Rod Liddle

Malcom X’s dark secret

Malcom X's dark secret
Text settings

Malcolm X, the black liberationist hero from that wonderful decade, the 1960s, was apparently bi-sexual – a fact never mentioned to the kiddies during Black History Month, according to the campaigner Peter Tatchell.

This is because, in general, blacks are much more homophobic than whites (although the excellent Tatchell does not put it quite as bluntly as this) and the guardians of black liberationist history are therefore disinclined to labour the point. Mr Tatchell spends a considerable amount of energy pointing out the vicious homophobia and misogyny in Muslim culture and rap, hip hop and ragga music, a fact which does not always endear the man to his companions on the radical left. But Tatchell is nothing if not principled.

I have to say it had not occurred to me that Malcolm X was a part-time poof, not least because he also embraced the Muslim faith, of course. I think this point makes his sexuality relevant and our children should be told that one of the heroes of the black struggle for equality felt drawn to sexual behaviour which was at odds with his newly acquired belief system. The hadith has it thus: “kill the one who is doing it and the one to whom it is being done!” There are no get out clauses, even if you bat for both sides.

It has made me wonder, mind, if we are being told the full truth about that other star of Black History Month – yes, Mary Seacole. I have read an account of her life in which it is suggested that in the 1870s, having finished helping out in the Crimean War, Ms Seacole became a personal masseuse to the Princess of Wales. Ay up!  I wonder if these were what are known as “assisted” massages? It seems to me almost incontestable that Ms Seacole was a lesbian, or at the least had lesbian tendencies – a fact never mentioned to the kiddies in Black History Month, any more than is the fact that she wasn’t actually black.