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tv   The Stream  Al Jazeera  November 8, 2013 2:30am-3:01am EST

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what does it mean now and how relevant is it now. malcolm x and the movement. >> black nationalism was at its height in the 1960's, the movement was malcolm x. this year marks the 50th anniversary of dr. king's "i have a dream" speech, but it's also the 50th anniversary
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of malcolm x's iconic address to the grassroots. >> we're not brutalized because we're baptist. we're not brutalized because we're muslim. we're not brutalized because we're catholic. we're brutalized because we're black people in america . >> reporter: black nationalism, some say, has fallen from politics. has the movement fallen short ? we're bringing in all of your comments throughout the show. we've been asking people what black nationalism means, and we've gotten so many though thought-provoking comments. >> good luck, a lot of heated informed passionate comments as you can imagine. tweets have rolled in.
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>> reporter: does black nationalism have an impact today? surely arguebly black nationalism boys race, politics and the u.s. if not globally we have today. steve thomas, however, black nationalism today is a lot of rhetoric and academia types with salary and a little bit of shot light than a complete overhall of the structure. >> well, joining us to discuss malcolm x's legacy dr. cornell west, renown academic, and is malcolm x real or not reinvented. you know
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, black nationalism tanks on different meanings, depending on who you ask. >> i think black nationalism is always relevant because it's founded on three pillars, self-respect, self defense, self determination. malcolm x one of the great freedom fighters was about what? impeccable integrity. he would never sell out. tell the truth, be willing to pay the price. he was always willing to express righteous indignation because he had a deep abiding love of black people. he had a deep abuing love for white, yellow, red, brown. >> has it changed depending on the era? >> first of all, let me second that emotion from my brother west. >> i feel music hyped that.
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>> brother herb got smokey robinson. >> i'm speaking my mind. unimpeachable integrity that is to echo what dr. west said. when you talk about black nationalism, embedded in the word is nation. you start with the generic aspects, and you say, okay, we are about having our own nation. self determination, self-respect, you know, this kind of self reliance, all of this is part and parcel of that particular definition. it goes back to marcus garvey in the 20th century sense. and even beyond the kind of domestic and local issues that we have. it was a global push. it was an international. nationalism is also part of that word international national. so you give it like a broader impact and definition. but certainly it has everything to do with black empowerment.
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it has everything to do with the land question. that's what malcolm said. when you've listened to the message to the grassroots it embodies pretty much the full extent of malcolm's ever evolving philosophy and ideology, it's captured right there. at the time he had definitely violent under tones oh to what he was talking about. some would say that h he de -legitimatized martin luther king. and malcolm x said that was the philosophy of the fool. >> self defense was a peter way to define it. he was not promoting violence, however, he said if someone hits you, you have every right to retaliate. and in fact, he said it in far more graphic terms, you send i them to the cemetery. >> that's why i say the interpretation-- >> yes, the interpretation. the opposite of
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non-violence is violence. but it's not something that malcolm x promoted. he was talking about self defense. >> the racism has become more mainstream and his skated. and in summary black nationalism today is a little more than a slogan, perhaps something for a t-shirt vendor. and professor west refused to speak forthrightly about black nationalism because they have an unbalanced perspective on malcolm. and we have a vlog, take a live. >> what concerns me most about malcolm x's legacy today. is how much it's under assault and the continued relevance of the analysis today. too little is done to grapple with the ideas that malcolm found most suitable to our nations, nationalism, socialism, arms struggle and radical
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applications of the both going far beyond picking the lesser of two evils every few years. >> there has been a criticism that there has been a comodification. what is your response to that. >> i think that critique is on the mark. i think he is right on the mark as well. when you talk about mall some x you're really talking about a revolutionary. he was a revolutionary internationalist but he was concerned with co colonyism and imperialism. june 24, 1964--june 27, 1964, you turn to the fbi files and you get a phone call from martin luther king to malcolm x saying i want to join you to put the
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united states on trial for violation of human rights as it relates to plaque people and especially plaque poor and working people, and attempt to come together. we don't like to talk about the degree the tempt to come together because marti martin lg sounded more like malcolm x, and malcolm x as a muslim was sounding more and more like martin. so that mikes this point, and i think he's right about it. >> after the break, more members from our community will join us, and now here are so couple of the stories that we're following.
