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...





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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.

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