Malcolm X (May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965).
Say his name, and people conjure up various images.
The smiling Malcom.
The angry, militant finger-in-the-air Malcom.
The black nationalist Malcolm.
The pensive, introspective Malcom.
The misogynist Malcolm.
The defiant Malcolm.
The revolutionary Malcolm.
As historian Robin D.G. Kelley wrote, Malcom X was many things to many people:
“Malcolm X has been called many things: Pan-Africanist, father of Black Power, religious fanatic, closet conservative, incipient socialist, and a menace to society. The meaning of his public life — his politics and ideology — is contested in part because his entire body of work consists of a few dozen speeches and a collaborative autobiography whose veracity is challenged…. Malcolm has become a sort of tabula rasa, or blank slate, on which people of different positions can write their own interpretations of his politics and legacy. Chuck D of the rap group Public Enemy and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas can both declare Malcolm X their hero.”
Malcom was, and still is, everyone’s idea of what they know of him, and what they take away in their understanding of him.
Malcolm loved black people and put his life on the line for them. He stood toe-to-toe against any and all enemies of black people, whether those enemies were white, or black.
Malcolm evolved over time from being a gangster, womanizer, black separatist, to becoming in the end a Muslim (not sure whether Malcolm was a Sunni or Shiite Muslim.)
El-Hajj Malik El Shabazz.
When Malcolm was assassinated in the Audubon Ballroom on February 21, 1965, we lost a giant in the world of Civil Rights. The late Ossie Davis gave a beautiful eulogy at Malcolm’s funeral, a tribute for our shining black prince:
There are those who will consider it their duty, as friends of the Negro people, to tell us to revile him, to flee, even from the presence of his memory, to save ourselves by writing him out of the history of our turbulent times. Many will ask what Harlem finds to honor in this stormy, controversial and bold young captain — and we will smile. Many will say turn away — away from this man, for he is not a man but a demon, a monster, a subverter and an enemy of the black man — and we will smile. They will say that he is of hate — a fanatic, a racist — who can only bring evil to the cause for which you struggle! And we will answer and say to them: Did you ever talk to Brother Malcolm? Did you ever touch him, or have him smile at you? Did you ever really listen to him? Did he ever do a mean thing? Was he ever himself associated with violence or any public disturbance? For if you did you would know him. And if you knew him you would know why we must honor him.
Malcolm X was buried at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. At the gravesite after the ceremony, friends took the shovels away from the waiting gravediggers and buried Malcolm themselves. Later that month, actors Ruby Dee and Sidney Poitier became co-chairs of the New York affiliate of the Educational Fund for the Children of Malcolm X Shabazz.
Malcolm, like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was our champion, our defender, our voice against oppression, our Maginot Line against white supremacy.
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X at the United States Capitol on March 26, 1964. Both men had come to hear the Senate debate concerning the bill that became the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Black Man’s History
Malcolm X, edited by Imam Benjamin Karim
You can listen to this speech at Malcolm X : A Research Site.
note – this speech was delivered before Malcolm left the Nation of Islam and accepted true Islam — so his views in this speech do not reflect his own or those he held near the end of his life.
I want to thank Allah for coming and giving to us our leader and teacher here in America, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. I want to thank Brother Benjamin at the outset for doing a wonderful job of opening up our eyes and giving us a good preliminary basic understanding of the means and the objectives of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and also I am thankful to Allah for bringing so many people out here tonight, especially just before Christmas. You know, it’s next to a miracle when you get this many of our people together so close to Christmas interested in anything whatsoever that’s serious. And actually what this shows is the change that’s taking place among the so-called Negroes not only here in New York but throughout the entire world. Today dark mankind is waking up and is undertaking a new type of thinking, and it is this new type of thinking that is creating new approaches and new reactions that make it almost impossible to figure out what the black man is going to do next, and by black man we mean, as we are taught by The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, we include all those who are non-white. He teaches us that black is the basic color, that black is the foundation or the basis of all colors. And all of our people who have not yet become white are still black, or atleast part of the Black Nation,and here at Muhammad’s Mosque when you hear us using the term “black” we mean everbody who’s here, regardless of your complexion. If you’re here at the Mosque you’re black, because the only ticket you need to get into Muhammad’s Mosque is to be black. So if you got in you know you’re black. You may not have known that you were black before you came here. In fact, very few of our people really look upon themselves as being black. They think of themselves as practically everything else on the color spectrum except black. And no matter how dark one of our people may be, you rarely hear him call himself black. But now that The Honorable Elijah Muhammad has been teaching among the so-called Negroes, you find our people of all complexions going around bragging that “I’m a black man.” This shows you that a new teaching is taking place and there is new thinking among the so-called Negroes. Yet just yesterday you would have to admit that it was very difficult to get our people to refer to themselves as black. Now all of a sudden our people of all complexions are not apologizing for being black but bragging about being black. So there’s a new thinking all over America among the so-called Negroes. And the one who is actually the author of this new thinking is The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. It is what he is teaching that is making our people, for the first time, proud to be black, and what’s most important of all, for the first time it makes our people want to know more about black, want to know why black is good, or what there is about black that is good.
