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Malcolm X Revisited

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Michael Eric Dyson, University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University and author of Making Malcolm: The Myth and Meaning of Malcolm X, discusses the book Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, written by the late historian Manning Marable.

Guests:

Michael Eric Dyson

Comments [8]

Shadeed Ahmad from New York City

There are a lot of philosophical and psychological takes on how Malcolm X's life was influenced by his religious beliefs about Islam. Any person involved in a religion with all sincerity is bound to find some level of hypocrisy and/or jealousy lurking amongst some of the so-called faithful. It's remarkable and beautiful to witness believers in any faith who carry on undeterred by the nonsense that often goes on around them by other so-called faithful practitioners. Malcolm X had an extremely interesting, nefarious and challenging life prior to his embracing Islam and this served to make him firm about not returning to that life of shattered dreams, regardless to questionable activities he witnessed amongst some of his faith. To his immense credit he came to see that the best way to see human rights flower in the world was to realize and espouse that humanity is One. The barrier to that becoming a realization then and now is the incessant egotistical need of many people globally to glorify color consciousness and religious bigotry in lieu of respecting the GOD Force inherent in everyone. Compassion is the sacred tool that nurtures the GOD Force in us all. Had the power of compassion been the major part of the life blood of human beings, I doubt there would have been the travesty of the assassination of Malcolm X. In fact there probably would have never been a need for a Malcolm X. Unfortunately, humans have a hard time just being kind and respectful to one another. Men and women of often misunderstood and under appreciated spiritual insight like Malcolm X are a necessary requirement amongst us to keep the world from being swallowed up totally in negativity. Even tsunamis, earthquakes and nuclear devastations fail to substantially and authentically wake us up to our responsibilities to dedicate ourselves to compassion, respect and love of all sentient beings, particularly Mother Earth.

Apr. 07 2011 11:56 AM
dan

The site containing the tribute to Manning Marable is democracynow.org.

Apr. 05 2011 12:00 PM
Amy from Manhattan

The other downside to painting leaders as near-perfect is that it makes it look as though they achieved what they did all by themselves. Most of them worked with organizations, which means that many other people's work went into their achievements. That means that you don't have to make either the smaller achievements by yourself--you can contribute to them along w/others, & that's no less important.

Apr. 05 2011 10:58 AM
abdul from Brooklyn

Can't wait to read this book. Professor Dyson's point on not being able to fully relate and draw parallels in our own lives as to the lionized versions of Malcolm X, King, Jefferson, etc is so spot on. Excited to view the nuanced version and get the fuller picture.

Great guest, great segment.

Apr. 05 2011 10:56 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Ah, your guest is totally off base. I myself used to read the Black Muslim paper in the early '60s, called "Muhammad Speaks." And I still recollect quite clearly that particular issue showing Malcolm X's head rolling! It was a CLEAR warning of what the followers of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad was planning to do to Malcolm. To say that Malcolm was not sufficiently warned is sheer nonsense. Malcolm himself knew he was a goner, unless he ran away. Which he refused to do. THere was nothing the FBI could have done short of taking him into a witness protection program! He was slated for execution because he had gone against Elijah Muhammad.

Apr. 05 2011 10:54 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Ah, your guest is totally off base. I myself used to read the Black Muslim paper in the early '60s, called "Muhammad Speaks." And I still recollect quite clearly that particular issue showing Malcolm X's head rolling! It was a CLEAR warning of what the followers of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad was planning to do to Malcolm. To say that Malcolm was not sufficiently warned is sheer nonsense. Malcolm himself knew he was a goner, unless he ran away. Which he refused to do. THere was nothing the FBI could have done short of taking him into a witness protection program! He was slated for execution because he had gone against Elijah Muhammad.

Apr. 05 2011 10:53 AM
Robert from NYC

Democracy Now presented a wonderful Tribute to Manning Manning Marable yesterday. I recommend it, you can find it on the DemocracyNow.com web site. Very interesting and informative.

Apr. 05 2011 10:47 AM
gary from queens

Malcolm X was not an apologist for radical islam, as you seem to be. Malcolm had a massive shock when he went on his hajj to Mecca and saw black people being sold in the market place as slaves. This made him decide to leave the Nation of Islam and migrate towards racial accomodation. When Malcolm returned from Mecca, his new view of Islam didn't include suicide bombings, female genital mutilation, polygamy, intimidation and threats.

However, to his great discredit, Malcolm X never spoke out against the evil slave trade that he had witnessed, or the islamic supremisist bent of arab muslims. One would hope he had planned to.

At any rate, it was not white society that killed Malcolm. It was his fellow religionists: Malcolm X was killed by followers of Elijah Mohammed. More Muslin On Muslim violence. The more beligerent Black Nationalist politics of NOL had killed Malcolm, because Malcolm came to interpret his religion very differently than they did, or than the Koran teaches. Malcolm wanted more conciliation and peace with white people. But that would cut into the bottom line of what Shelby Steele terms, in his latest book on Obama, "challengers". Challengers maintain their status and income from racial disharmony.

Thus, the very example many people cite as the "good" Islam (Nation of Islam), exemplifies to some degree, the violence and antagonism Islam has for infidels, and in the case of Malcolm, apostates. Even by this Black American version of Islam. But the most beligerent are the Arab Muslims.

Apr. 05 2011 10:15 AM

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