Black People : Did Malcolm X have "White Allies"?

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by OmowaleX, May 25, 2006.

  1. OmowaleX

    OmowaleX Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    During the last year of his life, Brother Malcom had many interviews and spoke at a number of "Militant Labor Forums". Many of the books that contain his speeches such as "Malcolm X Speaks" were edited by a white man, George Brietman. What exactly was his position or viewpoint concerning "white allies" and what was the nature of this alliance, that is to say, for what purpose would he see the need to form "alliances" with "white people"? I believe that this is a very critical issue particularly in light of the political climate and ethnic disharmony in cities such as atlanta, los angeles and new orleans.
     
  2. karmashines

    karmashines Banned MEMBER

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    I know he had an Asian ally.
     
  3. OmowaleX

    OmowaleX Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Who was that?
    :huh:
     
  4. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brother O, Yori Kochiyama was a founding member of the Organization of Afro American Unity... Here is an excerpt from a biography on her...

    http://www.upress.umn.edu/excerpts/Fujino.html



    from the chapter 5: Meeting Malcolm X
    ________________


    Yuri gained a significant lesson from Malcolm, one that she recites repeatedly:

    One of the greatest lessons Malcolm taught people was to learn their own history. Know your history. Know the world. Be proud of who you are. He would say, "If you don't know who you are and where you came from, how can you know what direction to go in the future?" Through the process of discovering our own histories, many peoples—Africans, Asians, Puerto Ricans living in the United States—learned to throw off our internalized racism and develop pride in our heritage. But don't stop there. Learn about the histories of other people. And learn about the history of social movements because this is how you learn to create social change.

    Yuri took this lesson to heart, studying history at alternative liberation schools and reading whatever she could get her hands on—mainstream newspapers, books, Movement publications. In time, through study and practice, Yuri came to agree with the need for self-determination, self-defense, armed struggle, socialism, and an autonomous Black nation. While she may still cringe when someone makes a harsh remark, a person's approach or style is secondary to his or her overall political practice and ideology.

    The ultimate trajectory of Malcolm's ideology will never be known. His life and rapidly evolving politics were cut short by the assassins' bullets. Having been in the audience to hear Malcolm speak at the Audubon Ballroom, Yuri is often asked to recount the events of that day:

    Now, as I recall that date, February twenty-first, 1965, I was sitting in the same booth as Herman Ferguson, which was, I think about the seventh or eighth row. I was with my sixteen-year-old son, Billy. I was taking notes of Brother Benjamin's [Karim's] message. He had just finished saying, just before introducing him, "Malcolm is a kind of man who would die for you." The distraction, a man yelling, "Get your hand out of my pocket," took place across from where we were sitting. All eyes were turned to the distraction. Malcolm tried to calm the people, saying, "Cool it, brothers, cool it." Then shots rang out from the front. Malcolm fell straight backward, and it was right then, all hell broke loose. Chairs crashing to the floor. People hitting the floor. People chasing the killers. A few more gunshots, and something like a smoke bomb was thrown. It was utter chaos.

    In the midst of frenzy and hysteria, with bullets flying and people diving for cover, Yuri was one of the few who put Malcolm's safety above her own. She ran onstage to see if she could help: "It was then that a young brother . . . ran past where I was sitting. He was heading for the stage, so I followed him and went right to Malcolm. He was having difficulty breathing, so I put his head on my lap. Others came and opened his shirt. He was shot many times in the chest. And by his jawbone and his finger. I hoped he would say something, but he never said a word." Life magazine captured Yuri's action in a photograph showing an Asian woman wearing cat's-eye glasses cradling Malcolm's head.

