And then the road not taken...

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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. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

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