Friday, October 8, 2010

Post #3 on Malcolm X's Speech, "What does Mississippi have to do with Harlem?"

Personally i liked Malcolm X's speech because to me it makes a lot of sense. First and foremost his main goal was to get what everyone else wanted which was freedom and equality. He did this by making some good points and encourage some action whether it be legal or by force. His audience was to black people to actually fight for their freedom one way or another. He said that the language white people spoke was violence so if that was the language they spoke and understood and nothing was to be done by the government then black people was to speak the same language. "If his language is with a shotgun, get a shotgun. If he only understands the language of a rifle, get a rifle...". In other words he wanted to fight fire with fire.
Malcolm also stated and tried to open people's eyes by saying that it doesn't matter if the north is less racist than the south, because the white people over there might have 'smiled at your face and show their teeth but stick the knife in your back'. What he meant was that it wasn't just a problem in the south or anywhere that was just a part of American, the problem was the whole country. He gives a good example, "If one room in your house is dirty, you've got a dirty house. If the closet is dirty, you've got a dirty house...". Meaning the problem had to be resolved everywhere throughout the whole America and not just one part. The rich whites were manipulating the poor whites and blacks into more racism and conflict and not focusing on the big issue that the politicians were taking advantage of all the poor people not just the blacks. Still the racists were spread everywhere oppressing the blacks whether it was blatantly or subtly and were tied together in some way or another. He mentioned that the people that were voted did nothing for the blacks. They stood quiet and didn't do nothing when the blacks wanted to sit down.
Malcolm placed a lot of emphasis in his words. He wanted justice either the easy way or the hard way. This was his message to the people. And so what i see was him trying to fuel their anger and rebel to get what they wanted as he says, "I'm not for anybody who tells me to turn the other cheek when a cracker is busting up my jaw. I'm not for anybody who tells black people to be nonviolent while nobody is telling white people to be nonviolent...". He spoke to the people's feelings of suppression, resentment, and anger and to me it seems that it was effective.

1 comment:

  1. Really good close reading of this speech - I think you're right that it speaks to the difficulty of civil disobedience tactics, which call on people who have been oppressed to hold themselves to a much, much higher standard than the rest of society. How does his analysis connect to the events around the MFDP that we saw depicted in class?