Archive for April, 2011

>MALCOLM X ! -THE BLACK TRUTH- "MYTHS ABOUT MALCOLM X" BY REV. ALBERT CLEAGE

April 29, 2011

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Friday, April 29, 2011

MALCOLM X ! -THE BLACK TRUTH- “MYTHS ABOUT MALCOLM X” BY REV. ALBERT CLEAGE

International Socialist Review, September-October 1967

Rev. Albert Cleage

Myths About Malcolm X:
A Speech

From International Socialist Review, Vol.28 No.5, September-October 1967, pp.33-42.
Mark up: Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.

Rev. Albert Cleage, chairman of the Detroit Inner City Organizing Committee, gave this speech at a memorial meeting for Malcolm X at the Friday Night Socialist Forum in Detroit, February 24, 1967.
You were very kind to ask me to be here.

I am not a Marxist – I don’t pretend to be, I don’t even pretend to know anything about it. I am a black man in a world dominated by white oppression, and that is my total philosophy. I would like to get rid of that oppression, and that is my total objective. So I bring to this occasion rather a simple approach – personal reflections on the significance of Malcolm X.
I can remember a number of occasions when I talked to him, when I was with him, when I spoke on platforms with him; and so I am not indebted to printed material for my impressions of Malcolm X. I remember the last time he was in the city – not so much the speech, which was not one of his best by any means; it reflected, I think, much of the tension that he was under, much of the confusion, the constant living on the brink of violence. But I can remember him backstage, in the Gold Room I think they call it, of Ford Auditorium. Recently he had suffered smoke inhalation, the doctor had given him an injection, he was trying to sleep, he was irritable. But he was here because he had promised to be here, because he thought some people were concerned about what he had to say.
I remember him at the King Solomon Baptist Church on one of the occasions he spoke there – sort of in concealment backstage, constantly harassed with the danger of assassination. And I can remember the occasion at the King Solomon Baptist Church when he gave the Message to the Grass Roots, which I think is his best speech, his most typical statement, and which I personally think is his last will and testament. I remember him, I talked to him, I agreed with him. He was a Muslim, I am a Christian, and yet I can think of no basic matter upon which we disagreed.
Two years after his death Brother Malcolm is more important to more people than he was at any time during his lifetime. I think this is true. Young people who never saw him, who never heard him, speak of him with reverence and say, “I love Malcolm.” This is a
tremendous thing. Older people who heard and saw him select from the things they heard and saw the things they want to remember, or even the things it suits their purpose to remember. This too is quite a thing – that an individual should be important enough to be remembered even with distortions or for reasons not quite only of love.
Brother Malcolm has become a symbol, a dream, a hope, a nostalgia for the past, a mystique, a shadow sometimes without substance, “our shining black prince,” to whom we do obeisance, about whom we write heroic poems. But I think Brother Malcolm the man is in danger of being lost in a vast tissue of distortions which now constitute the Malcolm myth. The Malcolm myth or the Malcolm myths, the complex of myths which more and more tend to cluster about Brother Malcolm, remind us of what happened to Jesus Christ. I think I understand much more now the things that are written and said about Jesus, because I can understand how the life of a man dedicated to people can so easily become a focal point for the things people want to make that life mean.
The Malcolm myth or myths depend for substance upon the last chaotic and confusing year or two of his life – fragmentary statements growing out of his trip to Mecca and his efforts to bring the problems of black people in America to the attention of African leaders. Out of this period of his life comes the confusing complex of myths. According to the myth, his pilgrimage to Mecca turned Brother Malcolm into an integrationist. I’ve heard that seriously stated by people who claim to be scholars and students of the life of Brother Malcolm. In Mecca, they say, he saw blue-eyed whites and blacks worshipping and living together, in love, for the first time in his 39 years – and his whole concept of white people changed. This is the myth. And he rejected his former position that the white man is the enemy and that separation is inescapable. This is the myth.
The implication here is that this new insight changed his orientation; that with this new insight he was now free to join the NAACP, or to sing We Shall Overcome with Martin Luther King, or to become a Marxist and join the Socialist Workers Party. And certainly, if we accept this basic myth as being true, as being fact, if his experience in Mecca changed his conception of white people, then all the implications certainly follow logically. If in terms of his experience in Mecca he came to believe that there is no enmity between black and white, that blacks and whites can march together in unity and brotherhood, then why shouldn’t he join the NAACP, or sing We Shall Overcome, or become a Marxist in the Socialist Workers Party?
I say that is the myth, and from my personal point of view, realizing that we are in the position of the blind man who inspected the elephant and tried to describe what an elephant is, I say I do not believe this myth. I reject it completely, totally and absolutely. I say if Malcolm X, Brother Malcolm, had undergone this kind of transformation, if in Mecca he had decided that blacks and whites can unite, then his life at that moment would have become meaningless in terms of the world struggle of black people, and we would not have any occasion to be here this evening. So I say I do not believe it.
Brother Malcolm knew history and he was guided by his interpretation of history. He interpreted the things that happened to him in terms of his knowledge and his understanding of the past. He would not have been taken in by what happened in Mecca. Brother Malcolm knew that the Arab Muslims had been the backbone of the slave trade. Those of you who have a sentimental attachment to the “Black Muslims” in America, or the Muslims that happen to be black, might not like to remember that the slave trade with black Africans in Africa was fostered, encouraged and carried on by the Arab Muslims in Africa. Brother Malcolm knew this. He would not have been taken in by the window dressing in Mecca. He would not have forgotten this important fact – that blacks and whites do not unite above the basic fact of race, of color. He would not have forgotten this in Mecca any more than in New York or Chicago or San Francisco. He knew that in Saudi Arabia they are still selling black Africans into slavery, they still make forays into Black Africa and bring back black slaves for sale in Arab Muslim countries. Brother Malcolm knew this. And to me it is preposterous to say that in Mecca he became an integrationist.
Also, according to the myth, Brother Malcolm tried to internationalize the black man’s struggle in America. Certainly he brought the black man’s struggle to the attention of African leaders. The implication is that Brother Malcolm felt that the black man in Africa could help us through the United Nations and that we would be better off before the white man’s World Court than before the white man’s Supreme Court. I do not believe it. Malcolm knew that one cracker court is just like another cracker court. He knew it, I know it and you know it. And to say now that he came to the conclusion that, if he could get the black man’s problem in America before the World Court, it would somehow mysteriously be changed and transformed is ridiculous. To take it before the World Court would have been interesting – but certainly no solution. We are no more apt to get justice before the World Court than before the Recorder’s Court downtown here in the city of Detroit. Crackers run both of them.
Don’t be afraid, brothers, don’t be afraid – I am not hurting the image of Malcolm. I am just’trying to save it, because you are about to lose it, you are about to forget what Malcolm said. By taking the last moments of confusion, when he was getting ready to be assassinated, and saying that the confused little statements he made in those last moments were his life – that’s a lie, that wasn’t his life. I heard him, I talked to him, I know what his life was, and he understood the relationship between blacks and whites.
Certainly Brother Malcolm wanted to relate our struggle, the struggle of black people in America, to the struggle of black people everywhere. I say to the struggle of black people everywhere, because
that is a struggle that he understood, that I understand and that you understand. I am not talking about relating it to the struggle of oppressed people everywhere, but relating it to the struggle of black people everywhere. But he expected little help from the Africans and the African nations. Malcolm wasn’t running around Africa thinking that the African nations were going to free us. Malcolm wasn’t that kind of an idiotic idealist. He went to our black brothers because they were our brothers. He talked to them about our problems because their problems are our problems, and we are as concerned about their problems as we want them to be about our problems. But he didn’t go to Africa expecting them to free us.
Sometimes we forget that, and we sit around waiting for somebody in Africa to send somebody over here to free us – “like Malcolm said they were going to.” He never said it and they are never going to do it. If you are going to be free, you are going to free yourself, and that is what Malcolm told us. The African nations can’t free us, they can’t save us. They couldn’t save Lumumba in Africa, they couldn’t wreak vengeance upon those who perpetrated his death in Africa. They couldn’t save the Congo; they couldn’t save the black people of Rhodesia; they couldn’t free the black people of South Africa. Then why should we sit here in our own oppression, our own suffering, our own brutality, waiting for some mysterious transformation when black armies from Africa are coming over here and free us? They could use some black armies from over here to free them.
Malcolm never said it, and don’t be misled by the statement that Malcolm tried to internationalize the black man’s struggle. He tried to tell us quite simply that the white man has given you hell here in the United States and he is giving black men hell all over the world. It is one struggle – black men fighting for freedom everywhere, in every country, in the United States, in Africa, in Vietnam, everywhere. Black men fighting against white men for freedom. He tried to tell you that the white man is not going to free you. I don’t care what persuasion or philosophy he has, he is not going to free you, because if he frees you, he must take something away from himself to give it to you.
Funny how we can so easily forget what Malcolm said. I don’t believe it. Certainly he wanted to relate it to the black man’s struggle throughout the world. He knew we were struggling against the same enemy. He knew that we could expect no more justice from the World Court than from a Supreme Court. So much for the Malcolm myth.
Brother Malcolm’s contribution is tremendous. What Brother Malcolm contributed to the black man’s struggle in America and throughout the world cannot be equaled or surpassed by the life of any man. Oh, we can think of individuals like Marcus Garvey. When he looked at the world and said, “Where is the black man’s government?” it was tremendous. Because he understood that the black man was engaged in a struggle against an enemy, and that if he was engaged
in a struggle there were certain things that were necessary – he had to have power, he had to have a government, he had to have economies, he had to have certain things. Marcus Garvey understood it. But no man surpasses Malcolm in his understanding of the meaning of the struggle in which black people are engaged everywhere in the world. And there was no subterfuge or confusion or weak-kneed pussyfooting in Malcolm as long as he lived.
I want to tell you this: we get all confused because we don’t know who assassinated him. I don’t believe that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad assassinated him. You believe whatever you want to, I do not believe it. And because we get confused about who assassinated him, we say there was never any good in Elijah Muhammad or the “Black Muslims.” I don’t believe that either. I believe that the basic truths that Malcolm X taught came from the basic philosophy and teachings of Elijah Muhammad. I believe that the basic contribution which he made, the basic philosophy which he taught, stems directly from the teachings of Elijah Muhammad and the “Black Muslims.” I do not accept all the teachings of Elijah Muhammad or the “Black Muslims,” but I understand what Malcolm X did to those teachings. He took the teachings of a cult, with all the mythology of the “Black Muslims,” and universalized them so that black people everywhere, no matter what their religion, could understand them and could accept them.
I can accept the teachings which he abstracted from the cult philosophy and mythology of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. I do not believe in the story about Yacub and creating the white man as the devil in 6,000 years, but that has nothing to do with the essential truth. I do not believe that the white man is the devil. He does devilish things, but I don’t believe that he is a devil. Because to say that he is a devil is to say that he is more than human, and I don’t believe that. You know that in the Christian religion the devil was flung out of heaven; he was an angel, he was more than a man, and to believe that the white man is a devil is to attribute to him supernatural powers. That is a cult mystique. There is nothing about the white man that is supernatural. He is just exactly like we are – that’s why we can understand him so well. There is nothing mysterious about what he does. He wasn’t condemned to be a devil for 6,000 years – he just acts like a devil because it suits his purpose, and he mistreats us, he oppresses us, he’s brutal to us, because it’s in his interest – not because he is a devil.
It is closer to the truth to say that he is a beast, and that is what Malcolm said. You would like to forget that now, but every time I talked to him, he referred to the white man as a beast. And those of you who are white here will agree with him that most white people are beasts – you can’t deny it. On the basis of the way the white man has treated black men in America and throughout the world for 400 years, you cannot deny that he certainly had a truth there when he said that the white man is a beast. But not a devil. A beast is lower than a man, a devil is higher than a man. Certainly the white man is not a devil, but he is in many instances a beast.
Malcolm was different when he was in the “Black Muslims.” You have got to remember that too – he had a power base then. You know, as quiet as it is kept, it is one thing to operate out of something, to talk out of something, to have something behind you when you go into a town or a city – to go knowing that there are people there who are preparing things for you. It is another thing to step out by yourself and try to go around the country without a power base, without any protection, without any organization in front. And that was the difference when Malcolm X stepped out of the Muslim movement and became an individual. Then he faced the harassment, the danger, the confusion and everything in these last years that those who want to distort Malcolm X want to make so much out of. At the beginning, when he was with the Muslims, there was a power base from which he operated, a philosophical foundation upon which he could build. And he built well and he operated well in terms of a power base. He abstracted the general truths that we still remember. And these things we have got to preserve – we have got to preserve, brothers, I’m telling you, we have got to preserve.
We have a great tendency to turn our leaders over to somebody else. Who is the custodian of Malcolm’s tradition? Who is the custodian? (Voice from audience: “We are.”) But we aren’t acting like it. You know who the custodian is, don’t you? – there he sits, right there. If Mr. Breitman stopped writing, nobody would write anything. And he’s doing it in terms of what he believes is a proper interpretation. If we want to preserve our heroes, we have to become the custodians of that tradition. Who is the custodian of DuBois? Black people? No, we don’t have one thing that he wrote. The Communist Party has it, and they will let us read what they want us to read. I’m talking to you black brothers, I don’t care what the rest of these people think. We have got to become the custodians of our own heroes and save them and interpret them the way we want them interpreted. And if you don’t do it, then you have to accept what somebody else says they said. Who is the custodian of Paul Robeson? (Voice from audience: “The Communists.”) All right, we don’t have it. The great things he said, all of the things – where are they? The CIA has taken over perhaps all of the African Encyclopedia that DuBois was working on in Ghana. Nobody knows where it is. We don’t protect these things. We are careless and we get caught up in the myths that other people spin for us. In another five years our children won’t know what Malcolm X was really like. Because we won’t write it down, and everything that is written that they can put their hands on will be saying that Malcolm X said something he never said, that Malcolm X meant something he never meant.
I say Malcolm X was tremendously important, beyond even our comprehension today, because Malcolm changed the whole course of the black man’s freedom struggle – the whole course of that freedom struggle not only in America but throughout the world. Black people everywhere in Africa, in the United States, everywhere, black people are fighting today a different battle than they fought before Malcolm began to talk. A different battle because Malcolm laid down certain basic principles that we can never forget. He changed the whole course. The first basic principle that Malcolm laid down that we can’t forget is this: The white man is your enemy. That is a basic principle, we can’t forget it. I don’t care what else they drag in from wherever they drag it – remember one thing, Malcolm X taught one truth: The white man is our enemy. We can’t get away from it, and if we accept and understand that one basic truth, his life was not lived in vain. Because upon that one basic truth we can build a total philosophy, a total course of action for struggle. Because that was the basic confusion which distorted the lives of black people, which corrupted the movements of black people. That was the basic area of our confusion, and Malcolm X straightened that out.
The white man is an enemy – he said it. We must break our identification with him, and that was his basic contribution. He didn’t just say it, he didn’t sit off someplace and just write it – he went out and he lived it. He asked for moments of confrontation. He said we have got to break our identification, we can’t go through life identifying with the white man or his government. You remember what he said down there at King Solomon Baptist Church: You talk about “your” navy and “your” astronauts. He said forget it, we don’t identify with these people, they are the enemy. And that is the basic truth. We must break our identification with the enemy, we must confront him, and we must realize that conflict and violence are necessary parts of a struggle against an enemy – that is what he taught. Conflict, struggle and violence are not to be avoided. Don’t be afraid of them – you heard what he said. There has got to be some bloodshed, he said, if black men want to be free – that is what he taught. Now you can’t take that and say that he believed in blacks and whites marching together. He said black men have got to be willing to shed their blood because they believe that they can be free. The white man is an enemy.
We must take pride in ourselves – you know that is what he said. But he didn’t make a mystique out of Africa. He didn’t sit down in a corner and contemplate his navel and think about the wonders of Africa. He said we have a history that we can be proud of. Africa is our history, African blood is our blood, African soil is our soil. We can take pride in our past – not by sitting down and contemplating it, but by using it as the basis for a course of action in today’s world, as a basis for confrontation with the enemy, as a basis for struggle, for conflict, and even for violence, if necessary. We fight because we are proud; and because we are proud, we are not going to lie down and crawl like snakes on our bellies. We are not going to take second-class citizenship sitting down, saying, “Well, in a few years maybe things will change.” We want to change it now. That is what Malcolm told us, that is what we believe, and that is the basis of our struggle today.
A corollary of that, which you must understand and which is essentially Malcolm’s contribution, is that integration is impossible and undesirable. Integration is impossible – he said it time and time and time again, under all kinds of circumstances – integration is impossible and undesirable. Now this was harder for black people to take than for white people. Because white people never wanted it in the first place, and were determined that it would never come to pass in the second place. But black people had been led to believe that it was a possibility, always just around the corner. So black people had pegged all of their organizational efforts toward integration. We sang We Shall Overcome Someday, believing that overcoming meant integrating. The NAACP pegged its whole program on the possibilities of integration. We are going to build an integrated world, we are going to build a world in which black people and white people live together, we are going to build an integrated world – that is what Dr. Martin Luther King said. “I’ve got a dream for America tonight, a dream when the children of slaves shall walk hand-in-hand with the children of slavemasters.” And we believed it until Malcolm X told us it is a lie. And that is a genuine contribution – it is a lie.
You will never walk hand-in-hand with anybody but black people, let me tell you. If you do, it is just a moment of mutual hypocrisy in which you are both engaged, for some purpose best known to yourselves. You may build a position of strength, a position of power from which you can negotiate with strength instead of weakness, and if you are willing to negotiate, then you can talk to the white man as an equal. That is as close to brotherhood as there is – there is no other brotherhood. If you talk to a man as an equal, he is your brother. But there is no other kind of equal. You cannot get down on your knees and talk up to a man and talk about brotherhood. Because you stopped being a brother when you got down on your knees. And if you are afraid to get up and look him in the eye and take a chance of getting killed if necessary, then there is no hope of brotherhood for you. Integration is impossible and undesirable – Malcolm taught it.
We have our own communities. The white man “gave” them to us. He forced us into them. He separated himself from us. And white people went all around the country all the time Malcolm was alive, saying, “He wants separation.” They had separated themselves from us in every area of life, and yet they said, “He is bad, he is wicked, he wants separation.” And if he had asked for integration seriously, they would have killed him more quickly.
He said we are going to control these separate communities. We have them, the white man “gave” them to us, and we are going to stop being ashamed of them. We are going to live in them and we are going to make them the best communities in the world. We are going to make the schools in them black schools and good schools. We are going to make our housing black housing and good housing. We are no longer going to believe that a block is no good till a white man comes and buys a house on it. We are no longer going to believe that if we can move into a community where half of the people on the street are white, that that is a better community. We are going to take our separate communities, we are going to work with them, we are going to control them, we are going to control their politics, we are going to control their economy – we are going to control our community.
Malcolm X laid the entire foundation for everything Stokely Carmichael says. Stokely hasn’t said one word that was not completely implicit in everything that Malcolm X taught. He is just a voice carrying on upon the basic foundation that Malcolm X put down. Integration is impossible and undesirable. We are going to control our own communities. We are going to stop worrying about being separate. We are not worried about busing black children into white neighborhoods. We are not worried about open occupancy, except that we want the right to live any place, and unless we are given that right, we will take it. And when we take it, we will still live together, because we do not want to live with you. That is a philosophy, that is Malcolm X’s philosophy. We have learned it, we still remember it, and there is nothing you can do today to take it away from us. But I’m telling you, brothers, we have got to write it down because they are about to mess it up so we won’t recognize it next year.
The whole civil rights movement has changed. The NAACP is washed up, through, finished. The Urban League is nothing but the social service agency it started out to be. The civil rights movement now is nothing but Stokely Carmichael and Floyd McKissick – that’s it. Because they got the message. They are building today on what Malcolm said yesterday. The civil rights movement, the freedom struggle, the revolution – call it what you will – black men fighting for freedom today are fighting in terms laid down by Brother Malcolm. No other terms. You can’t go out into the community – the brother here said “let’s go out into the community” – you can’t go out into the community with anything other than what Malcolm X taught. Because they won’t listen to you, they won’t hear you.
The whole movement has changed. The last great picnic, as Floyd McKissick said, on the White House lawn, that “great freedom march” – that was the end, that was it. From here on in, black people are trying to build, to organize. Malcolm in his last days was trying to make the transition to organization, to structure; to fight not only in terms of words, of ideas, but to build the organizational structure. He didn’t do it. But he was making the transition because he realized that the next stage is an organizational stage – that if you want to be free, if you want power, you have got to organize to take it.
When you were just begging the white man to give you something, you didn’t need organization. All you needed was a kneeling pad so that you could kneel down and look humble. But if you want power, you have got to organize to get it – you have got to have political power, you have got to have economic power, you have got to organize. Malcolm realized that, and the feeble beginnings he made in the area of organization were pointing the way. Today we have got to carry on that organizational struggle that Malcolm pointed out.
I was in New York, I went to his headquarters while he was over in Africa, I talked with his lieutenants. They didn’t have the slightest idea of what was going on. They loved Malcolm, and they were sitting in the Hotel Theresa in a suite of rooms, but they didn’t have the slightest conception of how to organize. They were waiting for Brother Malcolm to come home so he could tell them what to do. I said, “My God, one man never carried such a load all by himself! He has men here who are supposed to be doing something and they are sitting there waiting for him to come back.” And they were carrying around his letters – he would write back a letter and they were carrying it around like it was the Bible: “Look, we’ve got a few words from Brother Malcolm.”
He did not want reverence – he wanted people who could do something, who could organize, who believed in action, who were willing to go out and sacrifice; and he didn’t have them. And all of us today – black people, brothers from coast to coast – when we get together and do reverence to Malcolm, let us remember that the last message was organize. We didn’t do it and that is why he died. We didn’t have organization enough to protect him. We didn’t have organization enough to give him funds to do what he had to do. We let him die. The message is the same today, and still we are not organizing, we are not doing the work that has to be done. If you love Brother Malcolm, write your poems at night and organize and work in the daytime for power. Because until you get power, Malcolm X is just a memory. When we get power, we will put his statue in every city, because the cities will belong to us. Then we can do him reverence.
But until we get power, let’s not play with images and myths. Let’s remember that he gave us certain principles, certain ideas, and we have got to do something with them. All of us have the task – to organize, to build, to fight, to get power. And as we get it, as we struggle for it, we will remember that we are struggling because we believe the things that he taught. That is the message of Malcolm, and don’t let anybody get you all mixed up. He never turned into an integrationist, never. He wasn’t fooled in Mecca, he wasn’t fooled in Africa. He told it like it was and he knew it like it was. That is our Malcolm. Some other folks may have another Malcolm – they are welcome to it. But brothers, don’t lose our Malcolm.
 
