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Beliefs of Malcolm X

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Human Rights
Wordcount: 2873 words Published: 20th Sep 2017

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Cheyanne Ratliff

1. When Malcolm X believes when he receives an “X” is that it is an ex form of himself. He elaborated by saying that it is supposed to “[replace] the white slave master name of “little” which some blue-eyed devil named Little had imposed on my paternal forebears,” (MX, 229). His statement is correct because many of the African Americans in America were brought over from Africa by Europeans. This means that it was not the identity of his oppressor, but of the black man himself. Although they used this excuse, there was a bit of a social privilege to not being truly African. On page 4, Malcolm X states that “[m]ost Negro parents in those days would almost instinctively treat any lighter children better than they did the darker ones. It came directly from the slavery tradition that the “mulatto,” because he was visibly nearer to white, was therefore “better”,” (MX, 4-5). What this suggests is the impact the white slave owners have had on the ancestors of blacks and how they have been raised to think like that. It means that those who are lighter tend to have a higher social privilege because of how slave owners implied that if you were lighter, you were whiter.

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2. Malcolm describes how the black people are tired of the treatment of colored men and women by the police, also known as police brutality. In MX, he states that “[i]t is a miracle that 22 million black people have not risen up against their oppressors-in which they would have been justified by all moral criteria, and even by the democratic tradition,” (MX, 251). This states that Malcolm is surprised about how the black Americans have not risen up yet against their oppressors the police. Although it seems as if the police have been nothing but brutal towards black Americans, that does not always seem to be the case. In the chapter “Black Muslims”, Malcolm states that “[l]aw agencies once had scoffed at our nation as “black crackpots”; now they took special pains to safeguard against some “white crackpots” causing any “incidents” or accidents,” (MX, 252). This supports the rebuttal because it shows how although the police always seemed more hostile and aggressive towards the black people of that time, they eventually managed to see that black people needed protection too, just as the white man needed.

3. What Malcolm X is doing is he is finding the differences between segregation and separation. On page 250 of MX, he describes segregation as “when your life and liberty are controlled, regulated, by someone else,” (MX, 251) and separation as “that which is done voluntarily, by two equals- for the good of both,” (MX, 251). The difference that Malcolm X is pointing out is that with segregation, you are regulated by somebody else, compared to separation, which is when you are regulated by yourself. This conveys the wishes that many black Americans have because many of them wish to not be controlled by the white man. Although they were segregated, they still had control over their own lives. Theoretically, they let the white man back them into a corner, which then calls for them to attack and lash back in order to protect themselves and/or their community. In the book “Things Fall Apart”, Okonkwo let the white Christian missionaries back him into a corner, which then caused him to lash out and kill himself in order to protect himself and his community. Theoretically, if they had refused the push of the white man towards that corner, they could have easily been on a faster track to equality.

4. This statement is valid because it shows how the black Americans have never been free to actually act for themselves in the sense of controlling their own communities. Similar to the last question, they have been backed into a corner. He states that separation is when “”that which is done voluntarily, by two equals- for the good of both,” (MX, 251). Because the blacks are not able to completely separate from the white people, they cannot reach their full potential and power. This relates to when a dog is abused by its “owner”, then they can never really function by their own means.

5. Malcom X is describing how the black hustler in the “ghetto jungles” has to survive. By saying the ghetto hustler is the “most dangerous black man in America” (MX, 318), he is talking from experience AND what he has observed. On page 173, Malcolm X describes his observations as scary because “it had taught [him] in a very few minutes to have a whole lot of respect for the human combustion that is packed among the hustlers and their young admirers who live in the ghettoes where the Northern white man has sealed-off the Negro-away from whites-for a hundred years,” (MX, 318-319). What quotation suggests is that these young people who admire the hustlers, those who are considered the “most dangerous black [men] in America” (MX, 318) are considered that because they have the most influence upon the youth, which is the next generation. This means that because the black hustlers depend on the youth, this is how they survive and keep that “black hustler legacy” going. Although this may suggest that this is where all of their power comes from in order to survive, it is not. Earlier in the book, Malcom X describes his own accord of how it works; ” I was a true hustler-uneducated, unskilled at anything honorable, and I considered myself nervy and cunning enough to live by my own wits, exploiting any prey that presented itself,” (MX, 111). This quote from himself suggests that he lived by his own wits because he thought he was all that, and he became very popular among the ranks. What this quote makes people realize is that power comes from within, and that when you create an image of yourself, that power inside of you is what causes that image to come true.

