All Americans have the constitutional right to defend themselves to the point that they stop that threat. Doesn’t mean they have the constitutional right to kill someone exactly. But to stop the threat that’s opposing them. Which is what I would like to believe is the message that Malcolm X was trying to convey to African-Americans. But I know better than that and he was trying to tell them to take it a step farther. When racist law enforcement were abusing African-Americans for protesting, even peacefully, he wanted the people to physically fight back, even if that meant getting a big beating and ending up in jail.
Where Martin L. King was saying, “don’t fight back physically. We have just as much of a constitutional right to free speech and assembly. We are more than within our rights here. And if we are attacked, it’s the racist law enforcement that’s breaking the law. And should be arrested and filling the jail cells of the peaceful civil rights protesters. Not the protesters themselves.”
Martin King’s message, was more about unity, not just uniting African-Americans. But the country as a whole, to bring non-African-Americans into the movement, to make it look like a mainstream movement that it became, where you saw all the civil rights legislation that was passed in the 1960s. So the civil rights movement couldn’t be portrayed, “as a bunch of unhappy Negro’s, looking for special rights and are people who are un-American and need to be stopped.”
Similar, but different in a way that gay Americans are being debated against today as well. Even though I don’t see both movements as equal, but both important. I see people fighting for civil rights, so they aren’t discriminated based on their race, ethnicity, or gender as more important than people being discriminated based on their sexuality. But that’s something worth debating about, I’ve had this debate between a friend of mine who is gay.
Malcolm X’s main contribution to the civil rights movement, at least as I see it, was advocating for self-reliance and freedom for African-Americans. So they can live their own lives in freedom and not be harassed by government. And not have to live off of public assistance and be trapped in poverty. He would’ve made a hell of a Conservative Republican or Liberal Democrat today. And based on these notions, I actually have more respect for him than Dr. King. Because of what he was trying to accomplish for African-Americans, was long-term. Which is to empower them to get out of poverty.