A red-faced, ex-convict stood fearlessly before a curious crowd of mostly caucasian academics at Oxford University in December of 1964, and said the following, “My reason for believing in extremism, intelligently directed extremism, extremism in defense of liberty, extremism in quest of justice, is because I firmly believe in my heart, that the day that the black man takes an uncompromising step, and realizes that he’s within his rights, when his own freedom is being jeopardized, to use any means necessary to bring about his freedom, or put a halt to that injustice, I don’t think he’ll be by himself. I live in America where there are only 22 million blacks against probably 160 million whites. One of the reasons that I am in no way reluctant or hesitant to do whatever is necessary to see that black people do something to protect themselves, I honestly believe that the day that they do, many whites will have more respect for them, and there’ll be more whites on their side than there are now on their side with these little wishy-washy “love thy enemy” approach that they have been using up until now. And if I am wrong than you are racialist.” El-Hajj Malik Shabazz formerly known as Malcolm X, formerly known as Malcolm Little served the Western World mouthfuls of dicing truth in a debate that will never be forgotten. The world is still pulsing from the ripple effect of X’s life, and people like me, still believe in his philosophies. Moments like Oxford were a norm for the man who once preyed on human beings in the criminal world.
The Breakfast Club talk show on Power 105.1 in New York is a one-stop shop for late breaking news in hip hop culture. June 9th 2015, the longtime protege of Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan, strategically used this platform that reaches the hearts and minds of young Black America to deliver the following excerpt, “Our young people represent the strongest and the best generation that we ever had. They’re not the wisest, but they are the best because they are fearless. When you see fearless young men and women, that’s the generation that God’s Hand is on because that’s the generation that will fulfill the promise of the ancestors who died struggling for true freedom, justice and liberation. The young are the generation that will deliver on that promise—with the right leadership.” Minister Louis Farrakhan held a bustling crowd of young and old in sheer suspense the same way June 24th at Metropolitan AME Church. He, like Malcolm, delivered the pure unadulterated truth to Blacks and Whites in America. After the media hailstorms surrounding police brutality and lethal force, black millennials were crying out for uncompromising leadership. His message rang clear.
Minister Farrakhan is doing what respectability politicians have shivered at the thought of, which is unapologetically declaring the facts of Black plight in the United States of America. After all he had to be there, in Metropolitan AME Church. The past Wednesday night June 17th, White Terrorist Dylan Roof would gun-down 9 Black women and men after spending one hour in the study of scripture with them in Charleston Carolina’s AME Church. A church founded by revolutionary Denmark Vesey. He first shot Senator Clementa Pinkney, who just weeks before, orated an impassioned argument for body cameras following the murder of Walter Scott. In the same manner that Tom Cruise obliterates his foes on movie screens, he reloaded more than 3 times in the process of shooting Cynthia Hurd (54), shooting Susie Jackson (87), shooting Ethel Lee Lance (70), shooting Depayne Middleton-Doctor (49), shooting Tywanza Sanders (26), shooting Daniel Simmons (74), shooting Sharonda Coleman-Singleton (45) and shooting Myra Thompson (59), dead. Farrakhan had already planned on holding a press conference for his October initiative “#JusticeOrElse”, unfortunately Roof’s terrorism set the stage. Youth leaders Tamika Mallory and Jamahl Bryant spoke before him with prophetic fire showing that the Minister is invested in who shall come next to confront this dark hour.
Martin Luther King Jr. wrestled with this same reality as he neared the last days of his life. Terrorism by the Klu Klux Klan, state sanctioned murder, and being shutoff from the fountain of economic opportunity in America all haunted him. Like the battle-tested leader he was, he began altering course in philosophy and doctrine. I covered the history of how he lost popularity in this paradigm shift and realized this isn’t the Martin I was raised on. It was undoubtedly not the MLK my generation had been numbed with. We were only to know that he had a dream. And though that dream was to remain a lofty idea. So far, America has only used to Dr. King to cool the fevering hearts of America’s basement, no more than anesthesia. Farrakhan was deadly correct yesterday identifying the forgotten King, who said, “In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check”, and “It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned”, and “Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.” With these words he then announced another March on Washington to demand fiscal accountability on the part of federal and state government, for the repair of its descendants of bondage.
There are many theories as to what America owes Blacks. What is for certain, is that the culture of America and the institutions continue to take black lives, black heritage, and black money, regardless of it’s debt. Today, the Black community is unable to hold a dollar bill longer than one hour among its neighborhoods while having a collective buying power nationally of 1.3 trillion dollars. Blacks are twice as likely to be unarmed when murdered by police and a white person with a criminal record is more likely to be employed than a black with a college degree. Few have called the U.S. into account as Farrakhan has lately. He likened the current leadership to shepherds who have let wolves run wild. And in the shadow of the aforementioned giants, he called for uniformity of purpose among all people. Malcolm would die preaching self-reliance and imagined a nation predicated on the uplift of those African still broken by injustice on this soil. Martin would perish organizing the largest congregation in history to demand recompense for America’s original sin. Though that sin pervades, Farrakhan has relit the torch and garnered the approval of the best and brightest. The youth are no longer blind and afraid. Classism is melting. Information is the order of the day. And we know we have been locked out of the golden room. Times are changing. October 10th 2015 marks the anniversary of the Million Man March. This time the battle cry is #JusticeOrElse. Farrakhan has invited all of America that believes the injustice has endured too long. Few can disagree and many have varying opinions of the Minister, but who has come forward besides him to cash Martin’s check, and paint Malcolm’s picture?