The Umpteenth Assassination of Malcolm X
Just a few words on Omowale Malcolm X and the two media hacks who recently broached the subject. Stanley Crouch and Tariq Nelson are totally wrong about Malcolm, who spent his life fighting racism. The two repudiate Malcolm’s life (Crouch crab) with typical white supremacist boilerplate. In fact, they kowtow to the Klan idol erected for them by the likes of arch neocon Pat Buchanan (see Parasite) and others.
Malcolm X grew up in a household where his Garveyite father was lynched by the KKK, and his mother starved out by racist society. A Jim Crow social services agency broke up his family. Malcolm’s brilliance in the public school system was thwarted by the segregationist educators themselves. When Malcolm grasped the vision that his father had left for him, his energy and commitment awakened a brand new era of struggle for the black community. Were it not for his contribution, black middle class mobility would be thirty years behind; yet had Malcolm’s efforts succeeded, the masses of African people would also be moving forward on their own. Adversity builds character and principle, something notoriously absent from all Crouch’s writing.
The scenario painted by Crouch and Nelson, and I say “they” because Tariq Nelson seconds Crouch’s neo-colonialist dogma, echo FBI and John Birch views of circumstances surrounding Malcolm’s death. Plus, the counterinsurgency that killed Panthers like John Huggins and Bunchy Carter had nothing to do with fratricide anymore than Crouch and Nelson have any fraternal relations with black liberation. Their character assassinations of black revolutionaries lacks even the most remote fraternal sentiments. And that is the framework that we must use for those who gunned down Malcolm X, and other black liberation proponents.
Stanley Crouch’s alienation from black power and even the civil rights movement puts him out of touch with history, with the black community and with reality. The counterinsurgency that slaughtered Patrice Lumumba, Amilcar Cabral, Eduardo Mondlane, Walter Rodney, Maurice Bishop, and numerous others was part of a broad international effort to stop African progress. This included the FBI, CIA, NATO, MI6, the SADF, the Special Branch, the Flechas, Renamo, Mobutu Sese Seko, Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA, Buthalezi’s Inkatha, US organization, USAID. Then Crouch and Nelson will want to lament the violence and crime and unemployment in the black community and the crisis in the Congo, by blaming guess who? Black people!
Africa’s revolutionary patriots were at times killed by forces claiming membership in the liberation movement. Crouch’s a-historical idiot logic may characterize that as fratricide, too. But Crouch does a grave disservice to the entire history of black liberation from the first Africans who fought colonialism or made any form of resistance to those of us who carry on the struggle today. His words deface the valiant freedom work by Mother Harriet Tubman, who personally rescued over 300 people from chattel slavery. They dismiss the entire history of black freedom fighting for a job sitting at a desk selling newspapers, or for a party hack in the White House just for skin colorism. While Crouch and Nelson apply Occam’s razon on behalf of Imperialism, their poot butt silouettes will eventually be obscured by the giant legacy cast by black freedom.
On Obama, Powell, Rice and ‘House Negroes’
A. Peter Bailey wrote a great article, if only because we don’t have enuf discussion around Omowale Malcolm X these days. As many people kno, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was rightly considered “the angry children of Malcolm X”. If any group carried on that giant man’s legacy of anti-racist polemics and principled ideological struggle, it was the Panthers.
I say that to remind Bailey that where he apparently agrees with statements issued by CIA agent Al Zawahiri (in order to spark this discussion), this is problematic! Al Qaida is a CIA terrorist organization. Al Qaida uses all the tactics of violence from the colonial era, tactics used by the Portuguese flechas in Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau and Angola. Al Qaida uses the same type violence deployed by Tipu Tib, and by King Leopold’s forces in the Congo and Central Africa. These same bloodthirsty tactics used by apartheid Rhodesia and South Africa had been defeated during Africa’s epic anti-colonial struggles. Only a neo-colonial force would use the methods of suicidal violence, sectarian anarchism and brainwashing adopted by Al Qaida, taught to them by the White House’s CIA corps from the time of Jimmy Carter. Thus, I don’t think Malcolm X would have been flattered that the Al Qaida pigs have used his turn of words to describe anybody, except themselves.
Moving on, about the house negro controversy Bailey states:
If Brother Malcolm was still with us today, I believe he would use it to describe those “Negroes” who are constantly called upon by white television and radio talk show hosts, journalists and academicians who are looking for a “house Negro” to attack black folks whom they consider insufficiently grateful for “all the good whites have done for them.”
We have to remember, Malcolm X himself popularized the term “Black” and gave it a political context. It is as different from “Negro” as a revolution is from reform. Which means that lots of people genuinely might never kno the difference. The last four paragraphs of Bailey’s article places in perspective the very ideological meaning of the word as christened — to use that term for lack of a better one — by Malcolm. Yet we are jumping ahead of ourselves.
Bailey goes on to mention his disapproval inasmuch that:
…such “house Negroes” are Ward Connerly, Jesse Lee Peterson, Clarence Thomas and their cohorts in the political, journalistic and academic arenas.
Bailey is dead on the point tho he hesitates to make a complete sweep, as Malcolm most likely would have done. In not finishing the job with style, A. Peter Bailey leaves the barn door open and a few jackasses have escaped.
Here are the ones too stupid to bolt: Connerly, for those who do not kno, is president of the California Board of Regents, appointed responsibility for striking down quotas for black students and other minorities. Rev. Jesse Lee Paterson makes his living lambasting critics of the white power system on behalf of the neoconservative right. Of course, Clarence Thomas is the underqualified Supreme Court lackey who lacks any understanding of democracy and votes with his bosses 100% of the time.
