According to Manny Marable’s “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention”:
Nation of Islam officer Ronald Stokes, a Korean War veteran, had attempted to surrender to the police by raising his hands over his head. Police responded by shooting him from the rear; a bullet pierced his heart, killing him. (Marable 207)
The lack of a cogent, coherent, and consistent race centered ideology arises painfully after the death of Ronald X Stokes, a member of the Nation of Islam’s California chapter who was killed on April 27, 1962 by white police officers who stormed a Nation of Islam mosque. Stokes’ death illustrates with precision the ineptitude of the Nation of Islam.
After reading this historical biography by Manning Marable (a highly flawed book), I realized Stokes’ death ripped down the veil of Black separatism, pride, and self-actualization that the Nation of Islam presented itself as representing; and exposed the faulty foundation the Nation of Islam, specifically its leadership, Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X stood on.
Indeed, these two men are two sides of the same coin, multiracial men seeking an identity that played into alleviating the shame they interiorized by being multiracial men.
As reported by Manning Marable:
For decades, the NOI had preached that the ethnic identity of black Americans was Asiatic, descendants of the lost tribe of Shabazz that had its origins in the Middle East. But now Malcolm affirmed the common cultural heritage that united Africans with African Americans. “The man that you call Negro is nothing but an African himself”, he explained. (Marable 229)
Yet, Malcolm X, due to personal denial or acculturation, readily ignores this fact when it comes to himself .
However, this should come to no surprise to the intelligent observer. The predominate diet of hatred for authentic African features (brown to black skin and African textured hair) and the scuttling of anyone with some African ancestry to identify as African has been disseminated in the European controlled educational (historiography), media ,and even law systems for centuries; these European institutions falsely define who is African with the aim of eliminating any formidable opposition to European “man made arrangements” which were based on the idea of “race”.
Finally, Islam in itself was and is certainly a wayward choice for any sovereign African group to accept as a social, cultural, spiritual, and political tool for liberation since it is undeniably a non-African religion. As the Great African Psychologist Dr. Amos N. Wilson once called it, a “Hand me Down Slave Religion”.