Good example of argumentative essay on malcolm x

Malcolm X, also known as Malcolm Little and El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, is a prominent figure in American history of the 20th century and, in particular, in the fight with white racism against black people. The attitude of general public and the American government to his persona drastically changed decades after his death. The culmination of the changed and now positive opinion about his actions, speeches and overall influence on the American society was reflected in the 1992 Spike Lee movie Malcolm X, where the infamous Denzel Washington was invited to play Malcolm, as well as in Malcolm X being honored by the U. S. Postal Service to appear on the American stamp in the Black Heritage series that also features Dr. Martin Luther King among others. Meanwhile, many question whether a person, who was one calling white people “ devils” and was a black nationalist promoting the supremacy of black people to white people deserves to be on the American stamp, as, after all, he changed his rhetoric only during the last years of his life and activity. Nonetheless, regardless of his tainted past that he later regretted, the man became an icon of the revolutionary fight for the rights of black people many years after his death. And although the modern mainstream views on his actions are idealistic in nature, Malcolm X has made a major contribution to the fight against racism as the fight for human, rather than civil rights, a rhetoric that attracted major international attention to the cause, while his militant speeches calling black people to arms if necessary threatened the hesitating American government, which boosted the process of desegregation and equalization of black and white people.
Malcolm X came from a poor family with parents believing in self-reliance and self-determination of black people. During his early childhood, his family was threatened with white racist groups, and as a result his father was killed in a car accident, supposedly by the members of the anti-black group. Malcolm has suffered from racism at school, as many other black kids with the difference that he was raised by the pro-active parents believing in the black rights cause. After dropping out of school and ending up in prison for burglary, he soon became a member of the controversial group called the Nation of Islam, whose views he quickly accepted. Becoming a literate person in prison, he was soon given a high position in the organization and attracted many new members. The Nation of Islam promoted black supremacy, Pan-Africanism, as well as called white people “ devils” and agreed with white racist groups that white and black people should be separated. It is suggested that Malcolm X was even involved with Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party, whose leader even spoke at an event of the Nation of Islam (Temkin 273). The main counterargument against Malcolm being honored a stamp lies in this part of his biography, as it reveals his anti-white racist views and dangerous and even blind radicalism. However, although indeed he was a member of this group and hold positions that were unacceptable during those times and are not acceptable nowadays, he receded from his own views after 12 years of his membership in organization and engaged in closer alliance with the Civil Rights Movement, although still did not support their means of fight and condemned them for flexibility and moderation in the most important questions. He had many followers during the Nation of Islam membership, and part of them joined him on his new path, which supported the Civil Rights Movement with fervency that the latter somewhat lacked.
Malcolm X was a man of revolutionary means, rather than reformist ones. He called the Big Four of the Civil Rights Movement “ Uncle Toms” and “ house negroes”, as he believed that negotiating with the government regarding the rights of black people was pointless because the system was already broken and should be completely changed (Temkin 274). Nonetheless, after he broke connection with the Nation of Islam and became a Sunni Muslim, he was able to travel abroad and witness cooperation between people of all skin colors in the Middle East and understood that segregation of the whites and the blacks is no longer a solution for him. After changing his views, he did not join the Civil Rights Movement, but helped it attain its goals through the power and attention he possess both nationally and internationally. Although many may argue that unlike King, Malcolm X merely talked, rather than made specific actions to help ordinary black people, his power was in his ability to persuade and advocate for his cause. It is because of him addressing the rights of African-Americans as human rights, rather than civil rights that he shifted the attention to the cause from the national to the international level, giving speeches on promotion of human rights and fight with racism in France, the United Kingdom, meeting with heads of the governments in Africa and Middle East and being adored and welcomed by them, which assisted the change of situation in America partially due to the pressure of other countries and world society that did not directly intervene, but was now educated about the issue and expressing raising concerns. No wonder, the American government and media expressed negative views on the person, who undermined the system and made people question its authority in questions of human rights.
Malcolm X deserves the honor to appear on the American stamp because of the influence his dedication to his cause had on the change of situation with the rights of black people. It is important to note that such commemorative stamps are chosen among 40, 000 stamp suggestions from the public by the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee (Morgan). Thus, despite the controversies surrounding the issue of the stamp, it reflects the public’s desire to honor the man despite all the negative information that surrounds his personality, as he gained international publicity for the cause and helped black people feel more confident in the fight for their rights during his life and after his death.

Works Cited

Morgan, TaNoah. ” Malcolm X Gets Stamp of Approval.” Baltimore Sun. 16 Jan. 1999. Web. 17 Dec. 2014. .
Temkin, Moshik. ” From Black Revolution to ” Radical Humanism”: Malcolm X between Biography and International History.” Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development: 267-88. Print.