Myths About Malcolm X: Two ViewsThe Black Ghetto; Preface By Rev. Albert B. Cleage, Jr., Introduction By James Shabazz

MALCOLM X ! – THE BLACK TRUTH- “MYTHS ABOUT MALCOLM X ” BY REV. ALBERT CLEAGE

April 29, 2011

International Socialist Review, September-October 1967

Rev. Albert Cleage
Myths About Malcolm X:
A Speech

From International Socialist Review, Vol.28 No.5, September-October 1967, pp.33-42.
Mark up: Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.

Rev. Albert Cleage, chairman of the Detroit Inner City Organizing Committee, gave this speech at a memorial meeting for Malcolm X at the Friday Night Socialist Forum in Detroit, February 24, 1967.

You were very kind to ask me to be here.

I am not a Marxist – I don’t pretend to be, I don’t even pretend to know anything about it. I am a black man in a world dominated by white oppression, and that is my total philosophy. I would like to get rid of that oppression, and that is my total objective. So I bring to this occasion rather a simple approach – personal reflections on the significance of Malcolm X.

I can remember a number of occasions when I talked to him, when I was with him, when I spoke on platforms with him; and so I am not indebted to printed material for my impressions of Malcolm X. I remember the last time he was in the city – not so much the speech, which was not one of his best by any means; it reflected, I think, much of the tension that he was under, much of the confusion, the constant living on the brink of violence. But I can remember him backstage, in the Gold Room I think they call it, of Ford Auditorium. Recently he had suffered smoke inhalation, the doctor had given him an injection, he was trying to sleep, he was irritable. But he was here because he had promised to be here, because he thought some people were concerned about what he had to say.

I remember him at the King Solomon Baptist Church on one of the occasions he spoke there – sort of in concealment backstage, constantly harassed with the danger of assassination. And I can remember the occasion at the King Solomon Baptist Church when he gave the Message to the Grass Roots, which I think is his best speech, his most typical statement, and which I personally think is his last will and testament. I remember him, I talked to him, I agreed with him. He was a Muslim, I am a Christian, and yet I can think of no basic matter upon which we disagreed.

Two years after his death Brother Malcolm is more important to more people than he was at any time during his lifetime. I think this is true. Young people who never saw him, who never heard him, speak of him with reverence and say, “I love Malcolm.” This is a

tremendous thing. Older people who heard and saw him select from the things they heard and saw the things they want to remember, or even the things it suits their purpose to remember. This too is quite a thing – that an individual should be important enough to be remembered even with distortions or for reasons not quite only of love.

Brother Malcolm has become a symbol, a dream, a hope, a nostalgia for the past, a mystique, a shadow sometimes without substance, “our shining black prince,” to whom we do obeisance, about whom we write heroic poems. But I think Brother Malcolm the man is in danger of being lost in a vast tissue of distortions which now constitute the Malcolm myth. The Malcolm myth or the Malcolm myths, the complex of myths which more and more tend to cluster about Brother Malcolm, remind us of what happened to Jesus Christ. I think I understand much more now the things that are written and said about Jesus, because I can understand how the life of a man dedicated to people can so easily become a focal point for the things people want to make that life mean.

The Malcolm myth or myths depend for substance upon the last chaotic and confusing year or two of his life – fragmentary statements growing out of his trip to Mecca and his efforts to bring the problems of black people in America to the attention of African leaders. Out of this period of his life comes the confusing complex of myths. According to the myth, his pilgrimage to Mecca turned Brother Malcolm into an integrationist. I’ve heard that seriously stated by people who claim to be scholars and students of the life of Brother Malcolm. In Mecca, they say, he saw blue-eyed whites and blacks worshipping and living together, in love, for the first time in his 39 years – and his whole concept of white people changed. This is the myth. And he rejected his former position that the white man is the enemy and that separation is inescapable. This is the myth.

The implication here is that this new insight changed his orientation; that with this new insight he was now free to join the NAACP, or to sing We Shall Overcome with Martin Luther King, or to become a Marxist and join the Socialist Workers Party. And certainly, if we accept this basic myth as being true, as being fact, if his experience in Mecca changed his conception of white people, then all the implications certainly follow logically. If in terms of his experience in Mecca he came to believe that there is no enmity between black and white, that blacks and whites can march together in unity and brotherhood, then why shouldn’t he join the NAACP, or sing We Shall Overcome, or become a Marxist in the Socialist Workers Party?

I say that is the myth, and from my personal point of view, realizing that we are in the position of the blind man who inspected the elephant and tried to describe what an elephant is, I say I do not believe this myth. I reject it completely, totally and absolutely. I say if Malcolm X, Brother Malcolm, had undergone this kind of transformation, if in Mecca he had decided that blacks and whites can unite, then his life at that moment would have become meaningless in terms of the world struggle of black people, and we would not have any occasion to be here this evening. So I say I do not believe it.

