POSITIVELY BLACK Junious Ricardo Stanton Honoring Malcolm X "We have a common enemy. We have this in common. We have a common oppressor, a common exploiter and a common discriminator. But once we realize that we have a common enemy, then we can unite-on the basis of what we have n common. And what we have foremost in common is that enemy-the white man. He's an enemy to all of us. I know some of you all think that some of them aren't enemies. Time will tell." Malcolm X 1954 As we pause to remember and pay homage to the life and legacy of MalcolmX Let us remember those things about him we can emulate and let us apply them in our daily lives. Ironically the United States government which plotted and killed Malcolm through its FBI COINTELPRO and military counterinsurgency programs now hail him as a hero and even printed a stamp in his honor. Despite this blatant co-option Malcolm is a real hero, a role model a man who was on task and on purpose. I attended an historic summit at Gratersford prison a few weeks ago and one of the members of the Gratersford chapter of Lifers Inc spoke about what he called the Malcolm X paradigm of social transformation. What he meant was that ex-offenders who turn their lives around in prison will be coming back into the community working with grassroots community groups to help stem the tide of crime and sociopathic values and behavior and assist young brothers in channeling their energies into more positive endeavors. This is what Malcolm X did through the Nation of Islam and later when he organized the Organization of Afro-American Unity. Malcolm came from a race conscious family. His father and mother were active Garveyites. Their Black Nationalist pro-African leanings stuck with him and the message of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam he heard in prison rekindled the flame that had been dying out as "Detroit Red" as Malcolm was known in his pimp, hustler and street criminal days embarked on a life of crime and anti-social behavior. The Nation of Islam resurrected Malcolm, under its influence he developed self-discipline, renewed his thirst for learning and his dormant love for black people blossomed. Malcolm came out of prison on fire for the NOI and eventually became its national spokesman. However review of Malcolm's speeches especially following the police murder of several Muslim brothers in LA reveal a shift in Malcolm's thinking. He no longer followed the script set down by Elijah Muhammad that their God Allah would punish the white man the Muslims called "the blue eyed devil". His views set the stage for his eventual estrangement, separation from the Nation of Islam and his subsequent assassination. For us Malcolm X exemplifies the transforming power resident within all of us, our ability to respond to a call (either external or internal) to seek ones' higher self and a higher calling in service to humanity. Malcolm's keen wit, his analytical mind, his quest for knowledge and love of truth utterly destroyed the hold white supremacy had on him. In public debates he made men with PhDs look and sound stupid. He un-nerved black people with his message of black empowerment. When virulent violence, economic and social reprisals against black protest and resistance made black men afraid to stand up against white oppression, the NOI and Malcolm boldly asserted white people were the enemies of people of color. It was Malcolm who spearheaded the establishment of Muhammad Speaks the most powerful newspaper of its time because it was global in scope and it was unashamedly black in its editorial content. Malcolm represents the best in black manhood, husband, father and an uncompromising commitment to the struggle for human rights and dignity. That is why the AmeriKKKan ruling elites murdered him. As we pause from our mundane activities let us reflect on Malcolm's courage, his compassion and his commitment to the struggle. Let us remember we have a common enemy. The face the enemy shows to us may be different but their motives and MO remain the same. Malcolm was clear on who they were, he saw through their lies and deceit and he exposed their tricknology. He courageously urged us on continue the fight even when he knew we was being stalked and under threat of death. Let us value ourselves and our people in such a way we live our lives in the same uncompromising and committed fashion. That is the most fitting tribute we can pay to Malcolm and all the other ancestors who've struggled on our behalf.