Monday, January 19, 2009

X Marks This Spot

Of course, today is Martin Luther King Day. In years past, I have tended to write a post about the words and thoughts of this man of peace -- one of my heroes. Today, however, I'm going to do something a bit different. Instead of offering a trove of quotes from MLK, all the quotes shown below were stated or written by Malcolm X (another one of my heroes).

Malcolm X doesn't enjoy the same type of popularity as does King. For one thing, his earlier pronouncements when he was a follower of The Nation of Islam were seen as very threatening to the white majority. While King was unabashedly nonviolent in all his words and deeds, Malcolm X supported the use of violence as a self-defense measure.

But the Malcolm X that typically is depicted is from his early years in the black civil rights movement. Like most people, Malcom X's ideology and perspective evolved with time. Near the end of his life -- one cut short by an assassin's bullet -- Malcolm was moving closer to a position that was not altogether different than Martin's.

So, while Dr. Martin Luther King continues to hold an important position in the minds of American's today, I think it's just as important to remember the life and words of Malcolm X.
  • A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.
  • Usually when people are sad, they don't do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.
  • You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.
  • Power never takes a back step - only in the face of more power.
  • Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.
  • I believe in a religion that believes in freedom. Any time I have to accept a religion that won't let me fight a battle for my people, I say to hell with that religion.
  • If you have no critics you'll likely have no success.
  • Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression.
  • You're not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it.
  • You show me a capitalist, and I'll show you a bloodsucker.
  • There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.
  • I believe in human beings, and that all human beings should be respected as such, regardless of their color.

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