The WTF guy has been terribly sick and in bed almost all week and just now has touched his computer for the first time in three days…
Therefore, he didn’t write anything for today’s column… instead WTF will reprint a column from November 2016… It is all bout how we the people are simply always playing the fools… being the 1%’s political chumps…
But… first some other stuff I need to get off my plate…
A reason to believe…
The only one to blame for the donkeys losing are the donkeys (or Hillary). Trump won… if you don’t like it then marshal your efforts towards the next election and/or supporting whatever efforts are ongoing that already support your positions. It’s done and its reality. Now we need to live with… adapt and carry on. That means if you are so inclined… supporting and working with BLM, Native Americans in their fight against Big Oil (or whoever else is trying to steal their land), suing the school boards and/or local government for allowing racist behavior, bullying or any other type of antisocial and unacceptable behavior in our schools… etc… etc…
Protesting the fact that Trumpty Dumpty got elected with no direction known… going along like a complete unknown… is sorta silly and truthfully it’s rather unproductive and does nothing except piss people off for essentially no other reason than pissing them off whether peeps realize it or not. But… to those that are doing it.. go ahead if it floats your boat. If, pissing people off to just piss them off is your thing, then go ahead do it… poke the damn bear if you so choose to.
I prefer doing and supporting stuff that has a real definitive purpose and with a real definitive goal.
I was out and about the day after the election and I really didn’t post a whole hell of lot or even read a whole hell of a lot about the election or even what people thought… sure during some here and there in-between respites from doing shit all day that needed to be caught up on; stuff I was postponing; stuff that I just needed a day to get done… but… as far as election stuff… not a whole hell of a lot the day after some people got their undies in a bunch and pissed their pants because Trumpty Dumpty got more electoral votes than Hillary Billary.
The day after the day after, as I drove into work, I was listening to Phil Ochs on my CD player… and as I heard Phil’s voice I thought back to when he was alive and the messages that he delivered (as well as many other singers of the time… Eric Anderson, Buffy Saint Marie, Dylan… even in rock and popular music… The Buffalo Springfield, Crosby Stills and Nash… Beatles even…) and I thought back to when I was involved and when I was young and I was so damn idealistic and when I was such an angry young man and tried to struggle against the system… the status quo… that took advantage of us all in so many ways. Of when the liberals and the extreme left and all the progressive forces in-between… they all seemed to find a confluence where they became united with a common ground… common goals… to fight against racism, war, saving the planet and so many other things… some so very idealistic and some so very necessary.
Of how the emotion… the fervor… the beauty of youth and the knowledge and strength of the old and the experienced were coming together and being united to fight against the bullshit of the elite and the US war machine and the 1% and main stream media…
And… then… after a time we got complacent. We maybe forgot what the struggle was all about… or… maybe just didn’t care as much. The war in Vietnam ended…. the economy rebounded kinda, sorta and things weren’t as bad… or so it seemed… as it once was. We fell back into the trap of being summer soldiers… and demonstrating and doing the dirty work of struggling against all odds to gain foothold in politics, in the legal system and the media and wherever we needed to be to continue the struggle ever onward and ever upward was left to those times when it was convenient.
It’s like it was the 1% of the 1%’s plan all along… they depended on us becoming complacent… involved with other facets of life that needed tending to… like making a living… raising families… becoming entangled in the web of the damn everyday necessities of staying alive. And, the struggle against racism and classism… against whatever was bad and wrong and unjust… all the good that was being done started fading away. And, there were less and less of us to be marching in the streets, to be railing against injustice; against the wars that were still being fought but no longer on the front pages of the mainstream newspapers or the screens of the mainstream newscasts…
And… in turn… the system was able to contain the damage and then smile to themselves and say… just as always… sooner or later… it ends and things go back to the way they were… more or less… we get richer and richer and they get poorer and poorer.
And, yes, I also fell into that trap… for whatever reasons… I fell by the wayside… I became beaten down by the necessities of life as so many of my other contemporaries did…
But, then a kind of wonderful thing began to happen… a flicker of a spark got ignited and people started being awakened once more… young people started marching back in the streets… along with the old and the experienced. Black lives mattered… and people wanted… they demanded… jobs… and people discovered that there are better and more equitable ways of taking care of what life throws at us all… that there are rights that we should all have more so than then just the right to be living and breathing… barely in many cases.
