or his family to call their own. The day he was slain his wife pregnant with twins. He didn't own a home nor had any money.

Malcolm’s motive?

He really loved his people and was committed to a cause that’s still far from finished.

Malcolm was the antithesis of King. He didn’t attempt to sell the people on a non-violent dream. He preached a truth which called for acquiring our freedom by any means necessary.

Malcolm spoke about the social ills that bogged down African Americans communities nationwide. Malcolm forced those people who were lulled to sleep by integration and a non-violent dream to give us something to think about. He provided a blueprint on how to acquire knowledge of self, economics, education, and how to do for self.

Whites didn’t like us yet we forced them to take our money thereby empowering their communities and sucking the economic blood from ours. Took our money to their neighborhoods and depleted our own. If you don’t control your economics it kills the politics and socialization of our community.

In short, to whom you give your money is to whom you give your power.

The Negro Baseball Leagues is the consummate example of what African Americans sacrificing their well being for the allure of integration which invariably fueled the demise of a profitable African American owned entity. The league was a multi-million dollar business. Whites didn’t want us to play with them so African Americans created a league of their own.

Malcolm in my view was the epitome of hip hop. Hip-hop is about being real and telling the truth. Expressing ones true feelings by keeping it real should be at the core of hip-hop. Like many artists today, he talked about the condition of people, didn’t compromise, and didn’t bow down to the establishment.

I think Malcolm X was the best African American leader of all time. He didn't die rich. His commitment was to uplift his people and his compensation was those lives he shaped with his words and touched with his wisdom.

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