Today Malcolm would be reviled even more than back in the day, even more, because he was change, the real deal. He ought to be in the history books because his is a distinct American lesson.
‘Course we don’t teach about race in America in our schools and we sure don’t talk about it in our mainstream culture, so it’ll be a while before the rest of the country ever catches up to Malcolm.
His life embodied change. He believed strongly in each phase of his remarkable life, his father taught him about black pride before the term ever came to be, and this in the Jim Crow south, and Malcolm just learned, he trusted each step in the way that he knew what was going on, he lived each phase of his life fully and completely the good and the bad.
Each change was wrenching for him. Found the high life as a young man, was in the Harlem scene, he traveled around, he was slick and he could dance and he was afire with life and curiosity so when he did the cons and the drugs he did them with every fiber of his being.
And then he goes to jail and utter despair … but found religion! Elijah Muhammad became his guru and he learned and learned and when he got out of jail he cleaned up into the intensity of a blade of tempered steel throwing off the shackles of his American Jim Crow conditioning like a true free man, a rebel in the finest sense of the word.
His consciousness expanded before it became hip to call it that. He cast away all doubt in the clear knowledge of the white devils, the first understanding of his adversary and he was filled with the righteous zeal of the true explorer who has found the map and the guide and he used that powerful energy to blast down the walls of cultural and spiritual conditioning for anyone who cared to listen, anyone. He didn’t discriminate that way.
And then he finally got to go to Mecca and his consciousness exploded again and he achieved realization, was able to break with a mighty heart the last shackles that held him to any hatred or fear and achieve the highest freedom a human being can reach. The mighty flashing silver sword of his soul transformed into a glowing golden chalice for that moment, he knew, and it was such a short time left, such a short time left.
Malcolm scared the shit out of America, the haters and the timid and everyone in between.
His message today is needed even more. El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz became against all odds a free citizen of the USA and a world citizen.
Yet to this day he is not given his rightful place in our culture. Black Panthers, oh they were violent and militant and look what happened to them tsk tsk. The internecine battles among his people, bad form! He said mean things about white people!
Think for a moment about those we DO read about in our history, generals who were drunkards and had no trouble slaughtering wholesale, presidents and politicians, industrialists and William Randolph Hearst, such moral paragons.
Today, as the country glacially moves out of the foggy conditioning of fear and pavlovian hatreds, I can just imagine the reception Malcolm Little, Malcolm X, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz would receive.
Even from Democrats, alas.
Happy Friday to all. Rainy and sunny this week in the Big Apple. Here’s to all, may we all find true freedom.