That if it be true that “… that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Then we need to be able to acquire the tools to do all of that…
That maybe education, health and living on a planet that is not endangered but actually nurtured and kept vibrant are all necessities we should have… that they too are rights because without them then how can a person… how can anybody… ever achieve being alive… being free… and ever being able to pursue being happy?
We all need… in whatever way we can… to keep the spark ever igniting and growing so that the flame of resistance against the 1% of the 1% grows and ultimately becomes a raging firestorm of protest and that demands true equality and justice. So that… maybe someday every damn right is fulfilled for every damn person in this country… and ultimately on this planet… and we all has what we need to be fully free and full of life and happiness.
The alternative… in a word…. sucks.
Why Trumpty Dumpty won…
I have heard many “liberals ‘ bemoaning the fact that some of those whom they considered to be close friends and were similar to themselves in their political beliefs turned out to be bigots. Mainly because they voted for Trump.
And they further bemoaned the fact that they blame themselves for doing nothing about those poor misguided bigots voting for Trump.
Let me say something immediately and straight out… while more than a few of those that voted for Trumpty Dumpty were actually bigoted and racist sons of bitches, not all of them were. I would posit that many of those who voted for the elephant candidate did so because they were forlorn about their lot in life and saw no way out of their financial malaise and no longer trusted the government. They also… frankly… brought into the line he delivered primarily to the Black folks of America but, in reality was directed to all of us who struggle day to day to get our daily bread. He said “What do you have to lose?You’re living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs. Fifty-eight percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?”
And they… white and black alike… wondered what do we have to lose? Elect a mainstream political crony or elect somebody who has never held a political office in his life and maybe he just might change how the hell America… yeah, poor working class and the long suffering and over taxed middle class white America was a big part of the demographic but there were also some of those who identified with being a minority or being a female included… has been screwed over for the last umpteen decades or so.
So, maybe some of what is being said about them that are bigoted and who voted for Trumpty is true but as far as anyone doing anything to sway certain bigots voting for Trump? Sorry. Short of committing a serious felony there is/was nothing you could have done to prevent them from voting how they voted.
The biggest point to understand is that the DNC and Hillary Clinton lost this election because of their arrogance, dishonesty and straight out bullshit that many voters saw right through. Some people who would have usually voted for the donkeys didn’t. Certain demographics were down and I believe the people who made up those demographics were simply disgusted with the donkeys and their bullshit. Trump won because the donkeys AND Clinton were fools who thought they could continue the big lie that they always told their constituents… that they were for the people… when they are anything but as presently constructed.
Last week I wasn’t here…
Last week I spent an entire morning composing the WTF column… I felt inspired that morning… my fingers tripped the light fantastic… tickity… tackity… across the keyboard and by damn I thought I had some damn fine words flowing from my grey matter onto my computer screen. When I was done, and, did what editing I thought was needed…tidied up this and that… I copied the entire column and went to paste it on the 7Poundbag site…
Then… I stopped and thought about needing a real insightful illustration to go with the words that I had wrote. I found one that was apropos… and hot damn it was a good one… was gonna go real nice with what I had written. I saved the pic to my computer and then… I made my fucking dumbass mistake… yep… I copied the words that went with the picture. Copied the caption beneath it… Viola… big fucking error. One damn column that I spent all damn morning creating was gone.
To try to replicate what I had written was simply… fergeddaboudit… never could I recapture the impassioned words that I had imagined and created into wonderful sentences and paragraphs and ultimately a beautiful inspired essay. I could never be able to quite get exactly what I written down… or as the case may be… typed out on my computer screen. It just wouldn’t have been the same. I was pissed. I was depressed. And ultimately I was resigned and I accepted the fact of my own stupidity and I moved on… kinda…
Now, today I print the gist of what I wanted to say back then… what I was going to print a day before my normally scheduled day to post WTF. I was gonna post it on Tuesday… election day… as a warning of sorts… as word to the wise so to speak… and as a word to the not so wise come to think of it…
It isn’t the exact same column because, as I said, I don’t think I could ever recapture how I felt as my brain speedily sent the signals to my fingers to type out the words that I had envisioned… the words that I had locked away and then set free.
