Thursday, February 27, 2014

X'd Out Again? My opinions on the recent Malcolm X controversies.

Peace all, Let's skip the chit chat and let's get down to business, OK? First my apologies for what may seem to many to be a late blog, seeing that we are now living in the age where "news" is trendy, and people are now given the impression that things work in a vacuum, or at least are considered "isolated". I assure you although this bit of "news" is about a few weeks old, it all ties into a much bigger picture. And allthough I thought of speaking frankly about Nicki Minaj's song Lookin' Ass Nigga, I hesitated much, one because of my procrastination, but also because I witness more "knee jerk" reactions when news hits the air nowadays. We tend to take the little information we feel we know, and then comment right away based on what we have at that moment. I for one think this is planned by the main press. However, if there is anything that 9/11 has taught us, especially for those who do not believe the official story, is to research, research, research before coming to conclusions that affect the masses of people.
The controversy surrounding Nicki Minaj's song with the Malcolm X picture is one of many attempts to distort the name and the legacy of the late Al-Hajj Malik Al-Shabazz, better know as Malcolm X. Although she supposedly apologized and removed the image, stating that this was a conversation piece and was not the official first song off the album, it still poses as a marketing tactic that Michael Lindstrom, author of Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use To Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us To Buy, says that Calvin Klein used in 1995 when it pulled its controversial ad after an uproar from the public, and even the federal government.  In his opinion it really didn't matter that CK apologized and pulled the ad , because the controversy surrounding it and the attention it garnered was the main focus. It didn't adversely affect CK's bottom line in the end, and I don't think this incident will affect Nicki's bottom line either, seeing that many who were disgusted with the song and image most likely don't buy her work to begin with, and not to mention it won't affect the sponsorship she gets from "old money." Her target audience probably doesn't know a thing about Malcolm and what he stood for, nor the background behind the image. But I'll discuss that issue later.

 How many of us remember what happened around the same time of this controversy? You know In Queens, NY? The issue involving the teacher who barred her students from writing any reports about Malcolm because she thought that he was a bad man? How many of us who may have heard or read the article noticed that the elementary teacher who made the remarks was nowhere to be mentioned by name in ANY ARTICLE? Nor was the teacher even interviewed by any media who covered the story? Doesn't that sound strange to you, that the accused is not mentioned nor interviewed as to why they would make such remarks?

Many people have forgotten so quickly about the book Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, a book written by Manning Marable, a book that caused so much controversy because of its claims that Malcolm had a homosexual encounter in his hustler day, as well as allegations of having a tumultous marriage life with Betty Shabazz, especially with his busy schedule, among other claims. I didn't read the book at all after hearing what some of the book entails, simply because I didn't believe that I wanted to read a so called definitive book entitled A Life of Reinvention about a man who died in 1965, only to have supposed stark revelations 45-46 years AFTER his death? I don't think it would've taken the American press THAT LONG to dig up dirt on such an important figure.

And to think this book won a Pulitzer Prize in 2012, despite the criticism received from his children and close associates? So who's really behind this?

Well deeper research brings up a figure by the name of Wendy Wolf, a self proclaimed progressive who is the editor and publisher of Viking Books, who went on a tour touting this book and the supposed craftsmanship of a writer such as Manning Marable. However after listening to her make statements about Malcolm's "native" intelligence, and her own admission that she did not read the book in its' entirety due to the fact that it "scared" her, one must ask oneself would a person publish a book which castes a good light on a man that they practically can't stand?

 By now if you're still reading this, you're probably thinking "ok, another person claiming conspiracy" and to each it's own. I just think something smells fishy when one recollects the recent events and put them together. Why is this man hated so? Why is there an attempt to either distort the name and what he stood for, or at least neutralize his influence, which one can bear witness when one looks at the number people he influenced from the former members of the Nation of Islam to the international love he gets from within and outside the Muslim World, the white Muslims who point to his autobiography as a major influence in their becoming Muslim, to the ever growing love and support from the Hip Hop Community?

But I have an even more pressing question. In light of the events that's going on in America, with gentrification all over the place, the growing discontent for America's first Black President, the killing, miseducation, disenfranchisement and incarceration of Black people, especially Black Men beyond the likes of Trayvon, Oscar and Jordan, with the drone strikes and security breaches and invasion of privacy going on in a global fashion, why do we see these sporadic attacks on a man who's been dead for 49 years? Why would an unnamed teacher seek to dissaude their students from writing about such a figure if old people are supposed to be "irrelevant"? Or are they really sporadic? Are they controlled in the press as to what, when and how we receive such information?

 Is it because he represents a  dramatic transformation from hustler to a well respected world figure for human rights and self sufficiency, instead of a figurehead that's controlled by old money and corporations, who seeks to intergrate with a society who feels and teaches the inherent inferiority of Blacks? Is it because he saw the false empathy from White Liberals, and made many statements against the likes of them, for example in an open roundtable he made this statement in 1961:

  Most of your white liberals who profess to love Negroes and who profess to be pushing for this integration thing, they themselves live as a rule in lily-white neighborhoods and sometimes they’re the first ones to put the FOR SALE sign on their door when a Negro who has fallen for this integration thing moves into their neighborhood. I think that it’s very hypocritical today for me as a black man and the white man to sit down with each other and pro fess that there is a great deal of love between us. 

  Or another statement: the Jews are the ones who usually represent themselves as white liberals. More so probably than any other segment of this society. Now if the Jews are genuinely liberal and they want to help the Negro, then they should show the Negro how to use the same kind of strategy and tactics to solve his problem that they used to solve their problems. And you’ll find that all over this country, wherever the Jews have been segregated and Jim Crowed, they haven’t sat in, they haven’t been sittin’ or Freedom Riders, they usually go and use the economic weapon. They bought Atlantic City, and now they can go there. They bought Miami Beach and now they can go there.

  Or another statement: We see masses of Black people who are thoroughly fed up with the deceit of the so-called white liberals, or the white so-called liberals. White liberals who have posed as our friends, white liberals who have been eager to point out what the white man in the South is doing to our people there, while they themselves are doing the same thing to us here in the North.

Why isn't he projected as an example for all of the young Black hustlers as a vehicle for transformation and reformation? Why do we have to keep hearing Dr. King's speeches about I have a dream, which was about intergration, and not about Black people's quest for justice, human rights and independence? Is intergration going to make these young men pull up their pants, start respecting their elders and become more responsible, and not lead lives that will either have them in prison or dead? I think not.

Or, do we really want to see transformation or reformation among young Black men or in the Black community? That's my real question....

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