Sunday, February 22, 2009

By Any Means Necessary

Malcolm X - May 19, 1925 - February 21, 1965
"By any means necessary".
Everyone knows that quote, but few understand it's meaning.
Does it mean to kill one's oppressors? Maybe.
Does it mean to work with one's oppressors? It could mean that too.
Does it mean to evolve and progress in a manner that has minimal regard for past mistakes or one's current condition? I'd say yes.
Malcolm seems to be loved by those who hate Martin - but hated by those who love Dr. King.
The two were really seeking the same ends. (They just had different philosophies of how to go about bringing these ideals to fruition.)
If Martin was a jab to the nose - Malcolm was a solid overhand right to the temple.
Both punches are needed in one's arsenal.
If in the beginning, Malcolm could be seen as being against anything "white" - his later life should be seen as against anything oppressive.
Malcolm (unlike many today, who pander between the races) learned, grew and evolved.
The color of one's skin was no longer a big enough issue.
Where one was from wasn't a big enough issue.
Race wasn't a big enough issue.
Oppression was the issue.
But Malcolm also understood that Blacks should take more responsibility for their own well being.
Malcolm X - "The white man is too intelligent to let someone else come in and gain control of the economy of his community.
But you will let anyone come in and take control of the economy of your community, control the housing, control the jobs, control the businesses... .
No, you're out of your mind."
Malcolm didn't preach the philosophy of being the victim.
Malcolm spoke of taking action.
Of taking responsibility.
But how was this (most important) message lost?
"By any means necessary."
Does that mean waiting for reparations that will never come?
Or whining about past wrongs?
Or blaming one's current condition on other's mistakes?
Or limiting one's future to their past experiences?
"By any means necessary!"
But what is necessary to increase the odds in our favor?
Two parent households are necessary.
More Black males graduating from high school (and going on to finish college) is necessary.
Being more influenced by the Bible (or Koran or Torah...) than Tupac is necessary.
Getting rid of the belief that a "ghetto pass" or "street-cred" is needed to be truly Black is necessary.
Doing away with the over reliance on victimolgy is necessary.
Holding Blacks accountable is necessary.
It seems to me that more is necessary from us than from "them".
P.E. said to "fight the power".
I say to become the power. (Although not in a jealous, selfish or oppressive sense.).
I say that we need to stop whining about the past problems, and instead, work on ways to solve those problems.
Malcolm X - "Power never takes a back step - only in the face of more power."
Malcolm X - "The future belongs to those who prepare for it today."
(To all those who insist upon focusing on problems and not the solutions - Go ahead... call Malcolm an "Uncle Tom" too.)


Citizen Ojo said...

Although I like Malcolm X standing by the window with the Gat as much as the next man. He did change his stance in his later years. He evolved from having new experiences and seeing the world. A global view of society produces a better citizen.

RunningMom said...

Some of your power is in your ability to convey a message - wow. Awesome.

FreeMan said...

But Malcolm Lost, that's why his message is more of a rally cry than something to follow. Every year we sing Kumbaya and hold hands to show our history is a bunch of harmless black men who seek peace instead of a piece. All the statements you brought up were said in the 60's but only MLK and Kennedy way prevailed. So it was the wrong fork in the road and now that we see this way has left us depending on other people we sit and wonder how can we turn it back.

Malcolm is the sole of the lower class and MLK is the sole of the upwardly mobile middle. Someone feels their entitled and another just plain doesn't give a uck! Although Malcolm changed I have to disagree with OJO because seeing the world only dilutes the mission of what's going on in your neck of the woods. When you take care of your house then you can go and help others but to go and see the world and say it's part of a bigger problem doesn't help ish but make you go to meetings with other people who live a ucked up life from different countries.

Malcolm remains valid because there is a large segment of Blacks who don't want the God damn handholding fest. Some of us want to build for ourselves and don't give one rats ass if people like us or not. The Malcolm who so called grew just let others know we are not alone with dealing with these people. But if you read he says my concern is primarily to the group in which I belong the American Negro! Malcolm breeds pride in a Black Mans manhood because finally you have someone who didn't seem like he was trying to appease people. Name any of the leaders who came after who seemed to stand on their own two.

The things Malcolm preached are set in motion by giving someone a sense that stand on their own two. Accountability, Building businesses, and running your schools let you know and your kids know you run your own life. Now how are we goign to get that done when every misleader that comes up is begging for money from the government, asking the police to stop beating the kids, asking the government to stop killing us with drugs. Our tactics are wrong and people look at Malcolm now with the hope of a big What IF! What if we just listened to Malcolm!