MLK vs. Malcolm X

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Interesting mash-up pitting the two in a virtual debate on violent vs. nonviolent resistance.

The music selections are a bit odd.

 

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12 Responses to “MLK vs. Malcolm X”

  1. #1 |  Michael Chaney | 

    X’s cluelessness is obvious in the first rant. The KKK was created after the Civil War. There were no “Klan” members during slavery.

  2. #2 |  CalebT | 

    Dude, I SO want to share this clip with people. But you’re right; the music selection is atrocious.

  3. #3 |  Kevin | 

    Towards the end, Malcolm X was saying that the white man and the black man need to be able to sit down and each say what is on his mind without fear of hurting the feelings of the other. It’s been almost 5 decades since he died and we still can’t really do that.

  4. #4 |  CyniCAl | 

    Violence is a losing strategy … unless you’re a State. Then it’s all you got.

  5. #5 |  JOR | 

    Malcolm X was right that blacks had the right to use defensive violence against whites. He was extremely unfair to King (calling his highly confrontational nonviolent direct action “defensive? Really? Uncle Tom? Seriously?) and frankly ignorant or dishonest about how nonviolent resistance works. In other words, he was a typical Manly Man/Realist making the typical Manly/Realist arguments against pacifism, nonviolence, etc., and like the lot of them, made a damned fool of himself.

  6. #6 |  TGGP | 

    I thought the jokey audio insert at the end was the most bizarre part. It was also a bit odd to jump in our of context with MLK talking about Malcolm’s assassination without viewers immediately knowing that’s the event he’s discussing until he refers to X as “the late”.

  7. #7 |  Mike T | 

    and frankly ignorant or dishonest about how nonviolent resistance works

    And many advocates of nonviolent resistance are also ignorant and dishonest. They rarely admit, for example, that it only works when either the regime’s leaders have a conscience (Gandhi vs the British) or the regime is failing (Solidarity and similar movements). Tiananmen Square is a perfect example of what happens when you have an authoritarian regime, in its prime, that meets nonviolent mass resistance.

  8. #8 |  JOR | 

    “They rarely admit, for example, that it only works when either the regime‚Äôs leaders have a conscience (Gandhi vs the British) or the regime is failing (Solidarity and similar movements).”

    This is precisely the kind of dishonesty and ignorance I am referring to.

    The British occupiers of India, for example, were perfectly willing to employ extreme violence, as evidenced by the fact that they did so. They had no more of a conscience about it than German concentration camp guards. Tiananmen Square demonstrated that sometimes you don’t win the battle in the short run when you use nonviolent direct action (or, at most, that noviolent direct action doesn’t always work). But you don’t always win the battle in the short run (or win at all) using violence, either. So what?

  9. #9 |  bbartlog | 

    @JOR: that the British were willing to massacre many people does not really refute Mike’s point that (collectively) they had a conscience. Ultimately, they were not willing to commit atrocities on the scale that would have been required to hold on to power.
    However, I also think that history is written in such a way as to minimize the role played by those willing to do violence. One of the reasons that Gandhi succeeded was that millions of angry Hindus would have attacked the British, had they tried to kill him or imprison him for life. Had it not been so I expect they would have left him to rot in a cell somewhere.
    JFK said “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” – but if the powers that be know this, then the logical followup is: those who threaten violent revolution are those that make peaceful revolution possible.

  10. #10 |  Mike T | 

    The British occupiers of India, for example, were perfectly willing to employ extreme violence, as evidenced by the fact that they did so. They had no more of a conscience about it than German concentration camp guards.

    The only way to make extreme violence roughly analogous to genocide would be if the British responded by surrounding one of India’s largest population centers with their Army, firebombing it to the ground and then slaughtering the survivors with small arms and artillery.

  11. #11 |  Mike T | 

    What the Russians did to Chechnya when it tried to secede is a far better parallel than your half-baked comparison to India.

  12. #12 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    The British occupiers of India, for example, were perfectly willing to employ extreme violence, as evidenced by the fact that they did so. They had no more of a conscience about it than German concentration camp guards.

    …or US police forces, or CIA “interrogators”, or soldiers under orders for any state (against a foreign people or their own), or pretty much anyone who has taken a paid position of violence. This is the issue and why peasants tend to get killed by the score. I reject the premise that one state has a conscience and another does not. One state has a better Office of Propaganda. In a different context, every smart-pants on here would be referencing how well they personally know (from intense study) the Stanford Prison Experiment.

    Mike T, are you really debating the line between extreme state violence against hundreds of thousands and genocide against millions? Why is that useful?

    Also, the success measurement for non-violent and violent resistance are not always the same.

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