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Date: Sat, 30 Jan 1999 00:07:49 -0500
From: "BruceC" <beecee@interport.net>
Message-ID: <000701be4c0e$7b8ca2e0$7ef526cf@workstation1>
Sender: owner-brc-all@igc.org
Subject: [BRC-ALL] FW: Malcolm X Stamp Debate Escalates--By Paul Lee, BEI
To: <brc-all@igc.org>

-----Original Message-----
From: Matt Hannah [mailto:mhannah@concentric.net]
Sent: Thursday, January 28, 1999 9:29 AM
To: Pan-African News Wire; free.mumia@umich.edu
Subject: Re: Malcolm X Stamp Debate Escalates--By Paul Lee, BEI

Malcolm X Stamp Debate Escalates [Malcolm an integrationist?]

By Matt Hannah, 28 January 1999

> --Who was responsible for the USPS's original biographical text,
> which claimed that Malcolm X "supported a more integrationist
> solution to racial problems" at the end of his life? While
> warmly embraced by the head of B'nai B'rith International, a group
> highly critical of Malcolm X during his lifetime, this view is
> contradicted by Malcolm X, himself, who declared nine days before
> his assassination: "We do not want integration—not in the
> way white people mean it, at least."

Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like this argument is missing the point. Regardless of his take on integration, Malcolm became more open to the idea toward the end of his life. Until late 1964 (I'm pretty sure that's accurate, not positive!) Malcolm still advocated separatism. As his ideas rapidly changed, he believed in the races first initially working amongst themselves to solve problems, then working together. This was a vastly different belief compared to his former wish to set up a black state away from white people. So, while Malcolm did not accept the token integration advocated by more mainstream activists, he still developed a MORE integrationist belief in solving the problem, rather than a separatist one. The difference between Malcolm and other leaders is that he didn't feel integration was a cure-all to everything, and never agreed to non-violent tactics.

Secondly, I have to say that I'm really impressed that USPS is even making a Malcolm X stamp, though I don't mean to say it's acceptable to settle for substandard treatment. I think the purpose of the "inaccurate" quote was not to dilute Malcolm's ideas, or to make him"acceptable," but rather to explain to people that Malcolm was more than just a separatist member of the NOI. I feel that most of us would agree that there are few people that are truly aware of Malcolm's progression in the last two years of his life. This is why I support the biographical text: it exposes a different side of Malcolm, a side that is better explained by further study, and one that cannot possibly be accurately explained from a simple USPS biographical text.


BRC-ALL: Black Radical Congress - International Discussion/Debate
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