Brother Malcolm knew history and he was guided by his interpretation of history. He interpreted the things that happened to him in terms of his knowledge and his understanding of the past. He would not have been taken in by what happened in Mecca. Brother Malcolm knew that the Arab Muslims had been the backbone of the slave trade. Those of you who have a sentimental attachment to the “Black Muslims” in America, or the Muslims that happen to be black, might not like to remember that the slave trade with black Africans in Africa was fostered, encouraged and carried on by the Arab Muslims in Africa. Brother Malcolm knew this. He would not have been taken in by the window dressing in Mecca. He would not have forgotten this important fact – that blacks and whites do not unite above the basic fact of race, of color. He would not have forgotten this in Mecca any more than in New York or Chicago or San Francisco. He knew that in Saudi Arabia they are still selling black Africans into slavery, they still make forays into Black Africa and bring back black slaves for sale in Arab Muslim countries. Brother Malcolm knew this. And to me it is preposterous to say that in Mecca he became an integrationist.

Also, according to the myth, Brother Malcolm tried to internationalize the black man’s struggle in America. Certainly he brought the black man’s struggle to the attention of African leaders. The implication is that Brother Malcolm felt that the black man in Africa could help us through the United Nations and that we would be better off before the white man’s World Court than before the white man’s Supreme Court. I do not believe it. Malcolm knew that one cracker court is just like another cracker court. He knew it, I know it and you know it. And to say now that he came to the conclusion that, if he could get the black man’s problem in America before the World Court, it would somehow mysteriously be changed and transformed is ridiculous. To take it before the World Court would have been interesting – but certainly no solution. We are no more apt to get justice before the World Court than before the Recorder’s Court downtown here in the city of Detroit. Crackers run both of them.

Don’t be afraid, brothers, don’t be afraid – I am not hurting the image of Malcolm. I am just’trying to save it, because you are about to lose it, you are about to forget what Malcolm said. By taking the last moments of confusion, when he was getting ready to be assassinated, and saying that the confused little statements he made in those last moments were his life – that’s a lie, that wasn’t his life. I heard him, I talked to him, I know what his life was, and he understood the relationship between blacks and whites.

Certainly Brother Malcolm wanted to relate our struggle, the struggle of black people in America, to the struggle of black people everywhere. I say to the struggle of black people everywhere, because

that is a struggle that he understood, that I understand and that you understand. I am not talking about relating it to the struggle of oppressed people everywhere, but relating it to the struggle of black people everywhere. But he expected little help from the Africans and the African nations. Malcolm wasn’t running around Africa thinking that the African nations were going to free us. Malcolm wasn’t that kind of an idiotic idealist. He went to our black brothers because they were our brothers. He talked to them about our problems because their problems are our problems, and we are as concerned about their problems as we want them to be about our problems. But he didn’t go to Africa expecting them to free us.

Sometimes we forget that, and we sit around waiting for somebody in Africa to send somebody over here to free us – “like Malcolm said they were going to.” He never said it and they are never going to do it. If you are going to be free, you are going to free yourself, and that is what Malcolm told us. The African nations can’t free us, they can’t save us. They couldn’t save Lumumba in Africa, they couldn’t wreak vengeance upon those who perpetrated his death in Africa. They couldn’t save the Congo; they couldn’t save the black people of Rhodesia; they couldn’t free the black people of South Africa. Then why should we sit here in our own oppression, our own suffering, our own brutality, waiting for some mysterious transformation when black armies from Africa are coming over here and free us? They could use some black armies from over here to free them.

Malcolm never said it, and don’t be misled by the statement that Malcolm tried to internationalize the black man’s struggle. He tried to tell us quite simply that the white man has given you hell here in the United States and he is giving black men hell all over the world. It is one struggle – black men fighting for freedom everywhere, in every country, in the United States, in Africa, in Vietnam, everywhere. Black men fighting against white men for freedom. He tried to tell you that the white man is not going to free you. I don’t care what persuasion or philosophy he has, he is not going to free you, because if he frees you, he must take something away from himself to give it to you.

Funny how we can so easily forget what Malcolm said. I don’t believe it. Certainly he wanted to relate it to the black man’s struggle throughout the world. He knew we were struggling against the same enemy. He knew that we could expect no more justice from the World Court than from a Supreme Court. So much for the Malcolm myth.

Brother Malcolm’s contribution is tremendous. What Brother Malcolm contributed to the black man’s struggle in America and throughout the world cannot be equaled or surpassed by the life of any man. Oh, we can think of individuals like Marcus Garvey. When he looked at the world and said, “Where is the black man’s government?” it was tremendous. Because he understood that the black man was engaged in a struggle against an enemy, and that if he was engaged

in a struggle there were certain things that were necessary – he had to have power, he had to have a government, he had to have economies, he had to have certain things. Marcus Garvey understood it. But no man surpasses Malcolm in his understanding of the meaning of the struggle in which black people are engaged everywhere in the world. And there was no subterfuge or confusion or weak-kneed pussyfooting in Malcolm as long as he lived.

I want to tell you this: we get all confused because we don’t know who assassinated him. I don’t believe that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad assassinated him. You believe whatever you want to, I do not believe it. And because we get confused about who assassinated him, we say there was never any good in Elijah Muhammad or the “Black Muslims.” I don’t believe that either. I believe that the basic truths that Malcolm X taught came from the basic philosophy and teachings of Elijah Muhammad. I believe that the basic contribution which he made, the basic philosophy which he taught, stems directly from the teachings of Elijah Muhammad and the “Black Muslims.” I do not accept all the teachings of Elijah Muhammad or the “Black Muslims,” but I understand what Malcolm X did to those teachings. He took the teachings of a cult, with all the mythology of the “Black Muslims,” and universalized them so that black people everywhere, no matter what their religion, could understand them and could accept them.

I can accept the teachings which he abstracted from the cult philosophy and mythology of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. I do not believe in the story about Yacub and creating the white man as the devil in 6,000 years, but that has nothing to do with the essential truth. I do not believe that the white man is the devil. He does devilish things, but I don’t believe that he is a devil. Because to say that he is a devil is to say that he is more than human, and I don’t believe that. You know that in the Christian religion the devil was flung out of heaven; he was an angel, he was more than a man, and to believe that the white man is a devil is to attribute to him supernatural powers. That is a cult mystique. There is nothing about the white man that is supernatural. He is just exactly like we are – that’s why we can understand him so well. There is nothing mysterious about what he does. He wasn’t condemned to be a devil for 6,000 years – he just acts like a devil because it suits his purpose, and he mistreats us, he oppresses us, he’s brutal to us, because it’s in his interest – not because he is a devil.

It is closer to the truth to say that he is a beast, and that is what Malcolm said. You would like to forget that now, but every time I talked to him, he referred to the white man as a beast. And those of you who are white here will agree with him that most white people are beasts – you can’t deny it. On the basis of the way the white man has treated black men in America and throughout the world for 400 years, you cannot deny that he certainly had a truth there when he said that the white man is a beast. But not a devil. A beast is lower than a man, a devil is higher than a man. Certainly the white man is not a devil, but he is in many instances a beast.

Malcolm was different when he was in the “Black Muslims.” You have got to remember that too – he had a power base then. You know, as quiet as it is kept, it is one thing to operate out of something, to talk out of something, to have something behind you when you go into a town or a city – to go knowing that there are people there who are preparing things for you. It is another thing to step out by yourself and try to go around the country without a power base, without any protection, without any organization in front. And that was the difference when Malcolm X stepped out of the Muslim movement and became an individual. Then he faced the harassment, the danger, the confusion and everything in these last years that those who want to distort Malcolm X want to make so much out of. At the beginning, when he was with the Muslims, there was a power base from which he operated, a philosophical foundation upon which he could build. And he built well and he operated well in terms of a power base. He abstracted the general truths that we still remember. And these things we have got to preserve – we have got to preserve, brothers, I’m telling you, we have got to preserve.

We have a great tendency to turn our leaders over to somebody else. Who is the custodian of Malcolm’s tradition? Who is the custodian? (Voice from audience: “We are.”) But we aren’t acting like it. You know who the custodian is, don’t you? – there he sits, right there. If Mr. Breitman stopped writing, nobody would write anything. And he’s doing it in terms of what he believes is a proper interpretation. If we want to preserve our heroes, we have to become the custodians of that tradition. Who is the custodian of DuBois? Black people? No, we don’t have one thing that he wrote. The Communist Party has it, and they will let us read what they want us to read. I’m talking to you black brothers, I don’t care what the rest of these people think. We have got to become the custodians of our own heroes and save them and interpret them the way we want them interpreted. And if you don’t do it, then you have to accept what somebody else says they said. Who is the custodian of Paul Robeson? (Voice from audience: “The Communists.”) All right, we don’t have it. The great things he said, all of the things – where are they? The CIA has taken over perhaps all of the African Encyclopedia that DuBois was working on in Ghana. Nobody knows where it is. We don’t protect these things. We are careless and we get caught up in the myths that other people spin for us. In another five years our children won’t know what Malcolm X was really like. Because we won’t write it down, and everything that is written that they can put their hands on will be saying that Malcolm X said something he never said, that Malcolm X meant something he never meant.

I say Malcolm X was tremendously important, beyond even our comprehension today, because Malcolm changed the whole course of the black man’s freedom struggle – the whole course of that freedom struggle not only in America but throughout the world. Black people everywhere in Africa, in the United States, everywhere, black people are fighting today a different battle than they fought before Malcolm began to talk. A different battle because Malcolm laid down certain basic principles that we can never forget. He changed the whole course. The first basic principle that Malcolm laid down that we can’t forget is this: The white man is your enemy. That is a basic principle, we can’t forget it. I don’t care what else they drag in from wherever they drag it – remember one thing, Malcolm X taught one truth: The white man is our enemy. We can’t get away from it, and if we accept and understand that one basic truth, his life was not lived in vain. Because upon that one basic truth we can build a total philosophy, a total course of action for struggle. Because that was the basic confusion which distorted the lives of black people, which corrupted the movements of black people. That was the basic area of our confusion, and Malcolm X straightened that out.

The white man is an enemy – he said it. We must break our identification with him, and that was his basic contribution. He didn’t just say it, he didn’t sit off someplace and just write it – he went out and he lived it. He asked for moments of confrontation. He said we have got to break our identification, we can’t go through life identifying with the white man or his government. You remember what he said down there at King Solomon Baptist Church: You talk about “your” navy and “your” astronauts. He said forget it, we don’t identify with these people, they are the enemy. And that is the basic truth. We must break our identification with the enemy, we must confront him, and we must realize that conflict and violence are necessary parts of a struggle against an enemy – that is what he taught. Conflict, struggle and violence are not to be avoided. Don’t be afraid of them – you heard what he said. There has got to be some bloodshed, he said, if black men want to be free – that is what he taught. Now you can’t take that and say that he believed in blacks and whites marching together. He said black men have got to be willing to shed their blood because they believe that they can be free. The white man is an enemy.

We must take pride in ourselves – you know that is what he said. But he didn’t make a mystique out of Africa. He didn’t sit down in a corner and contemplate his navel and think about the wonders of Africa. He said we have a history that we can be proud of. Africa is our history, African blood is our blood, African soil is our soil. We can take pride in our past – not by sitting down and contemplating it, but by using it as the basis for a course of action in today’s world, as a basis for confrontation with the enemy, as a basis for struggle, for conflict, and even for violence, if necessary. We fight because we are proud; and because we are proud, we are not going to lie down and crawl like snakes on our bellies. We are not going to take second-class citizenship sitting down, saying, “Well, in a few years maybe things will change.” We want to change it now. That is what Malcolm told us, that is what we believe, and that is the basis of our struggle today.

A corollary of that, which you must understand and which is essentially Malcolm’s contribution, is that integration is impossible and undesirable. Integration is impossible – he said it time and time and time again, under all kinds of circumstances – integration is impossible and undesirable. Now this was harder for black people to take than for white people. Because white people never wanted it in the first place, and were determined that it would never come to pass in the second place. But black people had been led to believe that it was a possibility, always just around the corner. So black people had pegged all of their organizational efforts toward integration. We sang We Shall Overcome Someday, believing that overcoming meant integrating. The NAACP pegged its whole program on the possibilities of integration. We are going to build an integrated world, we are going to build a world in which black people and white people live together, we are going to build an integrated world – that is what Dr. Martin Luther King said. “I’ve got a dream for America tonight, a dream when the children of slaves shall walk hand-in-hand with the children of slavemasters.” And we believed it until Malcolm X told us it is a lie. And that is a genuine contribution – it is a lie.

You will never walk hand-in-hand with anybody but black people, let me tell you. If you do, it is just a moment of mutual hypocrisy in which you are both engaged, for some purpose best known to yourselves. You may build a position of strength, a position of power from which you can negotiate with strength instead of weakness, and if you are willing to negotiate, then you can talk to the white man as an equal. That is as close to brotherhood as there is – there is no other brotherhood. If you talk to a man as an equal, he is your brother. But there is no other kind of equal. You cannot get down on your knees and talk up to a man and talk about brotherhood. Because you stopped being a brother when you got down on your knees. And if you are afraid to get up and look him in the eye and take a chance of getting killed if necessary, then there is no hope of brotherhood for you. Integration is impossible and undesirable – Malcolm taught it.

We have our own communities. The white man “gave” them to us. He forced us into them. He separated himself from us. And white people went all around the country all the time Malcolm was alive, saying, “He wants separation.” They had separated themselves from us in every area of life, and yet they said, “He is bad, he is wicked, he wants separation.” And if he had asked for integration seriously, they would have killed him more quickly.

He said we are going to control these separate communities. We have them, the white man “gave” them to us, and we are going to stop being ashamed of them. We are going to live in them and we are going to make them the best communities in the world. We are going to make the schools in them black schools and good schools. We are going to make our housing black housing and good housing. We are no longer going to believe that a block is no good till a white man comes and buys a house on it. We are no longer going to believe that if we can move into a community where half of the people on the street are white, that that is a better community. We are going to take our separate communities, we are going to work with them, we are going to control them, we are going to control their politics, we are going to control their economy – we are going to control our community.

