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Reply to "Does MLK Get A Bad Rap?"

quote:
Originally posted by Faheem:

Now to explain what I mean when I speak about the harmful affects of MLK and his CRM, it is no secret that MLK did not teach black men and women to do for self.


Well, IMO, passive resistance requires at least as much discipline. To resist retaliation because of commitment to a strategy, when every impulse pushes you to respond, IMO, is probably about the hardest and most disciplined thing that a person can do. IMO, to look at the behavior without understanding the motivation, principles, and commitment underneath it is to only look at half of the picture. No, "doing for self" has a much broader definition than what appears to be used here.

quote:
MLK main goal was to get white folk to acknowledge us as their equals instead of proving we were their equals.


I respectfully disagree. MLK's objective was to remove the legal teeth from Jim Crow. He pushed the country to enact Civil Rights legislation to give black America legal protection from discrimination. I don't think he had any illusions that white folks would like us or consider us their equals. That's why he sought to change the law as opposed to just peoples' minds.

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MLK an educated man himself was not teaching what Malcolm and the NOI was teaching. To be down with MLK you were not required to have any form of self discipline, you were not made or taught to give up certain foods, behaviors and so on, you could fornicate and behave in any kind of way you wanted to and be part of the CRM.


Tell that to Schwerner, Goodman, and Cheney. Certainly you're not indicting the CRM because of King's personal failings? Do you consider the NOI in the same light when we know that Elijah Muhammad had numerous children by different mothers?

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On the other hand to be with Malcolm and the NOI, you were required to have discipline, you were required to study and learn, you were required to give up certain food, there was no drinking of alcoholic beverages and there was no smoking. Many black men and women will tell you strait up, that they could not be a Muslim because they have to give up certain things that they know are harmful to them and their body but being a Christian require no such thing.


So, aside from the fact that there were personal failings in both movements (as there is throughout humanity), you somehow think that there is something about the contrast in religious ideology that empower MX's movement with greater "standing"? How does this political analysis justify against your personal religious beliefs?

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MLK whole mission was about making white people do something and required absolutely nothing of Black men and women.


Some would argue that in a country of white people, white institutions, and white laws, that if one sought progress there would be no other way than to work with those white people and within that white system to enact change in your behalf. How else was it to occur? Your analysis about asking nothing of black men and women just belies the facts. Thousands sacrificed their lives for the CRM: including King. In one fell swoop you just, metaphorically, spit on their graves. There were probably millions of black people all throughout America that participated in a movement to change America. You can't just pretend that those efforts did not exist. Blood was spilled and backs were broken in that effort, and in our behalf.

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Malcolm teachings as taught to him by Mr. Muhammad required more from us than it did from white folk. What do you think is the end result of following someone who rightfully put the blame of our then present day condition on the treatment we received in this country but did not require us to do anything about it but sit in restaurants, March and allow ourselves to be beaten?


You are evaluating a set of tactics without understanding the strategy the drives them.

The CRM required black people to commit to a strategy of non-violence. Clearly, you either don't understand or agree with that strategy. That's cool. As has been said throughout this thread though, to focus exclusively on the strategy and ignore the objectives is short-sited. There is a saying that 'the means justifies the ends'. Now you may disagree with King's objective of executing a passive-resistant/non-violent strategy to appeal to the moral conscience of America to do the right thing regarding Civil Rights. But that was his objective, that was his strategy, and while we can argue about its ultimate impact on the America of today, the strategy was effective.

It required people to participate in a political process during which they often put their very lives on the line. It still requires us to vote, to run for office, to be informed about the issues, and to participate in our communities - to be a part of a system that enables us to impact our environment. I hardly think that is asking nothing of us.

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I personally believe that CRM has failed Black men and women and I think our present day condition confirms this.


So, where would we be without it? If there was never an MLK and Malcolm was the sole driver of our people, where do you think we'd be now?

Also, I wonder if you can comment on your perceptions of the legacy of Malcolm X? 40 years or so later, what do you view as his impact on black America?


There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela


[This message was edited by MBM on December 07, 2003 at 09:14 AM.]
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