Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thinking About Malcolm X

Listen up. The daddy's got a confession to make. Okay, two confessions, both related. First, the daddy is feeling lazy. He doesn't want to do anything in particular. Second, he only wants to sit on his living-room couch and think about Malcolm X, the man who was called Minister Malcolm by some back in the day, the man I still call Minister Malcolm now.

No, the daddy never met him. Never got to see him, But, as a kid, the daddy belonged to the religious sect that he made into a powerful national force in the United States, The Nation of Islam. It was an institution with which to be reckoned n the 1960's.

No, the daddy was no leader in the group. In fact, the daddy was kicked out of the group for reading Minister Malcolm's book, "The Autobiography of Malcolm X." You see, the daddy was a kid and didn't know about this war going on inside the Nation of Islam between the brothers and sisters who were loyal to late Honorable Elijah Muhammad and those who were loyal to Minister Malcolm, even though Minister Malcolm was dead by that time. But after finishing the book, after speaking to present and former members from both sides, the daddy lost faith in the leadership of The Nation of Islam, never asked to be reinstated, and left the organization for good.

Why? Because brothers and sister told him something that he could not ignore or wish away: that Minister Malcolm was too honest, too committed to black people, and too disappointed in the immoral behavior of the late Honorable Elijah Muhammad, his mentor and substitute father, to keep his mouth shut about the corruption and immorality going on at the top levels of the Nation of Islam at that time-- that Minister Malcolm had to die, because he was too dedicated and knew too much. I left, because I believed them.

And that's why the daddy is being lazy today, sitting here thinking about Minister Malcolm: about the courage it takes to go against your own people, your own organization, your own disciples (whom you groomed to be leaders, whom you knew would order that you be killed) and, worst of all, your own mentor who, in effect, was your father. But, ultimately, the daddy is thinking about something even more important than political betrayal; he's thinking about the potency of legacy.

The daddy is thinking that to kill a great leader can be an oppressor's worst mistake. Why? Because the great leader becomes a martyr and is elevated to even greater heights. The leader's spirit floats into the air and hovers just above the heads of the oppressed and, when the time is right, shimmers down like golden sun rays on a clear, summer's day. That's when the martyrs become more valuable in death than in life, when, ironically, martyrs take on new lives and live in the hearts of future Minister Malcolm's for generations.

That's why the daddy is sitting here thinking about some things that Minister Malcolm said in the 1960's that still resonates with him today:

* That "
education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it;"

* That
"The political philosophy of black nationalism means that the black man should control the politics and the politicians in his own community;"

* That "The economic philosophy of black nationalism only means that our people need to re-educated into the importance of controlling the economy of the community in which they live;"

* That
"Our people have made the mistake of confusing the methods with the objectives. As long as we agree on objectives, we should never fall out with each other just because we believe in different methods or tactics or strategy. We have to keep in mind at all times that we are not fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition as free human in this society;" and

* That
"Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression."

It's feeling nice and warm in the house. But the daddy thinks he'll take a walk outside, where it's warmer still. Maybe the daddy will look up in the sky...and think about Minister Malcolm.


Anonymous said...

Amen. Too often IMHO Brother Malcolm's message has been confused. I believe in controlling our dollars and using them in our communities.

I believe in education and strong families. I believe that Black communities can thrive and that there is nothing "wrong" w/being taught by people that look like me.

These experiences of "Black Nationalism" have shaped my life and I have the confidence and security in who I am because of them.

That's why his message resonates so much with me. I see nothing wrong w/loving, supporting and believing in Black people. It doesn't make me anti anyone else.


MacDaddy said...

Danielle: Thanks. That economic concept of community, having dollars turn over in black communities has really been lost. To be fair, The Nation of Islam had this concept down pat. If you belonged to the Nation, you shopped at their fisheries, washed your clothes at their laundromats, and ate bean pies at their restaurants. Though I have problems with political concept of theocracy, and with the patriarchal structure, I really respect their keen business sense. African Americans failed to borrow some of the better ideas of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X. That's at least in part why some of us are in such bad financial shape today. Come again.

Anonymous said...

Definitely. The plot of the oppressor is to create dependencies on them to further the exploitation. This is a good reminder to BUY LOCAL FOOD PRODUCTS AND BOYCOTT THE LARGE AGRIBUSINESS MACHINE that is making us sick and clouding our minds (i.e., Twinkies + French Fries + Coke + sedentary lifestyle = increased risk of Type II Diabetes). Also, buy FAIR TRADE as the exploitation by corporate America reaches far and wide.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

That's all some really good stuff that any group of people could rally around. Don't tell anyone, but I'll bet Mr. Obama has educated himself on those words.