Malcolm X laid the entire foundation for everything Stokely Carmichael says. Stokely hasn’t said one word that was not completely implicit in everything that Malcolm X taught. He is just a voice carrying on upon the basic foundation that Malcolm X put down. Integration is impossible and undesirable. We are going to control our own communities. We are going to stop worrying about being separate. We are not worried about busing black children into white neighborhoods. We are not worried about open occupancy, except that we want the right to live any place, and unless we are given that right, we will take it. And when we take it, we will still live together, because we do not want to live with you. That is a philosophy, that is Malcolm X’s philosophy. We have learned it, we still remember it, and there is nothing you can do today to take it away from us. But I’m telling you, brothers, we have got to write it down because they are about to mess it up so we won’t recognize it next year.

The whole civil rights movement has changed. The NAACP is washed up, through, finished. The Urban League is nothing but the social service agency it started out to be. The civil rights movement now is nothing but Stokely Carmichael and Floyd McKissick – that’s it. Because they got the message. They are building today on what Malcolm said yesterday. The civil rights movement, the freedom struggle, the revolution – call it what you will – black men fighting for freedom today are fighting in terms laid down by Brother Malcolm. No other terms. You can’t go out into the community – the brother here said “let’s go out into the community” – you can’t go out into the community with anything other than what Malcolm X taught. Because they won’t listen to you, they won’t hear you.

The whole movement has changed. The last great picnic, as Floyd McKissick said, on the White House lawn, that “great freedom march” – that was the end, that was it. From here on in, black people are trying to build, to organize. Malcolm in his last days was trying to make the transition to organization, to structure; to fight not only in terms of words, of ideas, but to build the organizational structure. He didn’t do it. But he was making the transition because he realized that the next stage is an organizational stage – that if you want to be free, if you want power, you have got to organize to take it.

When you were just begging the white man to give you something, you didn’t need organization. All you needed was a kneeling pad so that you could kneel down and look humble. But if you want power, you have got to organize to get it – you have got to have political power, you have got to have economic power, you have got to organize. Malcolm realized that, and the feeble beginnings he made in the area of organization were pointing the way. Today we have got to carry on that organizational struggle that Malcolm pointed out.

I was in New York, I went to his headquarters while he was over in Africa, I talked with his lieutenants. They didn’t have the slightest idea of what was going on. They loved Malcolm, and they were sitting in the Hotel Theresa in a suite of rooms, but they didn’t have the slightest conception of how to organize. They were waiting for Brother Malcolm to come home so he could tell them what to do. I said, “My God, one man never carried such a load all by himself! He has men here who are supposed to be doing something and they are sitting there waiting for him to come back.” And they were carrying around his letters – he would write back a letter and they were carrying it around like it was the Bible: “Look, we’ve got a few words from Brother Malcolm.”

He did not want reverence – he wanted people who could do something, who could organize, who believed in action, who were willing to go out and sacrifice; and he didn’t have them. And all of us today – black people, brothers from coast to coast – when we get together and do reverence to Malcolm, let us remember that the last message was organize. We didn’t do it and that is why he died. We didn’t have organization enough to protect him. We didn’t have organization enough to give him funds to do what he had to do. We let him die. The message is the same today, and still we are not organizing, we are not doing the work that has to be done. If you love Brother Malcolm, write your poems at night and organize and work in the daytime for power. Because until you get power, Malcolm X is just a memory. When we get power, we will put his statue in every city, because the cities will belong to us. Then we can do him reverence.

But until we get power, let’s not play with images and myths. Let’s remember that he gave us certain principles, certain ideas, and we have got to do something with them. All of us have the task – to organize, to build, to fight, to get power. And as we get it, as we struggle for it, we will remember that we are struggling because we believe the things that he taught. That is the message of Malcolm, and don’t let anybody get you all mixed up. He never turned into an integrationist, never. He wasn’t fooled in Mecca, he wasn’t fooled in Africa. He told it like it was and he knew it like it was. That is our Malcolm. Some other folks may have another Malcolm – they are welcome to it. But brothers, don’t lose our Malcolm.

>MALCOLM X ! -THE BLACK TRUTH- "MYTHS ABOUT MALCOLM X" BY REV. ALBERT CLEAGE

April 29, 2011

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International Socialist Review, September-October 1967

Rev. Albert Cleage

Myths About Malcolm X:
A Speech

From International Socialist Review, Vol.28 No.5, September-October 1967, pp.33-42.
Mark up: Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.

Rev. Albert Cleage, chairman of the Detroit Inner City Organizing Committee, gave this speech at a memorial meeting for Malcolm X at the Friday Night Socialist Forum in Detroit, February 24, 1967.
You were very kind to ask me to be here.

