Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Brother Malcolm

Do you know what my favorite Malcolm X quote is?

It's what he said in 1964 when he was attacking the Democratic Party, which in the south was made up of aggressive segregationists who were sending the police and the dogs and the fire hoses on the protesters. He called out the Democratic Party, which President Lydon Johnson, shall we say, was rather annoyed by, because at the time he was trying to establish a relationship with the civil rights movement (and channel it into less systemically threatening directions, such as voter registration).

Anyways, Malcolm makes this speech, and right in the middle of it, he stops to say:

"I know you don't like me saying that. I'm not the kind of person who come here to say what you like. I'm going to tell you the truth whether you like it or not."

You know what the crowd in Detroit did where he was speaking after he said that?

They clapped.

The full speech.

A lot of it was very specific to that time period, to what was going on politically then and what the forces and attitudes were at the time. That beign said, there's some mighty fine grains of universal truth in there.

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