By William David Hart (auth.)
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Additional info for Black Religion: Malcolm X, Julius Lester, and Jan Willis
Malcolm’s leadership was confirmed when he played Russian roulette in front of his crime partners. 42 Malcolm claims that the burglary ring was successful until his drug problem, with its false knowledge, courage, and euphoria got in the way. The following passage is a companion piece to the epigraph at the beginning of this chapter: Drugs [Malcolm said, referring to his fear of being caught] helped me push the thought to the back of my mind. They were the center of my life. I had gotten to the stage where every day I used enough drugs—reefers, cocaine, or both—so that I felt above any worries, any strains.
But these compromises leave something unresolved: a nagging sense of guilt. To reiterate, the brothers both love and hate their father. They express their hatred by killing him, their love by eating his body. By cannibalizing their father, eating his f lesh and drinking his blood, a primordial act of communion (religio), they identify with him. Through identification (cannibalistic communion) and transference (idealization), the brothers diminish their sense of guilt for their murderous aggression.
Was this not the same judgment that Earl Little was making when he ripped off the head of the rabbit with his strong, bare hands and tossed the bleeding carcass at Louise’s feet? His religious dispute with her led to a dramatic act of contempt. The incredulity of the state welfare workers led to the charge that she was insane. Her views were eccentric, Afro-Eccentric. One wonders how this affected the young Malcolm X, then known by his birth name of Malcolm K. Little. One thing is clear. It did not constrain him from hunting rabbits with his deceased father’s 22 caliber rif le, which surely broke his mother’s heart.