You get your freedom by letting your enemy know that you'll do anything to get it - Malcolm X
So, where were all Malcolm's fans on Thursday, May 19, when the faithful celebrated the 86th anniversary of his birth? Each year, people dedicated to the principles Malcolm X championed gather in Westchester County, New York at his Ferncliff Cemetery gravesite, although many profess to embrace Malcolm's teachings, the sad truth is that the actual number of practitioners are few. It's regrettable that so few Black Americans define "freedom" the way that Malcolm did. African Americans have fallen prey and acceptable of America's institutional racism. In America and every country that benefitted off the backs of slaves, descendants of slaves continue to allow themselves to be held at bay regarding reparations.
Ask yourself: "If Malcolm were alive today, would he be "for" or "against" reparations? Or, if you are a "Mainstreamer" ask yourself if "the freedom" Malcolm spoke of was "freedom to associate and assimilate with Whites?" There needs to be an awakening among those Blacks with mainstream mindsets about the importance of reasoning and rallying for reparations compensation. Until now, Blacks have allowed themselves to be bamboozled by an illusion of inclusion in American society. Mainstream forces keep most Blacks' minds off the daily doses of racism they experience and cause us to focus the energy we should be using toward our freedom on the symbolism of keeping Obama in the White House.
Instead of striving toward the freedoms Malcolm sought, "Mainstream Blacks" are happy to entrust traditional institutions to look out for our interests. Given the frightening state of affairs in the White world, mainstream oriented Blacks have to admit that nothing is improving for Black people in general. Just when "Black Mainstreamers" thought it was safe to sneak out of the struggle, a movement called Exodus Two emerged. The movement promotes a new philosophy for Blacks "to rise up and act in our own behalf."
Our current level of "empowerment" is not working for us, so instead of continuing to allow White peoples' interest to determine our agenda, Blacks need to take a "timeout" from the mainstream and make time to make a difference in our own communities. If we continue to blend in, our race will literally rot in the ghettoes of America. Whether you live on Malcolm X Boulevard, or in a gated community, it's time to represent descendants of the slave trade against the injustices that destroyed Blacks and their forbearers' lives. Isn't it time that concerned Black Americans admit that nothing is improving for us under this system? This system was built based on Blacks providing free labor. It's also time we each demonstrated on behalf of the descendants of slaves and against the U.S. government for its complicity in the slave trade and the impoverishment, misery, distress, and bigotry that continues to this day.
Isn't it time to make the American and European governments accountable for stealing human beings off of the continent of Africa and enslaving them for 400 years? The debt from that period is simple: more than 100 million Blacks lost their lives, at the same time; White-run nations that acquired wealth and power from one generation to the next continued to thrive; while slaves and their descendants lived in wretched chattel squalor. Sadly, most Blacks seem satisfied with this status quo.
Newly awakened Blacks could be an enabling force during the upcoming months and years by scheduling local lectures and study groups on reparations. The Exodus Two movement's goal seeks passage of a bill for reparations. Toward that end, Exodus Two is mounting two public rallies: the first on June 15, beginning at 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., in front of The United Nations in New York City. The second rally will be held on June 20, beginning at 6 a.m. until 5 p.m., on the steps of U.S. Capitol. It's time to get on the list. E-mail: Yehudah ben Yaacov at [email protected] or Tziona Yisrael at [email protected].
William Reed is available for speaking/seminar projects via BaileyGroup.org