Jeff J.

Jeff J.
Cattlearoma, New Mexico, USA
June 08
free and clear
A computer programmer who is no longer geeky enough to be interested in how software is constructed; I care more about what software can do for people; or even more about people, period. Mostly interested in the taboo subjects of religion and politics: religion as an atheist, and politics as a left-leaning Democrat. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Any work copied or excerpted under this license should be attributed to Jeffrey G. Johnson, and included with a link to this blog.

MARCH 31, 2012 3:29AM

Malcolm X: Any Old Snake Will Do

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I recently read some things I don't like too much here on Open Salon, stuff written by white assholes who think they are superior because of their race, and this post is an attempt to express my emotions on the matter.

Since the election of Barack Obama, the question of race in America, long smouldering in the background, politely ignored, or perhaps cowardly avoided is a better phrase, has been brought to the forefront in raw and dramatic form. I encourage you all to examine this heartfelt and painful post, Keka: White Men With Guns to get a little taste of the ugly kinds of racist cockroaches that have come scurrying out into the light since Obama was elected.

Lately I've been thinking about Malcolm X. 

 Anybody with a brain and some sensitivity and open eyes has seen the racism in the crazy stories about our President: he's a Muslim, he's foreign born, he's the Anti-Christ, he's dark and scary and planning to destroy America, Joe Wilson and Jan Brewer disrespecting him in the Congress or shaking a finger in his face on the tarmac like he was a boy being scolded. When the President is disrespected, the United States of America is disrespected; the American Flag is disrespected; the Constitution and the Revolution and the Civil War and every President that ever served this nation is being disrespected. And these racist bastards could only behave this way toward a black President. The list of offenses and racial ugliness that has surfaced like pond scum is long and obvious. Some of it is right here at Open Salon; you can find it in posts and comments every day, and it's more visible during the current discussion about Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.

In thinking about Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, and in thinking about self-defense and "Stand Your Ground," I was reminded of Malcolm X. 

About 20 years ago I picked up a booklet and a CD with a collection of speeches by Malcolm X. The collection is called "Malcolm X Speaks Out". I was born in 1959, and when Malcolm X was still alive I didn't know anything about him. As I grew up, I learned very little about him, other than that he was radical, and preached violence. So I was curious to see the truth about the man on my own. It took me over 30 years before I grew up enough to have the courage to find out the truth, to face something that was vaguely scary to me because of what I had been told as a young boy.

And here is what I discovered: Malcolm X is an intelligent articulate man who spoke about justice for the American "so-called" Negro. As I listened to Malcolm talk for the first time in my life, I heard the anger in his voice, and I heard the intelligence in his words, and I understood the righteousness of what he said. He never said anything that any white person would not agree to if the tides were turned, and it was white people being discriminated against, and oppressed, and subjected to humiliation and shame and violence and hatred and all the ugly shameful horrid crimes that whites have perpetrated on blacks in the history of this nation.

Any white American who cares about justice and equality, and who has a proper awareness of the history of white Americans, especially vis-a-vis African Americans, any white American who is honest and wants to own up to that inescapable history that we are still connected to and that we have to live with, should come face to face with Malcolm X and absorb what the man has to say.

And it is not easy at times. Click on the link below and listen to the following speech, one that gave me chills when I first heard it, and it still gives me chills. If you are white, then you are the snake Malcolm is talking about; own up to that and feel the righteous justice in the man's anger; know that if you were in his position you would feel as he did. Think about what the African people have endured from the first minute they came to this land; put yourself in their shoes and just absorb what Malcom says as if he speaks for you; feel that in your heart and do not be defensive. 

Click and listen: Any Old Snake Will Do 

This black man was shot through the heart by Police men in Los Angeles, California, and they are dumb enough to think we have forgotten it. Well, a Muslim never forgets. You don't kill our brother! We don't never forget! You don't shoot one of us and then grin in our face. You don't shoot one of us and then shake our hands and think we'd forget it. No, we never forget, we'll never forget! Someone has to pay. Somewhere, somehow, someone has to pay. When a snake bites your children, you don't go and look for the snake that has blood on it's jaws, any old snake will do. Any old snake will do! .... I'm telling you, the only way you get justice is in the street. The only way you get justice is in the sidewalk. The only way you get justice is when you make justice for yourself. -- Malcolm X  

 It is pointless to deny that white Americans have behaved like snakes, and pointless to deny that there are still snakes among us today. It is our responsibility to not be snakes, to stand up and defend our fellow human beings, to defend our President, and to call out, to denounce, to shame white racism wherever and whenever we see it, to not be silent and to not enable it, but to crush it, to end it, to not tolerate the bullshit claims of reverse racism, to not allow ignorant white conservatives to pretend that racism is a thing of the past until it is truly gone.