I am not a Marxist – I don’t pretend to be, I don’t even pretend to know anything about it. I am a black man in a world dominated by white oppression, and that is my total philosophy. I would like to get rid of that oppression, and that is my total objective. So I bring to this occasion rather a simple approach – personal reflections on the significance of Malcolm X.
I can remember a number of occasions when I talked to him, when I was with him, when I spoke on platforms with him; and so I am not indebted to printed material for my impressions of Malcolm X. I remember the last time he was in the city – not so much the speech, which was not one of his best by any means; it reflected, I think, much of the tension that he was under, much of the confusion, the constant living on the brink of violence. But I can remember him backstage, in the Gold Room I think they call it, of Ford Auditorium. Recently he had suffered smoke inhalation, the doctor had given him an injection, he was trying to sleep, he was irritable. But he was here because he had promised to be here, because he thought some people were concerned about what he had to say.
I remember him at the King Solomon Baptist Church on one of the occasions he spoke there – sort of in concealment backstage, constantly harassed with the danger of assassination. And I can remember the occasion at the King Solomon Baptist Church when he gave the Message to the Grass Roots, which I think is his best speech, his most typical statement, and which I personally think is his last will and testament. I remember him, I talked to him, I agreed with him. He was a Muslim, I am a Christian, and yet I can think of no basic matter upon which we disagreed.
Two years after his death Brother Malcolm is more important to more people than he was at any time during his lifetime. I think this is true. Young people who never saw him, who never heard him, speak of him with reverence and say, “I love Malcolm.” This is a
tremendous thing. Older people who heard and saw him select from the things they heard and saw the things they want to remember, or even the things it suits their purpose to remember. This too is quite a thing – that an individual should be important enough to be remembered even with distortions or for reasons not quite only of love.
Brother Malcolm has become a symbol, a dream, a hope, a nostalgia for the past, a mystique, a shadow sometimes without substance, “our shining black prince,” to whom we do obeisance, about whom we write heroic poems. But I think Brother Malcolm the man is in danger of being lost in a vast tissue of distortions which now constitute the Malcolm myth. The Malcolm myth or the Malcolm myths, the complex of myths which more and more tend to cluster about Brother Malcolm, remind us of what happened to Jesus Christ. I think I understand much more now the things that are written and said about Jesus, because I can understand how the life of a man dedicated to people can so easily become a focal point for the things people want to make that life mean.
The Malcolm myth or myths depend for substance upon the last chaotic and confusing year or two of his life – fragmentary statements growing out of his trip to Mecca and his efforts to bring the problems of black people in America to the attention of African leaders. Out of this period of his life comes the confusing complex of myths. According to the myth, his pilgrimage to Mecca turned Brother Malcolm into an integrationist. I’ve heard that seriously stated by people who claim to be scholars and students of the life of Brother Malcolm. In Mecca, they say, he saw blue-eyed whites and blacks worshipping and living together, in love, for the first time in his 39 years – and his whole concept of white people changed. This is the myth. And he rejected his former position that the white man is the enemy and that separation is inescapable. This is the myth.
The implication here is that this new insight changed his orientation; that with this new insight he was now free to join the NAACP, or to sing We Shall Overcome with Martin Luther King, or to become a Marxist and join the Socialist Workers Party. And certainly, if we accept this basic myth as being true, as being fact, if his experience in Mecca changed his conception of white people, then all the implications certainly follow logically. If in terms of his experience in Mecca he came to believe that there is no enmity between black and white, that blacks and whites can march together in unity and brotherhood, then why shouldn’t he join the NAACP, or sing We Shall Overcome, or become a Marxist in the Socialist Workers Party?
I say that is the myth, and from my personal point of view, realizing that we are in the position of the blind man who inspected the elephant and tried to describe what an elephant is, I say I do not believe this myth. I reject it completely, totally and absolutely. I say if Malcolm X, Brother Malcolm, had undergone this kind of transformation, if in Mecca he had decided that blacks and whites can unite, then his life at that moment would have become meaningless in terms of the world struggle of black people, and we would not have any occasion to be here this evening. So I say I do not believe it.
Brother Malcolm knew history and he was guided by his interpretation of history. He interpreted the things that happened to him in terms of his knowledge and his understanding of the past. He would not have been taken in by what happened in Mecca. Brother Malcolm knew that the Arab Muslims had been the backbone of the slave trade. Those of you who have a sentimental attachment to the “Black Muslims” in America, or the Muslims that happen to be black, might not like to remember that the slave trade with black Africans in Africa was fostered, encouraged and carried on by the Arab Muslims in Africa. Brother Malcolm knew this. He would not have been taken in by the window dressing in Mecca. He would not have forgotten this important fact – that blacks and whites do not unite above the basic fact of race, of color. He would not have forgotten this in Mecca any more than in New York or Chicago or San Francisco. He knew that in Saudi Arabia they are still selling black Africans into slavery, they still make forays into Black Africa and bring back black slaves for sale in Arab Muslim countries. Brother Malcolm knew this. And to me it is preposterous to say that in Mecca he became an integrationist.
Also, according to the myth, Brother Malcolm tried to internationalize the black man’s struggle in America. Certainly he brought the black man’s struggle to the attention of African leaders. The implication is that Brother Malcolm felt that the black man in Africa could help us through the United Nations and that we would be better off before the white man’s World Court than before the white man’s Supreme Court. I do not believe it. Malcolm knew that one cracker court is just like another cracker court. He knew it, I know it and you know it. And to say now that he came to the conclusion that, if he could get the black man’s problem in America before the World Court, it would somehow mysteriously be changed and transformed is ridiculous. To take it before the World Court would have been interesting – but certainly no solution. We are no more apt to get justice before the World Court than before the Recorder’s Court downtown here in the city of Detroit. Crackers run both of them.
Don’t be afraid, brothers, don’t be afraid – I am not hurting the image of Malcolm. I am just’trying to save it, because you are about to lose it, you are about to forget what Malcolm said. By taking the last moments of confusion, when he was getting ready to be assassinated, and saying that the confused little statements he made in those last moments were his life – that’s a lie, that wasn’t his life. I heard him, I talked to him, I know what his life was, and he understood the relationship between blacks and whites.
Certainly Brother Malcolm wanted to relate our struggle, the struggle of black people in America, to the struggle of black people everywhere. I say to the struggle of black people everywhere, because
that is a struggle that he understood, that I understand and that you understand. I am not talking about relating it to the struggle of oppressed people everywhere, but relating it to the struggle of black people everywhere. But he expected little help from the Africans and the African nations. Malcolm wasn’t running around Africa thinking that the African nations were going to free us. Malcolm wasn’t that kind of an idiotic idealist. He went to our black brothers because they were our brothers. He talked to them about our problems because their problems are our problems, and we are as concerned about their problems as we want them to be about our problems. But he didn’t go to Africa expecting them to free us.
Sometimes we forget that, and we sit around waiting for somebody in Africa to send somebody over here to free us – “like Malcolm said they were going to.” He never said it and they are never going to do it. If you are going to be free, you are going to free yourself, and that is what Malcolm told us. The African nations can’t free us, they can’t save us. They couldn’t save Lumumba in Africa, they couldn’t wreak vengeance upon those who perpetrated his death in Africa. They couldn’t save the Congo; they couldn’t save the black people of Rhodesia; they couldn’t free the black people of South Africa. Then why should we sit here in our own oppression, our own suffering, our own brutality, waiting for some mysterious transformation when black armies from Africa are coming over here and free us? They could use some black armies from over here to free them.
Malcolm never said it, and don’t be misled by the statement that Malcolm tried to internationalize the black man’s struggle. He tried to tell us quite simply that the white man has given you hell here in the United States and he is giving black men hell all over the world. It is one struggle – black men fighting for freedom everywhere, in every country, in the United States, in Africa, in Vietnam, everywhere. Black men fighting against white men for freedom. He tried to tell you that the white man is not going to free you. I don’t care what persuasion or philosophy he has, he is not going to free you, because if he frees you, he must take something away from himself to give it to you.
Funny how we can so easily forget what Malcolm said. I don’t believe it. Certainly he wanted to relate it to the black man’s struggle throughout the world. He knew we were struggling against the same enemy. He knew that we could expect no more justice from the World Court than from a Supreme Court. So much for the Malcolm myth.
Brother Malcolm’s contribution is tremendous. What Brother Malcolm contributed to the black man’s struggle in America and throughout the world cannot be equaled or surpassed by the life of any man. Oh, we can think of individuals like Marcus Garvey. When he looked at the world and said, “Where is the black man’s government?” it was tremendous. Because he understood that the black man was engaged in a struggle against an enemy, and that if he was engaged
in a struggle there were certain things that were necessary – he had to have power, he had to have a government, he had to have economies, he had to have certain things. Marcus Garvey understood it. But no man surpasses Malcolm in his understanding of the meaning of the struggle in which black people are engaged everywhere in the world. And there was no subterfuge or confusion or weak-kneed pussyfooting in Malcolm as long as he lived.
I want to tell you this: we get all confused because we don’t know who assassinated him. I don’t believe that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad assassinated him. You believe whatever you want to, I do not believe it. And because we get confused about who assassinated him, we say there was never any good in Elijah Muhammad or the “Black Muslims.” I don’t believe that either. I believe that the basic truths that Malcolm X taught came from the basic philosophy and teachings of Elijah Muhammad. I believe that the basic contribution which he made, the basic philosophy which he taught, stems directly from the teachings of Elijah Muhammad and the “Black Muslims.” I do not accept all the teachings of Elijah Muhammad or the “Black Muslims,” but I understand what Malcolm X did to those teachings. He took the teachings of a cult, with all the mythology of the “Black Muslims,” and universalized them so that black people everywhere, no matter what their religion, could understand them and could accept them.
I can accept the teachings which he abstracted from the cult philosophy and mythology of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. I do not believe in the story about Yacub and creating the white man as the devil in 6,000 years, but that has nothing to do with the essential truth. I do not believe that the white man is the devil. He does devilish things, but I don’t believe that he is a devil. Because to say that he is a devil is to say that he is more than human, and I don’t believe that. You know that in the Christian religion the devil was flung out of heaven; he was an angel, he was more than a man, and to believe that the white man is a devil is to attribute to him supernatural powers. That is a cult mystique. There is nothing about the white man that is supernatural. He is just exactly like we are – that’s why we can understand him so well. There is nothing mysterious about what he does. He wasn’t condemned to be a devil for 6,000 years – he just acts like a devil because it suits his purpose, and he mistreats us, he oppresses us, he’s brutal to us, because it’s in his interest – not because he is a devil.
It is closer to the truth to say that he is a beast, and that is what Malcolm said. You would like to forget that now, but every time I talked to him, he referred to the white man as a beast. And those of you who are white here will agree with him that most white people are beasts – you can’t deny it. On the basis of the way the white man has treated black men in America and throughout the world for 400 years, you cannot deny that he certainly had a truth there when he said that the white man is a beast. But not a devil. A beast is lower than a man, a devil is higher than a man. Certainly the white man is not a devil, but he is in many instances a beast.
Malcolm was different when he was in the “Black Muslims.” You have got to remember that too – he had a power base then. You know, as quiet as it is kept, it is one thing to operate out of something, to talk out of something, to have something behind you when you go into a town or a city – to go knowing that there are people there who are preparing things for you. It is another thing to step out by yourself and try to go around the country without a power base, without any protection, without any organization in front. And that was the difference when Malcolm X stepped out of the Muslim movement and became an individual. Then he faced the harassment, the danger, the confusion and everything in these last years that those who want to distort Malcolm X want to make so much out of. At the beginning, when he was with the Muslims, there was a power base from which he operated, a philosophical foundation upon which he could build. And he built well and he operated well in terms of a power base. He abstracted the general truths that we still remember. And these things we have got to preserve – we have got to preserve, brothers, I’m telling you, we have got to preserve.
We have a great tendency to turn our leaders over to somebody else. Who is the custodian of Malcolm’s tradition? Who is the custodian? (Voice from audience: “We are.”) But we aren’t acting like it. You know who the custodian is, don’t you? – there he sits, right there. If Mr. Breitman stopped writing, nobody would write anything. And he’s doing it in terms of what he believes is a proper interpretation. If we want to preserve our heroes, we have to become the custodians of that tradition. Who is the custodian of DuBois? Black people? No, we don’t have one thing that he wrote. The Communist Party has it, and they will let us read what they want us to read. I’m talking to you black brothers, I don’t care what the rest of these people think. We have got to become the custodians of our own heroes and save them and interpret them the way we want them interpreted. And if you don’t do it, then you have to accept what somebody else says they said. Who is the custodian of Paul Robeson? (Voice from audience: “The Communists.”) All right, we don’t have it. The great things he said, all of the things – where are they? The CIA has taken over perhaps all of the African Encyclopedia that DuBois was working on in Ghana. Nobody knows where it is. We don’t protect these things. We are careless and we get caught up in the myths that other people spin for us. In another five years our children won’t know what Malcolm X was really like. Because we won’t write it down, and everything that is written that they can put their hands on will be saying that Malcolm X said something he never said, that Malcolm X meant something he never meant.
I say Malcolm X was tremendously important, beyond even our comprehension today, because Malcolm changed the whole course of the black man’s freedom struggle – the whole course of that freedom struggle not only in America but throughout the world. Black people everywhere in Africa, in the United States, everywhere, black people are fighting today a different battle than they fought before Malcolm began to talk. A different battle because Malcolm laid down certain basic principles that we can never forget. He changed the whole course. The first basic principle that Malcolm laid down that we can’t forget is this: The white man is your enemy. That is a basic principle, we can’t forget it. I don’t care what else they drag in from wherever they drag it – remember one thing, Malcolm X taught one truth: The white man is our enemy. We can’t get away from it, and if we accept and understand that one basic truth, his life was not lived in vain. Because upon that one basic truth we can build a total philosophy, a total course of action for struggle. Because that was the basic confusion which distorted the lives of black people, which corrupted the movements of black people. That was the basic area of our confusion, and Malcolm X straightened that out.
The white man is an enemy – he said it. We must break our identification with him, and that was his basic contribution. He didn’t just say it, he didn’t sit off someplace and just write it – he went out and he lived it. He asked for moments of confrontation. He said we have got to break our identification, we can’t go through life identifying with the white man or his government. You remember what he said down there at King Solomon Baptist Church: You talk about “your” navy and “your” astronauts. He said forget it, we don’t identify with these people, they are the enemy. And that is the basic truth. We must break our identification with the enemy, we must confront him, and we must realize that conflict and violence are necessary parts of a struggle against an enemy – that is what he taught. Conflict, struggle and violence are not to be avoided. Don’t be afraid of them – you heard what he said. There has got to be some bloodshed, he said, if black men want to be free – that is what he taught. Now you can’t take that and say that he believed in blacks and whites marching together. He said black men have got to be willing to shed their blood because they believe that they can be free. The white man is an enemy.
We must take pride in ourselves – you know that is what he said. But he didn’t make a mystique out of Africa. He didn’t sit down in a corner and contemplate his navel and think about the wonders of Africa. He said we have a history that we can be proud of. Africa is our history, African blood is our blood, African soil is our soil. We can take pride in our past – not by sitting down and contemplating it, but by using it as the basis for a course of action in today’s world, as a basis for confrontation with the enemy, as a basis for struggle, for conflict, and even for violence, if necessary. We fight because we are proud; and because we are proud, we are not going to lie down and crawl like snakes on our bellies. We are not going to take second-class citizenship sitting down, saying, “Well, in a few years maybe things will change.” We want to change it now. That is what Malcolm told us, that is what we believe, and that is the basis of our struggle today.
A corollary of that, which you must understand and which is essentially Malcolm’s contribution, is that integration is impossible and undesirable. Integration is impossible – he said it time and time and time again, under all kinds of circumstances – integration is impossible and undesirable. Now this was harder for black people to take than for white people. Because white people never wanted it in the first place, and were determined that it would never come to pass in the second place. But black people had been led to believe that it was a possibility, always just around the corner. So black people had pegged all of their organizational efforts toward integration. We sang We Shall Overcome Someday, believing that overcoming meant integrating. The NAACP pegged its whole program on the possibilities of integration. We are going to build an integrated world, we are going to build a world in which black people and white people live together, we are going to build an integrated world – that is what Dr. Martin Luther King said. “I’ve got a dream for America tonight, a dream when the children of slaves shall walk hand-in-hand with the children of slavemasters.” And we believed it until Malcolm X told us it is a lie. And that is a genuine contribution – it is a lie.
You will never walk hand-in-hand with anybody but black people, let me tell you. If you do, it is just a moment of mutual hypocrisy in which you are both engaged, for some purpose best known to yourselves. You may build a position of strength, a position of power from which you can negotiate with strength instead of weakness, and if you are willing to negotiate, then you can talk to the white man as an equal. That is as close to brotherhood as there is – there is no other brotherhood. If you talk to a man as an equal, he is your brother. But there is no other kind of equal. You cannot get down on your knees and talk up to a man and talk about brotherhood. Because you stopped being a brother when you got down on your knees. And if you are afraid to get up and look him in the eye and take a chance of getting killed if necessary, then there is no hope of brotherhood for you. Integration is impossible and undesirable – Malcolm taught it.
We have our own communities. The white man “gave” them to us. He forced us into them. He separated himself from us. And white people went all around the country all the time Malcolm was alive, saying, “He wants separation.” They had separated themselves from us in every area of life, and yet they said, “He is bad, he is wicked, he wants separation.” And if he had asked for integration seriously, they would have killed him more quickly.
He said we are going to control these separate communities. We have them, the white man “gave” them to us, and we are going to stop being ashamed of them. We are going to live in them and we are going to make them the best communities in the world. We are going to make the schools in them black schools and good schools. We are going to make our housing black housing and good housing. We are no longer going to believe that a block is no good till a white man comes and buys a house on it. We are no longer going to believe that if we can move into a community where half of the people on the street are white, that that is a better community. We are going to take our separate communities, we are going to work with them, we are going to control them, we are going to control their politics, we are going to control their economy – we are going to control our community.
Malcolm X laid the entire foundation for everything Stokely Carmichael says. Stokely hasn’t said one word that was not completely implicit in everything that Malcolm X taught. He is just a voice carrying on upon the basic foundation that Malcolm X put down. Integration is impossible and undesirable. We are going to control our own communities. We are going to stop worrying about being separate. We are not worried about busing black children into white neighborhoods. We are not worried about open occupancy, except that we want the right to live any place, and unless we are given that right, we will take it. And when we take it, we will still live together, because we do not want to live with you. That is a philosophy, that is Malcolm X’s philosophy. We have learned it, we still remember it, and there is nothing you can do today to take it away from us. But I’m telling you, brothers, we have got to write it down because they are about to mess it up so we won’t recognize it next year.
The whole civil rights movement has changed. The NAACP is washed up, through, finished. The Urban League is nothing but the social service agency it started out to be. The civil rights movement now is nothing but Stokely Carmichael and Floyd McKissick – that’s it. Because they got the message. They are building today on what Malcolm said yesterday. The civil rights movement, the freedom struggle, the revolution – call it what you will – black men fighting for freedom today are fighting in terms laid down by Brother Malcolm. No other terms. You can’t go out into the community – the brother here said “let’s go out into the community” – you can’t go out into the community with anything other than what Malcolm X taught. Because they won’t listen to you, they won’t hear you.
The whole movement has changed. The last great picnic, as Floyd McKissick said, on the White House lawn, that “great freedom march” – that was the end, that was it. From here on in, black people are trying to build, to organize. Malcolm in his last days was trying to make the transition to organization, to structure; to fight not only in terms of words, of ideas, but to build the organizational structure. He didn’t do it. But he was making the transition because he realized that the next stage is an organizational stage – that if you want to be free, if you want power, you have got to organize to take it.
When you were just begging the white man to give you something, you didn’t need organization. All you needed was a kneeling pad so that you could kneel down and look humble. But if you want power, you have got to organize to get it – you have got to have political power, you have got to have economic power, you have got to organize. Malcolm realized that, and the feeble beginnings he made in the area of organization were pointing the way. Today we have got to carry on that organizational struggle that Malcolm pointed out.
I was in New York, I went to his headquarters while he was over in Africa, I talked with his lieutenants. They didn’t have the slightest idea of what was going on. They loved Malcolm, and they were sitting in the Hotel Theresa in a suite of rooms, but they didn’t have the slightest conception of how to organize. They were waiting for Brother Malcolm to come home so he could tell them what to do. I said, “My God, one man never carried such a load all by himself! He has men here who are supposed to be doing something and they are sitting there waiting for him to come back.” And they were carrying around his letters – he would write back a letter and they were carrying it around like it was the Bible: “Look, we’ve got a few words from Brother Malcolm.”
He did not want reverence – he wanted people who could do something, who could organize, who believed in action, who were willing to go out and sacrifice; and he didn’t have them. And all of us today – black people, brothers from coast to coast – when we get together and do reverence to Malcolm, let us remember that the last message was organize. We didn’t do it and that is why he died. We didn’t have organization enough to protect him. We didn’t have organization enough to give him funds to do what he had to do. We let him die. The message is the same today, and still we are not organizing, we are not doing the work that has to be done. If you love Brother Malcolm, write your poems at night and organize and work in the daytime for power. Because until you get power, Malcolm X is just a memory. When we get power, we will put his statue in every city, because the cities will belong to us. Then we can do him reverence.
But until we get power, let’s not play with images and myths. Let’s remember that he gave us certain principles, certain ideas, and we have got to do something with them. All of us have the task – to organize, to build, to fight, to get power. And as we get it, as we struggle for it, we will remember that we are struggling because we believe the things that he taught. That is the message of Malcolm, and don’t let anybody get you all mixed up. He never turned into an integrationist, never. He wasn’t fooled in Mecca, he wasn’t fooled in Africa. He told it like it was and he knew it like it was. That is our Malcolm. Some other folks may have another Malcolm – they are welcome to it. But brothers, don’t lose our Malcolm.
 

Myths About Malcolm X: Two ViewsThe Black Ghetto; Preface By Rev. Albert B. Cleage, Jr., Introduction By James Shabazzhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=bib-05-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0805083359&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

MALCOLM X SAID IT IN 1964-WE ARE NOT AMERIKKKANS BLACK PEOPLE, WE ARE VICTIMS OF AMERICA AND STILL IN THE AGE OF OBAMA THIS IS STILL TRUE MORE THAN EVER!- GET BACK TO YOUR TRUE BLACK SELVES- STOP BEING 21ST CENTURY SLAVES IN AMERIKKKA AND GET BACK TO AFRICA- CULTURALLY,MORALLY,AND FINALLY PHYSICALLY IF YOU WANT TO BE TRULY FREE-AS YOU CAN NEVER BE EXCEPT IN THE BLACK MAN’S LAND!

