Malcolm X proven wrong by Obama?: Incendiary piece by S. Crouch


Monday, November 24th 2008, 4:00 AM

Former Secretary of State James Baker once said that the free advice from a man who offered his opinions often was worth what the secretary had paid for it.

This is how blacks in America need to take Ayman al-Zawahiri‘s recent tape praising Malcolm X and condemning Barack Obama.

As Osama Bin Laden‘s top deputy, Zawahiri knows a mark when he sees one and believes black Americans to be a collective chump gullible enough to be swayed by arguments against Obama that try to smack him with the dead horse of black nationalism.

The threatening video issued last week was intended to whip up support for what is known as radical Islam by using a martyr to a lost cause, Malcolm X.

Malcolm X was one of the naysayers to American possibility whose vision was permanently crushed beneath the heel of Obama’s victory on Nov. 4. Though his ideas had nothing to do with the ultimate form of nonviolence – voting – those desperate to praise him will pretend now that he was actually a civil rights leader! This has been going on for an unforgivably long time, especially among black academics.

Malcolm X had nothing to do with Obama’s accomplishment as did none of the other militants who preached their own version of separatism and gleefully attacked the civil rights movement as offering no more than pie in the sky and misleading black people.

So Malcolm X was no more than a charismatic heckler of the civil rights movement and a man whose career was soaked in racism, potted history and absurd ideas of one sort or another. He was a good rabble-rouser and he was a good saber rattler. On Feb. 21, 1965, he was murdered in public as one of the victims of the tribal wars that distinguished radical black nationalist cults and purported “revolutionary” leadership like the Black Panthers.

If not for Spike Lee‘s film about him, Malcolm X would have been forgotten. His legacy did not add up to inspiring one important piece of legislation, leading one important march or actually getting anything done that had objective significance.

So why would Zawahiri praise this dead horse of black nationalism as an “honorable black American” and say to Obama “in you and in Colin Powell, [Condoleezza] Rice and your likes, the words of Malcolm X (may Allah have mercy on him) concerning ‘House Negroes’ are confirmed …?” Quite simply because he was also able to say, much more accurately, that the assassinated rabble-rouser had called for the “worldwide revolution against the Western power structure.”

Where exactly is that worldwide revolution taking place right now? Actually, it exists in every place where people are inspired by Obama’s victory to believe even more deeply in the ability that democracy provides for extraordinary hope and change.

That appeals to far more people than trash talking and gun waving and threatening to overthrow the federal government. Or making it all about, as Malcolm X predicted, “the bullet or the ballot.” He was wrong about that as he was wrong about almost everything that he said. He had plenty of verbal flourish but, in the end, it was all no more than hot air.

The real hero of that moment and the prophet of what we have seen over these last months since the Iowa primary is clearly the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He and all of those who rejected black nationalism and the threat of violence were the ones we should revere.

They amounted to such visionaries that they reached across the ethnic aisle and made so many friends and allies over the long march to this presidential election that it is an insult to their accomplishments to add the names of people like Malcolm X to the list of great Americans that they comprise.


18 thoughts on “Malcolm X proven wrong by Obama?: Incendiary piece by S. Crouch

  1. While Malcolm X is not part of the civil rights movement’s legacy upon which Obama’s victory was built, it must be said that without Malcolm (and the NOI) the establishment would not have wanted to deal with MLK and the civil rights movement. MLK and the civil rights movement would have been the “radical” without someone that was much further on the fringe as an alternative. They made MLK an attractive alternative.

    I don’t think that is what the NOI had in mind, but that is what happened.