What is reverse racism? A white kid doesn't get into Harvard or Medical School like the other 90% of white kids who did get in? Boo hoo. That is not racism, that is an inconvenience, and to call it racism is a joke. Put that next to 400 years of slavery, torture, and humiliation. Put it next to hundreds of years of systematic denial of education and economic opportunity; of injustice in the courts, of lynchings, of Jim Crow, and the cumulative psychological and economic impact of being denied access to the American dream and the full rights and dignity that any human being deserves. Reverse racism: if that could even be funny at all I'd call it a joke; but it's not even a joke, it's just a crying shame that white privileged assholes could even entertain the idea for a second.

In the following video Malcolm talks about rights, the Constitutional rights, including the right to bear arms and the right to self-defense. 

By Any Means Necessary.

 If Malcolm were alive today he'd be talking about "Stand Your Ground" and the second amendment. He'd say that if George Zimmerman can defend himself with a gun and walk free, then the black man should be able to defend himself with a gun and walk free. Anybody who takes George Zimmerman's side on this matter had better watch what you wish for, because when you get it you might not like it so much.

Note: The next paragraph is somewhat of a dilemma for me. It is what I wrote originally, when swept away late at night by a mood of extreme outrage over the tendency of many white people, especially the conservative variety that is especially drawn into the group solidarity of tribalism, of race, of religion, and nationalism, to feel compelled to defend the actions of George Zimmerman. Not only that, but I saw some comments and posts from unapologetic white supremacists who were slandering Trayvon Martin, as if there was anything a teen age boy could have done, any mischief he may have done or trouble he might have had that would somehow justify shooting a 17 year old carrying an iced tea and a bag of skittles. What that is really about is justifying their feelings of racial superiority (which need justification because inside they feel threatened) by marking Trayvon as something non-white, someone non-virtuous, somone who could be portrayed as deficient and thus as an acceptable loss, as one who somehow deserved to be shot. As a white man I feel compelled to speak out against this kind of blunt primitive logic of skin-color-based group solidarity, this kind of dehumanization in the interest of preserving racial boundaries. The differences of race are biologically trivial and unimportant genetically compared to the overwhelming solidarity and sameness of all human beings. We are all brothers and sisters in a big beautiful family, and to see this kind of racist ignorance being perpetuated, and to see references to race war and to blacks as a kind of animal made me snap with rage and I spilled it out in a raw unfiltered violent and offensive emotional blur of foul language. A wise gentleman in the comments, Mr. jmac, cautioned me that this rant had corrupted an otherwise good post, and I think he is right; I am a peaceful loving person, and I do not wish anyone ill. I hope somehow those whose vision is clouded by racism will learn, will see the truth that is somehow obscured from their eyes. I nearly deleted the last paragraph because it is not necessary; but something inside made me stop. It came from somewhere deep inside me, from a deep anger boiling over, and in some way it is meaningful. There is something raw and true in that anger and rage, and there is a promise to fight against anyone who engages in racist violence, to not be a silent enabler if it should come to that. So I leave it up to the reader to choose to skip the last paragraph and go straight to the links I provided, or to read it with my disclaimer in mind that it represents a moment of deep rage against racism, against stupidity, against old ways of thinking that have no place in our future, but that my peaceful self-restraint has that raw emotion safely in check unless someday there is a real need for it. It is a kind of poem or art of my anti-racist anger that stands as a warning to those who think they will enlist the support or silent assent of other whites in support of their vile immoral program.

Some of you nasty pieces of garbage are right here on Open Salon and I've read your posts and your comments; I've seen stuff written here that's worthy of being material; you know who you are; I hold you racist right-wing Nazi fucks in such bitter contempt that if I had shit on the bottom of my shoe I'd gladly wipe it off on your ugly pale pug-nosed faces. And if you ignorant punks ever start the "race war" you like to dream about, I'll join with a hundred million other decent whites in gunning you down myself. I'm a white man with guns in my house, and I'd shoot down white supremacist racists to defend American blacks, and I'd do it gladly because I want you out of this world. You will be crushed without mercy, like bugs. Your days are over, and your future is non-existent. You might as well do yourselves a favor and stop breathing. It won't be white people rising up against dark people; it will be the stupid cesspool of minority white ignorant genetic trash, the stinking remnant of southern resentment still bitter over losing the Civil War, stepping into the light so the majority of decent citizens can defend our brothers and sisters from the deviant dead-end withering branch of inbred human garbage you brainless zombies represent. So you'd best just lay low under your rocks and in your caves until your kind dies off and this planet is finally rid of your poison. You know who you are; you're even dull witted enough to feel proud of your ugly putrid mediocre white-supremacist foulness, so I don't need to name names.