April 25, 2011

AT MARTIN LUTHER KING PRESS CONFERENCE,1964

http://www.primarysourcebook.com/modern/malcolm-x-speech-in-ghana

Malcolm X Speech in Ghana
Posted by Auron Renius on Thursday, December 23, 2010 Under: Speeches

Malcolm X was an African-American Muslim minister famous for his outspoken stile of public speaking on civil rights. Always controversial, many saw him as a hero who courageously fought against the crimes of white America against African Americans, while others saw him as an advocate of racism, black supremacy and violence. This is an excerpt from a speech given by Malcolm X on the 13th May, 1964 at the University of Ghana;

Image Source

I intend for my talk to be very informal, because our position in America is an informal position, [Laughter] and I find that it is very difficult to use formal terms to describe a very informal position. No condition of any people on earth is more deplorable than the condition, or plight, of the twenty-two million Black people in America. And our condition is so deplorable because we are in a country that professes to be a democracy and professes to be striving to give justice and freedom and equality to everyone who is born under its constitution.

If we were born in South Africa or in Angola or some part of this earth where they don’t profess to be for freedom, that would be another thing; but when we are born in a country that stands up and represents itself as the leader of the Free World, and you still have to beg and crawl just to get a chance to drink a cup of coffee, then the condition is very deplorable indeed.
‘A victim of Americanism’
So tonight, so that you will understand me and why I speak as I do, it should probably be pointed out at the outset that I am not a politician. I don’t know anything about politics. I’m from America but I’m not an American. I didn’t go there of my own free choice. [Applause] If I were an American there would be no problem, there’d be no need for legislation or civil rights or anything else.

So I just try to face the fact as it actually is and come to this meeting as one of the victims of America, one of the victims of Americanism, one of the victims of democracy, one of the victims of a very hypocritical system that is going all over this earth today representing itself as being qualified to tell other people how to run their country when they can’t get the dirty things that are going on in their own country straightened out. [Applause]

So if someone else from America comes to you to speak, they’re probably speaking as Americans, and they speak as people who see America through the eyes of an American. And usually those types of persons refer to America, or that which exists in America, as the American Dream. But for the twenty million of us in America who are of African descent, it is not an American dream; it’s an American nightmare. [Laughter]

Image Source

I don’t feel that I am a visitor in Ghana or in any part of Africa. I feel that I am at home. I’ve been away for four hundred years, [Laughter] but not of my own volition, not of my own will. Our people didn’t go to America on the Queen Mary, we didn’t go by Pan American, and we didn’t go to America on the Mayflower. We went in slave ships, we went in chains. We weren’t immigrants to America, we were cargo for purposes of a system that was bent upon making a profit. So this is the category or level of which I speak. I may not speak it in the language many of you would use, but I think you will understand the meaning of my terms.

When I was in Ibadan [in Nigeria] at the University of Ibadan last Friday night, the students there gave me a new name, which I go for—meaning I like it. [Laughter] Omowale, which they say means in Yoruba—if I am pronouncing that correctly, and if I am not pronouncing it correctly it’s because I haven’t had a chance to pronounce it for four hundred years [Laughter]—which means in that dialect, The child has returned.

It was an honor for me to be referred to as a child who had sense enough to return to the land of his forefathers—to his fatherland and to his motherland. Not sent back here by the State Department, [Laughter] but come back here of my own free will. [Applause]

I am happy and I imagine, since it is the policy that whenever a Black man leaves America and travels in any part of Africa, or Asia, or Latin America and says things contrary to what the American propaganda machine turns out, usually he finds upon his return home that his passport is lifted. Well, if they had not wanted me to say the things I am saying, they should never have given me a passport in the first place. The policy usually is the lifting of the passport. Now I am not here to condemn America, I am not here to make America look bad, but I am here to tell you the truth about the situation that Black people in America find themselves confronted with. And if truth condemns America, then she stands condemned. [Applause]

Image Source

This is the most beautiful continent that I’ve ever seen; it’s the richest continent I’ve ever seen, and strange as it may seem, I find many white Americans here smiling in the faces of our African brothers like they have been loving them all of the time. [Laughter and applause]

Source: hartford-hwp.com

>MALCOLM X SAID IT IN 1964 AND WE ARE STILL SLAVES IN AMERIKKKA- "I’M NOT AN AMERICAN,I’M A VICTIM OF AMERICANCISM!"-YES EVEN WITH OBAMA THERE!-WAKE UP BLACK PEOPLE AND GET BACK TO YOUR TRUE BLACK SELVES AND BLACK FREEDOM ONLY AVAILABLE IN THE BLACK MAN’S LAND-AFRICA!

April 25, 2011

>

http://www.primarysourcebook.com/modern/malcolm-x-speech-in-ghana

Malcolm X Speech in Ghana

Posted by Auron Renius on Thursday, December 23, 2010 Under: Speeches

Malcolm X was an African-American Muslim minister famous for his outspoken stile of public speaking on civil rights. Always controversial, many saw him as a hero who courageously fought against the crimes of white America against African Americans, while others saw him as an advocate of racism, black supremacy and violence. This is an excerpt from a speech given by Malcolm X on the 13th May, 1964 at the University of Ghana;

I intend for my talk to be very informal, because our position in America is an informal position, [Laughter] and I find that it is very difficult to use formal terms to describe a very informal position. No condition of any people on earth is more deplorable than the condition, or plight, of the twenty-two million Black people in America. And our condition is so deplorable because we are in a country that professes to be a democracy and professes to be striving to give justice and freedom and equality to everyone who is born under its constitution.

If we were born in South Africa or in Angola or some part of this earth where they don’t profess to be for freedom, that would be another thing; but when we are born in a country that stands up and represents itself as the leader of the Free World, and you still have to beg and crawl just to get a chance to drink a cup of coffee, then the condition is very deplorable indeed.

‘A victim of Americanism’

So tonight, so that you will understand me and why I speak as I do, it should probably be pointed out at the outset that I am not a politician. I don’t know anything about politics. I’m from America but I’m not an American. I didn’t go there of my own free choice. [Applause] If I were an American there would be no problem, there’d be no need for legislation or civil rights or anything else.

So I just try to face the fact as it actually is and come to this meeting as one of the victims of America, one of the victims of Americanism, one of the victims of democracy, one of the victims of a very hypocritical system that is going all over this earth today representing itself as being qualified to tell other people how to run their country when they can’t get the dirty things that are going on in their own country straightened out. [Applause]

So if someone else from America comes to you to speak, they’re probably speaking as Americans, and they speak as people who see America through the eyes of an American. And usually those types of persons refer to America, or that which exists in America, as the American Dream. But for the twenty million of us in America who are of African descent, it is not an American dream; it’s an American nightmare. [Laughter]

I don’t feel that I am a visitor in Ghana or in any part of Africa. I feel that I am at home. I’ve been away for four hundred years, [Laughter] but not of my own volition, not of my own will. Our people didn’t go to America on the Queen Mary, we didn’t go by Pan American, and we didn’t go to America on the Mayflower. We went in slave ships, we went in chains. We weren’t immigrants to America, we were cargo for purposes of a system that was bent upon making a profit. So this is the category or level of which I speak. I may not speak it in the language many of you would use, but I think you will understand the meaning of my terms.

When I was in Ibadan [in Nigeria] at the University of Ibadan last Friday night, the students there gave me a new name, which I go for—meaning I like it. [Laughter] Omowale, which they say means in Yoruba—if I am pronouncing that correctly, and if I am not pronouncing it correctly it’s because I haven’t had a chance to pronounce it for four hundred years [Laughter]—which means in that dialect, The child has returned.

It was an honor for me to be referred to as a child who had sense enough to return to the land of his forefathers—to his fatherland and to his motherland. Not sent back here by the State Department, [Laughter] but come back here of my own free will. [Applause]

I am happy and I imagine, since it is the policy that whenever a Black man leaves America and travels in any part of Africa, or Asia, or Latin America and says things contrary to what the American propaganda machine turns out, usually he finds upon his return home that his passport is lifted. Well, if they had not wanted me to say the things I am saying, they should never have given me a passport in the first place. The policy usually is the lifting of the passport. Now I am not here to condemn America, I am not here to make America look bad, but I am here to tell you the truth about the situation that Black people in America find themselves confronted with. And if truth condemns America, then she stands condemned. [Applause]

This is the most beautiful continent that I’ve ever seen; it’s the richest continent I’ve ever seen, and strange as it may seem, I find many white Americans here smiling in the faces of our African brothers like they have been loving them all of the time. [Laughter and applause]

Source: hartford-hwp.com

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NIGERIA! – GOD HAS GIVEN NIGERIA A GREAT LEADER- AARE GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN-FROM CANOE-CARVER’S SON TO COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF” BY TOLU OGUNLESI IN NEXT NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA

April 22, 2011

OMO OLUWA- GOODLUCK AND OBAMA!

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(ON)GOING CONCERNS: From canoe-carver’s son to commander-in-chief

By Tolu Ogunlesi

April 19, 2011 11:00PM
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Come with me to 1998. Let’s meet Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, assistant director, Environmental Protection and Pollution Control at the Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission in Port Harcourt, “earning small, small kobo that kept him going” (as his father once told the Guardian in an interview). Seven years later, the civil servant is governor of oil-rich Bayelsa. Five years after that, he is the president of Nigeria. All this happens without him contesting any election on his own.

Now, on May 29, 2011, Mr Jonathan will be sworn in as the fourth democratically elected executive president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He will go into the beckoning epoch clutching a string of firsts: At 53, the youngest civilian president of Nigeria at first swearing-in (Shagari was 54). The first Nigerian vice president to go on to be president. The first Nigerian to rise from deputy governor to governor to vice president to president. (What are the chances of that happening in the wildly unpredictable political system we run in this country?) Nigeria’s first PhD-holding president. Nigeria’s first “Facebook president”. The second most popular head of state alive, on Facebook. The first Nigerian president to grant a campaign interview to a hiphop star. The first Nigerian politician to debate himself in a nationally televised political debate. The first civilian president of Nigeria to come from a minority ethnic group.

Let’s think for a moment about the hurdles the man has had to cross on his way from civil servant to president. First, he survived the deputy governorship. The key word there is ‘survived’. Blessed is the man who had the good sense to call a spade a spade: deputy governors are “spare tyres” in Nigeria. If you doubt that Mr Jonathan ‘survived’ six years of deputy governorship, ask Orji Uzor Kalu’s deputies. Ask Kofo Bucknor Akerele and Femi Pedro. Ask Garba Gadi in Bauchi State. Ask Peremobowei Ebebi, the man who succeeded Jonathan as deputy governor in Bayelsa.

In many cases, the deputy governorship is a terminal illness for a politician’s career. But as fate, or luck, would have it, in Jonathan’s case, the spare tyre bucked the trend and ended up, not as a tool for lynch mobs, but as the steering wheel.

And then he survived a colourless vice presidency. When the Americans, obsessed as they are with list-making, compiled a confidential list of Nigeria’s most influential persons in 2008, a year into his vice presidency, Jonathan’s name was absent. This was barely three years ago.

You only need to see how many ‘godfathers’ have fallen by the wayside (especially on Jonathan’s ‘second missionary journey’ to Aso Rock) to realise that ‘goodluck’ is more than just a name. James Ibori, said to be one of the biggest financial contributors to the Yar’Adua campaign, is today preparing for a long jail term abroad. Ibrahim Babangida, a million times more powerful than Jonathan until a year ago, last week announced his retirement from politics.

Adamu Ciroma is a tired ethnic chauvinist; the final nail in his coffin was the collapse of his consensus candidacy project. Bode George is an ex-convict. PDP chieftain, Tony Anenih’s state is in the hands of the ACN. Olusegun Obasanjo’s state will soon be. Abubakar Atiku couldn’t even deliver his own state during the PDP primaries. Lamidi Adedibu is three years dead.

I think we may safely conclude that Mr Jonathan could, if he so chooses, easily become ‘Godfatherless Jonathan’. I am indeed very optimistic about the future of Nigeria under a Jonathan presidency. Last August, I said Mr Jonathan was “a breath of fresh air”. I was referring to his social networking strategy. (I’d like to believe that was what inspired the “breath of fresh air” campaign slogan of the president)

Today, I will stretch my claim further, and declare that Mr Jonathan is potentially a breath of fresh air to the way presidential leadership is conducted in Africa. I think we are looking at the man destined to, not only tackle long-standing problems like power supply and poverty, but also bring far-reaching reform to Africa’s largest and most messed-up political party, the PDP.

He is not a perfect man. Certainly not. He hasn’t got Bill Clinton’s charm or Barack Obama’s speaking skills or Mr Obasanjo’s sense of humour. But he offers something else: an endearing calmness, a modesty that is rare with Nigeria’s ‘Big Men’, and a seemingly sincere desire to engage with the people he’s ruling.

The task ahead is daunting. I do not envy the son of a canoe-carver who’s now sitting in a ‘canoe’ atop one of the most tumultuous waters in the world — the presidency of that bundle of contradictions called Nigeria. I, however, wholeheartedly wish him Godspeed. I will repeat the words with which I ended my column, “Goodluck, Goodwill and Goodsense”, published almost exactly a year ago (April 19, 2010):

“Yesterday you were Goodluck Jonathan. Today you are Goodwill Jonathan. Now you must strive to be Goodsense Jonathan, in whose hands the destiny of a nation lies.”

So help him God. Amen.
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Reader Comments (32)

Posted by daniel on Apr 20 2011

dont be afraid add this;first elected southerner.first elected minority nigerian tribe outside of the former “big” three(if such a thing still exists after this elections!).a man of many firsts.let us hope that in performance he bests obasanjo and yardua…..which wont be that hard as all he has to do is stay alive and not cavort with daughter in laws.

