Today I am inaugurating a new tradition. From now on whenever there is a Malcolm X-related anniversary I am going to do a blog post dedicated to telling the truth about who he really was and what cruel values he actually dedicated his life to promoting. Malcolm X was not a “black pride advocate” or a “civil rights leader” as the postmodern Marxist grad student teaching your undergraduate will claim. He was a career criminal, pathological liar, racist, black nationalist, and antisemite. He’s not just a hip Martin Luther King Jr but with guns the way Spike Lee’s films try and mythologize him. He was an evil man who lived a life of racial hatred, the polar opposite of the Christian love and color blind unity preached and lived by King.
Here’s an excerpt from an article I published here at PJ Lifestyle in November, The 15 Best Books for Understanding Barack Obama’s Mysterious Political Theology, regarding books to read to discover the reality of Malcolm Little, the man behind the Myth of Malcolm X:
5. The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley
6. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
7. Dreams from my Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama
8. Barack Obama: The Story by David Maraniss
Why do so many Democrats insist on giving Islam the benefit of the doubt? Even amongst many Republicans, the establishment narrative, set by George W. Bush, endures: Islam is “a religion of peace,” Al Qaeda is a fringe group of misinterpreters, Allah is the same god worshiped by Jews and Christians, and the Koran is just the Bible in Arabic, teaching universal love and compassion.
I bought this Big Lie about Islam for years. And looking back I wonder how much of it had to do with how my progressivism led to an unquestioning embrace of the mythology of Malcolm. In high school I loved The Autobiography of Malcolm X and watched Spike Lee’s film adaptation multiple times. Recall the ending: Malcolm doesn’t fully reject racism and become complete as a human being until he escapes the Nation of Islam, takes his hajj to Mecca, and renames himself El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. Once outside of the evil, racist America Malcolm can see that within Islam whites could gain their humanity and become his brothers. Islam really could bring peace. Just look at Malcolm.
But multiple authors have debunked The Autobiography as fictional. (See my friend David Forsmark’s review of Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention and Bruce Perry’s Malcolm: The Life of a Man Who Changed Black America.)
Once one learns the truth about who Malcolm X really was, what the Nation of Islam preached then (and still does today), and the contents of the orthodox Islam Malcolm believed at death, then the only moral response is shame. And that’s what I feel today as I reflect back on the fact that for years a poster of an antisemitic conspiracy theorist hung tacked to my walls like a religious icon.
But Barack Obama never felt that embarrassing epiphany of realizing he’d based his life on a lie. According to Dreams from my Father, Obama discovered The Autobiography as a teenager. He then used the myth of Malcolm during his community organizer days as a symbol:
“Power! X Register to Vote Here”
“It’s a POWER thing! X Vote Tues Nov. 3″
That’s what the symbol of Malcolm X means and Obama knew how to use it: the misunderstood, oppressed proletariat can take power away from the corrupt conspiracy at the top that’s enslaved everyone. It’s a message that appeals to both the impoverished in the ghettos, and the spoiled, angsty, idealistic, upper-middle class high schooler growing up in white suburbia. And it too was a Big Lie. Power doesn’t come through voting in politicians who will give you healthcare and other free stuff.