|Source:Donnie Mossberg- Minister Malcolm X, speaking in 1964.|
From See Black Power
Nation of Islam Minister Malcolm X arguing that African-Americans were Africans who happened to be in America, but not necessarily American. Constitutionally he was wrong about that since according to the U.S. Constitution anyone who is born in the United States or born to an American parent (father or mother) is an American citizen by birthright, regardless of race or ethnicity. But I believe his point is that African-Americans weren’t getting their constitutional and individual rights enforced equally as European-Americans or weren’t getting their rights enforced equally at all. Which is the same point that Dr. Martin L. King also argued.
|Source:FRS FreeState- Nation of Islam Minister Malcolm X, I believe speaking in 1964.|
Malcolm X. was clearly not a Saint, or a perfect person and America is not a country of Saints or perfect people. We have good, bad and in between all over the country. Hopefully more good than anything else.
Malcolm X, started down the road as a lot of people growing up in rough neighborhoods and becoming a criminal. He’s one of the few in this country unfortunately who’s been in jail, that’s actually come out of jail as a better person. He made himself a better man and educated himself. He also went from being a criminal to a racist, or perhaps he was both at the same time. Basically seeing all Caucasians as Devils and perhaps he only knew racist Caucasians and believed because of that, that they were all like that.
But Malcolm X, was someone who learned and taught himself and bettered himself as he got older. Which is one of the reasons his early death was so tragic. Because we’ll never know how great Dr. Martin King and Malcolm X would’ve become as men, because they were both murdered in their late 30s. But Malcolm X was a man who only got better as he got older, which why I believe he had such a strong following in the 1960s and if anything his following has gotten stronger in his death then when he was alive. With a great movie about his life with the great actor Denzel Washington playing Malcolm X in the movie. Well, Malcolm X, easy enough to follow.
Which is again is just another reason why his death was so tragic, because he was so young to die and like Dr King could’ve accomplished so much more. Not just with civil rights, but I believe would’ve gone farther in the areas of poverty and speaking about empowering low-income people to get themselves out of poverty with assistance, but they would do the work to make it happen. As well as rebuilding American cities, so people living in them especially in low-income areas, would have a good shot at a much better life and escaping poverty.
But what I respect most about Malcolm X, was his message of empowerment and freedom over dependence. Whether its dependence on public assistance, or anything else.
Low-income people, don’t have the same freedom to live their lives as middle class people, or wealthy people. They simply have very limited resources and are very limited in what they can do with their own lives, especially compared with the rest of the population. And Malcolm X message was about empowering these people to get the freedom that the rest of the population had to live their own lives. And not be dependent on public assistance, in the 1960s when the Great Society and all of these new government programs has contributed to making low-income people more dependent on public assistance for their survival.
Public housing, is a perfect example of this, where you build a bunch of high-rise housing projects in low-income areas. Where all of these low-income people live in low-income areas. With high crime and their kids are stuck going to bad schools and having the same future as their parents, or worse.
Malcolm X, wanted low-income people especially in the African-American community, to have the freedom to live their own lives and not be dependent on public assistance their whole lives. And I believe education and choice in education would’ve been a big part of his message. A lot of the message around fighting poverty in America in the past and still today unfortunately, has been government centered and giving low-income people Welfare checks. Instead of empowering low-income people to get the skills that they need and giving them their freedom so they can earn good pay checks from a good job.
But that’s changing, it started in the Clinton Administration in the 1990s with Welfare Reform in 1996 with a Republican Congress. Where they worked together to make that happen. But Malcolm X, I believe had a big role in getting this message started in the 1960s and for that a lot is owed to him. His Message of empowerment, is the biggest contribution he made to Africans-Americans and America as a whole.
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