What does it mean to be young, gifted, and Black? Is it merely measured in academics, or does it include things outside the scope of how the mainstream generally views the path of a “successful” individual? On this episode of The Axiom Amnesia Theory, Heit & Cheri honor the memory of Malcolm X by examining some of his most famous speeches through the lens of today’s state of social and political affairs.
Topics discussed include Malcolm X’s birthday on May 19th, examination of the “Who taught you to hate yourself” speech, examination of the “Ballot or the Bullet” speech, relating the things Malcolm X said in his speech to modern day conditions–not much has changed, Black folks STILL not being brought up in mainstream conversations and we have a Black president, how people don’t know what the numbers and stats mean–whether to interpret them as “good” or “bad”–until the media or some other entity tells them how to feel about the numbers, Blacks generally being anti-gay and anti-immigration–two groups whose issues the Democratic party IS ACTUALLY addressing, Hillary Clinton as president, Malcolm X’s speech at Oxford, Huey P. Long, the physical expectations of the president, the impressive nature of presidents who weren’t born rich–like Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, the exceptional nature of Blacks who hold high-profile government positions, how hard it must be to resist going over to “the dark side”, the choice between building your own brand and building the world to make it better for all of us, and more!
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- Sunday, May 19th is Malcolm X’s birthday. He would have been 89 years old.
- Take a moment and listen to one of Malcolm’s speeches.
Who taught you to hate the color of your skin? Who taught you to hate the texture of your hair? Who taught you to hate the shape of your nose and the shape of your lips? Who taught you to hate yourself from the top of your head to the soles of your feet? Who taught you to hate your own kind? Who taught you to hate the race that you belong to so much so that you don’t want to be around each other? You know. Before you come asking Mr. Muhammad does he teach hate, you should ask yourself who taught you to hate being what God made you.
Source: Malcolm X
- The core message of this speech is something that is just as applicable today–if not more–as it was years ago.
- Discussion about people still being dissatisfied with the texture of their hair, their facial features, and the overall quest to appear more anglo.
- Discussion about Malcolm X’s “The Ballot or the Bullet” speech.
You’re the one who has that power. You can keep Johnson in Washington D.C., or you can send him back to his Texas cotton patch. [applause] You’re the one who sent Kennedy to Washington. You’re the one who put the present Democratic administration in Washington, D.C. The whites were evenly divided. It was the fact that you threw 80 percent of your votes behind the Democrats that put the Democrats in the White House.
When you see this, you can see that the Negro vote is the key factor. And despite the fact that you are in a position to be the determining factor, what do you get out of it? The Democrats have been in Washington, D.C. only because of the Negro vote. They’ve been down there four years. And they’re – all other legislation they wanted to bring up they’ve brought it up, and gotten it out of the way, and now they bring up you. And now they bring up you! You put them first and they put you last. Because you’re a chump! [applause] A political chump.
In Washington, D.C., in the House of Representatives there are 257 who are Democrats. Only 177 are Republican. In the Senate there are 67 Democrats. Only 33 are Republicans. The party that you backed controls two-thirds of the House of Representatives and the Senate and still they can’t keep their promise to you. ‘Cause you’re a chump. [applause]
Any time you throw your weight behind a political party that controls two-thirds of the government, and that party can’t keep the promise that it made to you during election-time, and you’re dumb enough to walk around continuing to identify yourself with that party, you’re not only a chump but you’re a traitor to your race. [applause]
Source: America Radio Works
- It is 2013 and Black folks are STILL not brought up in the mainstream conversation and we have a Black president.
- Discussion about how Blacks who criticize Obama are viewed as the traitors to the race. Ironically peoples’ support of Obama for nothing in return is being a traitor to the race.
- Making the comparison of between how Obama disregards Black people to being in a bad relationship. Just take a look at Black unemployment and you will see. It’s over 13 percent for Blacks!
- Discussion about how people don’t know what the numbers and stats mean–whether to interpret them as “good” or “bad”–until the media or some other entity tells them how to feel about the numbers.
- Majority control means nothing when you are not a priority.
- Discussion about Blacks generally being anti-gay and anti-immigration–two groups whose issues the Democratic party is addressing.
- Discussion about the voting bloc as a strategic position. In terms of Obama, there was never even the threat of him not having the Black vote.
- In this “bad” relationship Blacks have with Obama, they cannot see how he really is–they are almost blind to it.
- Discussion about how Obama is starting to receive more criticism as people begin to wake up.
- Discussion about all the excuses people make for why Obama isn’t doing what he said he would do.
- Discussion about Hillary Clinton as president. She wouldn’t hesitate to drop bombs. It might be worse than a male president because of the need to prove herself as being just as tough as men.
- Discussion about Malcolm X’s speech at Oxford. If you haven’t hear it, you should check it out.
- Heit was surprised when Melissa Harris-Perry brought up Huey P. Long on her show. His mantra was to share the wealth–take fromt he rich and give to other people.
- Discussion about Long’s big gestures he used when talking.
- Discussion about how they teach people to hold their body during politics. They don’t move around much while talking.
- Discussion about the physical expectations of the president–no facial hair, not fat, tall, etc.
- Discussion about how not everyone ca be president, despite what some of you think.
- Discussion about how presidents are selected years prior to them ever running for office.
- Discussion about the impressive nature of presidents who weren’t born rich, like Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
- Obama is highly intelligent, and everything he did at least from college on to calculate his steps
- Discussion about Obama admitting to smoking weed, versus Bill Clinton who said he didn’t inhale.
- Discussion about people feeling like Obama is “just like me.” He is not a regular person. He’s very extraordinary in areas like intelligence, drive, planning his life…
- Heit talks about his mother saying that Obama is someone she could hang out with.
- Michelle Obama is not a “regular” person either. Their daughters were NEVER regular kids. Your kids cannot go and play with Obama’s kids!
- If the country, buildings, etc belong to the people, who do the people not have open access to all of these places. You cannot just go to the White House and chill… There is a process before you can even think about gaining access.
- Thinking about how exceptional Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Condoleeza Rice, Susan Rice, Eroc Holder, and other Blacks in high-level government positions reminded Cheri of the song “Young, Gifted, and Black.” Thes are extrordinary people, which is why it is so disappointing when they sell out.
- Discussion about what it would be like to have a “first gentleman” instead of “first lady”.
- Discussion about how hard it must be to resist going over to “the dark side”.
- Discussion about the choice between building your own brand and building the world to make it better for all of us.
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