Topic-icon Messiahs: MLK vs Malcolm X

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13 Apr 2017 16:04 #280740 by ZealotX
WARNING: This discussion deals with race relations. If you don't want to be exposed to racial content or do not possess the prerequisite level of maturity to discuss race without emotionally charged argument, please turn back now.

note: There are a lot of things I can say because I'm black. Please keep this in mind. It may seem like a double standard but if you're not black you do need to approach racial issues with a certain amount of care and decorum. I think it is important, however; to have discussions that are healing. If we shy away from them the problem is facilitated by our lack of communication.

I'm bringing this subject up here because Martin and Malcolm were like Jedi and Sith* (* = SW Sith)

There are naturally different types of black people and we deal with racism and the history of slavery differently. Some people are more emotional and for them these things are daggers in their backs and they can't quite reach them to pull them out. They desperately want to feel better. Some of them will even say we need to fight in order to break the chains that still bind us. Anyone who is not willing to fight is classified as a traitor or sellout. When we watch depictions of slavery it opens old wounds as we imagine what our ancestors went through and even what our grandparents went through (segregation and Jim Crow) because, for us, it wasn't that long ago. And a lot of us are still suffering because of that history like running a mile race with someone who started 10 minutes ago. The average person can run a mile in about 7-9 minutes so you can imagine the FEELING.

Other people accept what has happened and try to move on with a clearer mind (not clouded with emotion). There may be part of that same feeling still there and we can feel it if we choose to, or if we're reminded in some racially insensitive way. This clearer mind allows us to more easily function in society and because of this many other black people tend to rise to a normal height or excel. Sometimes black people don't factor in the experience of poor whites. It's almost like every white person is seen as being lower-middle class or above. If there are poor whites it shows that the same socio-economic forces contributing to their poverty also affects poor blacks without race having to be an issue. Both sides tend to be more racist than the middle because both sides (imo) would like to believe their economic position is not their own fault. I personally know black people who be much better off if it weren't for slavery. BUT... I also know some black people who would be in exactly the same condition because of other factors having nothing to do with slavery. Now there are also some factors that contribute to other factors that are partially the result of slavery and white supremacy but because it is only partial we can ignore it for now. For example... poverty contributes to crime rate > which contributes to missing parents > which contributes to poor education and lack of proper supervision and parenting > etc. Some of that can be attributed to slavery but some of that is because the parents simply weren't compatible or someone just was too immature to have children. The problem is that often when we talk about these issues black people have a tendency to blame "the system" where as whites have a tendency to defend it which over emphases "the victim" as the alternative. Those who say take responsibility are right. But responsibility has to be taken on both sides. Maybe you didn't get the job because you were black....or... maybe it was because the boss hired someone he or she already knew. And with that person being more in their social circle the probability of them being white is much greater. But at the same time there are still studies that show that it is harder for a black person with a stereotypical name to get a job vs a black person with a European name. (I happen to have the latter so I never personally had this problem).

Martin's end game was peaceful co-existence. But the FEELINGS of more radical people were exasperated by what they saw happening to their people on a daily basis. They wanted a solution, not necessarily to the problem or the source, but the FEELINGS produced. And this is why, many black people (again, I am licensed to speak freely on this, lol) cannot separate how they are treated from race. They're still dealing with the feelings of racism and white supremacy. These feelings are painful and dark and they run perpendicular to coexistence. Unfortunately, if you place yourself in that position it makes it doubly hard to make friends who are white or even start conversions that spread understanding and lead to mutual respect. You may not even believe it possible because the FEELINGS create so much division that you wont even try and are too far away for anyone on the other side to be able to reach out to you. And so these unresolved feelings help to retard the prospect of peace.

Malcolm X was like wild fire. His power came from the controversy he produced. He often told the raw truth as he saw it. And his words were like weapons. He was respected by both sides; a warrior. He appealed to the emotional outcry of the people who wanted justice, not just equal rights. It wasn't a fair system. And even the system now, focuses more on the current playing field being "more" equal and there has been a ton of progress in making America more diverse and welcoming to that diversity. Malcom X wasn't necessarily looking for war but he wasn't afraid of it either. By any means necessary didn't mean, "let's fight". It just meant that if it became necessary then that's what should happen. I'm sure the early American colonists didn't exactly want to fight England either, but it became necessary. Malcolm really changed after his pilgrimage to Mecca because the "white man" that he had seen as a devil, because he only knew one type of white person and only really wanted to see one type because of his FEELINGS, not toward the white race, but towards racism and white supremacy in general, he saw peaceful coexistence in practice because he ultimately saw human beings of every color practicing the same religion. For most people "seeing is believing" and he saw it exactly what he needed to see. By the same token there are things we all need to see in order to build our consciousness into one that promotes harmony between all people.

