Monday, May 19, 2008
Honor for Heroes of the Past
Today, May 19th, is the birthday of two long-gone heroes.
Malcolm X, of course, was the heroic African-American muslim leader who made a long journey from being a petty street criminal to devout muslim to "black nationalist" to a leader with a complex and nuanced view of American capitalism. An amazing orator, he was gunned down in his prime by assassins rejecting his political evolution, including, allegedly, the later minister Louis Farrakhan.
Ho Chi Minh, on the other hand, did not die young. A complex figure, he lead his small nation to stand up against the mightiest powers of colonialism and imperialism in 20th-century history. Successfully resisting French, Japanese, and American domination of his country, he died before the reunification of Vietnam and the route of America's military adventure. While his adherence to Stalin-style communism considerably narrowed the focus of his country's political opposition, his humble nature and heroic leadership showed that destiny was not in the hands of European-American aggressors and their gangster-like local lackeys.