A Message to the Fleeting Hearts: Malcolm X, Revolution and Rebirth

I had the opportunity of travelling to Harlem, New York for the sole purpose of finding Malcolm X's grave. It took a few days; however, before realizing that I had asked at least 50 different people where his grave was and no one seemed to know. I wondered why it was so easy to find Martin Luther King's grave in Atlanta and so impossible to find Malcolm's. After almost giving up I was touched by an angel. An Afro-American woman filled that void and said, "My child, he's not in the ghetto, they got him up at Hartsdale." I ignorantly asked, "Can I get there by bus?" She replied, "If you take about ten of them."

The journey to Hartsdale involved two buses, a train ride, a taxi, and a long hike. The freezing wind seemed to working in conjunction with this conspiracy to keep me away. Finally after twenty years I arrived at his grave site, out of the way, in a corner at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York.

On this anniversary of Malcolm X's birth I felt it was critical to remember not for his cliches or soundbites, but for his passion, his love for humanity, and his tremendous sense of understanding as to the injustice that makes up Amerikkka.

In his memory, and for our children I requested to given the opportunity of rewording one of his most important gifts, his message. There was no verbal response. The wind continued and I knew it was critical as an Indigenous brother to leave a gift for our slain brother. On this day I deliver the gift he left for all of us...I only hope we can embrace his words by our actions and not by hanging his poster on the wall or wearing the played out 'X' caps.

If we truly loved, honored and respected him, the time has come to walk his walk, and not just talk his talk. For Malcolm. For the youth. For the arrested revolution whose chains are beginning to rot. . .

First, what is a revolution?

I'm inclined to believe that many of our people are using this word revolution loosely, without taking careful consideration of what this word actually means, and what its historic characteristics are.

Look at the American Revolution in 1776.
What was it based on? Land.
Why? Independence.
How? Bloodshed.

The French Revolution
What was it based on? Land.
Why? Independence.
How? Bloodshed.

Was no love lost,
was no compromise,
was no negotiation.
Im telling you --
you dont know what a revolution is.

The Russian Revolution
What was it based on? Land.
Why? Independence.
How? Bloodshed.

You dont have a revolution that doesnt involve bloodshed.

And you're afraid to bleed.
I said, you're afraid to bleed.

As long as the white man sent you to Korea, you bled.
He sent you to Germany, you bled.
He sent you to the South Pacific to fight the Japanese, you bled.
He sent you to Vietnam, you bled.
He sent you to Central Amrica, you bled.
He sent you to Desert Storm, you bled.

You bleed when the whiteman says bleed;
you bite when the white man says bite;
and you bark when the white man says bark.

You bleed for white people,
but when it comes to seeing your people being raped,
your children being killed,
your laws being taken away
you just turn the other cheek.

How can you be nonviolent in California,
as violent as you were in Vietnam?

How can you justify being nonviolent in the Southwest (Aztlan),
when your homes are being destroyed,
and your little girls are being murdered,
and at the same time you are going to get violent with Vietnamese,
Central Americans, Koreans, Middle easterners,
and someone else you dont even know?

If violence is wrong in America,
violence is wrong abroad.

If it is wrong to be violent defending black, brown,
red and yellow babies,
then it is wrong for America to draft us,
and make us violent abroad in defense of her.

And if it is right for America to draft us,
and teach us how to be violent in defense of her,
then it is right for you and me to do whatever
is necessary to defend our own people right here in this country.

By any means necessary.

El hajj-malik el shabazz

Brace Yourself.

Cesar A. Cruz

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