If, you have ever written anything creatively… or even created anything at all… music… art… film… a garden… wood crafts… rebuilt a classic car… name it… then you will most probably understand what I am talking about.
Here is essentially what I wanted to say then… on election day…
And… I think it still holds value and is still germane to what we must all begin to examine about ourselves and maybe what we must do to break the system that we are all entwined within… embroiled within… and make it closer to what it should be… open elections that are no longer ruled by a two political entity system… that plays us all for political chumps…
Back in 1964 a movement moment defining speech was given on April 3, 1964 at Corey Methodist Church in Cleveland, Ohio… the speech was repeated on April 12, 1964 at King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit. Many people think the second speech is the more powerful. They both contain the same message but the second speech uses some words and phrasing that is decidedly different than the first and in my estimation is the most direct with his message.
The words in both speeches tell how the Black man has the power to determine who would be the next so-called leader of the free world… the next president of America.
The words were spoken by a Black man before a crowd of three thousand people at the first speech and about 2,000 at the second speech. At the April 3rd speech many of whom were influential Black leaders of the time… many of the audience were also white. I have no proof of this from my research but I am guessing that the April 12th speech had many more Blacks than whites and maybe that’s why there is some difference in the timbre… the tone… of the speech. Regardless both speeches are powerful and to the point.
The speaker was Malcolm X… aka el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz. The speech, which is maybe the best he ever gave and is listed by many folks as one of the best speeches from that era was a forceful declaration of how he envisioned the Black man’s situation in America.
Malcolm X was rarely, if ever, viewed from a varying middle ground of opinion. In simplistic terms, he was a man people admired or a man people despised. In a more intricate manner, there were those who admired Malcolm… who heard what he had to say about the Black Man’s plight and his fight for equality… and called him brilliant, wise, and a true revolutionary… a man who fought for freedom and justice for the Black people.
And, there were others who called him a racist… a divisive Black Nationalist preacher of violence and hatred of white folks. Some just called him that no good Black son of a bitch.
OK… black wasn’t the word that was used… but… the inference is the same.
Regardless of how Malcolm X was viewed… the reality is that he was one of the most influential speakers of his era… he may not have received the notoriety that others may have gotten… then or even now… but he was in the forefront of the fight for the Black person to be equal with the white person in America. One of Malcolm’s most used phrases may have been some variation of “I am here to tell you the truth” and when he spoke that truth he did not mince his words. He spoke boldly and bluntly and often times not always kindly… especially… when he spoke to the truth of how the white man treated the Black man in America.
Malcolm X, due to his very commanding physical presence and his ability to speak well before an audience, was a spokesperson and recruiter for the Nation of Islam (NOI) for about ten years… approximately from June 1953 when he was appointed as an assistant minister of the NOI’s Temple Number One in Detroit up to just a few months before his speech in 1964.
To further set the scene and the emotional turmoil of the time that preceded and led up to his speech some sequence of events should be realized and understood…
*In 1962, a system of staggered boycotts against white owned business in Birmingham were begun. Business in Birmingham saw a decline in sales by as much as 40%. The City Commission of Birmingham then withdrew $45,000 (approximately $350,000 in 2016) from a surplus-food program that mostly benefited poor blacks. The result had a reverse effect on the protest action and Blacks became even more motivated the boycotts.
*Spring of 1963, just before the period leading up to Easter Sunday which was usually the second busiest time of the year for Birmingham businesses, the boycott intensified. Powerful City Safety Commissioner Bull Connor informed all white businessmen that if they did not obey the segregation ordinances, they would lose their business licenses. Birmingham’s government was set up in such a way that it gave Connor powerful control, especially over the police and fire departments.
Connor was a devoted segregationist who once said that Birmingham “… ain’t gonna segregate no niggers and whites together in this town.” He also was on record as saying the Civil Rights Movement was a Communist plot and that a lot of the violence in Black areas was done by the Black people themselves.