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>> they say they did it because they were trying to protect my children. they didn't protect my children, they traumatized them. >> fault lines examines why so many native american kids are caught in the child welfare system. >> any time they see a social worker its like seeing a police officer. the immediate response is, "they're here to take my kids". >> from the indian perspective who sees this in terms of history, this is as about as adversarial as it gets. determining using some sort of subjective interpretation of their policy as to whether or not your particular report was actually abusive, because if it
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doesn't contain language that specifically threatens you directly or is targeted towards you specifically, they may not consider it abuse. they may consider it offensive. and in that case they just recommend that you block that person. >> i don't want to minimise this, because i mean, there's some really horrible things that are on line, and it's not - it's not just twitter, what has happened through social media and the anonymity of the net is that you see websites, hate-filled websites targetting all sorts of groups, popping up. there has been a huge number of those that exist as well.
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>> as long as the masses of black people are involved in the struggle for freedom, not integration but freedom as human beings, respected as men, and they're willing to be die to be respected as men, then they sit up and take notice. >> welcome back. we're talking about the legsive malcolm x. what we were listening to was an excerpt from 1963. how does it fit in for 2013, joining us on skype are two
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community members with their own questions about where the movement is headed. welcome, the two of you, go ahead with your question. >> hey, professor west, how are you doing? >> my question is, and i know this has been a trending topic on twitter and where we find women within the movement of black nationalism. i don't mean to separate the two, but where do we see women today? >> well, i think we recognize--we can't talk about black freedom struggle without talking about harriet tubman others and i think malcolm x would be the first to acknowledge that. his love of black people, his
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hatred of white supremacy would spill over for for a hatred for mail supremacy. he had even had given a role to general. >> that's certainly true, dr. west. if you followed the trajectory of malcolm's life after he leaves the nation of islam it becomes all the more apparent and evident. women take the leadership role in the organization of african-american unity in particular. he was reaching, as dr. west suggests, he was reaching out to people in the civil rights movement including fannie mae haymer. of course, that goes back to the meetings that he attempted to have with dr. king in alabama. dr. king was in jail at that
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time, but malcolm met with corretta. he said, you tell dr. king we got his back. we got his back. so another indication that the trajectory of their lives was an confluence of their ideologies, their flosscie philosophies, their political feelings, and they were coming together. when dr. king marched in tennessee. when he spoke out against the war of vietnam, he was coming to a place where malcolm x had been all along. >> speaking about malcolm speaking to everyone. in his grassroots speech i want to quote him. you catch hell if you're a black man. all of us catch hell for the same reason so we have to unite against the, quote, common ene enemy." malcolm x is right, today's white
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man is the global political system of racism and white supremacy. everyone who wants to say that racism is dead is today's quote/unquote enemy. andrew says malcolm x would be disappointed that 50 years later black people still have not taken our economic security in our own hands. i know you have a question for herb and brother west, go for it. >> yes, it's an honor to be here with all of you. thank you so much for having me. speaking of agenda, mentioning the organization, in which the jeans in the discoveries of the black nationalism agenda, it is a point of failure as a collective white people and/or as a nation that these agenda
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that these organizations have not been completely fulfilled today. >> i think you're absolutely right. i think the black freedom highlights the economy, and privatizes public spaces and prisons and militarize the people it all beety a new jim crow that focuses in a very vicious way of poor plaque and brown youth. brother herb knows that. he's public intellectual from harlem, one of the towering thinkers in the city has been highlighting this as well. there is a text coming out by the great intellectual on malcolm x that hits these issues head on and it's a very powerful collection of herb as well. >> he touched about the ethics, malcolm and his
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ethics, which is very important component of malcolm's body of thought. but one of the things about the issue of where black nationalism is today it's out there, it's happening. perhaps it's not in the headlines of papers. because the media is not on top of it, it may an good thing. it may an good thing because then it can germinate without interference or interruption. but i see pockets of resistence all the time. >> if something is happening below the surface what is it going to look like? >> does it look like what we saw in 1960? >> we can only hope there would be some aspect s of the kind of energy and the thinkers and actors of the 1960s. that was a very critical period in terms of the evolving thought of black america. people struggling out of
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bondage, that's not very old. it takes time. you are forbidden to read or to write. the communities of intellectualism did not exist. we had to be very underground about that, very secretive about it, and then finally when it does surface you have organizations out there who realize they have to tiptoe and a half gate very carefully and deal with the mainstream ameri america. >> but professor west, are the same--is it necessary to go about this in the same way? do the same difficulties still exist 53 years later? i'm not saying we're in a post racial society but we're under a two-term black president. >> no, you have a good point. part of the problem is that it's complicated with a black face head of the american empire so the vicious legacy of the white supremacy can ride out in different ways, be it mass unemployment, decrepit schools and disgraceful housing and so forth. but the same structures are in place.
