Unlike Malcolm X, white advertisers are sponsoring a nationwide, television program and a satellite, radio program for Al Sharpton. He occupies airspace seven days a week. Malcolm X opposed censorship. Sharpton favors it even though it is designed to keep pertinent information away from disfavored persons like prison inmates and Blacks. Malcolm X was assassinated for exercising his right of free speech against white supremacy.
Recently, a young, Black man called in to Sharpton’s satellite radio program to praise him for continuing the legacy of Malcolm X. Sharpton refused to correct him. Obviously, this young man had never read The Autobiography of Malcolm X or had been exposed to clear instructions on Black history.
On this past Sunday, the Daily News reported that white teachers in P.S. 201 in Flushing, Queens barred their students from writing a report on Malcolm X. They had characterized Malcolm X as “violent” and “bad”. These white teachers were obviously unprepared to teach Black history or to praise a freedom fighter.
In New York City, parents are disenfranchised. Policy-makers in New York City are virtually all-white. New York City practices white paternalism. This is a badge of slavery and it signals that slavery is still alive and well in New York City. Only the institution of slavery has been outlawed. New York City is taking a piece-meal approach to protecting rights under the U.S. Constitution.
Parents and Black selected officials expressed outrage over the “dissing” of Malcolm X at P.S. 201. They argued that Malcolm X was a “historical figure” and that the City Department of Education should allow Black children to write about Malcolm X. Mayor William de Blasio and Sharpton are friends. “Birds of a feather flock together” and especially in sanctioning censorship.
Neither Black selected officials nor Black parents mentioned New York Education Law § 801 which requires the teaching of Black history in New York City’s public school system. New York State is required to withhold public funds from a public schools system which flouts New York Education Law § 801. Blacks have “fleeting” rights in education but they are afraid to enforce them.
Under my leadership of UAM and the Freedom Party, there has always been a different approach to enforcing “fleeting” rights. “Howard Beach”, “Central Park 7” and “Tawana Brawley” are examples. Without doubt, virtually all Blacks in New York ran away from those incidents. UAM and the Freedom Party have stood heads and shoulders over the Black community.
The Freedom Party is standing alone in demanding that Gov. Andrew Cuomo withhold public funds from New York City under New York Education Law § 801. This demand is noted in a recent letter to him from the Freedom Party. Dr. Carter G. Woodson has repeatedly told Blacks that the lack of Black history is the main problem in the education of Black children.