    As I stated on my blog, I do believe that black nationalism is a dead ideology and further died on November 4th

  2. What Malcolm X is Tariq Nelson discussing? At the height of the civil rights movement during the early to mid Sixties, Malcolm was not part of the NOI. While Nelson and Stanley Crouch — himself a paid lackey of the corporate media who lacks any substantial connect with black working class folks — celebrate the ‘death of black nationalism’ it shows how complicit they are with racist white nationalism. Look at the composition of Obama’s currently proposed cabinet. Same faces in the same places, talking about “change”. You want to kno something about Malcolm X, read this:

  3. I just want to say a few more words about this subject and the hacks who broached it. Not only are Crouch and Wajrat Ali totally wrong about Malcolm, who spent his life fighting racism, they repudiate the liberation movement with typical white supremacist boilerplate. In fact, they kowtow to the cracker idol erected for them by the likes of arch neocon Pat Buchanan (see and others.

    Omowale Malcolm X grew up in a household where his Garveyite father was lynched by the KKK, and his mother starved out by racist society. A Jim Crow social services agency broke up his family. Malcolm’s brilliance in the public school system was thwarted by the segregationist educators themselves. When Malcolm grasped the vision that his father had left for him, his energy and commitment awakened a brand new era of struggle for the black community. Adversity builds character and principles, something notoriously absent from Crouch’s essay.

    The scenario painted by Crouch and Wajrat Ali, and I say “they” because Wajrat seconds Crouch’s neo-colonialist dogma, reiterates FBI and John Birch neocon assessments of Malcolm’s death. Plus, the counterinsurgency that killed Panthers like John Huggins and Bunchy Carter had nothing to do with fratricide anymore than Crouch and Wajrat have any fraternal relations with black liberation.

    By extension, Crouch necessarily legitimizes the counterinsurgency that killed Amilcar Cabral, Eduardo Mondlane, Walter Rodney, Maurice Bishop, and numerous others. Because they were all killed by forces claiming membership in the liberation movement. Crotch’s a-historical idiot logic may characterize that as fratricide, too. Crouch does a grave disservice to the entire history of black liberation from the first Africans who fought colonialism or made any form of resistance. His words deface the heritage left by Harriet Tubman, who personally rescued over 300 people from chattel slavery. I mean, they dismiss the entire history of black freedom fighting for a job sitting at a desk selling newspapers, or for a party hack in the White House just for skin colorism. While Crouch and Wajrat appear on the side of oppression, their poot butt silouette cannot obscure the giant legacy cast by black freedom. Peace.

    • Dear All,

      Wajahat Ali here. I do not agree with Crouch’s piece at all. I merely put it up there because it was causing such a maelstrom. I agree it is highly offensive and incorrect. AMiri Baraka, whom I forwarded the piece, responded to me by saying he asked Crouch about this and Crouch simply responded, “I do stuff like this at least once a year!”

    • this is the most bs article I have come across in a long time. I personally am one of the people who think he did a lot to help civic rights. I am not a black scholar, I am a white business owner.

  4. Below are two official emails that dispute the public version of Obama’s Birth and his mother’s marriage to BHO Sr.

    From: []
    Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2008
    Subject: Re: Stanley “Ann” Dunham 1960 to 1970 class registration

    Ms. Stanley Ann Dunham (BHO II’s mom) was enrolled at the University of Washington for:

    Autumn 1961
    Winter 1962
    Spring 1962

    The records responsive to your request from the University of Washington are above as provided by the Public Disclosure Laws of Washington State. This concludes the University’s response to your Public Records request. Please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions or concerns.

    Madolyne Lawson
    Office of Public Records

    From: Stuart Lau []
    Sent: Friday, September 05, 2008
    Subject: Re: Inquiry

    The University of Hawaii at Manoa is only able to provide the following information for Stanley Ann Dunham:
    Dates of attendance:
    Fall 1960 (First day of instruction 9/26/1960)
    Spring 1963 – Summer 1966
    Fall 1972 – Fall 1974
    Summer 1976
    Spring 1978
    Fall 1984 – Summer 1992

    Degrees awarded:
    BA – Mathematics, Summer 1967 (August 6, 1967)
    MA – Anthropology, Fall 1983 (December 18, 1983)
    PhD – Anthropology, Summer 1992 (August 9, 1992)