Now why does Bailey believe Malcolm X may have approved of Barack Obama, Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell? For a hint, we quote his own words…
One doesn’t often see white power propagandists such as Sean Hannity, for instance, calling on them when they want to launch an attack on a black person whom they want to put in his or her place.
C’mon, brother Bailey, that’s a weak argument with even weaker logic! Hannity isn’t any great expert. If he were, the petty job of interviewing traitors, sell outs and other stooges would be beneath him. You must remember, the neocons need to cultivate the most abysmal failures amongst the oppressed nation because the neocons themselves feel threatened by widely recognized and thoro black intellectuals who can challenge their idiot logic and duplicity. People like Na’im Akbar, Abdul Alkalimat, Angela Davis. If Hannity cannot hold his ground with them, he cannot possibly have an intelligent conversation with a secretary of state even if they have the same basic ideological views.
While Obama, Rice and Powell may not have made their careers off the defeat of the black liberation movement (PSYCHE!) they made their careers from getting white people to not think of them as black?! Notice the difference when you split those hairs? And Bailey neglects the crucial, bootlicking appearance Powell put in for US imperialism at the 2001 World Conference Against Racism. There, Powell deliberately tried to derail the entire conference by insisting that zionism is not racism. Then the pig walked out. Somebody left that barn door open again, my brother.
How can Bailey legitimize Sean Hannity’s choice of flunkies, who just cannot even remotely relate to Powell and Rice on a mental level. Hannity cannot discuss international affairs or any serious area of the State Department for his viewers because Hannity is a media hack. A spin doctor. A yellow journalist and nobody worth citing except to use his own words against him.
Should Hannity interview Connerly or Thomas, themselves nothing more than paid shills for the most racist segment of mainstream American politics — so inept at holding real jobs that they have minimal qualification for the positions they do hold — what does that say about Hannity and US democratic standards. It suggests the old boy network means more to capitalism than quality personnel, which is why capitalism is a failure. What does this say about the racist class system and the notion of enforcing quotas on the bourgeoisie for us as Africans rather than building the liberation movement.
Furthermore, we must say that Malcolm’s analogy of the house and field negroes was nothing except a homily on class. Much to his credit, Bailey hasn’t taken Malcolm’s example to introduce us to the absurd concept of the house negro as hero, muddling the idea that Malcolm X sought to convey. That is not what Malcolm X meant. He did not mean it to talk about differences in skin color amongst black people in America, either. The black (see “Negro”) middle class has taken on the job of obscuring what our Shining Prince intended by dulling the discussion of class by grinding off the edges. Malcolm meant this comparison as an introduction to class stratification in our community; the relationship of one class to both the oppressors and the oppressed creates opportunities for that class based upon their strategic role in society.
Because of the black liberation struggle, the middle class (house negroes) were given accelerated mobility within the capitalist system in exchange for turning their backs on democratic standards. In other words, when the government crackdown on black liberation forces occurred, the black middle class looked the other way. Today, this historic role has made the colonized middle class of all nationalities fit to assist the anti-democratic standards of the United States. It explains why former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales so willingly pressed to erode constitutional guarantees. It shows how city governments in predominantly black cities like Atlanta can make such ridiculous laws like those prohibiting sags. Facilitating repression has been the trade off for colonized advancement and mobility.
Indeed, Bailey cites some great words by Malcolm X at the end of his article. The four paragraphs talking about black nationalism is what revolutionaries today consider self-determination, something which on paper that Obama, Rice and Powell will never touch with a ten-foot pole even if a blue-eyed Jesus Christ himself guided their shoe shining paws. Which is perplexing, because Bailey makes a train wreck of his own argument by not following the logic or applying a dialectical method to his own premise. One thing Bailey did accomplish, was inserting Malcolm back into the discussion as it concerns blacks in America, and for that he deserves his props. Here is the piece he quotes on self-determination:
“The organization of Afro-American Unity will organize the Afro-American community block by block to make the community aware of its power and potential; we will start immediately a voter-registration drive to make every unregistered voter in the Afro-American community an independent voter; we propose to support and/or organize political clubs, to run independent candidates for office, and to support any Afro-American already in office who answers to and is responsible to the Afro-American community….
“And in this manner, the organizations will increase in number and in quantity and in quality, and by August, it is then our intention to have a black nationalist convention which will consist of delegates from all over the country who are interested in the political, economic and social philosophy of black nationalism. After these delegates convene, we will listen to everyone. We want to hear new ideas and new solutions and new answers….
“We must establish all over the country schools of our own to train our children to become scientists and mathematicians. We must realize the need for adult education and for job retraining programs that will emphasize a changing society in which automation plays the key role. We intend to use the tools of education to help raise our people to an unprecedented level of excellence and self-respect through their own efforts.
“The political philosophy of black nationalism means the black man should control the politics and the politicians in his own community; no more. The black man in the black community has to be re-educated into the science of politics so he will know what politics is supposed to bring in him in return. Don’t be throwing out any ballots. A ballot is like a bullet. You don’t throw your ballots until you see a target, and if that target is not within your reach, keep your ballot in your pocket….’’
So while Malcolm X introduced the concept of house and field negroes to begin the discussion of class, I don’t think he honestly would have confined it to that level. Malcolm X introduced class that way in order to develop our understanding of class forces at work in society. Malcolm X was a revolutionary. He waged a polemical battle against racism and Imperialism, and for that he was killed. Long live Malcolm. Power to the People!