    Most Nisei women would not have considered running onstage to help the dying Black leader. They would have been self-conscious about drawing attention to themselves or presuming their self-importance. Likewise, they would have felt uncomfortable delivering public speeches, writing articles for newspapers, and writing letters to strangers. As we have seen, however, even as a youth Yuri exhibited a certain boldness, asking to write for the community newspaper, becoming the first female student body officer at her high school, and initiating a letter-writing campaign to Nisei soldiers. Her actions become more remarkable when we consider the racial and gender constraints prevalent in 1930s America. Perhaps Yuri's parents' liberal child-rearing practices or their economic status offset some of the limitations imposed on Nisei women of that time. Perhaps as one of the few Asians in a predominantly White neighborhood, Yuri had the self-confidence that she could accomplish the same things as her White peers. While these might be contributing factors, they fail to fully explain the fearlessness Yuri has displayed throughout her life. Wherever her audacity comes from, it has propelled Yuri to act according to her moral convictions. It was from this motivation that she ran onstage to assist the fallen Malcolm. And it was from this motivation that, after Malcolm's assassination, she wrote a letter to the editor of the Japanese American weekly, the New York Nichibei, voicing her support for Malcolm X, a highly controversial figure of that time.

    In the short sixteen months between their meeting and his death, Malcolm X provided the greatest influence on Yuri's political life. After his death, she fostered a relationship with Malcolm's family, particularly his oldest daughter, Attallah, who to this day refers to Yuri as an aunt, through regular letters, occasional visits at the Kochi-yamas' home, and sporadic phone calls, including when Attallah was in New York in 1997 to attend her mother's funeral.

    Wherever Yuri goes, in speeches and informal conversations, she eagerly highlights Malcolm's international significance, in contrast to mainstream America's harsh condemnation: "At least three countries have his picture on their postage stamp. . . . Books about his life have been written or translated into Italian, Spanish, German, French, Japanese, and probably a few others. . . . In the late 1960s, Palestinian activists who came to the U.S. told us that names like Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture), and the Black Panthers were used as code names among their guerrilla fighters. In the same period, Vietnamese antiwar spokespersons in the U.S. revealed to us that Malcolm X's name was known in radical circles in their own country." A vigilant observer of Asian-African interactions, Yuri noted that Malcolm's influence also reached Japan: "In the audience at the Audubon Ballroom the day Malcolm was assassinated sat a Japanese socialist journalist who used the pen name Ei Nagata. He was probably the first Japanese writer to bring the story and significance of Malcolm X's life to Japan. It was Ei Nagata who wrote the first book on Malcolm in Japan."

    Perhaps because of Yuri's dedication to Malcolm's vision, her stead-fast writing, or her attention to human relations, she is regarded as a close associate of his, much closer than their few direct interactions would suggest. This is not simply a case of mythologizing their relationship, as has certainly been done by Yuri's admirers today. But Malcolm's most trusted comrades also consider Yuri to be a close colleague. When Herman Ferguson, an OAAU leader, started the Malcolm X Commemoration Committee in the early 1990s, he listed Yuri Kochiyama on the letterhead as an OAAU founding member. Certainly, he would have known that Yuri was merely a beginning student of radical politics at the time. It appears that the consistency of her political work and her personal connectedness, through thick and thin, have earned her a reputation as a close associate of Malcolm's.

    The year Malcolm died, Yuri started a second family newsletter, the North Star, its title drawn from W. E. B. Du Bois's newspaper, but so named as a tribute to Yuri's most significant political mentor. In echoing her praise to Malcolm at the Brooklyn courthouse, Yuri extolled him as a guiding light who gives "direction to his people," as indicated in the language, if a bit flowery, of this North Star front-page article: "His life is a simile that can only be correlated with the most brilliant of all the stars in the Heavens, the North Star, for the North Star is the one star that does not change position or lose its bright intensity. It is the star that set the course for mariners; that gave direction, from time immemorial, to slaves escaping bondage; and communicated men's hope by allusion. It is, thus, obvious and apropos that we dedicate this first issue of the North Star to him whom we feel, most aptly personifies the significance of this title. Triumphantly illuminating today's stark atmosphere, giving light and direction, invincible and inextinguishable, Malcolm is that North Star shining."


