Now is the Time: Will the Next Malcolm X Please Rise Up?
“Smug, greedy, well-fed white people have invented a language to conceal their sins. It’s as simple as that. The CIA doesn’t kill anybody anymore, they neutralize people, or they depopulate the area. The government doesn’t lie, it engages in disinformation. The Pentagon actually measures nuclear radiation in something they call sunshine units. Israeli murderers are called commandos, Arab commandos are called terrorists. Contra killers are called freedom fighters. Well, if crime fighters fight crime, and firefighters fight fires, what do freedom fighters fight?”
The time for peace and love is over.
No more can we merely sit idly by with Gandhi sensibilities and simply cop the grief that the establishment dishes out to us on a daily basis. If ever there was a time for militancy in the pursuit of freedom and a better world, it is now.
I can't claim to know how horrible things must have been for black America in the lead up to, and during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Firstly, I'm too young; I wasn't yet born. Secondly, I grew up in another country, Australia. And finally, I'm white. All I can do is avidly research the essence of those important times and look up to powerful figures of the movement such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. I can feel sympathy, empathy and guilt. I can cringe at account after disgusting account of the way blacks were treated by a racist establishment all those years ago. Hell, I can even revisit important monuments like the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis where Mr. King was callously assassinated. But what good would that do? Not a hell of a lot.
Next year, 2018, will mark fifty years since Martin Luther King was killed by a paranoid and unequivocally racist U.S. government. Five decades. Mr. King was a man respected by all, and feared by many, even though he never once raised a fist in anger. He was America's Gandhi; the solitary man to very nearly bring white America to its knees and force them to... well, be nice. Pacifism is not only honourable, but it is the ultimate symbol of bravery in the face of ongoing brutality, and is the one thing that pisses a trigger happy government off the most. The authority's itchy trigger fingers are just looking for an excuse, and to remain passive is to give them nothing.
But where has it got us?
In all reality, and be honest and true to yourself, are things in America really any different now than what they were in 1968? Sure, there's been a black president, but other than inducing a short lived pride from a downtrodden race in late 2008, what else did Obama really do for race relations? Sadly, peace and love is not working. Education isn't working either, for the sole reason that citizens are not being educated properly. It's a vicious, detrimental circle that the U.S. government are more than happy to keep everyone spinning around in.
Now, on January 20th, things are about to get much, much worse. Donald Trump. Need I say more?
Where's peace and love going to get us in the face of a rampant and maniacal Trump government? He's already appointed a cabinet filled with Christian bigots, white supremacists and blowhards that know absolutely nothing about running a country effectively. How is passive resistance going to help the causes for not just blacks, but for hispanics, gays, women, muslims... basically anyone who isn't a heterosexual white male between the ages of 18-65? Pacifism is not going to help one iota. Nada.
The message should be clear and simple; the time is now. The conditions are right to fight. The only way that minority groups in America are to have any semblance of success in claiming their rightful place in what must become an equal and just society, is to get up and physically fight for it. In the 21st century, in order to gain freedom, blood must be spilled. Sad but true. Like in any conquest throughout history, it's fight or flight.
Don't get me wrong, violence is appalling. I get that. Even if you're on the winning end of violence, it still hurts; physically, mentally, emotionally. But no matter how much you preach passive resistance, if a hate group the size of the U.S. government had you cornered with no conceivable way out, what would you do? If it were me, I'd start swinging. Gandhi philosophies, although somewhat successful eight decades ago, cannot and will not work in 2017. Humanity's evils have gone way beyond that style of fight. We've all seen what happens; Gandhi was assassinated. Martin Luther King Jr., assassinated. Malcolm X, despite his more militant stance, assassinated. The point is this; passive or aggressive, the government, and let's call them out for what they really are, are a hate group. They will try to kill you if you pose a significant enough threat to their greedy ways of existence. Isn't it better to die on your feet than to live on your knees?
