When is it a time to kill? When should we take an eye for an eye? And what did Malcolm X mean when he said “By Any Means Necessary!”?
We will spend this weekend celebrating the birth of Malcolm X with festivals nationally. Most of the people celebrating will have a strong appreciation for his great words and the way he was able to articulate them. I wonder though how many have taken the time to really study some of the quotes he was famous for like “chickens coming home to roost” or the famous “By Any Means Necessary”. Who are these prodigal chickens and what means are necessary?
I think about all the great warriors before me from Nat Turner to Queen Mother Moore and I ask myself, when do we act on the orders that were given to us by those who were in the struggle when it wasn’t popular? What happened to the preachers like Nat Turner who understood that we had a God given right and a duty to fight for freedom, justice and equality even if it meant our lives? The only preachers coming out in the last twenty years are the ones trying to cash in on lawsuits from our suffering or death. I am not saying we don’t need an Al Sharpton or a Jesse Jackson but we have to have balance. I need a Jeremiah Wright kind of preacher around when a little 7 year old girl is murdered in her home and her grandmother is arrested and falsely accused of a crime so the overseers (officers) can be justified for their inhumane acts.
I saw the news and wanted to do something about all these police officers getting off for killing black people. The 90 year old black woman killed here in Georgia or the young man in Rockford this year who was shot in the church in the back four times. Black men are still being accused of crimes they didn’t commit. For example, a cop in Philadelphia was drunk and shot himself and blamed it on a black man. The lynch mob went out and it was discovered that no black man ever shot him. When do we as a community say enough is enough? I am not advocating violence but the right to bear arms was given to the people. So when the governing body of the government misused their authority, the people would have the right to defend themselves. I think killing a grandmother, a little girl or an unarmed black man is a clear example of misuse of authority.
Is it possible that when Malcolm was saying by “Any Means Necessary” that he was talking about the way we should defend ourselves against our oppressors? What did he mean when he said “An eye for an eye”? Was he just quoting the bible or was he trying to show us that even in the so called word of GOD we have the right to defend ourselves? I don’t know when it is a time to kill. I have read about this in the Quran, but I don’t think you need religion or the approval of the government to defend yourself as a people when a little 7 year old girl is set on fire and then shot. I can’t say what, as a whole, Black people should do because I don’t think any one person speaks for the body of our people contrary to what the media and the Reverends may think. I do however feel as a father of two girls, that if the cops killed one of them, I wouldn’t feel justified until I killed them and their kids, their mother their wives and everybody who tried to tell me I was wrong.
I watch how we justify going over to other countries and killing men, women and children under the false pretence of them being ruled by a wicked president or tribal leader. But when it comes to Black people talking about taking up arms to defend themselves against the terrorist in our community, who have been the police or peace officer as they call themselves, we are then considered violent and angry, as if without just cause. When you study history it shows how the police and the penal system have worked hand in hand to keep fear and intimidation relevant in our community. The police are the main suppliers of guns and drugs in our communities and the penal system acts a housing unit for cheap labor and the promotion of the breakdown of Black men. Aiyana Jones and her family and the community she comes from has been terrorized and no army is coming to save them. When I meet with people about reparations, organizing for civil rights or just to discuss what we can do to improve our communities, the conversation of Black people needing their own army always comes up. I often respond by saying we have armies and soldiers. They are called Vice Lords, Gangster Disciples, Crips, Bloods, etc. and they consist of Black and Brown people already. Whenever the generals from these armies recognize who the true enemy is and start teaching it to the children they get locked away for life or given the death penalty. When you have time learn the true history of these leaders from Larry Hoover who runs and operates the largest street army in the country or Jeff Fort who tried to convert all of his followers into Muslims and setup a community defense. These leaders are now locked up for life. We can’t forget Tookie Williams who the government felt they had to give the death penalty even though he changed his life around and was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for writing children books. My point is we have to start to discuss what to do about our men, women and children being killed and nothing or no one taking responsibility for it.
We celebrate civil rights and applaud the non violent movements of the 60’s but even Dr. King started to question if non violence in every instance was the solution. He of course was also murdered by this government so he is not around for us to ask him, so with that being said, do we now try an eye for an eye while we still have eyes to see with? Happy Birth Day Malcolm X a.k.a Malik El Haj Shabazz. Until Truth Prevails, My Eyes Will Be Watching.