Malcolm X (Alex Haley) [1964]

Jag antar att jag hade för många illusioner om Malcolm X. Han visade sig vara mindre av en tänkare, och mer av en pratare. Men vi tar det i ordning.

Boken börjar med 20-30 sidors rent trams, där hans dotter skriver om hur fantastiskt det är att Malcolm X fått ett frimärke designat efter sig, 40 år efter sin död, och därefter lägger grunden för en personkult av honom (‘Before Malcolm, we didn’t have…’). Det är inget sätt att introducera en seriös bok. Som sagt, möjligen en personkult eller sekt.

Till hans ära bör sägas att han är öppenhjärtig kring sina kriminella ungdomsår. Han berättar med inlevelse och trovärdighet om sina idéer och beteende på den tiden, som hur han med lut brände sitt hår rakt (vilket var mode, s.k. ‘conk’) för att likna vita (även om det var omedvetet), eller hur han flängde omkring på nattklubbar bland prostituerade och knarkhandlare – och faktiskt hade talang för branschen. Som för många andra skedde vändningen (upplysningen, radikaliseringen) i fängelse:

Between Mr. Muhammad’s teachings, my correspondence, my visitors – usually Ella and Reginald – and my reading of books, months passed without my even thinking about being imprisoned. In fact, up to then, I never had been so truly free in my life.

Därefter börjar den egentliga, autobiografiska, boken. Det står om Malcolms far som skjuts ihjäl av KKK, vilket förstås formar den unge Malcolm (enligt boken fick han ta över ”fadersrollen” i familjen trots att han var bland de yngsta barnen).

Med tanke på all denna dårskap förstår jag att Hollywood väljer att göra en film om honom, istället för de konsekventa, välformulerade och intelligenta människor som verkligen hotade samhällets grundvalar. Jag förstår att man, även om man försöker förneka även honom, hellre minns honom i historieböckerna än exempelvis Fred Hampton, som ledde en organisation som byggde upp fungerande sociala strukturer i ghettona. Malcolm X kan oskadliggöras och avfärdas med att han var en galning, en extremist, inkonsekvent, våldsam, hatspridare, muslim, etc…

~~*~~*~~*~~*~~

[Harlem] first had been a Dutch settlement, I learned. Then began the massive waves of poor and half-starved and ragged immigrants from Europe, arriving with everything they owned in the world in bags and sacks on their backs. The Germans came fist; the Dutch edged away from them, and Harlem became all German.

Then came the Irish, running the potato famine. The Germans ran, looking down their noses at the Irish, who took over Harlem. Next, the Italians; same thing – the Irish ran from them. The Italians had Harlem when the Jews came down the gangplanks – and then the Italians left.

Today, all these same immigrants’ descendants are running as hard as they can to escape the descendants of the Negroes who helped to unload the immigrant ships.

What makes the ghetto hustler yet more dangerous is his ”glamor” image to the school-dropout youth in the ghetto. These ghetto teen-agers see the hell caught by their parents struggling to get somewhere, or see that they have given up struggling in the prejudiced, intolerant white man’s world. The ghetto teenagers make up their own minds they would rather be like the hustlers whom they see dressed ”sharp” and flashing money and displaying no respect for anybody or anything. So the ghetto youth become attracted to the hustler worlds of dope, thievery, prostitution, and general crime and immorality.

”Do you know why the white man really hates you? It’s because every time he sees your face, he sees a mirror of his crime – and his guilty conscience can’t bear to face it!”

– Mycket i boken handlar om detta. Bör vi hata den vita mannen? Är han djävulen? etc. Slöseri, tänkte jag till en början. Men säkert viktigt på sin tid, för att ingjuta mod i sin publik, och för att han åtminstone delvis lyckades sätta ljuset på den institutionaliserade rasismen i samhället (även om det alltför ofta blev alltför personligt mot ”den vite mannen”). Se nedan:

”For the white man to ask the black man if he hates him is just like the rapist asking the raped, or the wolf asking the sheep, ‘Do you hate me?’ The white man is in no moral position to accuse anyone else of hate!”‘

– Hans ord var vassa vapen i diskussionerna.

He asked me did I feel any white men had ever done anything for the black man in America. I told him, ”Yes, I can think of two. Hitler, and Stalin. The black man in America couldn’t get a decent factory job until Hitler put so much pressure on the white man. And then Stalin kept up the pressure--”

– Tyvärr älskade medier och makthavare den typen av diskussioner. ”Finns det verkligen inte någon vit som du tycker om? Tänk efter!” Skvallerjournalistik.

”You have tilled his fields! Cooked his food! Washed his clothes! You have cared for his wife and children when he was away. In many cases, you have even suckled him at your breast! You have been far and away better Christians that this slavemaster who taught you his Christianity!”

Den bedrövliga kvinnosynen ingick i islamiseringspaketet. Detta skriver jag inte för att bedriva populistisk, politiskt korrekt, feministrädd smutskastning, utan därför att jag tycker att en seriös idé bör innefatta såväl svarta som vita, kvinnor som män:

To tell a woman not to talk too much was like telling Jesse James not to carry a gun, or telling a hen not to cackle. Can you imagine Jesse James without a gun, or a hen that didn’t cackle?

[…]

Thursday nights there are the M.G.T. (Muslim Girls’ Training) and the G.C.C. (General Civilization Class), where the women and girls of Islam are taught how to keep homes, how to rear children, how to care for husbands, how to cook, sew, how to act at home and abroad, and other things that are important to being a good Muslim sister and mother and wife.

