Malcolm X On Bill Maher And White Liberals
"You're the one who has the power."
— Malcolm X
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This was written months ago. Then, it was about Malcolm X’s conservative beliefs—more aptly described as a strident and unambiguous warning about the treacherous character of white liberals. Since then, Bill Maher’s flapping-ass mouth has confirmed every word Malcolm X prophesied. Now, I’m part black and I know better than to say that shit. We then, as a people, black, brown and non-Bill Maher looking, must ask ourselves what has this allegiance with the left brought us? We are leveraged, just as Malcolm X said we would be. Blamed for an absurdly horrible Democratic campaign, blamed for entitlements, and here we are still on our knees pleading for our damn basic freedoms. The liberal platform has failed us. And in return, we are besmirched by a man with so little talent, if he were black he would drop dead of a heart attack in five minutes.
Our natural rights. That’s all we have been asking for since before even Wallace Fard was born. But we are lead astray by the same people who sacrificed Malcolm X: opportunists looking for a quick buck.
Back when Black History Month was coming to a close , the pundits who had adopted derision of Trump into their non-stop editorial spin, seemed intent on homogenizing his encounters with any and all Black people as an unmitigated failure — even premeditated and unvarnished bigotry. The plain fact is that Black history month is always unwieldy until uncomfortable —when chewed up into doggerel by our opportunist punditry. Still, I’d rather listen to any right-wing assassin dismantle the merits of the month, than have to suffer the Chinese water torture of the uber-left white male as they smugly wrap themselves up in the sacrifices of others, as to levy accusations of racism against challengers.
The disdain I have towards those liberals who would use my well-being as moral shield in their platform phalanx may be deep-seated and reactionary , but it is not an original thought by any measure. The commercialization of Malcolm X did more destruction to his legacy than Hoover could have possibly dreamed. Grinding the sharpened blade of this point into dust, allowing post-ironic white leftists in America feel they could don a By Any Means Necessary shirt without a hint of fear.
Don’t get me wrong, I am no separatist , however, I recognize the internal anger that drove not only Malcolm Little, but Wallace Fard from their mixed-heritage promise of “passing,” into becoming hated and venerated black militants. To fully understand the impact any message might have on you, it is necessary to study it—something I believe all conservatives would benefit from in Malcolm X’s writing. Liberals have claimed the iconic figure as part of their movement through the osmosis of tokenism. The man would have hated this —and liberals for that matter. Don’t believe me? Here he is on the subject himself:
The white liberals aren’t white people who are for independence, who are moral and ethical in their thinking. They are just a fraction of white people that are jockeying for power…They are fighting each other for power and prestige, and the one that is the football in the game is the Negro…The liberal elements of whites are those who have perfected the art of selling themselves to the Negro as a friend of the Negro. Getting sympathy of the Negro, getting the allegiance of the Negro, and getting the mind of the Negro. Then the Negro sides with the white liberal, and the white liberal use the Negro against the white conservative.
So that anything that the Negro does is never for his own good, never for his own advancement, never for his own progress, he’s only a pawn in the hands of the white liberal. The worst enemy that the Negro have is this white man that runs around here drooling at the mouth professing to love Negros, and calling himself a liberal, and it is following these white liberals that has perpetuated problems that Negros have. If the Negro wasn’t taken, tricked, or deceived by the white liberal then Negros would get together and solve our own problems.
Is this an old clip from Bill O'Rei... I mean, Bill Maher? No. It’s Malcolm X more than 50 years ago, not only delivering some painful truths about liberals and the Black community , but spot-on political analysis of the nation as a whole. It’s hard to say where Malcolm X would find himself in our current political spectrum —his embracing of Islam would be the primary source of modern consternation. But damned if I haven’t heard conservatives say the same exact thing about the 9/11 attacks in this era of Conservative Populism; perhaps his most known by white Americans—one they saw as a brazen lack of sympathy due to Malcolm X’s refusal to capitulate on the truth of language. Especially when it pertained to the violence inherent and interwoven into the fabric of this Nation: Chickens coming home to roost.
As for maintaining his embracing of Islam, I have my doubts. At least in the terms of NOI upon his return from pilgrimage to Mecca. After his world travels and close to his death, he began to distance himself from Elijah Muhammad and The Nation of Islam — his intellect coming to shed those labels, just as he did of his former identities of pimp and drug-dealer. Nonetheless, Elijah required an adversarial raconteur, one adversarial and provocative; he was not concerned about the plight of his people, at least not like he was the swell of his wallet. Truly the Don King of civil rights, after the assassination, Elijah quickly crowned his new pupil, Farrakhan, jester-prince of a movement they dove-tailed away from the activism of Fard and Malcolm X — into their circus calliope of profiteering.
