And then the road not taken...

Pretty fascinating. Malcolm isn't to me what he was to me in high school,or college but he keeps a hold on me. Mostly as a model of discipline and intellectual and moral growth. Had I been alive in the 1960s, I know what side I would have landed on. I wonder, though, if I would have had the insight to find my way back out.

UPDATE: Also, it should be added that, if Diane Feinstein was invoking Malcolm X, I don't think it can be really seen as a dis. Malcolm's Ballot or The Bullet speech isn't an argument against voting in favor of violence. Indeed there's a whole section in which he urges blacks to use their power as wedge voters. (This is obviously pre-Southern Strategy) The speech's central tenant is more like "Well we hope to be able to resolve this democraticly, but if not we do pack steel." I like to think Malcolm--especially post-1963 Malcolm--would have been happy. I'm not sure he would. But I like to think that. He was never a straight demagouge or intellectual thug like Farrakhan. I never saw fit to defend Farrakhan from anything, mostly because years before he became a known anti-semite, he called for Malcolm's death. Alright, I'm rambling now...





Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In