*In 1958, Birmingham cops busted clergypeople who had organized a bus boycott. When the FBI investigated claims of police misconduct for illegally taking the clergypeople into custody, Connor said, “If the North keeps trying to cram this thing [desegregation] down our throats, there’s going to be bloodshed.”
*April 10, 1963, Commissioner of Public Safety Eugene “Bull” Connor obtained an injunction to stop the protests and he also raised bail for anyone arrested from $200 to $1,500 ($2,000 to $9,000 in 2016).
In repose to Connor’s actions, prominent clergyman and civil rights activist Ralph Abernathy spoke at the 16th Street Baptist Church and said “The eyes of the world are on Birmingham tonight. Bobby Kennedy is looking here at Birmingham; the United States Congress is looking at Birmingham. The Department of Justice is looking at Birmingham. Are you ready, are you ready to make the challenge? I am ready to go to jail, are you?”
*April 12, 1963 (Good Friday) Abernathy and Martin Luther King, Jr. were among 50 people who got arrested. King was held in jail and denied his constitutional rights for bail and any consultation with an attorney. While King illegally sat in jail, he writes his seminal “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” arguing that individuals have the moral duty to disobey unjust laws.
*May 2, in what eventually came to be known as the Children’s Crusade, more than a thousand students skipped school and gathered at the 16th Street Baptist Church. They marched in disciplined ranks downtown to protest by sitting in at various white businesses. More than 600 students were arrested… some as young as 8-years-old. Altogether, the total arrested for the day came to about 1200. Birmingham’s jail capacity was 900.
The use of children was criticized by many… Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy reportedly said “… an injured, maimed, or dead child is a price that none of us can afford to pay. I believe that everyone understands (Birmingham’s Black citizens) just grievances must be resolved.”
Malcolm X said, “Real men don’t put their children on the firing line.”
*May 3, 1963, Connor changed police tactics. As 1,000 children left the church to march downtown Connor ordered the city’s fire hoses to be turned on the children. Clothing was torn from the bodies of the children while others were pushed over the tops of cars or rolled down the streets and sidewalks. Black parents and other adults reacted by throwing rocks and bottles at the cops. Connor then told his stormtroopers to let loose their German shepherds.
Media coverage of the day’s events solidified the solidarity of the Black movement nationwide and a cry went up from people throughout America for Congress to pass a Civil Rights bill.
*May 7, 1963, fire hoses and dogs were once again used and another 1,000 people were arrested. Businesses were now completely shut down in downtown Birmingham. Alabama Governor George Wallace send 575 state troopers equipped with tear gas, shot guns and other heavy artillery to assist Connors’s police and fire personnel.
*May 8, 1963, white businesses capitulated to most of the protesters’ demands. Birmingham politicians (aka Bull Connor) refused to relent the attack upon the demonstrators. Trade unionists now began to show support for the movement in Birmingham with the UAW, United Steelworkers Union, and the AFL-CIO as well as other labor unions raising $237,000 in bail money to free those who were imprisoned.
*May 11, 1963, a bomb heavily damaged the Gaston Motel where King had been staying and another damaged the home of King’s brother.
*May 13, 1963, 3,000 federal troops were deployed to Birmingham to restore order.
*June 1963, the signs that delineated segregated public places in Birmingham were taken down.
*June 12, 1963, Mississippi’s NAACP field secretary, 37-year-old Medgar Evers, is murdered outside his home. Byron De La Beckwith is tried twice in 1964, both trials resulting in hung juries. Thirty years later he is convicted for the murder of Evers.
*June 1963, President John Kennedy sends a historical and ground breaking Civil Rights bill to Congress. If enacted, the bill would ban all discrimination… specifically… no one could be denied a job, or public appointment, if that denial was based on race, religion, sex, or national origin. The bill was far from being a slam dunk to be passed. The southern democrats… aka Dixiecrats… at the time pledged that they were bound and determined to block the bill from consideration by the House of Representatives.
*September 15, 1963, in Birmingham, Alabama, four young girls (Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Addie Mae Collins) are killed when a bomb is exploded while they are attending Sunday school at the 16th Street Baptist Church. Rioting erupts once again Birmingham and two more Black children are killed.
