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21
27
Ironically racist villain. True hero.
Debate Score:48
Arguments:15
Total Votes:64
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 Ironically racist villain. (10)
 
 True hero. (8)

Debate Creator

EnigmaticMan(1844) pic



Should Malcolm X be remembered as a Villain or Hero?

It has come to my attention (I had previously very little interest in African American activism - nor do I have any great amount now) that the individual known as Malcolm X  has been described as " one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history". From what I can tell, he was a racist, bigoted maniac who favoured segregation, black supremacy and the universal vilification of white people. Come to think of it, he's essentially Qymosabi (in fact, it is now apparent that Qymosabi drew a great deal of his hatred form Mr. X). 

The premise, therefore, is this: Is Malcolm X worthy of  remembrance as " one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history", or does his uncompromising hatred of white people make him as much a bigoted fiend as the very persons he sought to vilify? 

Ironically racist villain.

Side Score: 21
VS.

True hero.

Side Score: 27
3 points

I have mixed feelings about Malcolm X.

I will say that Spike Lee has made it seem that Malcolm X would agree with rioting and setting a pizza parlor on fire, but I think otherwise.

Malcolm X only condoned self-defense. He didn't promote random acts of violence. He merely said "if a white person hits you, hit him back" (paraphrasing, of course). I advocate self-defense, and sometimes it's absolutely necessary to fight back.

My main problem is his conflict with King's message. King advocated for every black person to NEVER fight back because King was smart enough (unlike X) to realize that the system is not in favor of blacks, and it surely won't be in favor of blacks who act violently. If your life is in danger, then fight for your life. But if a bunch of whites beat you for merely "looking" at a white woman, fighting back will only hurt the long-term goal, which is to show whites that blacks are equals.

Another problem is how he abandoned most of his beliefs after an epiphany. Unfortunately, the legacy he left behind was uninterrupted by his enlightened belief due to his assassination. He wanted to promote peace and tolerance (as opposed to his original ideals of Black Nationalism and reverse-racism) but his newfound beliefs were cut short by an ironic assassination. I'm not saying that X is bad for this, parse, but it shows that his peaceful impact was not successful, as some would like to say. Instead, his violent legacy has flourished.

Some consider this a good thing. Some feel that while King was necessary for the long term goals, X was necessary in helping the Black stand strong against white oppressors. Unfortunately, absolute morons like Spike Lee obscure that legacy into promoting rioting and violence against innocent people.

X's legacy has been skewed. I do believe that his ideals were good, but only for a more just country. He, unfortunately, was planting thoughts into people's heads that would only hurt the black movement (during it's time). As well, the people who follow King the most have proven to be absolute racists almost as bad as the KKK (Black Panthers and Nation of Jizzlam). And (pertaining to X) it's not good to fight racism by making racial slurs in a serious way. For future reference, it's okay for comedians (who do it right; most of them do, though).

So is he a true hero? Hard to say. If asswipes like the Black Panthers, Farrakhan, and Spike Lee didn't exist, I wouldn't even question Malcolm X and what he did. But, unfortunately, I have to.

Side: Not sure
1 point

I meant "follow X the most have proven to be absolute racists"

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Side: Not sure
no1uno(5) Disputed
0 points

I have and cultivated a no lose plan to destroy you ,dominance of an an inferior and yet, dominant expression of an extinct sub species of homo sapiens(Neanderthal Aryan Caucasian Parasite) I'm using the media, prohibition, a diplomat, and a hemp plant to promote the lone wolves in helping you filth of dominant recessive expression, to vote your beloved 2nd amendment rights away!(I will win)

Side: True hero.
SG95(1) Disputed
1 point

How has Spike Lee marred his memory? How has Spike Lee made it seem as though Malcolm X ADVOCATED violence?

Side: True hero.
3 points

I find that it is important to stand up against your enemies because if you don't, then they will continue to mess with you. On the other hand fighting racism with racism doesn't solve any problems.

Side: Not sure

Malcolm X was a bigot and racist sentiments towards white people, yet black history recognizes him as a hero for black people.

This is a example of society's double standard.

This would be the same as if William Joseph Simmons was recognized as a hero for white people.

Side: Ironically racist villain.
Mahollinder(893) Disputed
5 points

This would be the same as if William Joseph Simmons was recognized as a hero for white people.

What did Malcolm X do or say that you think would make him analogous to Simmons?

He didn't advocate violence. He didn't advocate breaking the law. He didn't advocate hate of White people, or for Black superiority. Where is the double standard? What exactly, in terms of actions and specific words, do you think connects these two?

