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Clutch magazine's Kirsten West Savali recalls Malcolm X's slavery-inspired assessment of African Americans in her call for civil debate about pop-culture controversies.

… And it's not just Django; any conversation that involves race spirals out of control so swiftly it's as combustible as a lit match on gasoline. I asked myself, "Why are we using plantation language to insult one another?" "Why are all these black people fighting over a white man's rendition of slavery, or a black woman sleeping with a white man (see: Scandal); or the infallibility (or cultural mirage) of a black president?" And the answer is simple:

Because some of us are still slaves

Oh, the shackles aren't there — for those of us not in the Prison Industrial Complex — but the damage has been done. And we are still divided into a contemporary version of what Ancestor Malcolm called House Negroes and Field Negroes …

Descendants of field slaves and house slaves don't want to join forces because we're so determined to prove to White America how un-alike we are that we're afraid to be seen on common ground even for a minute. So while on the surface it may appear that we're arguing over Scandal or Obama or Django, what the field slaves want to broadcast is that they're not sell-outs and the house slaves are telecasting that they've bought in …

My motto for 2013 is:

Let's be real so we can heal.

To begin the healing process, we need to talk to each other. And to do that, we have to stop attacking each other, so I've listed points to help us on the road to getting there.


Read Kirsten West Savali's entire piece at Clutch magazine.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

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