50 years ago you were assassinated; you were 39. You were a father. You were a husband. You were a Muslim. You were a black man speaking your truth at a time when your right to do so was not protected. Like Dr. King, you were a Human Rights Activist that was able to move beyond the teaching of hate that you learned early in life. Like Dr. King, you fought for the people. You used truth to combat the hypocrisy and lies. Your intelligence was unmatched, your logic was indisputable, your willingness to sacrifice it all for what you believed in was the definition of courage….
…and sure, they will always refer to you as Malcolm X, the radical racists militant black leader… but I will always celebrate and remember you as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, the humanitarian who returned from his trip to Mecca with clarity and an understanding that contrary to what we have been taught in America, that before we are black, we are human… and the rights we seek are not Civil Rights but Human rights and they are God given…
…and sure, they will continue to parade pictures of you standing at a window with an assault rifle with the quote “By Any Means Necessary” at the bottom; because it feeds into the idea that a Black Muslim is inherently violent, and violence can be used for fear which can be used for control which can be used to keep our system of oppression and inhumanity intact… but what was the context of the quote? Why don’t they ever talk about the difference between saying you will defend yourself rather than turning the other cheek when violence is committed against you? Why don’t they ask, how many acts of violence did you commit or where was your gun when you were assassinated? Surely, a violent Muslim who knew he would be murdered would have been packing heat?
…ah, but that picture of peace in the face of violence is too Dr. King-ish, and doesn’t fit the narrative of fear that they promote to squash the movement… and by acknowledging that you weren’t a violent racists radical, but rather a humanitarian fighting not for Civil Rights but for Human rights, that would have added too much power to the movement.
…imagine, oppressed human beings all over the world rallying with El-Hajj Malik-El Shabazz, the non-violent Human rights activists who looks at the Muslim brothers and sisters, and the Christian brothers and sisters, and everyone else who has a desire to fight for human rights as his brothers…
…but I remember you brother El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz… as the beautiful being you were, you are, and you will continue to be… I admire your courage and your struggle and your fight… and I understand that you live in me. “You Can Not Assassinate a Spirit, You Can Only Kill a Man.” ~ Sean King
Today we Celebrate You!
We declare our right on this earth to be a man, to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary. —Malcolm X, 1965
Today my journey took me to an interesting place. To a place where I learned Patriotism is not at the center of my belief system, but it’s impact on my belief is undeniable. Today I realized my true desire is to decouple myself from my American centric view, and to realign my mind and soul to a place that puts God and family at its core. Today I searched my soul and learned I want to go to a place where I value life regardless of where a person was born, their affiliations, and/or their beliefs. To a place where I am respectful of all life, even that of my enemies because I understand we originate from the same source.
Today I recognize it is the journey that pitted us against one another, our human nature that makes us enemies, and love is the only thing that can bridge the gap between our souls. Today I know I need to go to a place where I can understand and accept our dilemma; I took the path I took, you took the path you took, and we both believed we were heading in the right direction. Today it dawned on me, that as much as I want to hate you. As much as I want to fight against and attack you. As much as I want to condemn and judge you; there is only one place I can go to takes me higher. Today I finally got it, my desire to elevate to a higher level requires me to learn to forgive without condition and willingly. Today, I learned the meaning of courage and strength. Thank you Malcolm; we almost forgot about you.