Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Why Malcolm X Should Be Recognized in Selma This Weekend

Why Malcolm X Should Be Recognized in Selma This Weekend

Malcolm galvanized activists—and met with Coretta Scott King—when MLK was jailed and Bloody Sunday was on the horizon. His life, his teachings and his assassination were also stirring on that bridge in Selma 50 years ago.

Malcolm X speaks in Selma, Ala., in 1965
The 50th anniversary of the assassination of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) came and went on Feb. 21 of this year. And just as in other years when the date of Malcolm’s assassination came around, his name trended for a few hours and then the stifling silence rolled back in, erasing his name from the social media landscape almost as quickly as it had re-emerged.

This year the occasion didn’t go completely unacknowledged, and some would even say that Malcolm was recognized in all the ways that mattered. There was massive coverage of the occasionright here at The Root, as well as other sites geared to black audiences. There was a CNN specialthat gave us a glimpse into the last moments of Malcolm’s life via the people closest to him that day. And the Shabazz Center organized a spectacular program in his honor—with a diversity in the ethnic, racial, religious and cultural DNA of the crowd in attendance that was a powerful reflection of the man himself.

But we need to do more to remember Malcolm. And we could do more this weekend, when all eyes turn to Selma, Ala., to recognize the 50th anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” massacre that took place on March 7, 1965, at the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Malcolm’s presence in Selma on Feb. 4, 1965, 17 days before he was assassinated, is not often talked about. Martin Luther King Jr. was in jail in Selma at the time, and Malcolm was invited by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to make it plain for the young civil rights activists as only he could.

Speaking from behind a podium at Brown Chapel AME Church, Malcolm compared the “house Negro” and the “field Negro” and talked about the importance of not becoming complacent in “massa’s house” or comfortable with the status of being an oppressed people. Even before making the trip down South, and after seeing King get knocked down by racists on television that January,Malcolm had written to George Lincoln Rockwell, head of the American Nazi Party, and told him that the days of turning the other cheek were over.

After being told that Malcolm had addressed the crowd that day in Selma, Coretta Scott King said that she was asked by King’s aide Andrew Young—who went on to serve as a congressman, mayor of Atlanta and the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations—to calm the crowd, but she refused. Instead, Coretta Scott King had a brief heart-to-heart conversation with Malcolm that changed her perception of him.

In Scott King’s 1988 Eyes on the Prize II interview with Jackie Shearer, she said the following about Malcolm:

He leaned over and said to me, ah, “Mrs. King, I want you to tell your husband that I had planned to visit him in jail here in Selma, but I won’t be able to do it now. I have to go back to New York, ah, because I, I have to attend a conference in Europe, an African student conference, and I want you to say to him that I didn’t come to Selma to make his job more difficult, but I thought that if the white people understood what the alternative was that they would be more inclined to listen to your husband. And so that’s why I came.” ... And of course within about a couple weeks or more he was assassinated, and it affected me very deeply ... for days I had this pain, almost like this feeling in my chest, a feeling of depression, and, ah, just feeling as if, ah, I had lost someone very dear to me, and I, you know, I couldn’t quite understand, but then I began to realize, ah, I guess what an impact he had made on me in that very short period of time in knowing him.

Perhaps most importantly, Scott King said that she believed that Malcolm X would have been a “tremendous bridge” and that he and King would eventually have been unified in purpose: “I think if he had lived, ah, and if the two had lived ... I am sure that at some point they would have come closer together and would have been a very strong force in the total struggle for liberation and self-determination of black people in our society.”

That moment is now.

The movements for which King gave his life, and the fight for human rights for which Malcolm X gave his, have merged. Key pieces of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 have been dismantled. Police officers are gunning down unarmed black men and women and rarely face repercussions. Politicians tap-dance during election season, but it’s going to take more than pretty words and political pandering to sway today’s activists—no matter how many of them show up in Selma this weekend to march.

During #MX50Forever, Democratic New York state Sen. James Sanders said that the spirit of Malcolm X is everywhere, flowing freely through the #BlackLivesMatter movement. “I saw him in Staten Island; I saw him in Ferguson. Anytime a young person does something to rebel, Malcolm is alive,” Sanders said.

A month before the pivotal attempt to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge, Malcolm said to that intent crowd in Selma:

I pray that God will bless you in everything that you do ... I pray that all the fear that has ever been in your heart will be taken out, and when you look at that man, if you know he’s nothing but a coward, you won’t fear him. If he wasn’t a coward, he wouldn’t gang up on you. He wouldn’t need to sneak around here. This is how they function. They function in mobs—that’s a coward. They put on a sheet so you won’t know who they are—that’s a coward. No! The time will come when that sheet will be ripped off. If the federal government doesn’t take it off, we’ll take it off.

