Sunday, 21 February 2010

Looking Back - Black Nationalist Leader Shot Dead

On this day in 1965, controversial black leader Malcolm X, (Pictured right) who once called for a "blacks-only" state in the US, was assassinated.
He was shot several times as he began a speech to 400 of his followers at the Audubon Ballroom just outside the district of Harlem in New York.
Malcolm X, who was 39, was taken to a nearby hospital but was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.
Two men believed to have carried out the shooting were cornered outside the ballroom by a crowd and badly beaten.
It took 10 police officers several minutes to rescue them.
One of the arrested men, Thomas Hagan, 22, had a bullet wound to his leg and was taken to hospital.
It is believed the men are members of the black Muslim group, the Nation of Islam (NoI).
Malcolm X had long been tipped to take over from the NoI's ageing leader, Elijah Muhammad.
He gave up his "slave" family name of Little when he joined the black Muslim group while serving a jail term.
But he broke away from the NoI acrimoniously two years ago to set up his own organisation which he said was for "Negro intellectuals who favoured racial separation but could not accept the Muslim religion".
However, after a recent trip to Mecca he appeared to be taking a more conciliatory approach to white people.
Sanford Garelick, assistant chief of New York police said Malcolm X's death could most probably be put down to rivalry between the two groups.
"This is the result, it would seem, of a long-standing feud," he said.
Only last week Malcolm X and his family survived the firebombing of their home in the Queen's district of New York.
Malcolm X's lawyer, Percy Sutton, said he was aware his life was in danger.
"Malcolm knew he would be killed," Mr Sutton said.
Police said they were investigating reports that some of Malcolm X's followers were planning a revenge attack.
In March 1966 three men, two of whom admitted being members of the Nation of Islam, were found guilty of Malcolm X's murder.
They were sentenced to life imprisonment.
In May 2000 Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan appeared on television with one of Malcolm X's daughters.
He had long been blamed by Malcolm X's family and supporters for inciting his murder.
Mr Farrakhan expressed regret that "any word that I have said caused the loss of life of a human being".
However, he denied he had had any role in the actual killing.

Animal Crackers

People may call you an ass, but I still love you!


Saturnalia is an Ancient Roman festival that was held in honour of the god Saturn.
Saturnalia became one of the most popular Roman festivals. It was marked by tomfoolery and reversal of social roles, in which slaves and masters ostensibly switched places.
Saturnalia was introduced around 217 BCE to raise citizen morale after a crushing military defeat at the hands of the Carthaginians. Originally celebrated for a day, on December 17, its popularity saw it grow until it became a week long extravaganza, ending on the 23rd. Efforts to shorten the celebration were unsuccessful. Augustus tried to reduce it to three days, and Caligula to five. These attempts caused uproar and massive revolts among the Roman citizens.
Saturnalia involved the conventional sacrifices, a couch (lectisturnium) set out in front of the temple of Saturn and the untying of the ropes that bound the statue of Saturn during the rest of the year. A Saturnalicius princeps was elected master of ceremonies for the proceedings. Besides the public rites there were a series of holidays and customs celebrated privately. The celebrations included a school holiday, the making and giving of small presents (saturnalia et sigillaricia) and a special market (sigillaria). Gambling was allowed for all, even slaves; however, although it was officially condoned only during this period, one should not assume that it was rare or much remarked upon during the rest of the year. It was a time to eat, drink, and be merry. The toga was not worn, but rather the synthesis, i.e. colorful, informal "dinner clothes"; and the pileus (freedman's hat) was worn by everyone. Slaves were exempt from punishment, and treated their masters with (a pretense of) disrespect. The slaves celebrated a banquet: before, with, or served by the masters. Yet the reversal of the social order was mostly superficial; the banquet, for example, would often be prepared by the slaves, and they would prepare their masters' dinner as well. It was license within careful boundaries; it reversed the social order without subverting it.The customary greeting for the occasion is a "Io, Saturnalia!" — Io (pronounced "e-o") being a Latin interjection related to "ho" (as in "Ho, praise to Saturn").

Homer Simpson Wisdom

Marge, you being a cop makes you the man - which makes me the woman, and I have no interest in that, besides occasionally wearing the underwear which (as we discussed) is strictly a comfort thing.
Whenever Marge turns on one of her "non violent" programs, I take a walk. I go to a bar. I pound a few, then I stumble home in the mood for love.
It's not easy to juggle a pregnant wife and a troubled child, but somehow I managed to fit in eight hours of TV a day.
English? Who needs that? I'm never going to England.
Without our immigrants, who will kick our field goals, or train our white tigers?


Today's brainteaser takes the form of a riddle. See if you can work out the correct answer. Good luck!

A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fires. The second is full of assassins with loaded guns. The third is full of lions that haven't eaten in 3 years. Which room is safest for him?

Answer will appear in tomorrow's Journal.