*November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy is assassinated. Within hours of Kennedy’s being murdered, Vice President Lyndon Johnson was administered the oath of office and became the president of America. As a country America was shocked and goes into nationwide mourning…
The Nation of Islam, which touted itself as a spokesperson for Black people was not always in agreement with the Civil Rights Movement. A major bone of contention was that the Civil Rights was for integration of the Black and white people and against segregation, and, the Nation of Islam favored Black separatism. NOI went so far as to forbid its membership from even being a part of the political process in America… or… of publicly expressing an opinion.
X had a habit of sometimes disregarding the NOI directive to be politically unopinionated… especially as in the arena of public opinion as depicted by the media.
The Nation of Islam reaffirmed their directive about political neutrality and told Malcolm X to say nothing about the Kennedy assassination.
*December 1, 1963, Malcolm goes off the reservation and says that America is reaping what they had for long sowed. In some very unpolitcally correct words, he says that “(Kennedy) never foresaw that the chickens would come home to roost so soon. Being an old farm boy myself, chickens coming home to roost never did make me sad; they always made me glad.”
The NOI got pissed and told X to shut the fuck up. Publicly they issued a statement that said Malcolm X was speaking out of turn and was not, in any manner, speaking for the Nation of Islam. They also told X to essentially take a time out and cool his heels away from the public eye for the next three months.
The situation between Malcolm X and the NOI had finally festered way too long, and, on March 8, 1964, Malcolm X announced that he was leaving the Nation of Islam. Within days he founded the religious organization Muslim Mosque, Inc., and, the Organization of Afro-American Unity which strongly advocated for Black Nationalism.
He told the news media that, while he was leaving the Nation of Islam, he himself would still be a Muslim… and… maybe more importantly… he also added that he intended to become involved in the struggle for civil rights for the Black people. He also made an announcement that was primarily directed at prominent people within the Civil Rights Movement that said, “I’ve forgotten everything bad that [they] have said about me, and I pray they can also forget the many bad things I’ve said about them.”
After Lyndon Johnson assumed the presidency, he threw his weight and formidable political clout behind getting the civil rights bill made into law.
*On February 10, 1964, The bill was passed by the House, and sent to the Senate for consideration. As mentioned before the Dixiecrats were promising the bill would not see the light of day.
*On April 3, 1964, Malcolm X appeared at Cory Methodist Church in Cleveland, Ohio at a forum that was being promoted by the Congress for Racial Equality (CORE). And, then on April 12, 1964 at King Solomon Baptist Church in Detroit.
The speech was titled… “The Ballot or the Bullet.”
Malcolm X immediately reaffirmed that he was still a believer in the Muslim faith. But he wasted no time in saying that he was not there to discuss his religion or anyone else’s religion or any other issue that so often were very divisive among African-Americans. Instead he said to the assembled crowd that he was there to speak about the common experience of what it was to be Black in America… he was there to speak about the common experience that Black people lived every day of their lives.
He then said… “It’s time for us to submerge our differences and realize that it is best for us to first see that we have the same problem, a common problem… a problem that will make you catch hell whether you’re a Baptist, or a Methodist, or a Muslim, or a nationalist. Whether you’re educated or illiterate, whether you live on the boulevard or in the alley, you’re going to catch hell just like I am.”
X then went on to note that 1964 was an election year, which, a time when “when all of the white political crooks will be right back in your and my community … with their false promises which they don’t intend to keep.”
He further said that the new president… Johnson… and… the rest of the Democrats were saying they supported the Civil Rights bill that Kennedy had initially put forth, but even though the Dems controlled both the House of Representatives and the Senate, they bill was still not law.
He then pointed out the Democratic party was blaming the stall of the bill on the Dixiecrats who were in Congress. But, Malcolm simply pointed out that the Dixiecrats were nothing more than Democrats in disguise and what was really going down was that the Black people were nothing more than victims of a con game.
Malcom speaks about how the Black population in America were becoming more experienced in the way the political game is played. He also said if they all would… if they would forget their differences, be they religious, philosophical or otherwise… and would become unified across all segments that normally kept them divided that they had a damn lot of political clout. That they could swing the vote one way or the other with their vote in the upcoming elections. They could elect people who would pay attention to the concerns of the Black population.