Whether or not it’s ever said, the spirit of Malcolm X—his life, his teachings, his assassination—was also stirring on that bridge in Selma on a bloody Sunday in 1965. And it’s only right that he be recognized.

Kirsten West Savali is a cultural critic and senior writer for The Root, where she explores the intersections of race, gender, politics and pop culture. Follow her on Twitter.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus proposes: "Principles for Trade: A Model for Global Progress"... but is it just more idle talk and hypocrisy intended to stave off grassroots and rank-and-file action?

Like most nice-sounding documents we get from the Democrats nowadays these are mere words from these Democrats hiding behind a progressive label who know full well these words will be ignored by the majority of those in the House and Senate; and the president--- Obama--- who they all they support even though Obama is carrying out Wall Streets thoroughly reactionary, warmongering agenda: austerity here at home to pay for Wall Street's very profitable dirty wars.

This statement in calling for the enforcement of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights and workers' rights is especially hypocritical since not one member of the "Progressive Caucus" has ever called for the repeal of "At-Will Employment" legislation, the most heinously repressive anti-worker, anti-democratic legislation intended to thwart and stymie union organizing. Even the "Communist Control Act of 1954" authored by the great "liberal" Hubert H. Humphrey does not come close to the reactionary impact of "At-Will Employment" legislation which imposes silence on the entire working class because employers are provided the freedom to fire any worker--- including many workers employed under the "protection" of union contracts--- provided these employers don't state a reason for firing employees.

Even though not one single member of the Congressional "Progressive Caucus" has had the courage to stand in opposition to these thoroughly reactionary "At-Will Employment" laws, they hypocritically refer to the United States as some kind of bastion in support of human rights and human decency when nothing could be further from the truth as a combination of "At-Will Employment," the Taft-Hartley Act and the Communist Control Act of 1954 attest to; where, in what country, can one find more reactionary, repressive and undemocratic legislation in violation of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights and in complete violation of the intent of the United Nations' Universal Declarationof Human Rights?

As good as such statements like this “Principles for Trade: A Model for Global Progress” sound, the words are meaningless until these members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus take the lead in repealing "At-Will Employment" legislation, the Taft-Hartley Act and the Communist Control Act of 1954.

The combination of these repressive and reactionary measures assures workers have had no voice in the decision-making process in their places of employment, in the communities where workers reside and in the halls of Congress and that workers will have no voice in the future... including when it comes to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

How can rank-and-file workers challenge the Wall Street agenda when it comes to trade policies and legislation when they can be fired the minute they open their mouths voicing opinions their employers do not approve of?

How can workers defend their rights and their livelihoods and their jobs when by voicing their opinions and concerns on these very matters they risk losing the very jobs these politicians hypocritically claim to be interested in protecting?

There has been no legislation proposed by these members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus for the Basic Income Guarantee nor for a Full Employment Act which makes it mandatory for the president and Congress to attain and maintain full employment.

We get more words with no legislative action to back up the nice sounding words.

Check out what the Congressional Progressive Caucus has to
say about trade and human rights keeping in mind their hypocrisy:


When one speaks out and speaks up on controversial issues you can expect to be attacked by the opposition...

But, do you ever wonder who some of the people attacking you are and who they work for and represent?

Well, I always wondered who this prick Rick Mons is who has gone around for years bashing, defaming, libeling and slandering me.

Mons refuses to publicly debate me.

I challenged Rick Mons on many occasions to state who he works for and he refused to declare who he works for.

Come to find out, Mons works for the management Enbridge Pipeline.

So much for Mons being the "concerned citizen" he claims to be.

Mons is nothing but a corporate shill for Wall Street.

Mons used this corporate dominated outfit passing itself off as promoting "democracy," e-democracy, to attack me and then he used his corporate muscle to get me banned from e-democracy when I attempted to counter his slander and lies. All the while posing as a "concerned citizen" interested in promoting democracy.

Rick Mons--- one more corporate shill and hypocrite.

Rick Mons
Works at ProSource Technology
Attended Drake University
Lives in Shoreview, MN
  • ProSource Technology
    Land Agent,
    Assigned to represent Enbridge Energy in the negotiation of pipeline right-of-way access, construction land use, payments for construction damage, etc.