Malcolm X himself was not occupied with riches and fame — he identified these traits early-on from the perspective of his prison cell as a cancer on the fulfillment of character. He distanced himself not so much from Christianity but specifically the Chicago, Detroit and Harlem centers of black Christianity. Never one to mince words, Malcolm X saw it as a force unable to galvanize the community into individualistic self-care. And one corrupted by the probings of fame — Pastors and Deacons he once admired were womanizing and perpetuating what he bemoaned as the “corrosive assault on female character and moral center.” Malcolm X, aside from his abandonment of Christianity, was every bit the model of Social and Fiscal Conservatism. Traditionalist about the cornerstone of marriage and the necessity of male and female role models in the black family — this message’s patriarchal underpinnings too often overshadow the vastly more important economic fundamentalism he extrapolated into his lectures of financial investment and fidelity in self and community.
A lesson we can, and should always remind ourselves.
The man was honest about his feelings and spoke them plainly — especially when they were controversial. He did not do this in our modern scope of opportunist punditry in the search of a quick buck; and he accurately predicted his own assassination — saying the shine of being antagonistic had worn off. An eerily prescient prognosticator about his and America’s future in this world.
His bombast in front of omnipresent cameras, responding to baiting and just plain stupid questions — belied the person described by those who knew him privately. Charismatic, brilliant, and funny — I consider him being the first and most-targeted internet activist. One whom did not step into the shadows but rather into the light as to live under a microscope — having every statement recorded for posterity. His statements were often twisted out-of-context and contained the vulgarities of his epistemological growing pains. Still, Malcolm X was a colossus of character, one that forces people to face themselves in the reflection of his words —why he remains controversial to this day.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X is an incredible read, no matter what your ideological bent. Underneath the motif of modern racial conflict is a classic Ragged Dick story with a tragic hero. His epistemological journey and rise is evident with every page you turn — he explains the conventions that brought about his thinking in every painful era of his life, making no excuses when he viewed them later as erroneously. Those notions he both kept and eschewed, brilliantly draw the step by step sequential process which produced his conclusions, but even more incredibly presents the means of thought which caused him to outgrow them. You begin to faintly realize that even this book has been hinting that the identity from which he writes—one America came to know, love, or loathe him in —had become confining and cumbersome to the singular characteristic he had never abandoned:
I’m sure people can assail what I just wrote by quoting some of his often hypocritical sound-bites and calls to militarism. How he would respond to those clips as accusations of insincerity is perhaps the best lesson I take away from Malcolm X. To say, yes, I did think that, here’s why I thought it and what I think now, and to acknowledge we are often contradictory because we are given duplicitous standards we must live by that simply don’t exist for white citizens.
Now, I think he would just repeat this speech. This is a bullshit political era.
From The Ballot or The Bullet:
They see that the whites are so evenly divided that every time they vote, the race is so close they have to go back and count the votes all over again. Which means that any block, any minority that has a block of votes that stick together is in a strategic position. Either way you go, that's who gets it. You're in a position to determine who'll go to the White House and who'll stay in the doghouse.
You're the one who has that power. You can keep Johnson in Washington D.C., or you can send him back to his Texas cotton patch.You're the one who sent Kennedy to Washington. You're the one who put the present Democratic administration in Washington, D.C. The whites were evenly divided. It was the fact that you threw 80 percent of your votes behind the Democrats that put the Democrats in the White House.
When you see this, you can see that the Negro vote is the key factor. And despite the fact that you are in a position to be the determining factor, what do you get out of it? The Democrats have been in Washington, D.C. only because of the Negro vote. They've been down there four years. And they're – all other legislation they wanted to bring up they've brought it up, and gotten it out of the way, and now they bring up you. And now they bring up you! You put them first and they put you last. Because you're a chump! A political chump.
In Washington, D.C., in the House of Representatives there are 257 who are Democrats. Only 177 are Republican. In the Senate there are 67 Democrats. Only 33 are Republicans. The party that you backed controls two-thirds of the House of Representatives and the Senate and still they can't keep their promise to you. 'Cause you're a chump