From Thu Feb 19 15:45:05 2004
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Subject: wwnews Digest #767
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2004 15:31:41 -0500

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Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2004 14:20:41 -0500
Subject: [WW] After 39 Years, Malcolm X Inspires Struggle
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39 years after assassination: Malcolm X inspires militant struggle against racism

By Monica Moorehead, Workers World, 26 February 2004

On Feb. 21, 1965, revolutionary Black nationalist leader Malcolm X was assassinated while making a speech at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, N.Y. He was only 39 years old. To this day, it is still widely believed throughout progressive sectors that the U.S. government was very much behind his death.

Consider the fact that the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a repressive arm of the U.S. Justice Department, began keeping a file on Malcolm X— then Malcolm Little—in March 1953, upon his release from prison. It was during his prison term that he became politically radicalized and joined the Nation of Islam, a Black Muslim organization.

The file on Malcolm X, more than 3,600 pages and 19 sections, was part of the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program—COINTELPRO—which targeted political formations and individuals advocating various forms of liberation struggles of oppressed nationalities.

Malcolm X evolved into one of the most dynamic representatives of the NOI and the Black struggle. He traveled throughout the United States. speaking to predominantly Black audiences and to many white college students about the political and economic oppression of Black people inside the United States and worldwide.

Malcolm used historical facts and disarming political formulations to explain in a popular manner why Black nationalism was a more than justified response to an institutionalized racist ideology, as opposed to being anti-white—a distorted view projected by the big-business media.

He popularized the concept of Black people’s right to armed self-defense against the state-sponsored racist terror of the police and the U.S. government. This concept helped to give birth to the Black Panther Party in Oakland, Calif., in 1966, and to other revolutionary formations like the Young Lords, a Latino youth organization.

He along with Martin Luther King spoke about the right of Black people to reparations for the generations of racism brought about by the legacy of slavery. He created the immortal phrase By any means necessary in relation to the various tactics Black people should use to win liberation.

In the aftermath of his travels to Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere, Malcolm X was in the process of developing an anti- imperialist perspective when he was tragically struck down. He had just formed the Organization of African-American Unity as a vehicle for uniting other political currents within the Black liberation movement. He was planning to bring worldwide attention about the plight of African Americans to the United Nations.

Thirty-nine years after his death, Malcolm X remains a revered figure of defiance against all forms of racist oppression, especially among the youth as well as progressive and oppressed sectors of work ers. The left wing of the U.S. anti-war movement, most notably, the Interna tional ANSWER Coalition—Act Now to Stop War & End Racism—has been inspired by the legacy of Malcolm X, using his image in demonstrations to urge, Stand against war and racism.