Monday, July 17, 2017

from the archives--unity, criticism, unity

Marvin X on Unity, Criticism, Unity

There are those who seem to feel there are sacred cows that are beyond criticism. We do not accept this for who is without sin, no one! We thus have the right to criticize mama or daddy if and when they get down wrong. Sometimes we can doctor the patient to death, so Mao said cure the sickness to save the patient. So we must do surgery, examine the body, look for malignancies and repair contradictions.

Of course there is a time and place for the operation. Recently a young fool attacked Amiri Baraka at a breakfast in his honor. We think this was the wrong time to verbally assault an honored guest and the person should have been chastised. Baraka is our greatest living revolutionary writer and as our elder, he deserves much respect.

Now the sacred cow of the hour is our President. There are those North American Africans who want nothing critical said of Prez. Don't say nothing about him cause the white man is saying enough negative. I agree with Cornell West who says we must respect him, protect him, but check him. There is no need to be personal since it is his political policies, not his personality we must examine critically. He seems to have slowly slipped into the permanent war philosophy of his predecessors. He has no plan of substance to solve the unemployment quagmire. Capitulating to the Republicans on no taxation of the rich while extending unemployment checks for the poor is no answer for the long term problem of joblessness.

Yes, it hurts to hear the white man say our Prez has no backbone, but it's true. His concept of compromise is capitulation. Ishmael Reed is more reserved in his criticism, but let's see what Ish has to say in his New York Times op-ed column tomorrow. Ishmael pleads us to give the Prez more time in his book Obama and the Jim Crow Media and the Nigger Breakers, but I am totally disappointed in my book Pull Yo Pants Up fada Black Prez and Yoself. I'm ready to tell the brothers to pull yo pants down and show the Prez yo black unruly asses. Even our radical Congresswoman Barbara Lee has come out against his caving in to the Republication tax program. Now you don't wanna get Mama mad up in here! Unity, Criticism, Unity!

When I wrote an article about Minister Farrakhan, he sent me a message saying that I raked him over the coals, which I did, so he asked me to please contact him first when I want to write something about him so he can tell me his side of the story. I agreed.

Of course there are those who don't want anything critical written about the minister. Now the white man is exempt since he is allowed to say anything without reprisal, but we want to kill another North American African.

Don't ever think there is freedom of speech in the community of North American Africans. They want to muzzle you at every turn, especially the culture police, the gate keepers. Where is the free press in the Pan African world? Arab world--until Al Jazeera! Don't speak about the number of journalists killed in Mexico in the last few months, years.

Gary Webb and Sacramento Bee writer Fahizah Alim who interviewed him shortly before his suicide.

In America, we need only recall the supposed suicide of Gary Webb who exposed the US government Crack connection, and also the assassination of Oakland Post Editor Chauncey Bailey in broad daylight, downtown Oakland, because he was investigating the Oakland Police Department's shakedown, drug dealing, murder squad in black face. He was also investigating corruption at then Mayor Jerry Brown's City Hall.

At this hour we await the elimination (murder) of the founder of Wikileaks. Obama has made him a dead man walking for exposing the emperor has no clothes. So much for freedom of speech in America.

I don't care what someone writes about me, true or false, because usually I will have the last word! And furthermore, I've had the unique ability to outlive my enemies. In my memoir of Eldridge Cleaver, I said some things I probably wouldn't have said if he'd been alive. But he's said things about me that were outright lies. See the collection of his writings edited by Kathleen Cleaver. I actually hesitated writing about him to respect his children who, I feel, were somewhat embarrassed at the antics of their father. I'm sure my children were embarrassed at mine.

I haven't written about my beloved friend Amiri Baraka for the same reason, although someone asked him why hasn't Marvin written about him? He replied because Marvin knows I will have something to say about him!

In my play One Day in the Life, there is a scene about my last meeting with Huey Newton in a West Oakland Crack house. The Bay Area Black Panthers were not too pleased about the scene, although they didn't mind my remarks about Eldridge in the play. When we did the play on the east coast, the New York Panthers pulled me aside to let me know they didn't give a damn about Huey Newton, that Eldridge was their man. As we know, when the Black Panther Party split, Huey's army was on the west coast, Eldridge's on the east.

In Oakland, I officiated the memorial service for Eldridge. Kathleen attended. She said it was a nice service but there were too many Muslims, which is ironic since Eldridge denounced the Muslims even before he was released from prison. Of course when he became a Born Again Christian, Muslims dominated the staff of his ministry, with myself as his chief assistant. See Eldridge Cleaver, My Friend the Devil, a memoir, Marvin X, 2009, introduction by Amiri Baraka.

Those who have sacred cows must simply keep their cows in the barn. Sometimes we have thin skin and want nothing said negative about the sacred cow.

Certainly, we felt this way about the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. We were ready to kill anyone who said something negative about the man we considered the lamb of God.

Minister Farrakhan has confessed he fanned the flames of Malcolm's murder. At the time I was critical of Malcolm but I got over it when I realized shit happens in revolution. Read the history of any revolution, African, Chinese, Russian, Cuban, Mexican, American, and you shall find similar happenings, betrayal, jealousy, envy, assassination (character and physical). As per Malcolm and Elijah, again, I love them both and always shall. They both helped form my consciousness and I cannot deny this.

I wrote a poem recently praising Clara Muhammad, first wife of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, a woman not often praised in the history of North American Africans. John Woodford, former editor of Muhammad Speaks, said it will be one of my classic poems because it honors a great woman.

A Muslim who was not part of the first resurrection got upset with the poem because of what I said about Elijah, the wretched condition he was in when Master Fard Muhammad knocked on his door in Detroit. Why did Master Fard knock on his door? Wasn't it because he was deaf, dumb and blind? Shall I say I wasn't deaf, dumb and blind when I accepted the teachings of the HEM? Shall I say I knew what was happening because I was attending San Francisco State University and the white man had hipped me to what's happening?

No, we were some blind, deaf and dumb so-called Negroes at San Francisco State University, although we had heard Malcolm rapping, but there was much Supreme wisdom we lacked that would later take our consciousness to a higher level. We (and I speak for all the black students in the Bay Area who became Muslims and/or came into black consciousness) must be eternally grateful for Brother Edward who came on campuses with Muhammad Speaks to save our lives with the teachings. In our ignut, arrogant, mis-education, we spate upon and cursed brother Edward for interrupting our Bid Whist game! Called him nigguh, motherfucker and everything under the sun for simply trying to wake up our dead, deaf, dumb and blind asses.

All the people, especially students in the Bay who came into the Nation or were influenced by the Nation in the late 60s know what I'm talking about, and this includes Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Oba T'Shaka, Donald Warden (Khalid Abdullah Tariq Al Mansour), Norman Brown, Askia Muhammad, Fahizah Alim, Joan Tarika Lewis, Timothy Allen Simon, Abdul Sabry, Mar'yam Waidai, et al.

Unity, Criticism, Unity! We must be able to criticize each other constructively, to engage in debate and dialogue. This is how civilize people conduct their affairs. Now savages want to kill, no debate, no dialogue, no comment. Man, I wanna smoke dat nigguh! Grow up, get a life! Will you hide the truth while you know? (Al Qur'an)
--Marvin X

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