Malcolm X revisited..

No book could ever replace how author Alex Haley brings to light the life of Malcolm X. A book which inspired many. Throughout our readings of Martin Luther King Jr. it is now very apparent to me that America needs to recognized the contributions to history that Malcolm X made. He was a force during the Civil Rights era and deserves to be remembered more than just an image of an angry black man. Here is an interesting article on the birthday anniversary of Malcolm X comparing him to current day Barack:


What’s the Matter with Conservatism…

In the media recently Gov. Walker’s agenda is once again discussed. Power remains the “buzz word” when it comes to his ideologies and how the conservative agenda plays into this in our country. I myself cannot wait to see what Conservatives have up their sleeves for the next election.

Are you American enough to be President?

Thank you Mr. Trump! In this new story Professor Ifill reflects on the so called “birther” challenge. After Sugrue’s lecture, one would wonder when will Obama be qualified to be President? Ifill mentions how this smear campaign parallels that of doubt when it was suggested Martin Luther King Jr. was working against America. Will the media put an end to the doubt or will this only fuel the flames of race issues in America?

Speeches of Martin Luther King Jr.

Of the five essays. Love, Law and Civil Disobedience rings most historic for me.
As the essays opens, it is said that there were many criticisms against student sit ins, and freedom rides, from people wanting a more gradual approach, King’s address stands out with his groundwork and explanation of his movement.
King defends the philosophy behind the movement, he speaks of what history reveals in terms of oppressed people rising up and states, “on the other hand, history reveals to us that those who oppose the movemnt for freedom are those who are in priviledged positions who very seldom give up their privileges without strong resistance.” He then speaks of three common ways to deal with oppression connecting it with the student movement here in the U.S. He justifies his philosophy and explains to critics who believe he is supporting communism. King states, “this is where the student movement and the nonviolent movement that is taking place in our nation would break with communism.” He goes on to state powerful words about agape love, the role of suffering in this movement, and the power of goodness within human nature. He expresses his ideas as a movement away from negativity and unjustness, an evil of sorts. He addresses the Freedom Rides, and the singing of “we shall overcome” in the most dire situations, and again mentions how important the student movement is to his philosophy and the carrying on of it. His words invite challenge and he is well prepared to defend his ideas of nonviolence in relation to civil disobedience. In this he establishes more reason to join in the struggle to fight injustices.

Of the required readings I must say that “I see the Promised Land” struck me as being a liberal speech but an eerie insight into the dangerous reality of King’s world in terms of death and threats.
First how he spoke of Abernathy’s introduction as if he wondered who he was talking about. He would reflect upon remebering certain instances of his movement not like he was speaking to his grandchildren about the history, rather as if he was watching his life unravel before death. His words still come across as positive towards the goal, yet seem to leave him out of the equation for the future. “We have got to stay together”, “But I know somhow, that only when it is dark enough, can you see the stars.” 280. King recounts his history with Bull Connor , and then to Memphis. He knows that much work must still be done, in boycotts, and “bank-in” movements yet still makes reference to the stabbing incident which almost took his life, “if I had sneezed…”. Memphis was a dangerous place for his to be and he understood the risks, spoke about how the risks were worth the struggle for Memphis and left the rest up to his savior. A powerful way for King to leave us, “I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you.”

Thomas Sugrue “Sweet Land of Liberty”

Discussion question: What does Sweet Land of Liberty teach us about the nature of racism?

First off that racism deep rooted in racial class is tied directly to economic rights. The economic inequalities bring out the racism in the North particularly in reference to educational inequalities and workplace injustices. Throughout Sugrue’s book I have found that the issues in the North are signs of racial segregation in terms of housing, jobs, police violence etc. These become powerful tools of racism in the North to keep whites and blacks separate, along with the addition of political agendas,so if the market proved to be racist then the minds of America soon follow.

Malcolm X Discussion

Malcolm X changed his attitudes towards white people over the course of his life due to his experiences in life. It is no doubt that the early hardships due to violence and intimidation by whites forced Malcolm to view no other relationship with whites but with violence and anti-integration methods. He was a man who recognized a problem with the United States that still exists today, race issues being global and the great denial which our Democracy promotes as one happy country that gets along for the goodness of mankind. He exposed the government for issues that kept his people down and felt such a passion about the uplifting of blacks that he was willing to risk his own life much like his counterpart Martin Luther King. Jr. Mecca was not the only journey he took, he also took his journey as a young man through the cities he cherished , the conk hair experience, and people he was influenced by and followed, (pg.370) shaking hands with a white person request. All of this culmunated to adjust his attitudes toward whites. Perhaps he understood they were just as much caught up in society and the expectations/pressures of survival in our nation. I was intrigued by chapter six and his desire to find happiness-dancing with Laura, then his relationship with Sophia, his positive and negative experiences with the black muslims. Most influencial I believe was his own family, the realization and committment to it (pg. 430), the gift giving of the dolls. He recognizes he should have pursued his academic dreams. He wanted his family close and continued the dream of his father, all other things were minimal. Malcolm X felt that way as a natural reaction to society and he reacted in a way that opened peoples eyes. Haley writes, “one month before his death he revised his views on intermarriage, to the point where he regarded it as simply personal matter” pg. 432. Change is inevitable.

Malcolm X changes his attitudes toward other African-Americans over the course of his entire life by first establishing the connection with slaves. He seeks truth in his ancestors struggle and for the most part his relationship with Elijah Muhammed exposes some of the very hypocracies of his own people. He definately related to the urban African-Americans though exposing the traps which undereducated encounter in life. He was not satisfied towards the end of his life with the back-stabbing of his past associations and how they worked together to defuse and sabotage his goals.

Malcolm X is not a racist… he was a realist. He acknowledged racism and demanded respect for everyone.
He wanted the best for his people, community, family, he was willing to make educated statements about our society that certain people read into as being racist. He exposed our nation for its hang ups on “race”, a word that is meaningless in a sense. His words angered many during a time when emotions were volatile “whites better be glad Martin Luther King is rallying the people because other forces are waiting to take over if he fails” (434)

How can Walmart be both “populist” and an such an enormous multi-national corporation?

walmart video

I wanted to share the link above, if you follow the page you will find a link from the televison show “frontline”. watch at your own risk 🙂

Walmart is seen as the people’s place. It mantains that it has integrity and that is savior for low prices, which in hard economic times is extremely important. It can be seen as populists because it has allowed many unskilled workers the chance to be part of a enormous multi-national corporation. Walmart makes it known that it is looking out for the lower income interests, they have made the nation feel good to be “cheap”, this company could do no wrong, from the retired grandma who greets you at the door to the televisions inside the store that help you make a meal for a family of 10 for under 5 bucks (just joking), they promote family and for the common folk. It is seen as the best place to invest all your hard earned money, it is seen as working hard to keep prices low for the shopper. America believes that Walmart is taking on high price shopping centers for the sake of the little people and that feels wonderful to most on limited income.

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