Malcolm and Boston By Grace Lee Boggs

LFC Malcolm and Boston

By Grace Lee Boggs

May 4-11, 2013 

malcolmMalcolm X was born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925. So every year I think a lot about him in the month of May.

This year, in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, I have been recalling his comment after President Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963.

 

“The chickens have come home to roost, “ he said.

Malcolm’s comment involved only seven words but those seven words were dangerous because they called upon us, the American people, to examine and challenge the policies of our government . In fact, they were so dangerous that Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad suspended Malcolm for uttering them, fearful that they would bring the wrath of the authorities down on the organization.

 

Most people associate Malcolm with violence. But Malcolm’s unique power came not from the violence of guns but from his ability and courage in speaking the truths that challenge us to go beyond viewing ourselves as victims . He was always asking us to look in the mirror and accept responsibility for our pain and suffering instead of looking for others to blame.

I can still see people at his meetings squirming with discomfort as he chided us for our continuing dependence on status quo institutions instead of creating our own.

If Malcolm were alive today, , I am confident that he would be warning us against trying to discover Muslim connections for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.

 

He would be urging us instead to acknowledge that we are enjoying our comforts and conveniences at the expense of people all over the world and that the chickens are coming home to roost because our government, has been responsible for immeasurable pain , suffering, death and destruction all over the world.

That is why our challenge as U.S. citizens is to acknowledge responsibility and to begin acting not only to change these policies but to compensate and heal those whom we have wronged.

If we do not listen to Malcolm and keep looking for “others” to blame, we will be creating a security state of unceasing surveillance,. We will be creating a nightmare for ourselves, relinquishing our civil liberties and freedoms in order to defend programs and policies e.g. drone killings of innocent women and children , that are manifestly inexcusable and immoral .

The choice between these two roads is up to us.

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