I might stop right here to point out that some of you may say, “I came up here to listen to some religion about Islam, but now all I hear you talk about is black.” We don’t separate our color from our religion. The white man doesn’t. The white man never has separated Christianity from white, nor has he separated the white man from Christianity. When you hear the white man bragging, “I’m a Christian,” he’s bragging about being a white man. Then you have the Negro. When he is bragging about being a Christian, he’s bragging that he’s a white man, or he wants to be white, and usually those Negroes who brag like that, I think you have to agree, in their songs and the things they sing in church, they show that they have a greater desire to be white than anything else. My mother was a Christian and my father was a Christian and I used to hear them when I was a little child sing the song “Wash Me White As Snow.” My father was a black man and my mother was a black woman, but yet the songs that they sang in their church were designed to fill their hearts with the desire to be white. So many people, especially our people, get resentful when they hear me say something like this. But rather than get resentful all they have to do is think back on many of the songs and much of the teachings and the doctrines that they were taught while they were going to church and they’ll have to agree that it was all designed to make us look down on black and up at white.
So the religion that we have, the religion of Islam, the religion that makes us Muslims, the religion that The Honorable Elijah Muhammad is teaching us here in America today, is designed to undo in our minds what the white man has done to us. It’s designed to undo the type of brainwashing that we have had to undergo for four hundred years at the hands of the white man in order to bring us down to the level that we’re at today. So when you hear us often refer to black in almost a boastful way, actually we’re not boasting, we’re speaking of it in a factual sense. All we’re doing is telling the truth about our people. Whenever you exalt black, that’s not propaganda; when you exalt white, that’s propaganda. Yet no one can give biological evidence to show that black actually is the stronger or superior of the two if you want to make that kind of comparison. So never think ill of the person whom you hear representing The Honorable Elijah Muhammad if an overemphasis seems to be placed on the word black, but rather sit and analyze and try to get an understanding.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that of all the things that the black man, or any man for that matter, can study history is the best qualified to reward all research. You have to have a knowledge of history no matter what you are going to do; anything that you undertake you have to have a knowledge of history in order to be successful in it. The thing that has made the so-called Negro in America fail, more than any other thing, is your, my, lack of knowledge concerning history. We know less about history than anything else. There are black people in America who have mastered the mathematical sciences, have become professors and experts in physics, are able to toss sputniks out there in the atmosphere, out in space. They are masters in that field. We have black men who have mastered the field of medicine, we have black men who have mastered other fields, but very seldom do we have black men in America who have mastered the knowledge of the history of the black man himself. we have among our people those who are experts in every field, but seldom can you find one among us who is an expert on the history of the black man. And because of his lack of knowledge concerning the history of the black man, no matter how much he excels in the other sciences, he’s always confined, he’s always relegated to the same low rung of the ladder that the dumbest of our people are relegated to. And all of this stems form his lack of knowledge concerning history. What made Dr. George Washington Carver a Negro scientist instead of a scientist? What made Paul Robeson a Negro actor instead of an actor? What made, or makes, Ralph Bunche a Negro statesman instead of a statesman? The only difference between Bunche and Carver and these others I just mentioned is they don’t know the history of the black man. Bunche is an expert, an international politician, but he doesn’t know himself, he doesn’t know the history of the black people. He can be sent all over the world by America to solve problems for America, or to solve problems for other nations, but he can’t solve problems for his own people in this country. Why? What is it that ties our people up in this way? The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that it boils down to just one word — history.
When you study the history of Bunche, his history is different from the history of the black man who just came here from Africa. And if you notice, when Bunche was in Atlanta, Georgia, during the summer NAACP Convention, he was Jim Crowed, he was segregated, he was not allowed to go in a hotel down there. Yet there are Africans who come here, black as night, who can go into those cracker hotels. Well, what is the difference between Bunche and one of them? The difference is Bunche doesn’t know his history, and they, the Africans, do know their history. They may come here out of the jungles, but they know their history. They may come here wearing sheets with their heads all wrapped up, but they know their history. You and I can come out of Harvard but we don’t know our history. There’s a basic difference in why we are treated as we are: one knows his history and one doesn’t know his history! The American so-called Negro is a soldier who doesn’t know his history; he’s a servant who doesn’t know his history; he’s a graduate of Columbia, or Yale, or Harvard, or Tuskeegee, who doesn’t know his history. He’s confined, he’s limited, he’s held under the control and the jurisdiction of the white man who knows more about the history of the Negro than the Negro knows about himself. But when you and I wake up, as we’re taught by The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and learn our history, learn the history of our kind, and the history of the white kind, then the white man will be at a disadvantage and we’ll be at an advantage.
