Racism: Who’s in the Right? And Who’s in the Wrong? (Part 10)


Until the last few months of his life, Malcolm X was a harsh critic of King’s civil rights efforts. Over and over again, Malcolm X said, “Nonviolence is the philosophy of a fool” and also “While King was having a dream, the rest of us Negroes are having a nightmare.”

How did Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. view Malcolm X?

“I know that I have often wished that he would talk less of violence, because violence is not going to solve our problem. And, in his litany of articulating the despair of the Negro without offering any positive, creative alternative, I feel that Malcolm has done himself and our people a great disservice. Fiery, demagogic oratory in the black ghettos, urging Negroes to arm themselves and prepare to engage in violence, as he has done, can reap nothing but grief.

“In the event of a violent revolution, we would be sorely outnumbered. And when it was all over, the Negro would face the same unchanged conditions, the same squalor and deprivation − the only difference being that his bitterness would be even more intense, his disenchantment even more abject. Thus, in purely practical, as well as moral terms, the American Negro has no rational alternative to nonviolence.”

“I think there is a lesson that we can all learn from this: that violence is impractical and that now, more than ever before, we must pursue the course of nonviolence to achieve a reign of justice and a rule of love in our society, and that hatred and violence must be cast into the unending limbo if we are to survive.”

I always contended that we as a race must not seek to rise from a position of disadvantage to one of advantage, but to create a moral balance in society where democracy and brotherhood would be a reality for all men.”

(The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr., Edited by Clayborne Carson, Warner Books, © 1998.

It is my contention that two powerful prophets − Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X − proclaimed messages to America’s inner cities during the Civil Rights struggles of the 1950’s and 60’s. Both of the prophets’ words are still echoing throughout the inner cities.  One prophesied the words of life while the other spoke the words of death.

(Continued in Part 11)



Filed under Christianity, Church, Gifts of the Spirit, God, jesus, Kingdom of God, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

4 responses to “Racism: Who’s in the Right? And Who’s in the Wrong? (Part 10)

  1. In 1964, Malcolm X rejected the Nation of Islam and racism, and in the remaining months of his life promoted black self-determination and self-defense. Ironically, he was assassinated by three black men from the Nation of Islam in 1965. King was assassinated in 1968 by a white racist. Today racism is alive and well in the inner city, the suburbs, and throughout America. It’s in our segregated churches on Sundays, the voter-suppression of minorities in our election campaigns, racial profiling by our police, and the disproportionate conviction rates of minorities over whites. And as for violence, no one espouses violence more than the NRA, the almost all-white organization that insists that its members enjoy unlimited access to the most powerful assault weapons–even in light of the numerous incidents of the mass slaughter of innocent men, women, and children. Who’s right and who’s wrong? We all are–and we each have to stand before our Lord some day, stripped of all our hypocrisy, and answer for how we have responded to his redeeming message of grace and love to him and to our neighbors.

  2. Derrick,

    I appreciate your comments. Malcolm X did have an epiphany at Mecca in 1964 which radically moderated his views on the Civil Rights movement, but his words before then, helped to spawn the Black Panthers and other militant groups.

  3. Thank you, Mr. Larry, for continuing this series. You have me thinking about what kind of words we speak and write and the consequences of them. God bless you!

  4. Debbie,

    Thanks. I appreciate your pat on the back.

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