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Forum nameOkay Activist Archives
Topic subjectRE: Is Philosophy really the subject you wanna do your doctorate in?
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=33338&mesg_id=33354
33354, RE: Is Philosophy really the subject you wanna do your doctorate in?
Posted by Chike, Tue Jun-21-05 12:32 AM
>I don't even mean to be offensive in asking that.
>>You think celebrating a person's
>>life is wrong and that it deprives people of their
>Wrong. I just said there's no need to celebrate a person's
>life. Furthermore, I stated that it's the metamorphosis of
>people into symbols which deprives them of their humanenes
>(see Jesus Christ).

Had to add an anti-Christian dig in there, did you? How lovely. Malcolm is a symbol and there's no changing that. A mature view of him involves understanding the flesh and blood man with faults behind the symbol. I can assure you that neither Spike, LexM nor I eschew the mature view insofar as we have interest in Malcolm. And again, "one of our greatest lives" is not incompatible with understanding that every life is more than a symbol, it's a fault-ridden reality. Hope that's clear for you this time round.

>>I really wish to know what interesting
>>definition it is that you have of "life" and "celebration",
>>this definition that somehow makes "one of our greatest
>>an inhumane description (!!!).
>First, it's an apotheosis - Malcolm the ‹bermensch. Second,
>your use of the possessive pronoun is tantamount to epistemic
>power. You cannot claim him or his life for "us".

"Greatest" in terms of his life's symbolic power, but I'm guessing this will bring you back to your difficulty of understanding how one can understand a life's symbolic power without thinking the symbolism is all there is to it. And part of his humanness is his agency, and Malcolm's acts - most especially his "speech acts" - hold a certain significance in their powerful effect within his life and after it. So his greatness as a symbol has a lot to do with his greatness as a person. Which, again, does not make him an ubermensch, Mr. Either-Or - insult my aptitude for my discipline all you want, I am not going to cede ground so as to be trapped in a silly binary where you either don't celebrate a person or reduce them completely to nothing but an "inhuman" symbol.

"our" = black folks. I think your reference to "epistemic power" is unintelligible unless all you mean is that you think I am overstepping (proper conceptual) bounds. But uh, sorry, since I self-identify as black, I take an interest in black lives that includes speaking from a first-person perspective, and I don't see that as overstepping any boundary. If you think I cannot "claim" a figure in black history, you are either attacking a straw man (am I saying I own other people's lives or something?) or wrong (as I said, if you can't understand the attachment black folks feel to Malcolm X, go study a while rather than argue with me).