6. What Malcolm X is differentiating between is the stereotype of how a white man acts like, and what a black man acts like. What this suggests is that black people, in order to be accepted, they depend upon the stereotype of the white man and decide to try and follow that to be accepted. An example of this is when Malcolm X states that “[t]he only difference was that the ones in Boston had been brainwashed even more thoroughly. They prided themselves on being incomparably more “cultured,” “cultivated,” “dignified,” “and better off than their black brethren down in the ghetto, which was no further away than you could throw a rock. Under pitiful misapprehension that it would make then “better,” these Hill Negroes were breaking their backs trying to imitate white people,” (MX, 42). This suggests that black people will try to imitate white people in order to seem more appealing to them. The quotation describes how societal pressures were even more severe than they are today. Before coming to a conclusion though, we must consider how the white man did not always intentionally discriminate. On page 174 of MX, he describes the cause of the black man’s condition was because of the “white man’s society [being] responsible for the black man’s condition in this wilderness of North America.” This quotation says that although there is social pressures from the white man, his society implements even more social pressures than the white man does himself. It suggests that the black community itself is more socially pressuring than the white man’s community is at times. A connection to this is from the book The Pearl by John Steinbeck, when the richer society who lived inside the gate had societal pressures pushed upon those who live outside the wall, those who lived outside of the wall developed even stronger, negative societal pressure that basically said ‘if you don’t live inside the wall you’re unsuccessful’. This eventually pushed Kino to go crazy, just because he wanted money to get into the inside of the wall. Those snooty black brethren who stuck their noses up at their brothers and sisters in the ghettoes were like Kino, and they drove themselves crazy trying to fit into an ideal placed in their heads by themselves and those around them.

7. To begin with, Hajj means pilgrimage. In order for Malcolm X and all separationists (in MX’s eyes) to achieve their goal, they must remain united. In the book, Malcolm X says that “for the black man in America the only solution is complete separation from the white man,” (MX, 250) and that “Islam is the hope for justice and equality in the world we must build tomorrow,” (MX, 241). Malcolm X here basically says that we must separate from the white men and all join Islam in order to complete their destined pilgrimage. Although this seems like the perfect solution, this is far from it. This was similar to when Hitler believed that there was only one pure race and that they should all be “separated” to be perfect, just as Malcolm X believed that there was only one way that black people could be perfect, and that was separated under the state of Islam. This is a “one right way” mindset that could potentially be dangerous if it is not handled properly.

8. America is seem as a major place full of discrimination in all parts of the world. To support this, Malcolm X states that they called them “[h]ate teachers” “violence seekers”””black racists” “black fascists” “anti-Christian” “possibly communist inspired”,” (MX, 243). This all started because of a few racist whites had collected footage and lied about the intentions of Malcolm X and Mr. Muhammad. This is a prime example of how the Americans perceived them beause they were not only black, but also Muslim. Although this produced hate and more discrimination, it made black Muslims stronger and more powerful. This is similar to how people saw the Baton Rouge bus boycott of 1953 as a bad thing, but really it made those boycotting even stronger and more powerful. It did that because it eventually made people realize “hey maybe this is wrong.” Although this is not the case in MX, the amount of attention is similar to the amount pf attention that the bus boycott got in 1953.

9. When Malcolm X suggests when he says “thinking internally” is that the American power structure does not want them to realize how powerful they could be. Malcolm X describes this behavior as selfish when he says “he loves himself so much that he is startled if he discovers that his victims don’t share his vainglorious self-opinion,” (MX 243). What this means is that if the white man pressures black people into believing one thing about themselves, and the black people do not agree, then the white man would lash out, almost like an angry toddler. A connection to this is similar to when Donald Trump tries to convince people of one thing, and when they don’t believe it, he turns into a ‘crybaby’. But, this is not always the case. On page 318, MX describes the ghettoes, and how the people within them are preconditioned to think that they must “fight to survive”. What this suggests is that the white man’s tactics had been successful and basically “cornered” them into believing this is where they belong. This is a similar example to when you keep telling a dog that it is a bad dog. It is eventually going to believe that and not try to change that mindset.

