I know you have all seen Remember the Titans at least once. Well, at least I hope you have. At any rate, I was thinking about that movie today (you know with the big MIZZOU game and all that going on), and it crossed my mind that it is extremely relevant to the reading we are doing from Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour.
In the book, Peniel E. Joseph discusses Malcolm X and his views about other civil rights leaders we have talked about (MLK, Jackie Robinson, etc.). One of the things that struck me is his denial of Jackie Robinson truly being a civil rights leader. According to Malcolm X, Robinson was not a productive leader (nor was King) because they did not use militant actions. While Robinson defended himself by saying that "Malcolm is very militant on Harlem street corners where militancy is not dangerous," it is still shocking to think he is not considered an activist. (Joseph 79)
As I thought about Jackie Robinson, versus the teens in Remember the Titans, I could not help but wonder what Malcolm X would think about that form of civil rights. He does not seem to think that integration truly breeds civil rights (why have coffee next to whites if you are not equal?). Since the team does indeed have fights, and there are some physical ramifications for the African Americans, maybe he would consider it militant enough to pass as helping in the movement. However, it seems to me he would not think that. King, much like Coach Boone, had shots fired at his house and stones thrown through windows. King tried to integrate, much like Boone integrates his team (both in staff and in athletes).
While we have talked about reasons to discredit some of King's leadership, it struck me as odd that someone could not perceive civil rights activism in the students on the team. How is it possible that such a powerful movie could be discredited so easily according to some of the things we have read regarding Malcolm X? I think it is a little bit crazy that two of the most well known leaders could hold such totally inconsistent, conflicting views during the Civil Rights Movement. I do not know that either is entirely right, and I have no idea which side I would choose. In my opinion, I think you need to mix the two tactics together. I think I would start with nonviolence, but it someone shot at me, I would more than likely fight back. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.
After having read both about the nonviolent movement and now the militant movement, led by Malcolm X, which method do you think you would use? Which is really more productive, if any?