Side: True hero.
2 points

I too have pretty mixed feelings towards him too, due to his racism and bigotry. However the way he changed just before he died - he became more much more tolerant - also influenced many of his followers so that they still had pride amongst themselves, but took a step back away from hating white people.

Side: Not sure
1 point

What is the difference between Malcolm X's belief that violence should be implemented to achieve social and political change, and the radical revolutionaries during the 1700's that founded our country? How can one condemn Malcolm X but praise Samuel Adams and Patrick Henry for believing the same thing?

Side: Ironically racist villain.
5 points

The vilification of brother Malcolm stems from a general ignorance of the positions he held, and and the things he actually argued. I would argue that he is a hero, not just to Black people, but to any person who seeks the ability to be self-determinant.

His racism is somewhat questionable on two grounds: one, he believed, and argued to the effect, on various platforms, that any revolutionary activity demands a unified language. You have to speak the language of the oppressor not only to communicate, but to shine light on what it is that oppressor is doing. So when many White people called (and still call) Black people "niggers" and "monkeys", he replied with "pale white thing" and so forth. Two, he argued that he didn't hate White people, he just distrusted them, not because of their skin color, but because of their hitherto deeds. He analogized White people with the snake. You don't hate the snake for being a snake. But if it bites you, you're justified in calling its actions into the light of day and identifying what it's done, for what it's done.

To his bigotry: if there's anything wrong with being bigoted against a racist, Apartheid system and those who would attempt to maintain it, then I don't want to be right. I'm also terribly and violently opposed to any such system and I won't listen to anything to the contrary.

To his stance on segregation: he never, once, argued for segregation. He argued for Black Nationalism: which comprised independence, self-determinism and self-sufficiency. He argued explicitly, in explaining Black Nationalism, that it meant that Black people should have control over Black communities, education, economics, social formation and politicians for the sake of strengthening those Black communities. He also argued explicitly that Blacks and Whites need to be able to sit down on the table and speak to one another without fear of hurting each others feelings, to get everything aired out and up from under the covers so that we can have a legitimate, intellectual conversation about what has happened, what is happening, and what we can collectively do about it.

To his Black Supremacy: he never argued that Black people were superior to anyone. He believed in what Stokely Carmichael and the later Oakland and LA Black Panthers believed was necessary: power. And as Fred Hampton spoke so freely and so rightly: White power for white people. Brown power for brown people. Yellow power for yellow people, Black power for black people, and x power for those we left out. And power was described, in paraphrasing, as the ability to make ones actions legitimate (political activity), and to be self-determinant and self-referential.

Side: True hero.
1 point

he believed, and argued to the effect, on various platforms, that any revolutionary activity demands a unified language. You have to speak the language of the oppressor not only to communicate, but to shine light on what it is that oppressor is doing. So when many White people called (and still call) Black people "niggers" and "monkeys", he replied with "pale white thing" and so forth.

We are loath to resort to quotation, but the effect is herein expressed so perfectly as renders any attempt on our part to describe it wholly unsatisfactory and less than the matter deserves.

“As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy” - Christopher Dawson.

It is by this logic that we perceive your representation of Mr. Malcolm X to be no less a racist fool than the oppressors he sought to destroy. As to how one evil can be eliminated by use of the same evil, we cannot conceive. It is our understanding that such action would serve only to perpetuate the evil in forms more sinister than first compelled the oppressed to replicate them.

Two, he argued that he didn't hate White people, he just distrusted them, not because of their skin color, but because of their hitherto deeds.

The notion that white people are untrustworthy, when based solely upon the misdeeds of certain white persons, is tantamount to the notion that black persons are inferior due to their susceptibility to them. Videlicet if a conqueror is evil by virtue of conquering, then the conquered is inferior by virtue of being conquered. The similarity of these two philosophies is not more pronounced than in their defectiveness, forasmuch as they are both totally wrong.

It is illogical in our eyes to suspect a nation of treachery because of the actions of a few, and the inaction of many. It is as easy to say that all subscribers to the Catholic faith are evil by virtue of the misdeeds of its leaders, which, when one observes the actions of its followers, is patently incorrect.

He analogized White people with the snake. You don't hate the snake for being a snake. But if it bites you, you're justified in calling its actions into the light of day and identifying what it's done, for what it's done.

This analogy would be correct if not for its assumption that it is the nature of all white people to bite. What Mr. Malcolm X has succeeded in doing is observing a bite and deciding that the only animal which could possibly elect to do so would be the serpent. We submit that if Mr. Malcolm X believed white people to be most accurately represented as the snake, then he was both mistaken and insensible of the common nature of man. When we know that racism is the belief that race has an insurmountable dominance over disposition, intelligence and all other traits, we can look at Mr. Malcolm X's analogy two ways:

If he is not a hypocrite then he must believe that all of humanity is a serpent.

