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Quit Playin’: Them Texas Chickens

Quit Playin’: Them Texas Chickens

By Vincent L. Hall

Many historians have tried to dilute the power of Malcolm X’s frankness by comparing him to Martin Luther King. Not only is that an unfair comparison, but it’s a useless argument. When it was all said and done, both men had their own strategies of liberating Black and poor people in America and humankind around the world.

During a time when America was at its absolute worst, shortly after the assassination of the Prince of Camelot, aka President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Malcolm X made an angry analogy that is still heralded as one of the vilest and most contemptuous public statements ever made.

The Minister delivered “vocal tweets” that rivaled Donald Trump. This one created unfathomable fear among the Nation of Islam and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. In the Autobiography of Malcolm X, as told to Alex Haley, Malcolm X excitedly exegetes his use of a well-known agricultural metaphor: “Chickens coming home to roost.”

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“It was as I saw it, a case of the chickens coming home to roost. I said that the hate in White men had not stopped with the killing of defenseless black people, but that hate, allowed to spread unchecked, had finally struck down this country’s chief magistrate.”

Malcolm X later doubled down on that statement by adding another quintessential quip. “If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, that’s not progress. If you pull it all the way out, that’s not progress. The progress comes from healing the wound that the blow made. America hasn’t even begun to pull the knife out. They won’t even admit the knife is there.”

If Malcolm was alive today, he would tell you that the chickens have come home to roost again. Dallas Texas, specifically the very spot where Kennedy was killed, is a heavily visited landmark. However, the sites at Southerland Springs, El Paso and the Twin Cities of Midland and Odessa will mark the notable gravesites that hate has unearthed.

And all the while you have a sitting president who can’t wrap his mind around the notion that the hateful chickens in his own barnyard will eventually come back on him and this nation. No family, no matter how big the name or the signs that bear their name, can avoid them chickens. Them chickens venture out, but any old farm boy will admit that they always come home to roost.

Twenty hours before the law would allow Texans to carry their 22 rifles to Sunday-go-to-meeting worship services, them chickens came back to roost in West Texas for the second time in one calendar month.

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Everyone acts surprised, but we know we got chickens. Texas has been pimped so well by the National Rifle Association that Governor Greg Abbott once tweeted that he was embarrassed that California had higher gun sales than the Lone Star State. Well, we used to be the Lone Star State, but these fools is shooting up anything that looks like it’s shining now. Texans are learning to take cover.

Statistically, Texas has 1.2 million residents holding concealed handgun permits, and there is no prohibition of shotguns and rifles on its books. According to a Dallas Morning News article, Texas regularly receives a failing grade, and we should.

“The strong gun-rights state predictably gets an “F” from the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, primarily because it does not require universal background checks on all gun purchases, including private sales and purchases at gun shows.

Meanwhile, the pump-action pimps at the NRA described the legislature that delivered the September 1, round of laws as “highly successful.”

Landlords can no longer ban weapons from their units. I wonder how many poor people would be saved if their run-down tenements banned weapons. Churches have no say. Pastor Robert Jeffress of Dallas’ First Baptist should welcome the “six-shooters” into his regular Sunday misinterpretation of scripture. His members need to fend off them social justice warriors whom he claims Jesus never authorized as an official Christian posse.

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Foster homes and school parking lots are fair game. The bought-and-paid-for harlots at the 86th Legislative Session were even kind enough to make legal provisions for a carrier who may have “accidentally” carried where they shouldn’t have. In its next session, it will probably pardon licensees who kill accidentally.

Them chickens is coming to roost and the only advice Malcolm would give you: DUCK!

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Written By

Vincent L. Hall is an author, activist, and award-winning columnist.


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