Us Vs Them: My Letter To Malcolm X by Confucius Jones
Written by Confucius Jones
Dear Mr. El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz,
Not sure how to word this letter sir. First and foremost, I hope this letter reaches you in time and with care. Let me start off by saying you are one of my biggest role models, and inspirations, in my adult life. It’s your views, and way of life, that I strive to guide my life in a similar vein to you. Simply put Mr. Shabazz, you are my hero.
I’m writing you to say that your words in the past have come to fruition in more ways than one. Us as a people are still learning things the hard way. We are still treated as lower class citizens and the justice for us isn’t the same as the justice for all. While we have made great strides in positive directions, we have not yet realized our full potential as a people. We are still lost in this wilderness called North America. Every day we are reminded of how inferior we are in the eyes of those who oppress us whether we admit it or not. The media portrays us as thugs, gangsters and hoodlums without understanding our inner most pain and absence of basic fundamentals in life at times. Now we are faced with one of our own young brothers and sisters dying almost monthly by those sworn to protect us. More so than ever your words of “We are nonviolent with people who are nonviolent with us” ring true more than ever before. Even when we peacefully protest we are treated as criminals. The only option it seems is to fight back against those who seek to keep us feeling like less than we are and show our might through force. To burn everything down and lash out at any and everything until somebody, or something, gives and this corrupt country gives us the respect we deserve.
But I know that isn’t the answer or what you would truly want for us Mr. Shabazz.
In my heart, I know that what you want for our people is the same thing we all want. Freedom. Freedom from physical AND mentally persecution. Deep down, I know you want us to uplift ourselves so that those who seek to tear us down cannot due to the height of our own power and knowledge. You once said “Without education, you’re not
going anywhere in this world” and we all must follow that path of enlightenment to better ourselves, I believe. You also once said “My alma mater was books, a good library… I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity” which is something we as a people must embrace more wholeheartedly as well to grow mentally. There are still negroes out there, my brother, who would rather stay in their homes and wish the bad times would pass. There are still those who believe staying on the plantation is better than taking a chance and running north for freedom. We are still fighting the same fight you were, sir, in the 60’s only with a 24 hour news cycle and justice system that does not hesitate to make us criminals. Times have changed Mr. Shabazz but they haven’t changed enough I’m afraid.
In closing, Mr. Shabazz I just wanted to write you to get your thoughts on black people, OUR PEOPLE, in America today and what we should do. I don’t feel there is anyone alive now who can give me, or us, the answers we are looking for. All that you stand for Mr. Shabazz is a reflection of the best parts of us and hopefully your words can help shine the light to a better tomorrow for future generations.