10. When Malcolm X writes that “the seeds of racism are so deeply rooted many whites are even unaware of their own racism”( MX, 369-370) , he is basically saying that the hate of blacks has been passed on for so long, it has practically become tradition. And with tradition, there is always a wish for change, so blacks were always pushed to become lighter or to act more ‘white’. In The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm X says “I remember that I thought that it looked as if my father’s strong black face had been dusted with flour, and I wished they hadn’t put on such a lot of it” (MX, 11). What MX is saying by this is that he wished that they wouldn’t have tried to have his father look lighter because it strayed the thought of his strong, deep ebony father he had etched into his mind. This could be related to how when certain family members die, their kids do not want certain things done to those family members because it takes away from the thought of them they already have in their heads. But, sometimes the families will go against embracing their loved ones wishes. For example, on page 8 of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, MX talks about how his ) mom would make him go outside to “[l]et the sun shine on [him] so [he] can get some color.” (MX, 8). What this suggests is that even though MX was okay with his skin color and the lightness/darkness of it, his mother still pressured him to get MORE color because that was her tradition, or hoe she was raised. This is similar to how President Obama had to think about his traditions and values before he made any decisions, like all presidents have done/ will do.

11. MX is basically suggesting that this mass genocide had welcomed them into the system, and now they needed to be accepted. The best way to be accepted though, in MX’s eyes, was to revolt. On page 375 he praises the revolt saying that “the negroes so-called “revolt” is merely an asking to be accepted into the existing system!” (MX, 375). This suggests that the black people believe that they have to fight their way to earn recognition and respect within the system, like they grew up believing. This is similar to how many of the young hustlers grew up seeing pimps and hustlers fighting in the streets to survive, learning from them how they need to fight to survive like that too. But, even though they needed to fight to get into the system, there were many placed throughout the U.S that had accepted the black people into their systems. This proved good, but few people saw it.

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12. MX is basically calling to arms for the black people to “take no shit”. He believes, through the massive rallies that “were [an] astounding success” he had helped raise awareness, and now they needed to do whatever possible to keep that awareness up and continue with pursuing equal rights. Even though there isn’t really a rebuttal for this, I feel as if MX had to convince himself of that too, considering when the press came at him after the film “The Hate That Hate Produced” aired, he had to consult Mr. Muhammad on what to do because he hadn’t stayed confident enough in himself OR his followers to believe that they were strong enough to keep earning those rights. This is similar to when he believed that things would not get better for him in jail, so he had to depend on his God for help and guidance.

13. What Malcom X is saying is that the white man has preconditioned the black man for a life of crime and discrimination! To support this, he states on page 248 that many black men were converted to the white man’s way of thinking because of money or promises of a better life, so they became “black bodies with white heads” (MX 248). This means that they would give up anything for a better life, because they knew that the one that they were living at that moment wouldn’t’ve gotten them anywhere in life, so they became one with the enemy. Although this was the case, many black people had switched sides due to all of the negativity towards MX and Elijah Muhammad and their teachings due to “The Hate That Hate Produced”. This is similar to when you are in a car crash and hurt your neck, so if you try to move it or anything, you will just hurt it more because of the problems that are already there.


1. The most novel claim was that traditions could be pressured onto other people who weren’t associated with those people to begin with. It was novel because it was true, otherwise racism and discrimination would not have occurred.

2. page 243 and 251 (Questions 9+2)

3. Danya’s explaination of how the blacks were preconditioned to live and think a certain way, and Liz’s which piggybacked upon that.

4. This is similar to when you are in a car crash and hurt your neck, so if you try to move it or anything, you will just hurt it more because of the problems that are already there.

5. Question two because it provided a lot of discussion.

6. Question twelve because I went so in depth with it because it interested me.


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