Fear rules much of the inner cities where human beings are forgotten. They think it is racism when most often it is class. During slavery it was the wealthy who could afford slaves and the wealthy who could afford vast swaths of land. They had more land than they needed and more than they could handle. And they moved from owning plantations to corporations; still treating people in ways that are often inhumane. Today it is the rich vs the poor. Maybe tomorrow, something else.

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13 Apr 2017 16:05 #280741 by ZealotX
Malcolm X Quotes

You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.

You're not to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.

If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything.

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.

I believe in human beings, and that all human beings should be respected as such, regardless of their color.

Without education, you are not going anywhere in this world.

Usually when people are sad, they don't do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.

Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.

My alma mater was books, a good library.... I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.

If you're not ready to die for it, put the word 'freedom' out of your vocabulary.

(please feel free to express any opinions on any of these quotes)

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13 Apr 2017 16:07 #280742 by ZealotX
Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?

The time is always right to do what is right.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

(feel free to post your opinions of any of these quotes)

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13 Apr 2017 16:10 #280743 by ZealotX
I am thankful that both men existed; that one gave voice to the anger and dissent, and that the other gave voice to the love and the hope of a brighter future.

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21 Apr 2017 00:15 - 21 Apr 2017 00:40 #281437 by Rebekka
(it is against my better judgements that i post this.)

To the best of my understanding of civil rights era history (both the mainstream Official versions, and where applicable, segments and parts of the history Behind the History ) it seems to me that, had Malcolm X (as well as the black panthers) not been so militant, the establishment (ie, white society at the time) would not have been willing to listen to any of the more peaceful black rights leaders. Without this 'carrot or the stick' dynamic, fortunately or unfortunately, MLK would have likely remained a preacher, obscured from the larger public view (and likewise, would not have been assassinated when he was, all things considered.)

if on the other hand, (the ambivalently militant Malcolm) X had been Taken Care Of, i think it would have been very much a rallying call to militancy, with X as a martyr, and we would have seen a vastly different outcome to the progress of civil rights in america. Of this hypothesis, i predict two outcomes;

1 because of its militancy, the black rights movement takes extreme and very decisive actions to secure not only legal rights, but likely also territories and asset-resources. We could have seen the re-rising of the South Confederacy, but now under Black rule and direction, rather than ruled by rich whites forcing black slaves to do things, and a more or less Black America /White america, more starkly divided and self-segregated, but each being as free as possible within their respective South / North territories.

or, 2 the militancy of black rights activists would result in whiplash reactions, and the response would be to fully deploy the (white personnel) military, cracking down on black rights altogether, and likely resetting the Jim Crow era, or worse.

That being said, however, MLK and other more level-handed black rights advocates prevailed, and civil rights laws and integration happened more slowly, but also arguably more peacefully (although i will not deny, it was still a very chaotic, turbulent time. I believe that comedian chris brown spoke an element of truth, when he stated that Social Progress happens, when / only because, White People as a whole, Become Less Crazy.)

Have we come far ? i think so, but we also have a ways more to go.

on the subject of class, as opposed to race, i find it ironically fascinating that, allegedly, was the fact that there were white slaves "indentured servants" mostly of poor irish or british/ european debtors and other more serious criminals from overseas, who ironically, (again, to the best of my understanding) were more or less often treated exactly the same (and equally as often right alongside) their black class-brethren. Clothed the same (or not ?), beaten the same, fed the same (where possible ?), made to do the same tasks, under the same conditions. The difference being ?

Well, near as i can tell, while there wasn't much of a difference in quality of life for the individual, it seems that it is only with group dynamics that we see a difference between chattel race slavery, and indentured servitude. Indentured servants had the (theoretical) option of eventually working hard enough to pay off their servitude, although it seems that in practice this was not particularly applicable, as it was known that some masters would place their indentured servants into a recursive debt loop, charging them double and paying them half. I don't know how rare or common this was, but im guessing that if it was enough to be documented as a phenomena (in a time of rampant unregulated-ness ?), it was enough of a thing to try to be wary of, if one was an indentured servant.

