It's pretty muck Black History Month all-year long around here, but today we'd like to talk about the suggestion that Malcolm X deserves the recognition of having a federal holiday in his name. Time Magazine recently published a piece by Touré, in which the writer states:
"We should seriously consider a national holiday celebrating the life of a man who indelibly changed America: Malcolm X. (...) He held firm to his principles but was also strong enough to re-evaluate his beliefs and change when he deemed change is right. (...) He grew to understand it took all types to make the human family complete and explicitly rejected racial hatred and espoused a universal law of justice. (...) Malcolm merely proposed that oppressed people had a right to armed self-defense (...) the FBI noted its difficultly in neutralizing him because he did not conspire to break laws and lived by a stringent moral code (...) His militant advocacy was as stunning as it was necessary, to force the issue and imbue millions with the confidence and spirit and strength needed to overcome."
While Malcolm X mostly fought for human rights, some readers got very angry and seemed threatened by the idea, arguing that he advocated violence. Can we ignore the fact that he was urging Black people to defend themselves against the organized oppression (lynching, murdering, raping, etc.) they were subjected to, and the fact that his views evolved over time? Given the times he lived in, wasn't his anger understandable and/or necessary? Should there be a Malcolm X federal holiday?
We'd love to hear what you think. Let us know in the comments! - L C-D