 In New York, unarmed teen shot and killed by police.

Prescient article identifies ugly white backlash in 2009. 

Police kill blacks in Miami 

And in Chicago 

In Detroit. 

17 cases of unarmed black men killed by police 

"One day we're going to bite..." 

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No comments of course. Thanks for sticking your neck out. I've seen the articles you talked about by the white racists. oS is a cesspool. You'd do well to take your writings elsewhere--you're too good for this dump of bs "writing".
You've written powerful and uncomfortable truths with this piece. ~r
I was with you right up to the last paragraph. Without that rant this would have been a very good post.
I've known about Malcolm X since he first set foot in front of a camera, and though he was militant in his rhetoric I never heard him utter an obscene word. In the end of his brief career, his rhetoric changed and he spoke out against the perversion of Islam by the Nation of Islam and Elijah Muhammad.
He was still a Muslim, but he felt the Nation of Islam had "gone as far as it can" because of its rigid religious teachings. He said he was going to organize a black nationalist organization that would try to "heighten the political consciousness" of African Americans.
After completing the Hajj, Malcolm said the trip allowed him to see Muslims of different races interacting as equals. He came to believe that Islam could be the means by which racial problems could be overcome.
The three assassins who shot him down in the midst of a speech were black men sent to kill him by the Nation of Islam...
Malcolm X was above all else a gentleman and and though he expressed his beliefs with force and passion, his words were always measured. He never ranted with obscene scatological threats.
My rant was in reaction to the real and unpleasant occurrences of vile racist hatred. Yes, I spoke in anger, and was not espousing goals or longings that are positive and life affirming.

But yes I was advocating standing up to the likes of Nazis and not allowing silence and passivity to enable evil people to perpetrate acts of death and destruction. I was Standing My Ground out of necessity, and so I abandoned politeness and measured dialog.

As a black man, as a minority challenger to an established regime of white power, Malcolm X had to behave like Jackie Robinson, to excel with honest effort and to stay within the rules of the game, and he was smart enough to know it.

As a privileged white man, I'm indulging in the luxury of calling out the true nature of foul worms masquerading as humans. Yes, I'm venting emotions, but they are not paranoid lunatic imaginings, they are a reaction to real human darkness and stupidity. I'm lashing out at people who are preserving ugliness not befitting the dignity of human beings. I refuse to not hold up a mirror to those vermin.
We live in a racist country. It is racist way, way more than it assumes. Obama did not change that; in fact, the best writer on racism I know, Tim Wise, says that Obama helped change the form racism now takes.

Reverse discrimination has nothing to do with actual discriminiation. Reverse discrimination is about turf and not discrimination at all: if it were about discrimination, those screaming about it would have originally screamed about actual discrimination, but you'll notice that the overlap between one group and the other is almost nonexistent, which says that the rationale behind reverse discrimination doesn't come from the same place. There is a fundamental and obvious difference between trying to bring a minority up to the majority's level by compensating for past forcibly imposed disadvantages and a member of the majority resisting taking on any disadvantage for any reason under any and all circumstances regardless of the boost provided by past advantages. Given how bad a permanent underclass is for this country in so many ways, I'd conclude that resistance to "reverse discrimination" can indicate a dearth of patriotism - it sure as Hell isn't how America's Black WWII vets behaved after putting their lives on the line for a country that treated them like shit when they returned home.

Venting is fine as long as you have a good idea what you think it will accomplish. There are things it will accomplish, actually, but it won't be about slime you find here who frankly can't be reached that way; it will be that your allies will understand that you mean it and that you actually are deeply angry.
Keka, you give us such a great education re: Being Black in USA that I love to read you. As for this rant, strange to say I've never read anything racist here. My circles, such as they are, do not include them. Rated with love,
Sorry for calling you Keka, I came here to read her but it was not her writing. Apologies.