    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  5. OmowaleX

    OmowaleX Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thanks brother Isaiah!
     
  6. info-moetry

    info-moetry STAFF STAFF

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    Salaamu,

    Doubt if brother had white "allies" and for the ? to be asked means it is not true.....or else proof would be presented!

    Do know that Alex Haley had WHITE ALLIES and he admits too it in the AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF EL - HAJJ..after the God passed on, Haley and other removed certain statements/pages from the book......

    Haley himself admits to being contacted by some white MOney boys who wanted too know how Malcolm funded his trip to Mecca and what were his plans afterwards which ALEX HALEY TOLD THEM, MAKING HIM A SNITCH!!


    "knowledge is the foundation of everything in existance"
     
  7. OmowaleX

    OmowaleX Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    lol! "Doubt if the brother had white "allies" and for the ? to be asked means it is not true.....or else proof would be presented?"

    This statement of yours is not necessarily true. For one, I was 7 yrs old when brother Malcolm was killed so I could hardly be in a position to present "proof". I simply asked a question. I have relatives who were active in both the NOI and the OAAU. My own mother. So, there are many stories and many rumors that I have heard over my lifetime and in all due respect, I don't think you, brother Info, are really in a piosition to accurately answer the question if 1) You did not know the man personally and/or 2) you were not a member of the Muslim Mosque, Inc. or the OAAU.

    All you can do is speculate but not from a position of really knowing. Because you were not there BUILDING the membership in his organizations. My mother, on the other hand, WAS THERE!

    As far as Alex Haley is concerned, I made specific mention of George Brietman. I also made mention of the Militant Labor Forum. Let me add to that the Young Socialist Alliance.

    In spite of your assertion, I find it interesting that you did not cite any specific reference to any of brother Malcolm's SPEECHES or any of his interviews, all of which seem to have been published, to date, by the WHITE LEFT!

    If he did not have "white allies" how is it that the WHITE LEFT has been in a position to publish his latest works prior to his death???
     
  8. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brother O, I can only offer opinions myself, as I was not there, but I would ask you to specify what you mean by white allies???

    My first inclination is to think you mean White Allies within his organizations, and I cannot see that as a possibility, because a Black Nationalist leader at that time, or now, would face major opposition from his mostly Black following if he allowed whites within the organization... That alone would deter Malcolm from such a move, particularly at that time...

    If we are talking allies outside of the O.A.A.U. and Muslim Mosque Inc., then sure, he did have some Whites who sympathized, and even worked to USE his message to build their followings within our communities... Breitman and his followers were socialists, and have even attempted to make Malcolm a socialist, though there is little proof of that... What a lot of us fail to realize is that Malcolm X had LESS than one year of life remaining following his departure from the Nation Of Islam(March 12, 1964 to February 21, 1965), and all of these broad and sweeping changes people allege about him happened in the midst of his attempts to get reinstated BACK into the Nation, as tapes provided by his brother Wilbert, indisputably prove... I find it hard to believe the guy transformed himself overnight like that...



    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  9. OmowaleX

    OmowaleX Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    What do I mean by "white allies"?

    Let me say I asked because I myself am trying to read correctly what i have been studying. In the book "Malcolm X Peaks", edited by George Brietman, in the section "Last Answers and Interviews", pp207 it states the following,

    "Marlene Nadle noted that Malcolm "considers all militant whites possible allies. he qualifies the possibility. And woven into the qualifications are the threads of the emotions running through Harlem."

    Of interest to me also is the section "Working With Other Groups, pp. 222-223.where he is quoted as saying. "Yes. The Organization of Afro-American Unity will support fully and without compromise any action by any group that is designed to get meaningful immediate results."

    Also, "If we are going into the ring, our right fist does not have to become our left fist but we must use a common head if we are going to win."
     
  10. Bisabee

    Bisabee Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brother O, thanks for this quote from our brother Malcolm. It says to me that Blacks don't have to ALL think alike or be in lockstep to win this fight.
     
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