Posted by King on Apr 20 2011

Very well written. I love journalism of this nature – you took the time to research the FACTS before writing this. Awesome. Yes, Jonathan has done well. I am confident too that he will continue to do well. He’s indeed a “breath of fresh air”, as you have rightly said. Like you, I wish him Goodspeed or like my wife would always wish me – GodLuck!

Posted by Anjibobo on Apr 20 2011

I am cautiously optimistic myself and I am glad our brothers in the Niger Delta will now “cool body” since one of their own is now the President. The peace and stability this will bring is my greatest joy since this will foster the enabling environment for us to keep making progress. I didn’t vote for him, but I am happy with the result. I wish him and Nigeria continued Good Luck!

Posted by ego on Apr 20 2011

@Daniel, first southerner to be elected? you make me laugh. I guess Obasanjo is from the North then @Tolu, great that you are so hopeful. But you forgot to add that he is the first president to waste the nations resources by spending billions of naira in a desperate attempt to remain president, you forget also that he is the first president where bomb blasts and terrorism became synonymous to Nigeria and he duly ignored the problem. No one has been paraded or convicted as yet. The truth is that he has no clue and stumbled unprepared into the presidency. Now he has the peoples mandate, i hope he gets some goodsense. I am not that hopeful, but i pray i am proved wrong.

Posted by Ebi Bozimo on Apr 20 2011

Tolu, your writing continues to evolve in elegance and excellence. This is a PHENOMENAL take on President elect Goodluck Jonathan in the context of Nigeria at this turbulent time.

Posted by paquito bites on Apr 20 2011

@ego.i did not vote for anyone ,i could’nt and if i could i would have chosen our man from the north but i do rejoice with the nation in juno’s victory.i may be as cynical as you but i’m afraid we can do with a huge dose of optimism to move forward.i am not interested in the firsts but glad in the knowledge that he has the mandate of the people and not the godfathers.pres juno can literally clear his cabinent jettison his vultures all in the need of change and still withstand the tremors.he ought to do that to send the right message to the people of nigeria.his task is formidable as we witness the geopolitical tsunamis around the world.we need a competent leader to face up to the resource challenges of the west and china for that is the issues of the day.we the developing nations are pawns in the chess game but with strong leadership we may get to bishop status.may the lord give him the wisdom to get us to BRINCS,that will be the ultimate accolade and the real first that will make sense to all nigerians.good morning.

Posted by kola on Apr 20 2011

Well written. Jonathan was not my choice at the presidential elections, but he seems to be Nigeria’s choice. I have never seen Jonathan in this light, perhaps because there was so much darkness around him. His calmness and modesty are necessary, but not sufficient conditions for Nigeria’s take off to ‘self sustained growth’. However, I wish him all the best. It is now time to settle down to the task of nation building. God bless Nigeria

Posted by Usman Ahmed on Apr 20 2011

@ego, what ever it is we must be positive since the man is now the president and our collective destinies are in his hands. With respect to the bomb blast, I thought Orkah is on trial in SA (his case was heard yesterday and more charges have been drawn up against him) for it while his broda and others are on trial in Nigeria

Posted by Augustine Togonu-Bickersteth on Apr 20 2011

Good write up. Something to be optimistic about. Yes Jonathan sits ina Canoe and you do not have to teach an Ijaw boat man the physics of a capsizing Canoe. I hope as his paddles the canoe would move forward. Some paddle here , Paddla there but the Canoe stays still.

Posted by Donlaz on Apr 20 2011

Good piece Tolu, keep doing great job man!

Posted by Ayat-owo on Apr 20 2011

Perfect piece. I wish him well. Destiny is God’s Pathway for us and I think Godluck sees his clearly well. May he not disappoint us for all the support

Posted by Dele. on Apr 20 2011

I hope the president realises he is a NATIONAL consensus -president….

Posted by Olatoye Joy on Apr 20 2011

I wish him goodsense too, and may his ending better than his beginning in Jesus name. amen

Posted by seun on Apr 20 2011

@ego,i feel ur cynicism and somehow am not happy about the way money was spent campaigning for the election.i do however feel that to a large extent,Jega did a good job,i also believe soon enough, we wouldnt have to be an ‘otokoto’ or ‘imcumbent whatever’ to run for a political post in Nigeria.am also optimistic that we shall have the best republic ever,chiefly because its not an all PDP parliament.lets truly hope that the presence of many parties will add spice to national debates.Godspeed Nigeria!

Posted by Kingsley on Apr 20 2011

Isn’t it rather early to be bootlicking Tolu? Let us have light first before the apotheosis begins eh.

Posted by Nene on Apr 20 2011

Yes Tolu, I think it’s too early to be boot-licking and I am disappointed in this piece. You, of all people should not come on here and be praising Jonathan, he’s such a dumb-wit and a numb-skull, he has no idea what presidency is about.

Posted by MC on Apr 20 2011

@ego, spot on!

Posted by Ade on Apr 20 2011

My Dear Tolu. I have sent you an email already to express my sadness at your email. Jonathan was imposed on us by the powers that be? Obasanjo groomed him from the very beginning. He has mismanaged our funds in the last 1 year. He has absolutely no clue about how to fix Nigeria – economy, power, terrorism, etc. Nothing will change – it is going to business as usual. Our legislators and ministers will remain the highest paid in the world, looting will continue, power, unemployment and economy will remain ‘story lands’. I pray these wont happen but I have lost my usual optimism about this country.

Posted by Chinna on Apr 20 2011

Why all the adulation? We could congratulate a man for winning, but our writer should not start singing praises until we see performance on the job. What’s the hurry to ingratiate one’s self with GEJ?

Posted by akin Jenkins on Apr 20 2011

awesome piece mate, was trying to explain all u just wrote to a couple of my Dutch colleagues, thanks for saving me the trouble. Nice piece

Posted by Toni Kay on Apr 20 2011

My Dear Tolu, I really appreciate the good work u did with this article. It was thoroughly researched and to the point. Goodluck era is a new era for us Nigerians and we shall be proud now to say we are Nigerians amongst the Committees of nations. As for all those that do not believe in this slogan then they should bang their heads on the wall. Nigerians voted Goodluck and not PDP so that that luck will follow them. Adieus Ciroma, Buhari, Anenih, Maduekes, Nnamani. This is our time o.

Posted by paquito bites on Apr 20 2011

much as i do not hold brief for juno,i can tell all of those that have jumped down tolu’s throat that the change is already upon us.we have experienced a more savvy electorate.this has reflected the results of the polls.in addition to that we have changes occuring across the african continent and nigeria will not be an exception to this change of peoples power.see recent events in kenya and uganda and closer to home burkina faso.pres jonathan has a huge task and will not be in a position to shy away from his duties not with a weaker position in the house.we must thank god for incremental battles and will have to call on his wife’s name to win the war.

Posted by RICHARD on Apr 20 2011

Tolu Ogunlesi you goofed.Obasanjo actually delivered the Goodluck Jonathan everybody is talking about today to Nigeria.Obasanjo is President emeritus.A president that makes other president.He has single handedly decided who becomes Nigeria Democratic President post First Republic till date He has Just delivered Jonathan again.He his obviously Nigeria Political leader and political colossus. Therefore any discourse on Nigeria Political evolution without the legendary role of OBJ is definitely rubbish.OBASANJO is not just ‘ebora Owu’,he is ‘ebora Nigeria’

Posted by readerX on Apr 20 2011

i’m crossing my fingers as well… It is well with Nigeria

Posted by True Nigerian on Apr 20 2011

Am sorry for those praising Jonathan. Why did he spend so much money in campainging if not desperation. Nigerians should stop decieving themselves. We are not ready for change because voting a PDP government back to power after twelve years of PDP failure in NO CHANGE to me. I hope Nigerians saw the people with GEJ in Aso rock when JEGA announced him as the winner? the likes of Femi Otedola (who has sabotaged all efforts to give Nigerians constant electricity), Tony Annenih, Aliko Dangote, Ikedi Ohakim and oda persons who have run Nigeria aground. Clearly Nigeria is going no where. And talking about the so called elections I will say it was peaceful but far from being fair. The bottom line is Nigerians are not ready for change and I blame PDP for the Crisis in the North for not staying with the zoning arrangement. In 1999 when obasanjo was elected Pres. there was no violence in the North likewise in 1993 with Abiola. People should be objective. Lets wait for Lamido Sanusi and Fashola 2015. then we can think of moving forward.

Posted by Chuks Oluigbo on Apr 20 2011

Well articulated. In short, Tolu-like. Well done.

Posted by ALFRED AYODEJI on Apr 21 2011

Am not pro-Goodluck Jonathan and I wont say he is impeccable but then we’ve got to positive about him. At least he appears to have a good will for Nigeria and until it he proves otherwise let’s breath in the air of positivity like TOLU…

Posted by Kentops on Apr 21 2011

@true Nigerian Sanusi/Fashola ticket in 2015? That won’t be a bad idea. Nice thought!

Posted by Me on Apr 21 2011

@ Tolu this is a brilliant piece. For all those who are grieved at d turn out of d elections, why the “much ado about nothing”? No man knows it all, so why don’t we give GEJ a chance to perform. He is the people’s choice period.

Posted by D optimist on Apr 21 2011

Great piece Tolu. I believe dat dis is not boot-licking or praise singing but simply a statement of facts. i wish Nigerians could be as objective and optimistic as you are. God bless you, God bless Goodluck Jonathan, God bless Nigeria!

>NIGERIA! -AARE GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN WINS!- "FROM CANOE-CARVER’S SON TO COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF" BY TOLU OGUNLESI IN NEXT NEWSPAPER!-OMO OLUWA,OMO OBAMA WINS! -THE IMPOSSIBLE WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY GOD!-JUST LIKE OBAMA DID!

April 22, 2011

>

http://234next.com/csp/cms/sites/Next/Opinion/5691182-146/story.csp

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(ON)GOING CONCERNS: From canoe-carver’s son to commander-in-chief

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Come with me to 1998. Let’s meet Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, assistant director, Environmental Protection and Pollution Control at the Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission in Port Harcourt, “earning small, small kobo that kept him going” (as his father once told the Guardian in an interview). Seven years later, the civil servant is governor of oil-rich Bayelsa. Five years after that, he is the president of Nigeria. All this happens without him contesting any election on his own.
Now, on May 29, 2011, Mr Jonathan will be sworn in as the fourth democratically elected executive president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He will go into the beckoning epoch clutching a string of firsts: At 53, the youngest civilian president of Nigeria at first swearing-in (Shagari was 54). The first Nigerian vice president to go on to be president. The first Nigerian to rise from deputy governor to governor to vice president to president. (What are the chances of that happening in the wildly unpredictable political system we run in this country?) Nigeria’s first PhD-holding president. Nigeria’s first “Facebook president”. The second most popular head of state alive, on Facebook. The first Nigerian president to grant a campaign interview to a hiphop star. The first Nigerian politician to debate himself in a nationally televised political debate. The first civilian president of Nigeria to come from a minority ethnic group.
Let’s think for a moment about the hurdles the man has had to cross on his way from civil servant to president. First, he survived the deputy governorship. The key word there is ‘survived’. Blessed is the man who had the good sense to call a spade a spade: deputy governors are “spare tyres” in Nigeria. If you doubt that Mr Jonathan ‘survived’ six years of deputy governorship, ask Orji Uzor Kalu’s deputies. Ask Kofo Bucknor Akerele and Femi Pedro. Ask Garba Gadi in Bauchi State. Ask Peremobowei Ebebi, the man who succeeded Jonathan as deputy governor in Bayelsa.
In many cases, the deputy governorship is a terminal illness for a politician’s career. But as fate, or luck, would have it, in Jonathan’s case, the spare tyre bucked the trend and ended up, not as a tool for lynch mobs, but as the steering wheel.
And then he survived a colourless vice presidency. When the Americans, obsessed as they are with list-making, compiled a confidential list of Nigeria’s most influential persons in 2008, a year into his vice presidency, Jonathan’s name was absent. This was barely three years ago.
You only need to see how many ‘godfathers’ have fallen by the wayside (especially on Jonathan’s ‘second missionary journey’ to Aso Rock) to realise that ‘goodluck’ is more than just a name. James Ibori, said to be one of the biggest financial contributors to the Yar’Adua campaign, is today preparing for a long jail term abroad. Ibrahim Babangida, a million times more powerful than Jonathan until a year ago, last week announced his retirement from politics.
Adamu Ciroma is a tired ethnic chauvinist; the final nail in his coffin was the collapse of his consensus candidacy project. Bode George is an ex-convict. PDP chieftain, Tony Anenih’s state is in the hands of the ACN. Olusegun Obasanjo’s state will soon be. Abubakar Atiku couldn’t even deliver his own state during the PDP primaries. Lamidi Adedibu is three years dead.
I think we may safely conclude that Mr Jonathan could, if he so chooses, easily become ‘Godfatherless Jonathan’. I am indeed very optimistic about the future of Nigeria under a Jonathan presidency. Last August, I said Mr Jonathan was “a breath of fresh air”. I was referring to his social networking strategy. (I’d like to believe that was what inspired the “breath of fresh air” campaign slogan of the president)
Today, I will stretch my claim further, and declare that Mr Jonathan is potentially a breath of fresh air to the way presidential leadership is conducted in Africa. I think we are looking at the man destined to, not only tackle long-standing problems like power supply and poverty, but also bring far-reaching reform to Africa’s largest and most messed-up political party, the PDP.
He is not a perfect man. Certainly not. He hasn’t got Bill Clinton’s charm or Barack Obama’s speaking skills or Mr Obasanjo’s sense of humour. But he offers something else: an endearing calmness, a modesty that is rare with Nigeria’s ‘Big Men’, and a seemingly sincere desire to engage with the people he’s ruling.
The task ahead is daunting. I do not envy the son of a canoe-carver who’s now sitting in a ‘canoe’ atop one of the most tumultuous waters in the world — the presidency of that bundle of contradictions called Nigeria. I, however, wholeheartedly wish him Godspeed. I will repeat the words with which I ended my column, “Goodluck, Goodwill and Goodsense”, published almost exactly a year ago (April 19, 2010):
“Yesterday you were Goodluck Jonathan. Today you are Goodwill Jonathan. Now you must strive to be Goodsense Jonathan, in whose hands the destiny of a nation lies.”
So help him God. Amen.
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While we value your feedback we may block inappropriate comment. Please feel free to respond to new comments. Note also that 234NEXT bears no responsibility for what readers post and is not liable for any form of impersonation. http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=bib-05-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1155504283&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=bib-05-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B004TY0RAG&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrNIGERIA – Goodluck Jonathan.: An article from: APS Review Oil Market Trendshttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=bib-05-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1170065988&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=bib-05-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B004V9HHUW&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=bib-05-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1158815204&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=bib-05-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1158815204&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr

Reader Comments (32)

Posted by daniel on Apr 20 2011

dont be afraid add this;first elected southerner.first elected minority nigerian tribe outside of the former “big” three(if such a thing still exists after this elections!).a man of many firsts.let us hope that in performance he bests obasanjo and yardua…..which wont be that hard as all he has to do is stay alive and not cavort with daughter in laws.