The only thing that puts you and me at a disadvantage is our lack of knowledge concerning history. So one of the reasons, one of the missions, one of the objectives of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad here in America is not only to teach you and me the right religion but to teach you and me history. In fact, do you know that if you and I know history we know the right religion? The only way that you can become confused, that you can become mixed up and not know which religion belongs to God, is if you don’t know history. In fact, you have to know history to know something about God. You have to know history to know something about God’s religion. You have to know history to know something about God’s people. You have to know history to know something about God’s plans and God’s purposes, and, as I say, the only people who don’t know history are the American so-called Negroes. If you know history, for example, for example, you know when you look at this religion right here [writes”Christianity” on the black board] the only way you can explain it is to have a knowledge of history.
Why is it called Christianity? It is called Christianity, they say, because it was named after a man called Christ who was born two thousand years ago. Now you know, brothers and sisters, God is an old God, and the world is an old world. The universe has been here a long time. I think all of you would agree that the universe has been here longer than two thousand years. Then you’ll also agree that the universe was made by God Himself, that God created the universe. God created the people who are on this earth, God wouldn’t create a universe, God wouldn’t set a thing up in the sky that makes nine planets rotate around it, all of them inhabited, you and I inhabiting the planet earth upon which we live — God wouldn’t have done all this and not given people a religion. God put His religion here at the creation of the universe. Now then, since you agree to this and you’ll agree also that Christ was born two thousand years ago, this couldn’t have been God’s religion. Your knowledge of history tells you that God couldn’t call His religion Christianity because Christianity is only two thousand years old. So if this is the case, then what was God’s religion called before the birth of Christ? Can you see the importance of history? Why, if you didn’t know history you’d think that Christianity was God’s religion, and you’d be running around here wondering why everybody doesn’t practice it. Because some people have a better knowledge of history than others do, it is only the people whose knowledge of history is limited who jump up and say that Christianity is the name of God’s religion. If Christianity hasn’t always been the name of God’s religion it isn’t now the name of God’s religion. God doesn’t change His religion; God doesn’t change His mind; God’s mind is made up from the beginning. He doesn’t have to change His mind because He knows all there is to know all the way down the wheel of time. He never has to change His mind, His mind is made up, His knowledge is complete, all encompassing. Do you understand? So once you can see, and I think you can, then it’s almost impossible for God to call Christianity His religion.
What should God call His religion? Christians are the ones who call God’s religion Christianity, but God was here before Christians came on the scene. They tell you that Christians began back there with the Romans, with one of the Roman Emperors who accepted the teachings of some of Jesus’ disciples and then named what the disciples taught “Christianity.” But Jesus didn’t call it Christianity, it wasn’t named until two or three hundred years after Jesus was dead. Right or wrong? Any history book will tell this, any theologian knows this, and the only Negroes who will contend this are those who don’t know history, and most Negroes don’t know history. Most Negroes will contend this, but when you tell it to the white man he shuts his mouth because he knows that this is true.
Then those who have studied a little deeper will say, “Before God called it Christianity it was called Judaism” — isn’t this what they say? Named after a man called Judah. This doesn’t follow logically. If Christianity was named after Christ was born, and before Christ was born the religion was called Judaism, then that means that it got its name from a son of Jacob whose name was Judah. But history tells us that Jacob was bending down before Judah was born, which shows us that Jacob’s religion couldn’t have been Judaism, and Isaac was Jacob’s father and he was bending down also before Jacob, his son, was born. Isaac was Judah’s grandfather and Abraham was Judah’s great-grandfather, meaning that Abraham was on the scene long before Judah, and you couldn’t call Abraham’s religion Judaism because there was no such thing as Judaism in Abraham’s day. There wa no such thing as Judaism in Isaac’s day, or in Jacob’s day. Do you understand? So what was God’s religion before they called it Judaism? This is something that the white man has never taught you and me. The white man is afraid to let you and me know what God’s religion was called in Abraham’s day because Abraham is supposed to have been the father of all of them. He is supposed to have been one of God’s first servants. One of the first to submit to God is supposed to have been Abraham. Now if you can see this, then find out what Abraham’s religion was.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that Abraham’s religion was the religion of Islam. Islam only means complete submission to God, complete obedience to God. Abraham obeyed God. Abraham obeyed God so much so that when God told Abraham to take his son and sacrifice him — stick a dagger in his heart, isn’t that what he said? — Abraham took his only son up on the mountain. He was going to sacrifice him to God, showing that he believed in Islam. What does Islam mean? Obey God. Submit to God. So that this name [writes “Islam”], if you’ll notice, has no connection, no association, with the death of a man. This is not a man’s name, this doesn’t come from a man. Buddhism is named after a man called Buddha; Confucianism is named after a man called Confucius — right or wrong? Likewise with Judaism and Christianity. But Islam is not connected with any name. Islam is independent of any name. Islam is an act which means submit completely to God, or obey God. And when you say your religion is Islam that means you’re a Muslim. So to clarify this what must you do? You must have a knowledge of history. If you don’t have a knowledge of history you’ll run around calling yourself a Christian when you’re serving God, or you’ll run around saying your religion is Judaism and you’ll swear you’re serving God. If your religion is Christianity you’re following Christ, if your religion is Judaism you’re following Judah, if your religion is Buddhism you’re religion is Buddhism you’re following Buddha, do you understand? And they are all dead, and if you follow them you’ll die too. This is where it all leads you. Wherever your leaders go, that’s what happens to you. Now we who follow The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, we believe in Islam, we don’t believe in Muhammad.