For me, the most important point is the first. . . "Education is the passport into the future. . . "
Nothing, but NOTHING combats ignorance, poverty, tyranny and oppression better than education.
The power mongers know that and are very slick at keeping education to themselves. Not surprising that their program "no child left behind" has cut funding to rural and urban schools and guages progress in those schools by white upper class paradigms.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

I agree 100% with what anonymous just said!


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MacDaddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MacDaddy said...

sagacious: With your great ideas, you should be Obama's consultant. He's got enough kids working for him. He needs a sage from W. Virginia. Hillary owes Mark Penn 10 million for giving her stupid advice. Surely, Obama could give you 2 million!

MacDaddy said...

"I see nothing wrong w/loving, supporting and believing in Black people. It doesn't make me anti anyone else."
Yes! We need to start thinking this way like...yesterday! There's still time.

Anonymous said...

I heard a rumor you (oddly) came about winning a college scholarship for standing up for Malcom's values...pushing someone off a bus!!??...getting busted??? Hey, WHAT?? xo

MacDaddy said...

Anon: Thanks for bringing that up. I do intend to share this story. In doing so, I will try not to glorify violence but highlight the importance for us to respect each other and live community. Let me know if I succeed. Blessings. said...

Hey Daddy...

It may be surprising to many people but overall, the black clergy do NOT denounce Louis Farrakhan or the NOI. Dr. Wright is not the only ally of Farrakhan among the nationally-known, prominent black clergy. Farrakhan's organization has done a lot of work in mentoring black men that other social programs had not reached. No one can dispute that. (NOI is known for subjugating black women - but so is the black church! I am a clergywoman in an organization controlled by black men and it is QUITE clear that we are NOT equals in the eyes of the men in charge. The message is very explicit: Women do not run this organization.)

Malcolm's ideologies - before and AFTER his trip to Mecca - have deeply impacted the foundations of my activism, along with Christianity.

His ideologies changed a great deal after his encounter with white Muslims.

I do understand the position that Malcolm found himself in. Close proximity with the man in charge lends itself to a bird's eye view of a lot of goings-on.

I understand how Malcolm felt when he had to confront his own spiritiual father with serious allegations.

I think about Malcolm a great deal. His voice rings loudly in my spirit. Thank you for writing about him.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

MacDaddy said...

Hi, Lisa: First, yes, I'm aware of some of the positive things that Minister Farrakhan has done in the black community. Second, you must be a strong person. To remain in a sexist organization like you're doing takes a special kind of strength that I'm not so sure I have anymore. I got fed up with the sexism and homophobia with some of the black ministers here and told them so. But who knows? Maybe I'll try again.

But you said something that really touched me:

"Malcolm's ideologies - before and AFTER his trip to Mecca - have deeply impacted the foundations of my activism, along with Christianity." The same here; and I, too, often think of him.

By the way, did you see the widget about your blog on my sidebar? I'll visit soon. Blessings. said...

Hey MacDaddy,

I must say that there is NO WHERE that black women can go in this world and NOT encounter sexism.

I believe that at the root of sexism is not always misogyny but fear. When the root is fear, I can more easily address the sexism.

Black men have been stripped of a great deal in the history of this country and there are many ways that are detrimental that they have exercised what they believe they must CLAIM for themselves, however, we have to be willing to understand what is underneath the outward mentality and address what lies within. It is a long, arduous process but we have no choice. Black women and black men must co-exist...we can not banish one other...or damn one another. It will never benefit the collective to take such measures.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

MacDaddy said...

Lisa: I love the way you talk. And I agree with all you say. But I have to be honest. On occasions, I've lost patience. As a man, I KNOW this sexism. I know I must still have some parts of it in me. I mean, I was a Black Muslim. Though I recognized the roots of the sexism and homophobia, it became harder and harder for me to excuse it...

As a woman minister who still works with this group, I'll confess that what bothered me was not just the sexism (which was bad enough) but the arrogance and the feeling of entitlement not just as a minister, but as a man. They used the bible as a tool to back up their misogyny and their position, their power. Increasingly spoke up and became critical of their arrogance and their statements-- the idea that they knew best and only listened to others to the point where they could give sermons, regardless of what the meeting was about. Pardon me for ranting, but I saw this many times. I know i'm being unfair here. There are many good ministers here in Minneapolis. The problem I and many others had was that those black ministers who were the most sexist, the most homophobic, viewed themselves as leaders in the community.

If I'm correct, I hear you saying that alliances and coalitions among us are very important; and we have to patient and work with those who disagree with those whose view don't necessarily correspond with ours. You're right. Thanks for listening. Bless you.

MacDaddy said...

Lisa: In the second paragraph, I meant to say that, as a woman who still works with this group, I think you'll understand when I say that what bothered me was not just the sexism but the arrogance and feeling of entitlement that came with it. Sorry.