The Rehabilitation of Malcolm X
The editorial "Brother Malcolm" Nov. 23, commends Spike Lee for representing Malcolm's vision "of a world of shared love among all colors and races" and for "giving attention to this neglected last phase of Malcolm's life." Who neglected it? In the '60s and '70s the mainstream media did everything to ignore Malcolm X. When this wasn't possible they trivialized him, distorted his message, and did not draw back from outright lies. Whence this sudden "rehabilitation?"
Malcolm's life and words have been on record for more than 25 years. Why are we now being treated to such thorough media revisionism in its presentation of this man? The editorial asks the wrong question. It's not: Would Malcolm want to be a symbol? But rather: How would Malcolm react to the hypocrisy of the media acting as though they had known him, respected him? The world's great emancipators have all endured persecution for the crime of combining love with a drive for freeing humanity. Salvatore Zambito, Suquamish, Wash.
Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.