More than ever, even more so than fifty years ago, America, nay, the world, needs a new Malcolm X to step forth. A proud, bold, intelligent black man or woman, fit to lead an entire race into revolution for the greater good; to defeat Donald J. Trump and all of his racist, bigoted, evil, self-serving cronies. To blow them into oblivion and irrelevancy, and lead the way to freedom. But this isn't just a black/white issue. It's a preservation of humanity issue. The number one threat on the planet right now is not terrorists, it's not ISIS or Al-Qaeda or the Chinese, Russians or North Koreans. It's Trump. On January 20, this guy will become the leader of the free world, and perhaps the most influential and potentially manipulative person on the planet. And he's dangerous. You're kidding yourself if you think he's not. He will kill us all given half a chance; you, me, anyone that's against him. Just listen to his consistently divisive rhetoric. Anyone who doesn't agree with him is an enemy. Not an opponent, not a free thinker or an intellectual, but an enemy. This does not bode well for the majority of the global population. It's the epitome of hate speech, plain and simple.
But it can't simply start with a storming of the white house, nor should it ever end up with the storming of the white house. Violence must only be used as a means to a justified end when all else has failed and when innocent lives are in clear and present danger. And things must start with the cleaning up of the streets. So many blacks and hispanics are killing each other far too often, let alone having to worry about the white establishment. Gangs that rule the streets in places like South Central and East L.A., East New York and Chicago, must be eliminated by ways of laying down their weapons, at least momentarily, to lead a united front in the pursuit of righteousness and freedom. Let's not give this motherfucker of a government any more ammunition than they already have. If you want conservative, white America to become sympathetic to your cause, first you must stop squabbling with each other over relative pointlessness.
But where is this next Malcolm X coming from? At the moment, I don't see it. Polls in the recent U.S. election show that black America, although voting for the Democratic party in record numbers, didn't seem too concerned about the result either way, as less than 50% of that demographic actually turned out to vote. This baffles me to the point of face-palming. What happened? In this instance, education, or a lack of it, is not a viable excuse. Hilary Clinton bad. Donald Trump worse. Pretty fucking simple I would have thought.
As a consequence, it's going to prove an extremely difficult task to rouse a near-defeated race into an uprising. Maybe it will take an ex-gang leader to lead the charge. He'll already be trained in his own unique style of conflict resolution, he'll have leadership skills, and no matter how ill-directed it may be, he'll obviously have passion. Channel that into fighting for the greater good for everybody, and there's your Malcolm X 2.0 right there.
*This short documentary shows that there is some semblance of a united front forming. Will one of these Black Nationalists be the next inspiration to the cause?
Fifty-two years ago, in 1966 in Oakland, California, two university students formed what would soon become a Marxist revolutionary movement that called for the arming of all African Americans in the name of self defence, among other pertinent points like the release of all black political prisoners. Founded by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, The Black Panthers were unlike any organisation that had been seen before or since. The militant group, like other similar movements, rose out of an ongoing governmental oppression that forced many blacks and hispanics to live under the conditions of poverty, squalor, unemployment and starvation. This was one-hundred years after the emancipation of the slaves.
Through those impassioned and emboldened times of the late sixties, with people power becoming a tangible action, rather than a fanciful term thrown about by passive reactionaries, the Panthers gave a voice to black people everywhere, and set about aiding local communities in place of a government that simply refused to. Education, food and nutrition programs were established, jobs were created, and an overall sense of worth was beginning to be felt right across black America. Previously lost young black men especially, now had a purpose in life. To stand up, be counted, and be proud. Then, Martin Luther King Jr. (who had no official involvement with the Black Panthers, but was a beacon to all who either agreed or disagreed with the movement's principles) was assassinated. This FBI sanctioned hit deflated the tyres of the Black Panthers, and to be truthful, the party never really returned to its former glories. Prominent figures such as George Jackson, Mumia Abu-Jamal and Bobby Hutton, were either jailed or killed, and attempting to maintain even a tiny semblance of relevance throughout the 1970s proved too difficult to sustain. With the U.S. government perpetually hot on their tails thanks to a paranoid Nixon administration, rising once more appeared inconceivable. By the late 1970s, the party had become nothing more than a criminal organisation, acting out raid after raid on wealthy white homes and often violently ransacking and looting simply to fill their own coffers. By 1982, the party dissolved, and that was that.
