The True Reasons for MalcolmaniaI am usually in agreement...


November 30, 1992

The True Reasons for Malcolmania

I am usually in agreement with Carl T. Rowan in his various exegeses regarding social-racial dilemmas and the pervasiveness of racism in our nation. But I must confess that I find myself diametrically opposed to his Nov. 23 column, "Malcolmania: a Celebration of Rhetoric."

It is clear that Rowan is neither an aficionado of Spike Lee nor Malcolm X. However, I think he is guilty of hyperbole and oversimplification in his analysis of Spike Lee and Malcolm.

Whatever one may think of Spike Lee in terms of his idiosyncratic behavior, there is no denying the palpable reality that he is a gifted, highly creative, astute and knowledgeable film maker who possesses a great deal of cinematographic savvy.

Rowan, I believe, sees him too much as a rank opportunist or a "shucker and jiver."

Spike Lee's remarkable and comprehensive portrayal of El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm X) speaks wondrously for itself.

I believe that Rowan fails to understand Malcolm X's immense appeal to black Americans 14 years after his tragic death in Harlem.

As a practicing social scientist and historian, I believe that Malcolm's appeal and standing in black America rest on the marvelous transformation that occurred in his life in moving from the lowest level of existence to multi-heights in our nation and the world.

The life of Malcolm was a life of always becoming and growing from a hater of white people to a believer after his celebrated pilgrimage to Mecca in 1964 in universal brotherhood, amity and human possibilities.

An understanding of this reality demonstrates, unlike Carl T. Rowan's perception, "The partly mythical glorification of Malcolm is not a clear, total blessing for young blacks." Black Americans, especially young black Americans, extol and admire the late Malcolm X not as an apostle of hate and violence, but as an apostle of black manhood/womanhood, dignity and human possibilities.

Ossie Davis captured this spirit best when he eloquently proclaimed in 1965 "that Malcolm was our Black Shining Prince."

amuel L. Banks

Baltimore Neal Peirce should get a grip on reality and recognize as fantasy the suggestion in his column on Nov. 17 that Ross Perot and his supporters come to the aid of President-elect Clinton and "generate national support for shared pain to get the deficit under control and make some vital, overdue investments in the nation's future."

The electorate heard Ross Perot's program of fair share sacrifice and priority of job creation and deficit reduction and yet preferred the Clinton promises of a middle-class tax cut and other goodies for every special interest encountered in his campaign.

Furthermore, Mr. Peirce is implying that Governor Clinton is not up to the challenge of getting the country back on track after running for office with a 200-page economic plan, endorsed by Nobel prize-winning economists, that he promised to put into effect on Day One.

Julie Werner


No Justice Cuomo

When I read your editorial on "Mr. Justice Cuomo" (Nov. 8) at first I thought you must be kidding, but then I realized you were seriously advocating Mr. Cuomo's appointment to the Supreme Court.

You think he should be considered because he is a "career

politician," because he would be a former governor who understands "how laws are actually made and executed" and because he is a "pro-choice Democratic officeholder."

These are the exact reasons why he should not be considered for the court. We do not want or need a justice who will legislate rather than interpret our laws, nor one who has already closed his mind on an important issue to come before the court.

No, what this country continues to need and is entitled to from Mr. Clinton is the appointment of those persons who first and foremost possess the highest integrity, the best legal ability and a depth of experience in the law.

You have always espoused these qualifications for the judiciary in the past. Can you honestly apply that standard to Mr. Cuomo?

Finally, your caveat "if he can be confirmed" was right on the money. If Mr. Cuomo is nominated, his confirmation proceedings will make the Bork and Thomas hearings look like a Sunday afternoon tea party.

Let's hope that Mr. Clinton will rethink his brash and premature comment last June and will give "the real people" (incidently, that is all Americans) what they demand and deserve on the Supreme Court, the best person available.

George D. Solter


What the Orioles Should Do

Orioles public relations director Richard Vaughn (letter, Nov. 21) responds well to the charges against the Orioles management which have appeared in The Sun.

In fact, until he mentioned it in his article, I was not aware of the Orioles' sponsorship of minority leagues. I suggest his staff publicize this more visibly.

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