Malcolm X at Oxford in 1964

I found this video online recently, which shows Malcolm X in a debate in 1964 at Oxford University:

I have always admired Malcolm X since I was in high school but I really thought this video was great. Malcolm talks about the hypocrisy of democracy in America, the persecution of the Black Man, and the need for revolutionary change. I was intrigued by his use of the term “racialist“, not “racist”. I’m guessing this means to make race a political issue or something, but it also sounds like a kind of “nativism” which unfortunately still happens today, not just in America, but in many places. Racialism, I believe, is a kind of backwards, anachronistic tendency of humans to want to protect their own “tribe” and their own “land” from outside threats.

But the best part of the speech was the last part:

And I, for one, will join in with anyone—I don’t care what color you are—as long as you want to change this miserable condition that exists on this earth.

History I think has too often understated Malcolm X’s persona, his charisma, and his sharp wit. Petty-minded people fear his message without understanding it. Plus, what I like about Malcolm X was that his vision was not limited to his own “tribe”, but he had a broader vision of justice and equality for mankind and wasn’t going to back down in the face of oppression. I don’t doubt that if the need arose, he would have given his life for the cause, and in a sense, he did.

If only we had more such people in the world…


Author: Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

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