Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Downfall of a Great X-Man

I've been currently reading a great collection of black literature called Right On! Included in this anthology are writers such as Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Frederick Douglass, Richard Wright, and one of my personal favorites, the great Malcolm X. Many would scold me for counting X as a hero of mine, but I can't help but respect the love he had for his people, the determination he held to advance his people.

What actually was the difference between Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.? It surprises me how much I've been asked this, and it has a rather simple answer. Both men had the same goal, equality, but used two entirely different means to accomplish it. King, of course, would use peaceful resistance, civil disobedience, declaring along with great theologian St. Augustine, "An unjust law is no law at all." Malcolm X however, called for action, called for violent resistance if necessary. X also believed in what historians call, "Black Supremacy", holding to the idea that the white race came from a failed breeding program and called for the immediate returning of blacks to their natural place as supreme over all the nations and nationalities.

This is where the X-Man and myself must diverge. I often sit at times, wondering the true meaning of color, the significance of shade, the importance of race. I wonder at the true difference between blacks and whites, and Asians, Hispanics, islanders, etc. As much as I sit and think, I come up with nothing. Sure I remember the standards like "blacks have rhythm and whites don't", "whites wrinkle but black don't crack" and whatever else you ever heard you great-grandmother say. But those aren't significant differences, those are meaningless polarities that people like Malcolm X clutch on to and run with, never looking back to consider that each man, each woman, each girl and boy are simply and ultimately colorless brothers and sisters. And a further step is made when we consider ourselves Christians.

Ephesians 4:5 declares that there is only, "one Lord, one faith, one baptism". Galatians 3:28 takes it uncomfortably further for some, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." I was once a militant, you know. Praise God that my best friend, Katie, came around after my militant, Black Power days were over, seeing as she is..well isn't black. That would have been pretty difficult. Instead, she and I did what every person in this world should do, look beyond the color of skin and rather fall in love with the contents of their soul. Malcolm X, sadly, could not look any further than the outside appearance of a man, but camped there, judging the contents of the heart by the color of the hand. How we will miss out on great brothers and sisters in Christ if we allow ourselves to be so shallow as to subject ourselves to the same downfall.

Good news for us all: Christ was neither black nor was He white. More good news, God does not look down and see the color of our skin. God only sees one color, and that's red. He simply sees the blood of His Son covering those who believe in Him. When I look at Kate, I don't see white and I'm sure she doesn't see black. All we see is red and friends, when it all boils down, that's the only color that matters.

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