|February 28, 1994 cover of Time Magazine|
"Only those who wish to be led to hell, or to their doom, will follow Malcolm. The die is set, and Malcolm shall not escape, especially after such evil, foolish talk about his benefactor; such a man is worthy of death and would have been met with death if it had not been for Muhammad's confidence in Allah for victory over his enemies."Malcolm X was shot dead ten weeks later. Farrakhan denied involvement in the assassination. Yet he did say in a 1994 60 Minutes interview with Mike Wallace and Malcolm X's widow, Shirley Shabaz, "I may have been complicit in words that I spoke leading up to February 21 . I acknowledge that and regret that any word that I have said caused the loss of life of a human being."
Anyway, to me, Louis Farrakhan had always seemed militantly uninterested in any kind of social change that would unite his race with my race.
Let's move backwards to a couple of years after Malcolm X's assassination.
I moved to Charlottesville in 1968 where I lived, off-and-on, for the next 22 years. When I got there, Mr. Jefferson's town was still pretty socially conservative. I remember the native whites as not troubling much to hide their inherited racism. It was exactly the kind of place Louis Farrakhan might have been talking about when he said, as late as 2000:
Senior guard Mustapha Farrakhan scored a game-high 23 points. . .The 23 points are Farrakhan’s career high in an ACC game and he tied his overall career high with five assists.
|Mustapha Farrakhan slam dunks|
I'm not an historical sentimentalist. I don't know Mustapha Farrakhan's politics, nor whether there were still old-timers in the JPJ arena who were made uncomfortable by his presence. But that doesn't negate the fact the grandson of as militant a black militant as I'm personally aware of, chose to go to the University of Virginia and has been embraced by its legion of basketball fans.
I love getting older. You live long enough and times change. And sometimes they almost seem to change for the better.