I) What is worth dying for?
For a while, I was struggling to figure out what to say about Malcolm X, because I was incredibly moved by the movie. Days after the screening, I listened to several of Malcolm’s speeches on YouTube, and our recent class discussions enabled me to discover why I was so inspired by him.
Malcolm X knew that his activism and his statements against Elijah Muhammad heightened the arrival of his death. Yet, he never let that stop him.
“If you’re not ready to die for it, put the word ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary.” — Malcolm X
Freedom is what Malcolm believed in. Freedom is what pushed him to keep fighting against the injustices inflicted upon Afro Americans. He believed that freedom was worth dying for.
What is worth killing for?
In Malcolm X, black on black violence envelops in a completely different format from Chiraq. However, each of these forms of violence is a result of a system. In Malcolm X, the system revolves around Elijah Muhammad. The system is perpetuated by the symbol of Elijah Muhammad and his followers, but not the man himself. Since Malcolm X deviated from the system, and sought to demystify the symbol of Elijah Muhammad, he had to be “punished”. It has nothing to do with Islam, which in fact is a peaceful religion, and everything to do with the structure of that system.
In Chiraq, the system at hand is one which has existed since slavery. It is a system that seeks to oppress blacks and suppress development. A system that damages, impoverishes, takes advantage, and murders. I recommend that y’all watch Crips and Bloods: Made in America. In the documentary, there’s a part where one of the OGs mentions that a system succeeds in oppressing others, if it causes them to oppress themselves.
I’m not saying that these systems provide justifications for killing others. I don’t believe that such a justification even exists. I’m just stating that they are the root cause.