If he believes that only white people are serpents, then he must be a hypocrite.

he never, once, argued for segregation.

It is our understanding that Mr Malcolm X spent some twelve years teaching the beliefs of The Nation of Islam. One such belief was that a separate nation should be established wherein black persons could exist without any domestic contact with white persons.

It is arguable whether Mr. Malcolm X's beliefs diverged from these teachings, but we submit that for a man to spread an idea so eagerly requires one of two things; that he wishes to deceive, or that he believes the idea to be sound.

We understand that towards the end of his life, Mr. Malcolm X came to reject these teachings, but, having spent twelve years promoting them, we submit that he had, in fact, "[more than] once, argued for segregation."

that it meant that Black people should have control over Black communities, education, economics, social formation and politicians for the sake of strengthening those Black communities.

It is not possible to eliminate prejudice from the state by separating the education and governance of its constituent parts into racial groups. When all men are governed, educated and respected equally, as one nation and without reference to race, colour, or any trait so wholly unconnected with the desert thereof; that is the only future worth seeking.

he never argued that Black people were superior to anyone.

We cannot reconcile this claim with Mr. Malcolm X's comments in a 1963 Playboy Magazine interview:

"Thoughtful white people know they are inferior to Black people. Even [Senator James] Eastland knows it. Anyone who has studied the genetic phase of biology knows that white is considered recessive and black is considered dominant.".

Side: Ironically racist villain.
Mahollinder(893) Disputed
5 points

First, happy new year. Second, I stand partially corrected on the supremacist bit. But he didn't maintain that view, especially after he traveled through Africa and went on pilgrimage.

As to how one evil can be eliminated by use of the same evil, we cannot conceive. .

You've never been oppressed, if you can't conceive that. But that's not what Malcolm proposed - that "all means are permitted". Be peaceful with those who are peaceful to you. But if any man molest or lay his hands on you, then you have a right to use any means necessary to defend yourself. And if the government won't stop violence perpetrated against you or your people, then you have a human right to stop that violence on your own. But, you're promoting that same old rapist-logic. It's the logic that damns the woman for fighting back: punching, kicking, scratching, biting and screaming to get her rapist off of her. You're just using Dawson's "soft" words to damn Malcolm to and in peace.

The notion that white people are untrustworthy, when based solely upon the misdeeds of certain white persons, is tantamount to the notion that black persons are inferior due to their susceptibility to them.

But, it wasn't based on the misdeeds of certain White people. His mistrust was a reaction to a de jure and de facto, racist, Apartheid system that was neither capable of nor willing to correct itself.

It is illogical in our eyes to suspect a nation of treachery because of the actions of a few, and the inaction of many.

If that nation and its constituents fail to even try to properly (and I'm gifting that) rectify a horror perpetrated in the constituents' names and by the constituents themselves, then the only logical conclusion any rational person can come to is that nation as a whole is culpable. The institutions, it follows, are also culpable. You want to talk about logic and not reality.

This analogy would be correct if not for its assumption that it is the nature of all white people to bite.

There is no assumption of a human "nature". That's simply your attempt to discount the premise offhand. When Black people had been bitten over and over again for nearly three hundred years, the deeds spoke for themselves. It just so happens that the oppressor in America has been White. The color, as unfortunate as you might find it, is important, but purely incidental.

One such belief was that a separate nation should be established wherein black persons could exist without any domestic contact with white persons.

An independent nation and segregation are different subjects. But, you must also remember that the idea of a separate Black nation was predicated on premise that: if there was a systemic failure to provide equality or justice, then separation should be advocated. It was not the beginning of the discussion.

It is not possible to eliminate prejudice from the state by separating the education and governance of its constituent parts into racial groups.

If that was the purpose, then you might have a point. It wasn't. So, you don't.

When all men are governed, educated and respected equally, as one nation and without reference to race, colour, or any trait so wholly unconnected with the desert thereof; that is the only future worth seeking.

As Whites, over the course of some centuries, carefully constructed Whiteness, it became increasingly impossible to do that. White people (particularly American Whites, since they pioneered much of the construction of whiteness) really have no one, but themselves to blame for this problematic reality.

I don't believe that anyone who is interested in looking at Malcolm El-Shabbaz honestly: what he wrote, what he said, what he advocated and how he acted, could conclude that he was just a racist, a maniac, a "segregationist", or even ultimately a supremacist.

Side: True hero.