He said that a vote… the ballot… was a potentially potent weapon. If used with care and discretion. He then said a ballot is similar to a bullet… “You don’t throw your ballots until you see a target, and if that target is not within your reach, keep your ballot in your pocket.”
He then added that even if Black people did use their voting power judicially and with great discretion that he was still doubtful it would gain Black people what they wanted the most… equality.
He then told his audience that the government “… is responsible for the oppression and exploitation and degradation of Black people in this country… (the) government has failed the Negro.”
And, one specific way that the government had failed the Black people was in its unwillingness to enforce the law.
He said the Supreme Court had already outlawed segregation… yet… segregation was still alive and well in America… especially in the south.
He pointed out “Whenever you are going after something that is yours, you are within your legal rights to lay claim to it. And anyone who puts forth any effort to deprive you of that which is yours, is breaking the law is a criminal. And this was pointed out by the Supreme Court decision. It outlawed segregation. Which meant a segregationist is breaking the law.”
(On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court issued its landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka ruling, which declared that racially segregated public schools were inherently unequal. The court, in a 9 to 0 decision ruled that any form of segregation violated the clause of the 14th Amendment guaranteeing that states could not “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”)
Simply put… he said that the police and the local governments were tools of those who wanted segregation to be the order of the day… to remain intact and whole. And, that going to the federal government to resolve this illegality that was taking place on the local level was doomed to bear no fruit.
He then makes one of the more important points that was probability ever annunciated during the struggle for equality for the Black person in America. And, which also was never ever followed through with.
Malcolm X said that the proper… the real… solution for getting Black people equality in America was to elevate the struggle of African Americans from one of civil rights to one of human rights.
He specified that a struggle… a fight… fight for civil rights was a domestic… an American… matter, and, “no one from the outside world can speak out in your behalf as long as your struggle is a civil-rights struggle.” X said that the magic bullet was that the movement for African-American equality must be changed from civil to human rights… changed from an American problem… or fight… to an issue that could be brought before the world on an international stage… the United Nations. He said instead of “asking Uncle Sam to treat you right” that the Black person in America needed to ask the world for “the rights that are recognized by all nations of this earth.”
On April 12th these were his words… “When you expand the civil-rights struggle to the level of human rights, you can then take the case of the black man in this country before the nations in the UN….You can take Uncle Sam before a world court. But the only level you can do it on is the level of human rights. Civil rights keeps you under his restrictions, under his jurisdiction. Civil rights keeps you in his pocket. Civil rights means you’re asking Uncle Sam to treat you right. Human rights are something you were born with. Human rights are your God-given rights. Human rights are the rights that are recognized by all nations of this earth. And any time anyone violates your human rights, you can take them to the world court…”
X then spoke about controversial issue that had been questioned by politicians, civil rights leaders and the media…. the issue of “rifles and shotguns.”
He remained steadfast and said once agin that if the government is “unwilling or unable to defend the lives and the property of Negroes” then African Americans should defend themselves. BUT, he also advised….”This doesn’t mean you’re going to get a rifle and form battalions and go out looking for white folks… that would be illegal and we don’t do anything illegal.” And then said that there is now “the type of Black man on the scene in America today [who] doesn’t intend to turn the other cheek any longer” and if politicians… government… failed to keep their promises to African Americans, they would make violence inevitable…
He also reaffirmed his message throughout his speech… (from his April 3rd speech)… “Whenever you’re going after something that belongs to you, anyone who’s depriving you of the right to have it is a criminal. Understand that. Whenever you are going after something that is yours, you are within your legal rights to lay claim to it. And anyone who puts forth any effort to deprive you of that which is yours, is breaking the law, is a criminal… segregation is against the law. Which means a segregationist is breaking the law. A segregationist is a criminal… (and) when you demonstrate against segregation, the law is on your side. The Supreme Court is on your side.
