Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Detroit Red

Malcolm X in March 1964
"There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance next time."Malcolm X

While anger is something we are taught to contain, it certainly is one of the purest emotion. An angry person is a spontaneous person, the best he can be. What an angry person says is not fabricated, it is simply the truth from his perspective. But, historically very few have been able to articulate their anger creatively. Most have simply gone destructive.

To this end Malcolm X, the personification of anger, is a figure to look up to. One prime figure of American Black Rights Movement, he embodied a personality that was magnetic as well as could inspire fear. He was rightfully angry for the basics he was denied as a citizen of a nation, but more so as a human. His chamionship for rights of people, he considered brothers has been  fierce and unabashed and essentially not concealed by garb of nonviolence.

He provides antithesis to his contemporary Martin Luther King in his demand for Civil Rights for Black Americans. He is very just in expressing the idea "Concerning nonviolence, it is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself when he is the constant victim of brutal attacks." In a way fear of his natural retaliation is what make peaceful agitation of Martin Luther King more of a better option. America would not be prepared for a civil war based on racist lines.

I was born a generation after his death and could not find his mention in any textbook till another generation was taking shape, because his was not a 'nonviolent' approach. But, when I read about him now I find him far more just, righteous and humane. He doesn't thrive on ideals like peace, nonviolence in an unequal world. He aspires for them and he knows that the pre-requisite for those notions to be possible is equality, a claim in the shared resource called nation.

Like any human he falters, but his shortcomings are more of personal nature than of any larger consequence to collective society. His faults don't create long standing fault-lines and divides or in more harsher terms scars. He is very concerned with nature of justice, since he himself remains a victim of crimes of the injustice perpetuated by a civilized society. And on realizing his errors he is not ashamed of accepting them, undoing the possible harm done by them and emerge to continue the task he was set out to do. He perseveres and in the process glamorizes everything that associates with him. 

His success is in being part of the situation and being part of the solution. His story is inspiring and he effectively tells us, "If you want something, be loud about it". His experiences tell us that civil laws are secondary to natural laws and thus right to self-defence shall be granted paramount status. You can talk about nonviolence only when peace is granted and not with a gun pointed at your head.