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"I marched two million strong in D.C. Lookin eye to eye with brothers that I used to think below me."
Ice T, "I Must Stand"

The opposite counterpart to white conservative strawman, this trope is specific to black characters.

These characters are often very far to the left of the political spectrum, and usually militant. These black radicals or activists are depicted as a bunch of hypocritical, irrational, paranoid, unreasonable, lazy, bigoted, race-card-playing, conspiratorial raving loons. Even within black TV shows and movies, they're very rarely depicted as respectable or intelligent people whose opinion is of any real merit. When it comes to black TV and films, this could be an attempt by some black writers to subvert the stereotype of black people agreeing with these particular views. In the process, they ended up creating a Strawman Political.

The Trope Namer is Malcolm X, who achieved fame during the American civil rights movement for his aggressive and hard-line views on race; however, he was actually a subversion in that after going to Mecca he started to promote racial equality and unfortunately got killed for it.

Compare with Straw Feminist, Angry Black Man.

Since real people are not created for a specific purpose, No Real Life Examples, Please

Examples of Malcolm Xerox include:


Comic Books

  • The character of Muhammad X from the Superman comics.
  • Aquaman's arch nemesis Black Manta, whose motivation was to conquer Atlantis so he could slaughter the inhabitants and make the kingdom a haven for black people who'd been so repressed on the land. Or so he says - he's shifted goals multiple times and has outright stated he's just pretending to do this in order to get funds and men. He really just wants money and to see Aquaman dead.
  • A 1960s Little Annie Fanny comic, satirizing the ideological conflict between MLK Jr.'s and Malcolm X's followers, ends with "Marvin X" and his followers donning surplus Nazi uniforms and "Marvin" shouting "We must build a superior race! Let the liquidations begin!" At this, the unnamed MLK Jr. stand-in, whom Marvin's ship had rescued from the ocean, swims off saying, "I think I'll take my chances with the sharks."

Film

  • Willie Stevens from Hangin' with the Homeboys.
  • Sharif from Menace II Society, though he's not depicted badly so much as he is just disregarded by his troubled criminal friends. Although there's a lot of cynicism that can be picked up from the way the character is written, especially how other characters treat him (even his dad!).
  • Subverted in Chasing Amy by Hooper X, a comic book artist character who used this trope, playing a proud Nubian and Strawman Political when promoting his comic book; but was in fact a flamboyant homosexual.
  • A straight example from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is the film director, though he is played by Chris Rock, who has spent his career lampooning these kinds of characters.
  • The Mau Mau gang from Spike Lee's Bamboozled. They fit the "hypocrisy" aspect of this character. The Mau Maus angrily denounce the Blackface entertainers with "Painted faces, disgrace to the races!" - but they are, in their own way, just as buffoonish as what they condemn. And they're even more hypocritical when they execute one of the show's performers while wearing some of the "Mantan" Halloween masks they so despise (which makes them Dirty Cowards as well).
  • Buggin' Out from Do the Right Thing. Many of the other characters are angry about race issues as well, which is kinda the point of the movie.
  • The Wayans brothers like the comedic version of this trope, with the addition that the more outspokenly afro-centric the character is, the more obsessed he is with banging white chicks -- most notably in I'm Gonna Git You Sucka and Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood.
  • Mitch Mullany's The Breaks includes a scene reminiscent of I'm Gonna Git You Sucka when the main character, Derrick, attends a spoken word performance. After a dreadlocked black man recites an angry Afrocentric poem, the hostess says, "Thank you very much, Stokely Ungawa, and your lovely wife, Betsy..." at which point the camera cuts to the same poet, embracing a very WASPy looking blonde.
  • Martin Lawrence plays an especially obnoxious example of this trope in National Security.
  • Dave Chappelle playing "Conspiracy Brother" as a comedic subversion of this in Undercover Brother.
  • A blink-and-you'll-miss-him background character who shows up twice in Across the Universe. First during a war protest in New York City, mixed in amongst the crowds, and later can be seen in Paco's office, as another sign of Paco's increasing extremism.
  • The 1997 remake of 12 Angry Men recasts the bigoted Juror #10, a white man in the original version, as one.
  • Zeus from Die Hard With a Vengeance definitely qualifies. In fact, Samuel L. Jackson researched the role to look and act exactly like Malcolm X himself.
  • Played straight and subverted with Marcus in Airheads, who accuses Rex and Milo of being racist, but has no clue who Rodney King is.
  • Jeriko One in Strange Days is a combination of Malcolm X and Tupac Shakur. Given the fact that he's murdered by racist cops, he might have a point.
  • The third Dirty Harry film, The Enforcer, has a black militant group based on both the Black Panthers and the the Symbionese People's Front.