Now, who is it that opposes you in carrying out the law? The police department itself. With police dogs and clubs. Whenever you demonstrate against segregation, whether it is segregated education, segregated housing, or anything else, the law is on your side, and anyone who stands in the way is not the law any longer. They are breaking the law; they are not representatives of the law…”
(From his April 12th speech)… “So, this doesn’t mean forming rifle clubs and going out looking for people, but it is time, in 1964, if you are a man, to let that man know. If he’s not going to do his job in running the government and providing you and me with the protection that our taxes are supposed to be for, since he spends all those billions for his defense budget, he certainly can’t begrudge you and me spending $12 or $15 for a single-shot, or double-action… Don’t go out shooting people, but any time… any time you and I sit around and read where they bomb a church and murder in cold blood, not some grownups, but four little girls while they were praying to the same God the white man taught them to pray to, and you and I see the government go down and can’t find who did it… It’s time now for you and me to become more politically mature and realize what the ballot is for; what we’re supposed to get when we cast a ballot; and that if we don’t cast a ballot, it’s going to end up in a situation where we’re going to have to cast a bullet. It’s either a ballot or a bullet.”
Malcolm X said all through history every revolution had always been a bloody one… the French revolution was bloody… The American revolution… the Russian revolution was bloody… any fight for people’s rights over a government or political force that unjustly ruled over it population had up this point been bloody.
But, today, in America, for the first time in history, there could be a revolution that was not bloody… that there was still time to prevent this from being inevitable.
“Lyndon B. Johnson is the head of the Democratic Party. If he’s for civil rights, let him go into the Senate next week and… denounce the Southern branch of his party. Let him go in there right now and take a moral stand… right now, not later. Tell him, don’t wait until election time. If, he waits too long… he will be responsible for letting a condition develop in this country which will create a climate that will bring seeds up out of the ground with vegetation on the end of them looking like something these people never dreamed of. In 1964, it’s the ballot or the bullet.”
But the ultimate message Malcolm X delivered was this… “I’m one of the 22 million black victims of the Democrats, one of the 22 million black victims of the Republicans, and one of the 22 million black victims of Americanism… I speak as a victim of America’s so-called democracy… Twenty-two million black victims of Americanism are waking up and they’re gaining a new political consciousness, becoming politically mature… (Blacks) see that the whites are so evenly divided that every time they vote the race is so close they have to go back and count the votes all over again. And that means that any block, any minority that has a block of votes that stick together is in a strategic position…. (Blacks are) in a position to determine who’ll go to the White House, and who’ll stay in the doghouse… (Black people are the ones) who put the present Democratic Administration in Washington DC…. you threw 80% of your votes behind the Democrats that put the Democrats in the White House. (And) what do you get out of it? The Democrats have been in Washington DC only because of the Negro vote. They’ve been down there four years, and all other legislation they wanted to bring up they brought it up and gotten it out of the way, and now they bring up you. And now, they bring up you. You put them first, and they put you last, ’cause you’re a chump; a political chump.
“The Party that you backed controls two-thirds of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and still they can’t keep their promise to you, ’cause you’re a chump.
“Anytime you throw your weight behind a political party that controls two-thirds of the government, and that Party can’t keep the promise that it made to you during election time, and you’re dumb enough to walk around continuing to identify yourself with that Party, you’re not only a chump, but you’re a traitor to your race.”
“How can you thank a man for giving you what’s already yours? How then can you thank him for giving you only part of what’s already yours? You haven’t even made progress, if what’s being given to you, you should have had already. That’s not progress. And I love my Brother Lomax, the way he pointed out we’re right back where we were in 1954. We’re not even as far up as we were in 1954. We’re behind where we were in 1954. There’s more segregation now than there was in 1954. There’s more racial animosity, more racial hatred, more racial violence today in 1964, than there was in 1954. Where is the progress?”
And today… 52 plus years later… where is the progress? Where have we gotten to after all these damn years? After all the damn elections? After all the sorry blood that has been spilled? After all the demonstrations? After all the times we picked an elephant or a donkey to rule over us? Where have gotten to in 52-plus years?
Not very damn far. We are still damn chumps.
Jeffrey McNeil in a piece he wrote… “A Better Tomorrow: Revisiting Malcolm X’s “The Ballot or the Bullet”… that was printed online on May 6 2013 said… “When you hear his speech, you can change the dates from 1964 to the present. Also, you can delete the names Johnson, Dr. King, and Congress, and replace them with Obama, Sharpton, and the Tea Party.
