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.

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her middle school. Then Humans of New York told her story to the Internet—and everything changed.

Join the Discussion

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

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Video

What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In