Literature

  • Ras the Exhorter from Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man.
  • The X-Man from Minister Faust's superhero novel From the Notebooks of Doctor Brain. Played straight until the ending, when it's revealed pretty much all his paranoid delusions about The Man are true.
  • An interesting example from youth literature is Axon Befal from the Green-Sky Trilogy. The Erdlings are Ambiguously Brown, and the decendants of exiled Kindar (Kindar being the race with "privledges"). When this all is revealed and the Erdlings are freed from their imprisonment Beneath the Earth, Befal is preaching for violent retribution against the Kindar, including those ignorant of the Erdling's existence. Most Erdlings want nothing to do with him and consider him a criminal. In the game, his "wand" (a machete) makes the game Unwinnable if you use it on anything other than briar bushes.

Live Action TV

  • A Different World: Lena James and, to a lesser extent, Winifred 'Freddie' Brooks (who was also a hippie and a Soapbox Sadie), though this was somewhat realistically (or cynically) toned down when she became a lawyer. Although some who have a Alternate Character Interpretation of her believes she became toned down do to her somewhat becoming a realist after she got her law degree. And thus became less overbearing. And to some less likable.
  • Tashim from Martin, though mostly played for comedy.
  • A decent number of black characters from Law and Order qualify. Basically, if there's a black prosecutor/lawyer/defendant/minister/activist/etc. opposing the lead cast, s/he is likely to hit at least some parts of this trope and Angry Black Man.
    • Specifically defense attorney Shambala Green. Although not as over the top.
    • Paul Robinette when he became a defense attorney. Alternatively there's the Unfortunate Implications theory that he was turned into a Strawman Political of the Malcolm Xerox variety so the writers could make a point.
    • Defense attorney Carl Halpert, defense attorney Jerome Bryant....(notice a pattern here??)
    • Then there's Congressman Eaton, A terrible Al Sharpton Expy.
    • Perhaps most notorious is the Reverend Ott, who incites a riot in an episode based on the Crown Heights riots.
  • Ahmad Zaire from The Parent Hood.
  • Senator Clay Davis in The Wire manages to fool most of Maryland into thinking he is this guy, the best example being his Glurge Unleaded defense speech in court. In realiy he's an embezzling, selfish, corrupt piece of sheeeeeeeeeeeit...
  • Awesomely nuanced in a New York Undercover episode "The Reckoning", with a Nation of Islam minister (Minister Malik) who shows heavy shades of this, BUT is also very fleshed out and humanized. Even giving him a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming towards the end of the episode when a young black kid approaches him on the street and tells him "I'm ready to be a man" and Malik smiles and nods, then says "Then you will be".
  • Averted with Kareem Said in Oz. Played straight with "Supreme Allah" (real name Kevin Ketchum -- he never legally changed it) in season 4.
  • Parodied with Chris Rock's character Nat X on Saturday Night Live. He's so black, he urinates oil! He's so black, that when he went to night school, the teacher marked him absent.
  • Michael Evans on Good Times. Nicknamed the "Militant Midget" by his family, he once declared that he preferred Cream of Wheat to oatmeal because "at least they got a black man on the box!"
  • One of the two villains in the Law and Order: Criminal Intent episode "Cuba Libre."

Professional Wrestling

  • Faarooq (nee Ron Simmons), during his time as leader of the Nation of Domination stable in the WWF. Well, without the lazy part, and with a whole lot more violent tendencies.
    • Clarence Mason, the Nation's attorney/manager, was a carbon copy of Malcom X with a dusting of Johnnie Cochran on top.
  • Theodore Long, specifically when he was running his "Thuggin N Buggin Enterprises" faction with clients like D'Lo Brown, Rodney Mack, Mark Henry, and Jazz. Though he toned it down once he became the fan-favorite Smack Down GM.
    • Ironically, Brown and Henry were former members of the Nation.

Video Games

  • In Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, there's a ped in the San Fierro section that fits this trope. He's even wearing a kente cloth dashiki and hat.

Western Animation

  • Dewey from The Boondocks is a hypocritical counterpart to Huey Freeman, who takes "down wit' the struggle" much further than even Huey by reading poetry, wearing capris, headwraps and sandals, even going as far as to become a Muslim...and yet he doesn't even know the basic Islamic greeting.
    • Huey himself arguably could be seen as a subversion (or even a reconstruction) of this trope.
    • "Jabari Jabari Binko" in an early Boondocks strip can be a parody of this.
  • Chef during the town flag controversy (fittingly called 'Chef Goes Nanners') in South Park, right down to becoming Muslim and changing his "slave name" into a long, pseudo-Arabic one which no longer fit on his apron, so that he had to have someone follow him around, bearing a sign with the rest of his new name.


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