Also, indentured servants, near as i can tell, were almost exclusively (white) young adult Males, whereas chattel race slavery, obviously, was based on race as a demographic.

Often, the children of indentured servants were not themselves indentured, contrasted with the children of black slaves being unabashedly born into slavery, all over again. Another difference, is that, should an indentured servant be given to a more level-headed master, then, there was a more significant chance that he would be able to pay his debt off, and/or be released when his time was up - again, should he survive the out-rightly abusive environment, which was apparently usually not the case; for the individual , be it black chattel slaves or white indentured servants during their sentence or period of debt, one was still red meat for the grinder all the same.

it was not until closer to the later 1800's (?) that it became the norm that indentured servants were such a small non-factor in class/ race slavery dynamics in america, at which point the rich whites managed to snooker the poor whites into uniting against the blacks, in full spite of the rich exploiting the poor of both races equally as gleefully, and where possible, equally as absolutely (remember, this was still the era in which companies were largely unrestrained and unregulated, sending minions to do whatever Boss wants done to the workers, or putting whatever substance or lack of quality they like into their products).

May The Force Be With You
Last Edit: 21 Apr 2017 00:40 by Rebekka.
The following user(s) said Thank You: ZealotX

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26 Apr 2017 13:39 #282006 by ZealotX
I'm glad you posted this against your better judgment. I think the only way we truly get past these issues is when we can talk about them like this, purely on an intellectual level, without being emotionally attached to one side or the other. Because in doing so... that attachment becomes the very thing that says "I am this race" and sees less that we are the same human race. Black people (speaking of my own) often forget that we didn't come up with the racial identifier that we use to describe/label ourselves. So often, when we refer to ourselves as black or white we, in a way, reinforce what was created by racists. It's just a hard problem to solve because that's what ties us together and our experiences give us a shared experience on which to relate. However, until we can all relate with a unified culture and experience we wont see the end to racism which thrives on us accepting race as a factor that makes us different.

One of the most beautiful things I've ever seen is the San tribe of Africa which is thought to go back for 30,000 years. It's beautiful to me because when you look at them you can see every feature of every race on the planet. You can see features of black people, white people, and asians. The idea of "Racial purity" is crazy to me because that makes it sound like each race was individually created in their own part of the world instead of a "big bang" (so to speak) of migration. And I think as we spread out maybe we evolve to fit our local environment and when those divergent DNAs come back together the result is an offspring that can survive more easily in multiple places. But again, the beauty in my opinion is that we all came from one source so eventually we can all come back together. We just ALL have to be, as you said, "less crazy".

I really liked what you said about the balance between the militant forces and the peaceful forces in the civil rights movement. I have to agree with you 100% and wouldn't mind delving further with you into that subject. I mean Martin and Malcolm really came from different places. Martin... preacher. Malcolm... his life was much more turbulent. He came from the dark side. He was exposed to things most "good people" never hear about and never talk about. He saw corruption up close and personal and I think it was because "whites" (generally speaking) had the power in the minds of most "blacks" it seemed fair to them to generalize. But that generalization is unfair due to who is being included.

The term "white devil" I think unfairly includes wealthy whites who are corrupt by their wealth and power. They, like wealthy individuals today, could do anything they wanted as long as they could pay for it. So when Malcolm saw them using their money for all this "stuff" and we all know what many wealthy slave owners were quietly doing with female slaves... It reminds me of Darth Bane and what kind of sent him on his pathway to power. That exposure to darkness, I think helps to create a path that is more willing to be dark and sees that darkness as a necessary evil; like the phrase "if you're fighting the devil, be a devil yourself or you can't win".

I think if the militant side of the movement existed without the peaceful side (which is what won out in the end) racists on both sides would have found every reason to simply continue opposing each other to infinity. I think there are, right now, descendants on both sides who feel this way. The moderates on both sides would have held each side back to some extent, saying "let them start it". I think any military action needs diplomacy but if one shows no power diplomacy becomes impotent. So yes, I think you really have a good handle on the whole situation. Thanks for responding to this thread!

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