The idea that racial purity is advantageous, superior, and something to be revered by all, is, as we shall see, grossly misguided. Hitler was repellently wrong in his actions, and the Aryan race concept was fallacious as well as defiant to scientific grounds. In Europe, the idea of pure races is absurd. Racial purity is long gone, and there is no evidence that being of pure race is advantageous either. If we are going to study pure races, we should look at Pygmies; the Hottentots; and the Australian Aborigines. The Tasmanians were probably even purer and they are now extinct. None of these cultures are particularly brilliant and one begins to wonder where this pure breed as a great boon malarkey comes from. In contrast, the Ancient Greeks are a conjugation of northern barbarians and an indigenous population: the Athenians and Ionians, who were the most civilised, were also the most mixed. As the philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell once put it, the supposed merits of racial purity are, it would seem, wholly imaginary.
It is perfectly okay to deplore Hitler’s Nazism, but, I can’t fathom youngsters who do this whilst looking up to Malcolm X (born Malcolm Little) and the views he held for most of his life. Anyone who looks into the life of this plainspoken Islamic minister comes to realise that the man was fighting fire with fire (something he didn’t deny when he publicly stated that racialists only understand the language of extremism and that is the language he advocated in order to obtain the desired respect): an extreme position he was prompted to hold after what had happened to his family as a young black boy (victimisation by white racist groups), and later to sustain as a popular zealot as well as a bit of a demagogue.
Malcolm X had spent many years not being much of a human rights activist as much as he was a black rights activist (or black nationalist). He was involved in a campaign which preached racialism as well as Christian infamy. Islam was commendable as the only true revelation. Malcolm X once advocated the racist proposition that black people were superior to white people, and asseverated that the latter were created by an evil scientist called Yakub (the Bible’s Jacob, some say), as the pseudo-scientific belief goes. And the extent of his bigotry as a member of the Nation of Islam didn’t stop here. For someone who was an Islam (meaning “peace”) convert, he had no qualms about endorsing violence and any means necessary. (Although I do admire his contentions against white racialists evinced at the Oxford Union debate and his contempt for the wishy-washy “love thy enemy” maxim proposed by the opposition. Let’s not forget, however, that he had been a strong racialist himself.)
The religious trump card Malcolm X wielded helped to persuade many and even forced the United States law enforcement to violate the First Amendment on more than one occasion. The most likable Malcolm X is the one who came to repudiate his extremism and disavowed the first brand of Islam he had subscribed to, and which he had used to his advantage and twisted peace of mind - religious nonsense he was taught whilst in prison. He was not that different from the lunatic Anjem Chowdery in hatemongering and sermonising the condemnable inequity, in the eyes of God, that was the victimisation of what he took to be the superior and righteous kind. The undeniable parallel between Malcolm X and Chowdery reflects in an appearance he made on a New York TV broadcast about the Nation of Islam, entitled, “The Hate That Hate Produced.”
It is ironic that in the end he was murdered by the very people whose beliefs he had ostensibly supported. Betrayal, it seems, was punishable by death, Islam’s price of apostasy as mandated by the Koran. The Nation of Islam had persuaded him to renounce his past, which in a sense he did in terms of criminal activity and lifestyle incompatible with the faith, even changing his name to an Arabic one (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz). But he did not forget his roots when he adopted his famous nom de guerre, a renunciation of the nominal tag bestowed upon his subdued ancestors by a white “devil” called Little, and a reminder that where he truly came from cannot be known thanks to slavery.
In the Inquisition on Chicago’s City Desk broadcast, Malcolm X was questioned on the gratification he once expressed having learned that an Air France aeroplane crash had claimed the lives of over a hundred white Georgians. His inhumane response was a theistic one which did him no favours. The crash, according to him, was no coincidence, but rather, a demonstration of God’s wrath and divine punishment for the crime perpetrated by heavily armed, white police officers who shot at a group of innocent and unarmed black men in Los Angeles - also appending that the state of Georgia has the worst record for maltreatment of negros in the history of America (note the pretermission of Mississippi’s record in his pietistic delusion).
To claim with absolute certainty, without a shred of evidence, without convincingly ruling out coincidence, that the plane crash was an act of God (homicidal maniac) is unreasonable, dangerous, and is a premature rejection of the scientific inquiry that is more likely to reveal the real causes of such tragedy. Moreover, men who claim to know the mind of God are suspect and untrustworthy. Why would a perfectly benevolent deity permit the killing of innocent men in the first place? Also, according to Islamic belief, there is no free will as the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Allah orchestrates everything - hence the term “Inshallah” (God willing). If this is so, how can a god be mad at his own doing? The faith affirms that the Creator is all-powerful and all-knowing, perfect by admission, and the disallowance of divine regretful mistakes logically follows thereof. No theology has been able to solve this riddle unless we assume the existence of a non-interfering deity, or the non-existence of one - two propositions which defy what Malcolm X believed in.
Malcolm X wanted the segregation of races and opposed the kind of freedom and community that Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela stood for. The FBI had even opened a file on him after he expressed his sympathy for Communism (a dig at the “racist” US government) and befriended Fidel Castro. What he finally concluded, after a degree of worldly experience and acquired wisdom, was that which should be known by everyone and which is plain to see (or should be): it doesn’t matter what race one is, what matters is what is in one’s heart, and actions speak louder than words. He called for the acknowledgement of racial equality in his speech, “The Ballot or The Bullet,” which still came with the threat of revolution if black people’s demands for the same rights as white people weren’t met.
In his eyes, the government was still very much indebted to Afro-Americans. He could not forget his family and his oppressed ancestors, and his sense of pride didn’t fail him when, upon a visit to Africa, he was quixotically referred to as “the son who has come home.” The following reminder would have been in place here: Malcolm X is American (born in Nebraska), not African. (Regardless of where his ancestors came from, for, in the same vein, we say that George W. Bush is American, not European.)
Malcolm X also saw Islamic absolutism as a solution to racial problems, though he overlooked the schismatic nature of Islam. His assassination, it is believed, was the price he paid for opposing the seditious Elijah Muhammad, a man he once regarded as “Allah’s messenger” alongside the founder of the Nation of Islam, whom he once believed to be God incarnate. His assassins were Muslim, but it is also said that the FBI might have been indirectly responsible for his death. (Undercover FBI agents had infiltrated the Nation of Islam and the operation had gone on long enough for one to wonder why they were unable to detect and foil assassination plans.) Finally, in a sense, a nation like the United States of America had someone like Malcolm X a long time coming, and indeed it might have taken someone as belligerent and as influential as him to enable a black man to reach Oval Office today.
11th March 2014
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