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© stonerphonic 2008 - 2010

If "pure, unadulterated bullshit on a stick" had a blog page,
then it would probably look something like [this]. (Actual quote, stonerphonic's mother)

Sunday, 30 May 2010

HEROES - Part 2: Malcolm

Malcolm Little. Detroit Red. Malcolm X. El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz.

Malcolm was an African American Muslim minister, public speaker, and human rights activist. To his admirers, he was a courageous advocate for the rights of African Americans, a man who indicted white America in the harshest terms for its crimes against black Americans. His detractors accused him of preaching race hatred and violence. He has been described as one of the most influential African Americans of the 20th century.

I'm not going into detail about the brief but brilliant life of Malcolm X. You can do that yourselves. It's called Google.

Rather, this piece focuses on how Malcolm's life, reasoning and actions affected me.

In fact, you can sum it all up in the 1st line of this piece. Malcolm changed his name with each change in his life, his thoughts, his directions. The name itself served a particular purpose, but it wasn't what made Malcolm "Malcolm". It was a line of demarcation and meaning, but you have to drill deeper.

For me, the desire to change in itself is what i find inspiring, and what makes Malcolm 'heroic'. I don't agree with some of the directions taken or the causes he championed. And i probably need to point out right about now that I have only an academic interest in Malcolm's religious & political views. Hell, in anybodies religious & political views.

My admiration stems from the fact that when Malcolm worked out through self reflection that he was wrong, he had the humility to admit it. And the courage to change.

After he performed the hajj, Malcolm's view of white people changed. In a famous letter from Mecca, he wrote that "the white people he had met during his pilgrimage had forced him to "rearrange" his thinking about race and "toss aside some of [his] previous conclusions."" *(1)

And he had to do it all publicly.
And sometimes had to turn his back on his family and friends, because to him being 'right' was more important.
In the end more important than life itself.

And being 'right' did cost him his life.

True, a live dog is better than a dead lion, but the fact is we're all gunna die, and I'd rather die for something i believe in than to die for nothing at all. And even better to have that life and death inspire others to think and to change.

Malcolm had the right perspective on life's important issues, issues that really matter. And an understanding of the fact that realization of self, spirituality, family and community are what really counts. So altho i don't agree with certain choices made and certain beliefs Malcolm held, he had the 'template' right. And most important he had a good heart, good intentions, and put his passion into action.
So, that's the best thing i can take away from Malcolm's life to put into practice.

And that's what I'm doing now guys... following my passions.
Admittedly, there are so many highlights to his short life story, but for me the most inspiring influences about change comes from a statement Malcolm made about a white girl who wanted to help black people.  Goes like this -

"Brother, remember the time that white college girl came into the restaurant — the one who wanted to help the [black] Muslims and the whites get together — and I told her there wasn't a ghost of a chance and she went away crying? Well, I've lived to regret that incident. In many parts of the African continent I saw white students helping black people. Something like this kills a lot of argument. I did many things as a [black] Muslim that I'm sorry for now. I was a zombie then — like all [black] Muslims — I was hypnotized, pointed in a certain direction and told to march. Well, I guess a man's entitled to make a fool of himself if he's ready to pay the cost. It cost me 12 years." *(2)

12 years is a hella long time to fuck up your life, so I'm using Malcolm's example to try and not do the same.

And hell, the most inspiring thing for me about Malcolm is Malcolm never worried about being popular.
Malcolm worried about being Malcolm...

And I'm not worried about what you think of me or my HEROES pieces. I'm worried about being me...


NEXT WEEK: HEROES - Part 3 - Rizal

If you're still here... thank you.

Please feel free to comment on my pieces. I willingly accept constructive criticism and comments on all my work. Hell, I'll take non-constructive criticism too. It's not life or death stuff y'know...

I believe in respect. I'm not asking you to agree with anything in this piece, but please allow me to have my opinion. Remember, I openly admit I don't read other peoples stuff. Hey, you don't have to read mine, and I'm happy to let you write yours.

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All the words & mindless ramblings in BORDERLINE (c) 2008 - 2010 stonerphonic unless otherwise stated.
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* (1) Malcolm X, Autobiography, p. 391.
* (2) Gordon Parks, "Malcolm X: The Minutes of Our Last Meeting", Clarke, p. 122. 


thhjasmine said...

great angle to recognize his life!

stonerphonic said...

thank you dear. i do find Malcolm's life very inspiring. def worthy of consideration regardless of personal thoughts & feelings about certain aspects of his life.

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