Malcolm X was a black supremacist

Civil rights movement in the USA : 50 years after the murder of Malcolm X

The body - 39 years old, male, black - had 21 gunshot wounds. The man at Columbia University Hospital in New York could not be saved. The body on the stretcher belonged to one of the most influential Americans of the 1960s: Malcolm Little aka Malcolm X. aka El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. Fifty years ago the black leader - an opponent of Martin Luther King, civil rights activist and racist at the same time, revolutionary and preserver - was shot. To this day it is controversial on whose behalf three blacks murdered him.

When Malcolm Little was six years old, his father died and the mother was mentally ill. He was good at school, but dropped out when he was told that “a nigger” had no chance of a career. Little became a drug dealer and pimp who allegedly even slept with men for money. In custody he found the Nation of Islam. The leader of this group, Elijah Muhammad, told him to drop his "slave name" that whites had given his ancestors. From then on there was a stranger instead of a surname: Malcolm X.

The Nation of Islam was an obscure group founded in 1930 by the no less obscure Wallace Fard. The man who added a Muhammad to his name disappeared without a trace four years later. In his place came Elijah Poole, who in turn called himself Muhammad.

The group was an anti-Semitic, white-hating club; "Black Supremacists" who preached the superiority of a black race destined to rule the whites. Most prominent member: world boxing champion Muhammad Ali.

Not a color blind world

"Malcolm was not a Black Supremacist, but a black nationalist," says Bryan Epps, director of the Shabazz Center in Harlem. “Malcolm didn't want a color-blind world, but one in which everyone is aware of their race. And blacks should be proud to be black. ”Biographer Britta Waldschmidt-Nelson only sees enlightenment on a pilgrimage to Mecca. “Until then, all blacks were children of God, all whites were fundamentally evil.

Suddenly he saw blond and blue-eyed pilgrims who treated him like his own. The whites were suddenly no longer devils. ”He even gave up opposition to mixed marriages.
That didn't suit the Nation of Islam. And certainly not that X, who called himself El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz after the pilgrimage, spoke of Muhammad's sex affairs. X had already spoiled it with the whole world. When the murder of John F. Kennedy shocked the whole world, he commented on it with the phrase “chickens come home to roost”, which could be translated as “get the just punishment”. For many, X had become the ultimate non-person.

Malcom X thought little of nonviolence

Malcolm X founded several of his own organizations and left the Nation of Islam - and was on their hit list. Several attacks on him failed, but when X was about to give a speech on February 21, 1965 in Harlem, New York, a tumult broke out. X was just about to calm the crowd when a man fired at him with a sawed-off shotgun, and two other men then shot. The charismatic man was dead, shot by three blacks.

One of the shooters was knocked down at the scene, there is no doubt about his guilt. Norman 3X and Thomas 15X were also accused, but the murder has not yet been fully resolved.

Was Louis Farrakhan the man behind? The later leader of the Nation of Islam is known as "Black Hitler" because of his hatred of whites, Jews, gays and women. Officially, he always denied this, but in his speeches he said sentences like: "Malcolm was a traitor and the Nation of Islam treated him as a nation treats a traitor." Or also: "I am not a murderer. But if someone attacks what I love, I can kill. ”In 1995 an assassination attempt against him was foiled. Behind it was Qubilah Shabazz - a daughter of Malcolm X.

"Malcolm X never preached nonviolence like Martin Luther King did, but his violence should always only be self-defense," says Epps, who today shows school classes and study groups the crime scene from back then. Waldschmidt-Nelson is optimistic: “Today blacks have almost the same opportunities as whites in the upper and middle classes.” But: “In the lower class there is still the vicious circle of unemployment, poverty, drugs and crime. And from white police violence. Malcolm X is as relevant today as it was then. "

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