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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 2/23/10

In Memory of Malcolm X

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Message Grant Lawrence
--Usually when people are sad, they don't do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.
Malcolm X, Malcolm X Speaks, 1965
You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.
Malcolm X, Malcolm X Speaks, 1965

Malcolm X, The world's great civil rights leader, was assassinated on February 21, 1965.

Who Killed Malcolm X?

It is likely that government forces working in cooperation with elements within the Nation of Islam took out Malcolm X.

There was a systemic operation within the government to take down certain civil rights leaders, as Malcolm X would say 'by any means necessary.'

Still, you can't assassinate courage and integrity.

The life and legacy of Malcolm X is one of integrity and courage. The courage to stand up to oppression and to live a life of integrity.

People confuse anger with hatred. But anger is a necessary emotion that inspires us to act and to make changes. We deny our anger at our own emotional peril. Hatred closes our minds and creates a type of tunnel vision of experience that ultimately eats away at and destroys those that hate.

Malcolm X utilized his anger to help mobilize his people. He sought through his spiritual and religious understanding to reach out beyond hatred.

As time went by, Malcolm X grew in his understanding. He was better able to channel his anger into a greater and broader vision for humanity.

Unfortunately the forces of hate murdered Malcolm X, just as they did Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (see Let Us Never Forget: Jury Finds Conspiracy in the Murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), for their mass appeal and broad vision. But it was also something deeper that led to the murders of Malcolm X and Dr. King. It was the power of character or as Ghandi would say 'Soul Force' that made the forces of hate really fear them.

We should rightly celebrate the heroes of humanity and honor their 'Soul Force.' But we need to move beyond the celebration and begin to implement the force of character or 'Soul Force' in our own lives.

We can best remember Malcolm X by honoring his courage and anger in our own lives. When we stand up to oppression and speak out against abuse of our brothers and sisters, whatever color, nationality, race, or creed, then we honor the 'Soul Force' that lived in Malcolm X and Dr. King.

Even though heroes die, their 'Soul Force' never dies.

Although Malcolm X has been gone many decades he leaves us with a legacy. It is up to us what we choose to do with that legacy. But we should remember that there are those, like Malcolm X, that put their lives on the line for their ideals. Perhaps we can sacrifice just a little for our ideals.
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