Where was the A-bomb dropped … ”to save American lives”? Can the white man be so naive as to think the clear import of this ever will be lost upon the non-white two-thirds of the earth’s population?

Before that bomb was dropped – right over here in the United States, what about the one hundred thousand loyal naturalized and native-born Japanese-American citizens who were herded into camps, behind barbed wire? But how many German-born naturalized Americans were herded behind barbed wire? They were white!

Elijah Muhammad, ledaren för Nation of Islam, beskrivs fram till slutet med yttersta vördnad. MX är lojal mot rörelsen och blir kanske en för stor förgrundsfigur, varför han börjar hängas ut / isoleras / mordplaner mot honom bubblar upp med förevändning att han börjat bli för extrem, t.ex. angående kriget i Vietnam.

Bokens bottennapp är när MX åker till Mecka, träffar lokala diktatorer och blir nyfrälst där, och istället börjar generalisera åt andra hållet (från: ”Den vite mannen är djävulen” till: ”Araberna är…. ”. Denna pendling mellan extremer är säkert ärlig, MX är – återigen till hans heder – helt öppen med att prata om det, vågar byta fot. I resonansen mellan dessa extremer förmildras hans syn på ”den vite mannen” och han återvänder till USA med en klart dämpad retorik. Men, att utopisera arabländerna, och så enkelt låta dem slå dunster i ögonen på honom och ignorera det förtryck människorna lever under där – det är helt enkelt oseriöst och naivt.

Annat, blandat: 

MX genomskådar ”Farce on Washington” (M L King, m.fl.):

For the status-seeker, it was a status symbol. ”Were you there?” You can hear that right today.

It had become an outing, a picnic. […] Yes, I was there. I observed that circus. Who ever heard of angry revolutionists all harmonizing ”We Shall Overcome… Suum Day …” while tripping and swaying along arm-in-arm with the very people they were supposed to be angrily revolting against? Who ever heard of angry revolutionists swinging their bare feet together with their oppressor in lily-pad park pools, with gospels and guitars and ”I Have A Dream” speeches?

Intressant om Cassius Clay – sågs först som utböling av muslimerna, som hejade på Sonny Liston och Floyd Patterson som ju hade kristna ”rådgivare” (ffa Patterson betedde sig som en riktig Uncle Tom) etc.. därefter blev CC Muhammed Ali, kom in i mainstream, ville ej ses med MX.

Nothing in all of the furor which followed was more ridiculous than Floyd Patterson announcing that as a Catholic, he wanted to fight Cassius Clay – to save the heavyweight crown from being held by a Muslim. It was such a sad case of a brainwashed black Christian ready to do battle for the white man…

– Mer rasistiskt trams:

Black audiences feel warmer, there is almost a musical rhythm, for me, even in their silent response.

– Jag skrattar högt varje gång jag läser detta… man förstår hans poäng:

One particular university’s ”token-integrated” black Ph.D. associate professor I will never forget; he got me so mad I couldn’t see straight. As badly as our 22 millions of educationally deprived black people need the help of any brains he has, there he was looking like some fly in the buttermilk among white ”colleagues” – and he was trying to eat me up! He was ranting about what a ”divisive demagogue” and what a ”reverse racist” I was. I was racking my head, to spear that fool; finally I held up my hand, and he stopped. ”Do you know what white racists call black Ph.D’s?” He said something like, ”I believe that I happen not to be aware of that” – you know, one of these ultra-proper-talking Negroes. And I laid the word down on him, loud: ”Nigger!

”America is subsidizing what is left of the prestige and strength of the once mighty Britain. The sun has set forever on that monocled, pith-helmeted resident colonialist, sipping tea with his delicate lady in the non-white colonies being systematically robbed of every valuable resource.”

En kvarlämnad lapp som Haley fann:

”Here lies a YM, killed by a BM, fighting for the WM, who killed all the RM.” (Decoding that wasn’t difficult, knowing Malcolm X. ”YM” was for yellow man, ”BM” for black man, ”WM” for white man, and ”RM” was for red man.)

I remember that in the press conference [in Ghana], I used the word ”Negro,” and I was firmly corrected. ”The word is not favored here, Mr. Malcolm X. The term Afro-American has greater meaning, and dignity.” I sincerely apologized. I don’t think that I said ”Negro” again as long as I was in Africa.

Once when he said, ”Aristotle shocked people. Charles Darwin outraged people. Aldous Huxley scandalized millions!” Malcolm X immediately followed the statement with ”Don’t print that, people would think I’m trying to link myself with them.” Another time, when something provoked him to exclaim, ”These Uncle Toms make me think about how the Prophet Jesus was criticized in his own country!” Malcolm X promptly got up and silently took my notebook, tore out that page and crumpled it and put it into his pocket, and he was considerably subdued during the remainder of that session.

He said ”the so-called moderate” civil rights organizations avoided him as ”too militant” and the ”so-called militants” avoided him as ”too moderate.” ”They won’t let me turn the corner!” he once exclaimed, ”I’m caught in a trap!”

I do not expect to live long enough to read this book in its finished form – I want you to just watch and see if I’m not right in what I say: that the white man, in his press, is going to identify me with ”hate.”

He will make use of me dead, as he has made use of me alive, as a convenient symbol of ”hatred” – and that will help him to escape facing the truth that all I have been doing is holding up a mirror to reflect, to show, the history of unspeakable crimes that his race has committed against my race.

Annonser

~ av bookplanet på oktober 25, 2011.

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