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when you look at the legacy of malcolm x today you see it in the black agenda report with glenn ford and bruce dixon and have margaret kimberly. you see crucial elements of brother carl dix and prophetic ministers that the elements are still there and prophetic islamic ministers. it's still there. how do you talk about the struggles around the world. it could be palestinians struggling against israeli occupation. it could be struggling against neo-liberal regime in south africa that now has a black face but still cannot address the issues of the poor in south africa. it's class, it's race, it's gender, it's anti-homophobic, but highlight empire. we live in an age of empire . >> professor west our community is talking about self criticism,
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and we talk about not supporting black businesses but do nothing about it. i feel malcolm would call us out on it. malcolm would surely be saying that we need to go back to super but equal. >> and here's a question from james-- >> let's stay with that question. if malcolm x were alive today he probably would be in prison. the u.n. nations state would zero in on the individual or group that prison would be highly likely for truth teller like brother malcolm who loved people so intensely in same thing in terms of responding to your responder, they have to understand how--the retail giants in our communities, the gentrification going son very powerful.
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these multi nationals, transnational corporations. i live in harlem, and i've watched the commercial and residential gentrification eradicate displaced people, the retail giants have come in. the rent has gone up $100 per-square-foot. who can forward that? one of our leading cultural venues, the lounge up there, the man had his rent tripled. how are you going to keep up and keep a business open if somebody tripling your rent and you're only bringing in modest income. so the struggling goes on. your respondents should understand the kind of brutal power that transnational and multi corporation has when they invade a community. >> one of the things that we
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touched on was what would malcolm say if? and we'll insert a couple of thoughts in there. that's going to come up next. you're also going to hear what some students from howard university have to stay. that is an historically black college. keep tweeting us and we'll share i couldn't thoughts right after the break.
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>> audiences are intelligent and they know that their
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>> that's a really hard question. >> if he were alive today. >> i know he would talk about the vast unemployment among the black community. >> he would focus on black autonomy and want us to establish ourselves as an independent community straight from the status quo. >> i think he's speaking out against humanistic situations for people as a whole, not just african-american. >> we're talking about malcolm x's legacy and his iconic message to the grassroots speech.
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herb, what do you think the focus of malcolm x's attention would be if he were alive today? >> well, it's hard to speculate, but i think there are some indications in the last days of his life where he was going because ever evolving. i just finished editing the diary of malcolm x with his third eldest daughter. some of the stuff that was there was indicative of where he was going. his legacy is only as good as his people who evoke his name, read his books, and carry on his struggles. who are those people? what are we doing to carry that on? i know of a number of folks, we are sons of malcolm and daughters of malcolm. we have the responsibility of
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grabbing that legacy and pushing it into the next generation. and to a great extent that's what we're doing. it's as morning as those people who grasp it and push it into the next generation. we have that obligation. it was said very well, you know, each generation out of relative obscurity must either betray or fulfill that mission. i think we're fulfilling that mission in certainly many different ways. >> there has been criticism and push back. malik said there many nationalist scholar who is could add to this discussion other than cornell west, and angel said i don't buy any of this, the quote/unquote man does not bring blacks, latinos down, however, that's proof that we're
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not in a post race society. and not while black kids are being shot at. professor west, what is your response to this argument that people say, you know what, we live in a post race society. lisa talked about it. barack obama has been elected twice. we have kanye, we have venus, and everyone is just complaining and talking about victimization. what is your push back to that? >> that's just right wing emptiness, brother. if you look at the blight of precious black poor people. you see deepen racial structures. we've lost two generations because of a deep ly racial criminal justice system. and we have two different types of educations one is deeply class based and the other is race based. the other voice of black nationalism on this show i think
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the critique is right. i'm not a nationalist. i support black nationalis nationalism. it doesn't mean that i exclude myself from the conversation. brother herb is right. i'm part of the legacy of malcolm x. i'm a radical internationalist which means i bring critique on american nationalism, black nationalism, and that's what i would say to my friendly critics critics. >> who is the embodiyment of malcolm x? >> i could look at a come positivity of individuals and institutions and organizations who have done a good job of capturing the spirit that malcolm left behind. right in the harlem community, for example, we have a number of individuals up there who day in
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and day out out there on the front line struggling. they're nameless, sometimes voiceless, but they're out there. at city college, right now we have a struggle going on, you mentioned mcbride out at detroit. i just heard about this situation. i grew up in detroit, so i know the kind of desperation that is going on there. but we have the center there that has been closed down by the administration saying no, no, no. that's the spirit of malcolm x. >> thanks to our guests and our online community. great discussion tonight. we'll see you online.
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