Although he calls for Black Nationalism, one can argue he urges a call for all Americans to accept responsibility for the cause of poverty. In his closing argument, he fires a warning to White America: to change their hateful ways, or there will be revolts around the world. After his speech, six months later, riots erupted in the inner cities throughout the rest of the sixties.”
Today… we are still chumps… political chumps and even social chumps. We still listen to the bullshit that all of these politicians… elephant and donkey alike… throw at us and then wait to see what we eat up. And… damn… do we eat it all up. And then lick the damn bowl to boot.
Sooner or later we latch onto someone who sounds like they are speaking to us… for us. That they might even change stuff. So, we all can get a leg up in this sorry ass world. Maybe start seeing a higher ground where things ain’t so god awful bad… so, we might be able to rise above the swamp that always seems to encompass how we live.
And… then… when they are in office not a fucking thing changes… not really.
Now and then they have to throw us a bone… sometimes a real big one… or else the dissension within the ranks of the dirty and the down trodden might actually start coming to a boil where they may actually do something that just might upset the apple cart of them that’s got it all… the wealthy and the powerful.
As Malcolm X points out all revolutions have always been violent and bloody… and… they usually end with thems that is in power getting disposed of that power in a not so friendly manner.
Back in the 1964 it was the Civil Rights Act. That appeased the Black people… for a time… it gave them a supposed leg up from where they once were. And it did open some doors that were previously shut to them. But… as Malcolm says in his speech… “…from 1954 to 1963 where has the Black man really gotten? In some respects, he has less than he had 10 years ago…”
I ask… now, slightly over 52 years since his speeches and then assassination…. as well as the assassinations of other prominent folks… what the hell has really changed?
Instead of hangings Black people are now being shot and/or beaten… and sometimes killed… by cops… both white and Black… although far more white cops are killing way too many black people. But it’s not just Black people being killed by cops… there are also a fair amount of white folks who die because of unjust treatment by those who are supposed to be upholding the law… those who are supposed to be assuring all of society that all rights are protected… but… instead society’s rights are violated and denied… sometimes to the point of ending some lives.
Fifty-two years later many Black people are still struggling to get over in this world but guess what… so are many white people.
While Black Lives do Matter… it’s time we stop letting the 1% of 1% use race to keep us divided and fighting one another and away from the real gold ring on the merry-go-round… understand and realize that what it’s all about is that it’s really a class struggle.
Way too many people are poor… hungry… indigent… without a home… a safe haven… are hungry… poor…
It has nothing to do whatsoever with race or ethnicity or sex or any other damn issue. It’s all lies that hey tell us to keep us at one another’s throats… blaming each other for the lot that we have been cast into. While they keep getting more and more richer than anyone could ever have imagined.
White, Black, Brown, Yellow, Red… whatever color… whatever ethnicity… whatever religion. or no religion… whatever difference that we all have… we all need to stand together and unify… we are all being screwed over… we are all chumps… just like Malcolm said 52-plus fucking years ago.
After this historic speech he made a pilgrimage to Africa and then Mecca. There Malcolm X’s philosophy changed; he evolved from being strictly a religious based personality to person who was an advocate for human rights.
Months later, The Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed, banning discrimination based on race, gender, and ethnicity.
On March 8, 1965, the first American combat troops arrived in Vietnam…
In August 1965, riots exploded in the Watts section of LA, leaving 34 dead and costing forty million dollars in property…
And the rest was history…
I believe after Malcolm went on his pilgrimage and returned he was going through dialectical process that would have eventually united him with other powerful spokespersons of his time… civil rights leader and political… and… there would have been a tsunami of change that would have been effected by the movement that would have been created. I believe That MLK Jr. was going through his own dialectical change and was evolving from more than just a spokesperson for racial equality… that he was becoming a fighter and leader for human equality and human justice.
And with the dialectical sea-change he was going through, along with Malcolm’s… if the two of these men ever had united… bar the damn door Katy… all kinds of holy shit would have occurred.
We will never know… murderous bastards… be they government or other asinine fanatics or a combination of… stole that possibility from us all.
Another thousand words…
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