Monday, April 1, 2019

Murray Rothbard on Malcolm X

As a follow up to Malcolm X: "Don't BEG for a Job - CREATE a Job," here's what Murray Rothbard wrote in the Rothbard-Rockwell Report about Malcolm X:

In the last analysis, then, it is not Malcolm’s ideas, militant or not, nationalist or not, that continue to fascinate, and to attract followers. Not at all. On the contrary, it was Malcolm as a person who was the great attraction when alive and still is, thirty years after his death. For Malcolm was indeed unique among black leadership, past and present. He did no shuckin’ and jivin’, he was not a clown like “the Rev.” Al Sharpton, he was not moronic like Ben Hooks or Thurgood Marshall, he did not simply threaten Whitey in a loutish manner like the Black Panthers, he was not a fraudulent intellectual with a rococo Black Baptist minister style, like “Dr.” King. He stood out like a noble eagle among his confreres. He carried himself with great pride and dignity; his speaking style was incisive and sparkled with intelligence and sardonic wit. In short, his attraction for blacks was and is that he acted white. It is a ridiculous liberal clich that blacks are just like whites but with a different skin color; but in Malcolm’s case, regardless of his formal ideology, it really seemed to be true.
I had the privilege of seeing Malcolm speak on two occasions in the year before his death. It was a delightful experience. His answers to questions were a match for any political leader, for intelligence and wit. He was, for example, a lot more impressive than Bill Clinton. My favorite memory of Malcolm was the second speech, before a large gathering, when he made mincemeat out of the insufferable Jimmy Wechsler, ex-Communist turned Social Democrat, and beloved columnist and editor of the New York Post. In his speech, Malcolm had spoken of black tenants living in Harlem, while their landlords “lived on the Grand Concourse” (a large, once fashionable street in the west Bronx, then almost exclusively Jewish). In the question period, Jimmy Wechsler bounced up, and pointed out that Malcolm’s remark had “anti-Semitic” implications. “Oh,” replied Malcolm in fine mock indignation: “Are you telling me that only Jews live on the Grand Concourse? Why that’s terrible; that’s ‘segregation’; that needs to be investigated!”
(via  Charles Burris)


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