Now, it's 2017. 35 years since the Black Panthers capitulated into irrelevancy. The 1980s was a decade of gross decadence, and it seemed that there wasn't a heck of a lot of room for political ideals, let alone militancy or revolution. The Panthers' parallel movement, the White Panthers, who did so much good work in helping to push the Black Panthers' cause into the psyche of white America was dead too. Since then, apart from in music, creativity, and the occasional reactive riot and protest, nothing substantial has taken place. The government continues to prosper. Momentum has been lost at every turn, and in a generation of XBox and smart phones, it seems that young people in general are far more interested in what's on their screens than what's going on in the streets.
Police brutality, racism and straight up murder hasn't decreased; if anything, it's risen disproportionately. Blacks, hispanics, and other races and ethnicities are still struggling, still living under the poverty line, and still perpetrated as criminals and monsters.
Now let's just pretend that Trump is going to remain president for the next eight years. What's going to happen? If nothing is done, and at the moment it seems that that will most certainly be the case, then where will the non-white population be by 2024. If Trump maintains his extraordinary status quo, they won't be anywhere. He'll have killed them all off. This is not panic, paranoia or exaggeration. This can happen.
So, if it isn't generation y or millennials to the rescue, why don't we look to the generations that preceded to lead the way. May I suggest Chuck D from Public Enemy and political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal to get the ball rolling?
Chuck D is famous for his militant political stance, as well as his proactive fight against the white establishment's method of treatment towards African Americans. He is politically active, a brilliant speaker, and as he has shown when fronting his famous group Public Enemy, he is a great communicator and motivator. Is that vital message of a united front getting through to black kids today? I can't claim to know, but I'm assuming that the answer is no. I hope I'm wrong. Somehow, Kanye West and his barrage of incessant verbal diarrhoea doesn't seem to have the same effect, does it? Please cease your listening to Kanye, and stop looking up to those fucking Kardashians, and start listening to inspirational groups like Public Enemy. There's your new leader right there!
"I think governments are the cancer of civilisation."
Mumia Abu-Jamal, as I have written previously, has been in prison since 1982, wrongfully accused of murdering Daniel Faulkner, a young Philadelphian policeman attempting to out a department corruption scandal. Jamal is a political prisoner, a pawn, and conveniently for the government, was an active member of the Black Panthers party. He was also a fearless and highly intelligent journalist, and was often very much outspoken against the way black citizens are treated by the police, the government, and white America in general. So they locked him up.
He too is a brilliant speaker, a clear and concise motivator, and above all else, despite being imprisoned for close to thirty-five years, his dignity, honour, and the respect he commands are still in tact. Mumia is a fine example of what any black man or woman should aspire to be; proud, motivated, intelligent, and with a heart for righteousness. Those people are out there, I know they are, I see it every day. But, for some reason that I am unable to grasp, no one seems to be stepping up to the next level; revolution.
*Listen to an episode of Mumia Abu-Jamal's weekly podcast show recorded live from death row through a prison telephone.
Perhaps Chuck D and Mumia Abu-Jamal could be the ones to lead this movement. The perfect role models. Perhaps they are the ones to take troubled teens under their wings and give them a purpose by pointing them in the right direction of standing up and fighting for their freedom, instead of fighting each other. There are so many poor, black men and women in the armed forces fighting overseas for a country that treats them so poorly, so what's difference? Returning black, hispanic and muslim soldiers must be urged to continue to fight once back home. Fight for their freedom. Fight for their lives. Fight for what's right. Fight Trump and his band of racist bigots. Fight to bring the government to its knees just like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. And in the words of the main man Chuck D, fight the powers that be.
"Do you see law and order? There is nothing but disorder, and instead of law there is the illusion of security. It is an illusion because it is built on a long history of injustices and racism, criminality, and the genocide of millions. Many people say it is insane to resist the system, but actually, it is insane not to."