What good is Malcolm X? What good is Askia Muhammad? What good is Louis Farrakhan? This is an exercise in understanding Orwellian Doublespeak.
Apologies to those giants for mentioning my own name in the same breath as theirs, but I wish to make a point about the way some things operate in our Orwellian world. You see, like Brother Malcolm and like Brother Farrakhan, I had a personal relationship with The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. I was Editor of Muhammad Speaks, the Nation of Islam's official newspaper and under the direct supervision of Mr. Muhammad. Back to answer my original question.
In the abiding scheme of things in this Orwellian world, I can quickly say I have no value, outside of the value every other person has in the eyesight of the Creator. By the same criteria I reckon my own value to be worthless in American currency, I don't think Brother Farrakhan has much worth either – we're still talking Orwellian here – but even in death Brother Malcolm is a gold mine, even to those who hate him.
In this Black History Month season just now ending, there is always a flurry of activity around Feb. 21, the anniversary of the murder of Malcolm X. There are countless speeches, symposia, and other events canonizing Brother Malcolm, seemingly now at the expense of Brother Farrakhan, who would be blamed for the assassination.
I say "would be blamed for the assassination" because I am convinced that Minister Farrakhan had nothing to do with the events at Harlem's Audubon Ballroom on Feb. 21, 1965. The real villains skillfully manipulated the emotions surrounding Brother Malcolm's departure from the Nation of Islam (NOI) into an emotion-filled feud, and then were able to "kill two birds with one stone," murdering Brother Malcolm, their arch-nemesis, and blaming his mentor and teacher, Mr. Muhammad, the NOI, and now Brother Farrakhan for the crime. Genius. Mad men, brilliant mad men.
They convicted three men of the murder, even though two of them were innocent. The police and the prosecutors knew that two of those convicted were innocent. The one man who was captured at the scene of the assassination, always insisted the other men were innocent. To no avail, it was an Orwellian Kangaroo Court, and those two men in the courtroom were not on trial, it was The Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam who were on trial. And in the eyes of countless Black people today, Mr. Muhammad is to blame, and anyone who defends or defended Mr. Muhammad, is equally culpable.
For more than 12 years Brother Malcolm X was an undefeated champion of Black liberation and nation building – Nation of Islam building – while he was a member of the NOI. Then, for about one year and a month or two before his murder, he was charting a different course. What made Black people love Brother Malcolm was the message he taught so very convincingly on behalf of Mr. Muhammad and the NOI. That is what made him dangerous to the powers-that-be.
But Brother Malcolm's currency in this Orwellian world is the fact that he recanted, and no longer advocated the message taught by Mr. Muhammad. His 12 years of testimony about the truth of Mr. Muhammad's teaching counts for nothing on this scale, and his one year of defamation against Mr. Muhammad, is what so many, even those born years after both Mr. Muhammad and Brother Malcolm had departed from among us still cling to as "the truth." A brilliant job, performed by mad men. They made evil fair-seeming in a wicked world of tricks and lies.
By this convoluted calculus Brother Farrakhan has no value. That is because he stands by Mr. Muhammad and staunchly defends his teacher. By the same token, Brother Malcolm is celebrated in this society, not for the truths he told about this wicked country which subjected Black people to the worst cruelty under slavery that has ever been known to man, but rather because he turned against the man who put those words of truth and condemnation into his mouth in the first place.
What good is Malcolm X? He is like a propaganda gift that keeps on giving, because those who hated him when he was in the NOI, and continue to hate Mr. Muhammad, the NOI, and Brother Farrakhan who restored the NOI according to Mr. Muhammad's teachings; because those who hated both Mr. Muhammad and Brother Malcolm are able to feign their approval of Brother Malcolm, in order to condemn the true message of liberation – separation from White America – which Mr. Muhammad gave us, that Brother Malcolm once embraced. Genius. Mad men.