    Sincerely, Stuart Lau
    Stuart Lau
    University Registrar
    Office of Admissions and Records
    University of Hawaii at Manoa
    Ph: (808) 956-8010

    Commentary on University Emails:

    For the BHO II Hawaiian Aug 4 1961 COLB to be accurate the following improbable events needed to occur:

    1 month after starting classes, Stanley Ann Dunham, Barack’s mom, at age 17, got pregnant by the only black African man on the entire chain of Hawaiian islands.
    2 months after getting pregnant, she drops out of college.
    3 months after getting pregnant, she marries BHO Sr.
    10 months after her first day at the U of HI, she delivers BHO II and immediately leaves her parents, her new husband, and her home, to fly alone with a newborn 2800 miles to Seattle to start college at the U of W.
    Stanley Ann Dunham does not return to Hawaii until AFTER BHO Sr left the islands for Harvard.

    This is an implausible series of events made even more nefarious because Obama II in his 2 bio books never mentions his mom left Hawaii when she was married to BHO Sr, nor does he mention she was in Washington State during this time.

  5. I think Obama himself praised Malcolm X in his book because it was Malcolm who actually made african americans to believe in thierselves. so lets give credit when itis due.

  6. I am really shocked to read such a comparison. I can gather by the article, that the writer was only interested in a smear artical. This is the type up slant writing that has twisted the truth for 100’s of years. Malcom’s role in his time period came from the bowls of the people. He said it how it was. Today we hear cries of,”were are the black leaders”.
    Black leaders come from the need to make things right;
    even if it cost you your life. No, none of them had it all figured out, but had to do something. Our time is now to handle our crisis. Malcom was correct on most of what he said(not FOR the nation of islam) or, he wouldn’t had been voted in 1964 the 2nd most sought after speaker on college campuses in the United States behide barry goldwater. I don’t have the time to lay it all out for you just remember,” it is not the bad man that make the world bad, it’s the good ones that stand by and allow it to happen” (Malcom X)



  7. There are a lot of missconceptions about Malcolm X. Malcolm X biggest wish, was to make the world a better place. He did what he could to make the society less harmful to its people. He wanted to make a change, just like Obama and just like Martin Luther King Jr. Maybe some of his ideas where different from those of Obama and Mr. King, but his intensions where basically the same, to get rid of the injustices that prevailed over the nation and worldwide. He saw these huge injustices between blacks and whites at that time, he saw the intolorance to muslims, he saw the hatred that turned
    into violence, he saw his brothers and sisters being beaten to death. The question you should ask yourself is, what would you do if your own wife/sister was beaten by another person almost to death, would you watch it or do something? Malcolm X was a realist, his ideas where not wicked, they where realistic. He didn’t like violence, infact.. His wish was never to use it. However it comes to a point where we all have to defend ourselves. But if you do not agree… You must atleast understand from his point of view that he wasn’t being insane when he said that we can’t fight back.

  8. Crouch completely ignores post-Hajj Malcolm X, which is a common problem among those who question his admirers’ stance. During the end of his tenrue with the NOI, his rhetoric (and written statements,) while still incredibly vitriolic towards the US Government, law enforcement agencies, etc., his drect “The white Man is the Devvil” rhetoric toned down. Post-Hajj his strategy and vision became much, much more closely aligned witht he Civil Rights movement. He was killed as the reconciliation process was beginning to form.

  9. Either Mr. Crouch is ignorant or he just enjoys making money by insulting Black people. First, Malcom lives in the hearts and minds of Black people globally. He exposed the hypocrisy of American society and consistently affirmed Black people’s humanity in a society that sought to deny it. Obama’s print is that he is the first African-American to be president and the history of the U.S presidency is the history of criminality. It seems strange that he can attack Malcolm but doesn’t have a damn thing to say about the rascist criminals who established the so-called democratic republic. Obama inspired hope in the niave. He continues to champion a bruta, parasitic empire that is every where on the retreat.

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