February Black History Month in the USA …focus on Malcom X


IN the United States of America, February is always celebrated as ‘Black History Month’.
To take part in the US black people’s celebrations we are going to look at great leaders of the black freedom struggle in that country starting with Malcom X this week followed by Martin Luther King Jr next week.
The United States racist propaganda machine has always painted the iconic and dynamic leader of the black freedom struggle in the US, Malcom X, not as the legendary black freedom fighter that he was but as some cheap street thug or terrorist who loved violence and so deserved to die violently.
In this article we would like to show that contrary to racist propaganda and their shameful name calling, it was in fact Malcom X who suffered a lot of white racist violence during his youth and throughout his adult life that it is in fact surprising that Malcom X in fighting racism in America mostly used speeches and not guns to tackle the US anti-black racism which was the cancer he fought throughout his entire life.
Below we give some highlights of the violence Malcom X suffered especially in his early years which eventually spurred him to dedicate his whole life to the struggle of black emancipation.
We rely on Malcom X himself in learning of the racist white violence he encountered before he was even born and during his early childhood.
“When my mother was pregnant with me, she told me later a party of hooded Ku Klux Klan (a white establishment rabid racist murder gang) riders galloped up to our home in Omaha, Nebraska, one night.
“Surrounding the house, brandishing their shotguns and rifles, they shouted for my father to come out.
“My mother went to the front door and opened it.
“Standing where they could see her pregnant condition, she told them that she was alone with her three small children and that my father was away preaching in Milwaukee.
“The Ku Klux Klan men shouted threats and warnings at her that we had better get out of town because ‘the good Christian white people’ were not going to stand for my father’s ‘spreading trouble’ among the ‘good’ Negroes of Omaha with the ‘back to Africa’ preaching’s of Marcus Garvey.
“Still shouting threats, the Ku Klux Klan men finally spurred their horses and galloped around the house, shattering every window pane with their gun butts. “They then rode off into the night their torches flaring as suddenly as they had come.”
Alas Malcom X’s family had been visited by the evil Satan himself.
And it was into this racist US society that Malcom X was soon to be born. Because of the prevalent anti-Black racism that was in the United States of America at that time Malcom X’s father became a staunch black freedom fighter who moved from town to town spreading the gospel of black emancipation.
It was not only the general anti-black racism in US society that had spurred Malcom X’s father to fight white racism.
As Malcom X tells us, at a very personal level, “he (Malcom X’s father) had seen four of his six brothers die by violence, three of them killed by white men including one by lynching”.
Now, because of the violence in Nebraska, Malcom X’s father decided to move his family to Georgia hoping things there were going to be far much better than Nebraska.
Not at all.
It was in Georgia that Malcom X then a child having been born some a few years back witnessed white racist violence as this horrific story tells us.
“Shortly after Yvonne (Malcom X’s young sister) was born came the nightmare night of 1929 my earliest vivid memory.
“I remember being suddenly snatched awake into a frightening confusion of pistol shots, shouting, smoke and flames.
“My father shouted and shot at two whites who had set fire (on our house) and were running away.
“Our home was burning around us.
“We were lunging and bumping and tumbling all over each other trying to escape. “My mother with the baby in her arms just made it into the yard before the house crashed in showering sparks.
“I remember we were outside in the night in our underwear crying and yelling our heads off.”
And then finally the violent white racists of the United States got their man, Malom X’s father one day.
“It was morning when we children at home got the word that he (my father) was dead.
“I was six.
“I can remember a vague commotion; the house filled with people crying saying bitterly that the white ‘Black Legion’ (one of the many white racist murder gangs) had finally gotten him.
“We were told that my father’s skull was crashed in.
“Negroes whispered that he was attacked and then laid across some tracks for a street car to run over him.
“His body was cut almost in half.”
This then was the white racist violence of the United States into which Malcom X was brought up in.
And the racists in the United States have the cheek to say Malcom X was a violent man!
What a sick joke that is.
It was not only the white racist physical violence that Malcom X was born into, in the United States.
There was also the economic violence.
Malcom X tells us the sad story.
“Back when I was growing up, the ‘successful’ Negroes were such as waiters and bootblacks.
“To be a janitor at some downtown store was to be highly respected.
“The real ‘elite’, the big shots the voices of the race (black people) were the waiters and the shoeshine boys.
“The only Negroes who had money were gamblers.
“Our family was so poor that we would eat the hole out of a doughnut.
“The bulk of Negroes were on welfare or simply starved.”
From the above miserable and white racist violence ridden background, it was not surprising to find Malcom X becoming one of the greatest fighters of white racism in the United States of America.
And things turned out he became one of the greatest black freedom fighters of all time.
Now coming to the issue of violence.
Was Malcom X a violent man?
As we have already pointed out, that great black revolutionary was a great speaker who was very intelligent and very articulate.
He moved many people by his great revolutionary speeches and urged unity between the black people on the African continent and Diaspora.
But that is not to say he was a coward who preached that people were to remain non violent no matter how many times violence was applied against them by racists.
He urged blacks not to give the violent person another cheek.
He preached to fight fire with fire.
Here is what he said when asked about non violence.
“We are only non-violent with non violent people.
“I am nonviolent as long as somebody else is nonviolent.
“As soon as they get violent they nullify my nonviolence.”
That was the great Black freedom fighter Malcom X who was in the end assassinated by racists.


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