Monday, November 10, 2014

Malcolm X versus Critical Race Theorists, a pocket guide

1. Critical Race Theorists say the metaphor of colorblindness "erases" race. Malcolm X used it often because he knew that focusing on a person's humanity does not make their skin color invisible. Two examples:

From The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Hailey:
The next day I was in my car driving along the freeway when at a red light another car pulled alongside. A white woman was driving and on the passenger's side, next to me, was a white man. "Malcolm X!" he called out-and when I looked, he stuck his hand out of his car, across at me, grinning. "Do you mind shaking hands with a white man?" Imagine that! Just as the traffic light turned green, I told him, "I don't mind shaking hands with human beings. Are you one?"
From his Pierre Berton interview:
I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being, neither white, black, brown nor red. When you are dealing with humanity as one family, there's no question of integration or intermarriage. It's just one human being marrying another human being, or one human being living around and with another human being.
2. Critical Race Theorists say the idea that they should be civil is "tone policing". Brother Malcolm believed you should respect everyone so long as you haven't been physically abused. He said,
Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.
3. Critical Race Theorists see power in terms of race and insist all white people are racist. Brother Malcolm rejected that after he left Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam. Two examples:

From The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Hailey:
In the past, yes, I have made sweeping indictments of all white people. I will never be guilty of that again — as I know now that some white people are truly sincere, that some truly are capable of being brotherly toward a black man.
From his Pierre Berton interview:
I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the systems of exploitation. I believe that there will be that kind of clash, but I don’t think that it will be based upon the color of the skin.
4. Critical Race Theorists say only white people can be racist. Brother Malcolm knew racism is racism, no matter who practices it. When he adopted a broader understanding of power, he said,
I totally reject Elijah Muhammad's racist philosophy, which he has labeled 'Islam' only to fool and misuse gullible people as he fooled and misused me.
Related: A little more about St. Peter's and Malcolm X's "Respect everyone"

Dear liberals, please stop appropriating Malcolm X