Anyone familiar with Malcolm X's speeches knows that he was simply brilliant.
His legacy attracts many global followers as well as resentful and envious detractors. Case on review: The Daily News's Stanley Crouch. Even al-Qaeda knows more than Crouch when it comes to Malcolm's pivotal role in Black Nationalism in the United States, judging by his recent envy-riddled vicious attack on Malcolm X.
In the November 24 column entitled "Where does Barack Obama stand on terrorism? X marks the spot," Crouch notes the recent statement by al-Qaeda's number two man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, denouncing President-elect Barack Obama and contrasting him unfavorably with Malcolm X.
Zawahiri refers to Malcolm as having been "honorable," as opposed to Obama, Colin Powell, and Condoleezza Rice--he refers to the latter three as "house negros," who had dishonored Malcolm's memory and legacy.
Zawahiri's obvious ploy is to gain global media attention, which he accomplishes; more critically, he wants to confuse the hundreds of millions of African Americans, Africans, Latinos, Asians, and progressive Whites, who embrace Obama, while still cherishing Malcolm's legacy.
The al-Qaeda official shares something with Crouch; both are either ignorant about Malcolm's evolution, or chose to ignore it.
The latter Malcolm, who returns from his Hajj to Mecca and adopts a much more global and inclusive perspective, shares much more in common with Obama then he does with the reactionary terrorist al-Qaeda organization, or the Nation Of Islam (NOI), which expelled him, and created the atmosphere leading to his murder. The latter Malcolm had concluded that Black Nationalists can form alliances with progressive non-racialist Whites to oppose discrimination and economic exploitation; this philosophy is diametrically opposed to the teachings of Zawahiri and his al-Qaeda cohorts.
Crouch's vicious and virulent attack against Malcolm's legacy is absurd and shows a level of envy that's pathetic.
Crouch had the opportunity to tell the al-Qaeda leader that what separates Americans from Zawahiri and his compatriots is the capacity to evolve and regenerate.
Malcolm was a genuine American diamond of the highest polish, much in the same manner that Barack is today. Only in America, can a pimp, drug dealer and ex-con like Malcolm, educate himself while incarcerated and become so knowledgeable and respected that he is invited to speak at institutions such as Oxford University.
Malcolm learned more in prison than Crouch can ever grasp in universities and libraries; he had been endowed with a superior mind.
Similarly, Obama, abandoned by his father, wonders about his ethnic identity and even experiments with drugs in his youth; rather than slide down the hill to become another Black statistic, he seizes the moment, becomes a stellar student, community activist, professor, scholar, consummate communicator, family man, and now brilliant politician.
Where else in the world can such stories be written?
"Malcolm X was one of the naysayers to American possibility whose vision was permanently crushed beneath the heel of Obama's victory on Nov. 4," Crouch writes. "Though his ideas had nothing to do with the ultimate form of nonviolence - voting - those desperate to praise him will pretend now that he was actually a civil rights leader! This has been going on for an unforgivably long time, especially among black academics."