Posted by King on Apr 20 2011

Very well written. I love journalism of this nature – you took the time to research the FACTS before writing this. Awesome. Yes, Jonathan has done well. I am confident too that he will continue to do well. He’s indeed a “breath of fresh air”, as you have rightly said. Like you, I wish him Goodspeed or like my wife would always wish me – GodLuck!

Posted by Anjibobo on Apr 20 2011

I am cautiously optimistic myself and I am glad our brothers in the Niger Delta will now “cool body” since one of their own is now the President. The peace and stability this will bring is my greatest joy since this will foster the enabling environment for us to keep making progress. I didn’t vote for him, but I am happy with the result. I wish him and Nigeria continued Good Luck!

Posted by ego on Apr 20 2011

@Daniel, first southerner to be elected? you make me laugh. I guess Obasanjo is from the North then @Tolu, great that you are so hopeful. But you forgot to add that he is the first president to waste the nations resources by spending billions of naira in a desperate attempt to remain president, you forget also that he is the first president where bomb blasts and terrorism became synonymous to Nigeria and he duly ignored the problem. No one has been paraded or convicted as yet. The truth is that he has no clue and stumbled unprepared into the presidency. Now he has the peoples mandate, i hope he gets some goodsense. I am not that hopeful, but i pray i am proved wrong.

Posted by Ebi Bozimo on Apr 20 2011

Tolu, your writing continues to evolve in elegance and excellence. This is a PHENOMENAL take on President elect Goodluck Jonathan in the context of Nigeria at this turbulent time.

Posted by paquito bites on Apr 20 2011

@ego.i did not vote for anyone ,i could’nt and if i could i would have chosen our man from the north but i do rejoice with the nation in juno’s victory.i may be as cynical as you but i’m afraid we can do with a huge dose of optimism to move forward.i am not interested in the firsts but glad in the knowledge that he has the mandate of the people and not the godfathers.pres juno can literally clear his cabinent jettison his vultures all in the need of change and still withstand the tremors.he ought to do that to send the right message to the people of nigeria.his task is formidable as we witness the geopolitical tsunamis around the world.we need a competent leader to face up to the resource challenges of the west and china for that is the issues of the day.we the developing nations are pawns in the chess game but with strong leadership we may get to bishop status.may the lord give him the wisdom to get us to BRINCS,that will be the ultimate accolade and the real first that will make sense to all nigerians.good morning.

Posted by kola on Apr 20 2011

Well written. Jonathan was not my choice at the presidential elections, but he seems to be Nigeria’s choice. I have never seen Jonathan in this light, perhaps because there was so much darkness around him. His calmness and modesty are necessary, but not sufficient conditions for Nigeria’s take off to ‘self sustained growth’. However, I wish him all the best. It is now time to settle down to the task of nation building. God bless Nigeria

Posted by Usman Ahmed on Apr 20 2011

@ego, what ever it is we must be positive since the man is now the president and our collective destinies are in his hands. With respect to the bomb blast, I thought Orkah is on trial in SA (his case was heard yesterday and more charges have been drawn up against him) for it while his broda and others are on trial in Nigeria

Posted by Augustine Togonu-Bickersteth on Apr 20 2011

Good write up. Something to be optimistic about. Yes Jonathan sits ina Canoe and you do not have to teach an Ijaw boat man the physics of a capsizing Canoe. I hope as his paddles the canoe would move forward. Some paddle here , Paddla there but the Canoe stays still.

Posted by Donlaz on Apr 20 2011

Good piece Tolu, keep doing great job man!

Posted by Ayat-owo on Apr 20 2011

Perfect piece. I wish him well. Destiny is God’s Pathway for us and I think Godluck sees his clearly well. May he not disappoint us for all the support

Posted by Dele. on Apr 20 2011

I hope the president realises he is a NATIONAL consensus -president….

Posted by Olatoye Joy on Apr 20 2011

I wish him goodsense too, and may his ending better than his beginning in Jesus name. amen

Posted by seun on Apr 20 2011

@ego,i feel ur cynicism and somehow am not happy about the way money was spent campaigning for the election.i do however feel that to a large extent,Jega did a good job,i also believe soon enough, we wouldnt have to be an ‘otokoto’ or ‘imcumbent whatever’ to run for a political post in Nigeria.am also optimistic that we shall have the best republic ever,chiefly because its not an all PDP parliament.lets truly hope that the presence of many parties will add spice to national debates.Godspeed Nigeria!

Posted by Kingsley on Apr 20 2011

Isn’t it rather early to be bootlicking Tolu? Let us have light first before the apotheosis begins eh.

Posted by Nene on Apr 20 2011

Yes Tolu, I think it’s too early to be boot-licking and I am disappointed in this piece. You, of all people should not come on here and be praising Jonathan, he’s such a dumb-wit and a numb-skull, he has no idea what presidency is about.

Posted by MC on Apr 20 2011

@ego, spot on!

Posted by Ade on Apr 20 2011

My Dear Tolu. I have sent you an email already to express my sadness at your email. Jonathan was imposed on us by the powers that be? Obasanjo groomed him from the very beginning. He has mismanaged our funds in the last 1 year. He has absolutely no clue about how to fix Nigeria – economy, power, terrorism, etc. Nothing will change – it is going to business as usual. Our legislators and ministers will remain the highest paid in the world, looting will continue, power, unemployment and economy will remain ‘story lands’. I pray these wont happen but I have lost my usual optimism about this country.

Posted by Chinna on Apr 20 2011

Why all the adulation? We could congratulate a man for winning, but our writer should not start singing praises until we see performance on the job. What’s the hurry to ingratiate one’s self with GEJ?

Posted by akin Jenkins on Apr 20 2011

awesome piece mate, was trying to explain all u just wrote to a couple of my Dutch colleagues, thanks for saving me the trouble. Nice piece

Posted by Toni Kay on Apr 20 2011

My Dear Tolu, I really appreciate the good work u did with this article. It was thoroughly researched and to the point. Goodluck era is a new era for us Nigerians and we shall be proud now to say we are Nigerians amongst the Committees of nations. As for all those that do not believe in this slogan then they should bang their heads on the wall. Nigerians voted Goodluck and not PDP so that that luck will follow them. Adieus Ciroma, Buhari, Anenih, Maduekes, Nnamani. This is our time o.

Posted by paquito bites on Apr 20 2011

much as i do not hold brief for juno,i can tell all of those that have jumped down tolu’s throat that the change is already upon us.we have experienced a more savvy electorate.this has reflected the results of the polls.in addition to that we have changes occuring across the african continent and nigeria will not be an exception to this change of peoples power.see recent events in kenya and uganda and closer to home burkina faso.pres jonathan has a huge task and will not be in a position to shy away from his duties not with a weaker position in the house.we must thank god for incremental battles and will have to call on his wife’s name to win the war.

Posted by RICHARD on Apr 20 2011

Tolu Ogunlesi you goofed.Obasanjo actually delivered the Goodluck Jonathan everybody is talking about today to Nigeria.Obasanjo is President emeritus.A president that makes other president.He has single handedly decided who becomes Nigeria Democratic President post First Republic till date He has Just delivered Jonathan again.He his obviously Nigeria Political leader and political colossus. Therefore any discourse on Nigeria Political evolution without the legendary role of OBJ is definitely rubbish.OBASANJO is not just ‘ebora Owu’,he is ‘ebora Nigeria’

Posted by readerX on Apr 20 2011

i’m crossing my fingers as well… It is well with Nigeria

Posted by True Nigerian on Apr 20 2011

Am sorry for those praising Jonathan. Why did he spend so much money in campainging if not desperation. Nigerians should stop decieving themselves. We are not ready for change because voting a PDP government back to power after twelve years of PDP failure in NO CHANGE to me. I hope Nigerians saw the people with GEJ in Aso rock when JEGA announced him as the winner? the likes of Femi Otedola (who has sabotaged all efforts to give Nigerians constant electricity), Tony Annenih, Aliko Dangote, Ikedi Ohakim and oda persons who have run Nigeria aground. Clearly Nigeria is going no where. And talking about the so called elections I will say it was peaceful but far from being fair. The bottom line is Nigerians are not ready for change and I blame PDP for the Crisis in the North for not staying with the zoning arrangement. In 1999 when obasanjo was elected Pres. there was no violence in the North likewise in 1993 with Abiola. People should be objective. Lets wait for Lamido Sanusi and Fashola 2015. then we can think of moving forward.

Posted by Chuks Oluigbo on Apr 20 2011

Well articulated. In short, Tolu-like. Well done.

Posted by ALFRED AYODEJI on Apr 21 2011

Am not pro-Goodluck Jonathan and I wont say he is impeccable but then we’ve got to positive about him. At least he appears to have a good will for Nigeria and until it he proves otherwise let’s breath in the air of positivity like TOLU…

Posted by Kentops on Apr 21 2011

@true Nigerian Sanusi/Fashola ticket in 2015? That won’t be a bad idea. Nice thought!

Posted by Me on Apr 21 2011

@ Tolu this is a brilliant piece. For all those who are grieved at d turn out of d elections, why the “much ado about nothing”? No man knows it all, so why don’t we give GEJ a chance to perform. He is the people’s choice period.

Posted by D optimist on Apr 21 2011

Great piece Tolu. I believe dat dis is not boot-licking or praise singing but simply a statement of facts. i wish Nigerians could be as objective and optimistic as you are. God bless you, God bless Goodluck Jonathan, God bless Nigeria!

YORUBA MALE ATTIRE! -THE BEST IN THE WORLD-THESE PROUD BLACK MEN RULE THE PLANET WHEN IT COMES TO CLOTHES!

April 6, 2011

FROM

OJOGBON AKINWUMNI ISOLA,ORLANDO JULIUS AND HIS BLACKamerikkkan WIFE ADUKE

OBAMA WITH HIS YORUBA FRIENDS IN YORUBA DRESS!

OKO IFEDOLAPO!

Traditional Attire of Nigerian and African Men
74
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By Philipo
Click thumbnail to view full-size
See all 14 photos

Surprisingly, most men in Nigeria especially Lagos State wear the traditional Yoruba cloths. This comes in various styles and designs. They have different names depending on the type of design like:

Agbada – this is a 4-piece Nigerian Agbada apparel that is made up of hat, buba, flowing Agbada and pants with embroidery.

Babariga – This is men’s 4-piece African Babariga clothing apparel comprising a Hat, long-sleeved shirt, flowing Buba and pants with embroidery.

3-piece Gbarie outfit. Hand-loomed Aso Oke material with matching embroidery.

They are suitable for special occasions and events. Have you seen what the Nigerian women wear? See this http://hubpages.com/_1rfosdrnucsn9/hub/Glamorous-and-Gorgeous-Yoruba-Nigerian-Women-Dress

>YORUBA MALE ATTIRE! -PROUD BLACK/AFRICAN MEN’S PRIDE!

April 6, 2011

>

OBAMA WITH HIS YORUBA FRIENDS IN YORUBA ATTIRE!

Traditional Attire of Nigerian and African Men

74

rate or flag this pageTweet this

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Surprisingly, most men in Nigeria especially Lagos State wear the traditional Yoruba cloths. This comes in various styles and designs. They have different names depending on the type of design like:
Agbada – this is a 4-piece Nigerian Agbada apparel that is made up of hat, buba, flowing Agbada and pants with embroidery.
Babariga – This is men’s 4-piece African Babariga clothing apparel comprising a Hat, long-sleeved shirt, flowing Buba and pants with embroidery.
3-piece Gbarie outfit. Hand-loomed Aso Oke material with matching embroidery.

They are suitable for special occasions and events. Have you seen what the Nigerian women wear?  See this http://hubpages.com/_1rfosdrnucsn9/hub/Glamorous-and-Gorgeous-Yoruba-Nigerian-Women-Dress

>BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY DOLL BASED ON REAL BLACK SKINNED BEAUTY? -THE HIMBA DOLL- FROM FASHIONDOLLSNOIR.COM

April 5, 2011

>

http://fashiondollsnoir.com/2010/12/05/himba-doll/

Himba Doll?


The image above is an Iplehouse Ashanti photographed by Flickr user CustomLovers.  The photographer captioned the picture “Dressed as my mother used to.”  I found that caption to be quite interesting as the doll as picture strongly resembles a Himba woman.
The Himba are an ethnic group of about 20,000 to 50,000 people living in northern Namibia, in the Kunene region (Wikipedia).  I have included an image of a Himba woman after the jump.  If pictures of real, live, naked women offend you, you might not want to proceed.

3 Responses to “Himba Doll?”

  1. I wish my breast looked like that!

  2. admin says:

    LLS… The Doll or the Woman’s?


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