The University of Rhode Island has begun work to remove an abbreviated Malcolm X quote that celebrates reading books from the front of its Robert L. Carothers Library, after protesting students claimed it distorted the leader’s message. Blank granite panels will be installed in its place.
According to a recent URI news release, the inscription on the façade was installed in 1992, and was meant as a tribute to its controversial author. Nonetheless, it prompted an immediate backlash from Black student leaders, who said it misrepresented “the fuller meaning” of Malcolm X’s life and work.
The inscription, from “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” read: “My alma mater was books, a good library … I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.”
Black student leaders were upset that the quote was a truncated and paraphrased version of a longer one from the Nation of Islam leader and activist.
The original, unredacted version reads: “I told the Englishman that my alma mater was books, a good library. Every time I catch a plane, I have with me a book that I want to read—and that’s a lot of books these days. If I weren’t out here every day battling the white man, I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity—because you can hardly mention anything I’m not curious about.”
Gee, I wonder why they left out “If I weren’t out here every day battling the white man?”
Perhaps because it was unrelated to the love of books and reading? Or perhaps because the school didn’t want to needlessly stir up race hatred?
Conversely, the students were not upset at the overt anti-white racism, but that that part was left out. This is indicative of how race relations have sadly deteriorated since 1992. Precisely because of those like Malcolm X on the one hand—and those that push leftist dogma such as CRT and The 1619 Project on the other.
Malcolm X was an intolerant, radical asshat, yet the love of books and learning is a good thing.
Removing a quote encouraging reading—from a university library yet—is ironic to say the least, especially since it was removed due to intolerance of its non-intolerant message.
It is also a perfect metaphor for the dumbing down of America and the West.