He teaches us the religion of Islam. Do you understand the difference? These people who follow Christ [pointing to the cross painted on the blackboard], they believe in Christ; they believe Christ is God — Oh yes, they do — that he was born of the Blessed Virgin, didn’t have a father, was just a spirit, and then came into the world and was crucified, rose from the dead, and went up into space. They believe that, but they believe it because they don’t know history. But if you notice, the Jews have a better knowledge of history than the Christians do, do they not? the Christians’ history only goes back two thousand years; the history of the Jews goes back beyond four thousand years. Can you see this? And the Muslim history goes back…there is no limit to the Muslim history. If you notice, the Christians can only go back to what they call the Greek Empire. That’s what they call the Occidental, the beginning of the Occident, the Greek Empire, the Roman Empire, and so forth. The Jews have a knowledg e of history that goes back to Egypt and Babylon. You notice how one goes back…it has no limit. There are no chains on how far you can go back when you are a Muslim. The Christians and the Jews combined go back to whom? To Adam, and they stop right there. And they say beyond him there was nothing happening. The greater their knowledge of history is — this has an influence on the type of religion that they accept. Do you understand?
All praise is due to Allah. Another example: What makes the royal family of Europe, or any country, differ from the peasant? Royalty knows its ancestry, royalty knows its history, this is what makes them royal. You can’t have a king who can’t trace his history back to his forefathers. The only way you can be king is to be born a king. If you take away his history, and he doesn’t know who his forefathers were, what does he become? A peasant — a common ordinary man. Same with the Jews and Christians. It’s because the Jews have the longest record of history that they can call themselves the Chosen People. The Christians can’t call themselves the Chosen People because their history is not long enough. They can’t go back to the time when the choice was being made. The Hebrews, the so-called Jews, can go back so far they can lay claim to that which is actually not theirs. But the reason they can claim it is that nobody else they are dealing with can go back far enough to disprove them. Except the Muslims — do you understand? So The Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s mission is to teach the so-called Negroes a knowledge of history, the history of ourselves, our own kind, showing us how we fit into prophecy, Biblical prophecy. When you go to one of the churches you will notice that it is named after some word in their Bible: Big Rock Baptist Church, or Drinking at the Well Baptist Church, Friendship Baptist Church, Union Baptist, Israel Baptist, Jacob’s Ladder Baptist. They find some kind of old funny word in their Bible to name their whole religion after. Their whole doctrine is based on a verse in the Bible: “He rose.”
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad bases what he teaches not on verse but on the entire book. And from beginning to end, he says, he can open up the Book and prove that the Bible agrees with him, and then use the Bible to prove that what they are teaching in the church is wrong. You know that’s saying something.
For instance, he says that in Genesis, the fifteenth chapter and the thirteenth verse, just to give you an example: “And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.” Now The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that explains his teachings right there, because he teaches that the so-called Negro is the one that the Bible is talking about. Who have spent four hundred years and are strangers in a land that is not theirs? And you can’t deny that we are strangers here. I don’t think any of you will deny that we are strangers here. We are not in a country where we are made to feel at home. We’ll put it that way. There is hardly any Negro in his right mind who can say he feels at home in America. He has to admit that he is made to feel like a stranger. Right or wrong? Well, this is what God said to Abraham would happen in this day and time. Remember, Abraham’s religion was Islam. Abraham wasn’t a Jew, Abraham wasn’t a Christian, Abraham wasn’t a Buddhist, Abraham was a Muslim, which means he obeyed God. God told him, yes. He said, your people are gong into bondage, they’re going to become slaves, they’re going to be afflicted, they’ll be strangers in a land far from home for four hundred years. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says you and I are the seed of Abraham, we’re the descendants of Abraham. Now the preacher in the church, he tells you that the Jews are the seed of Abraham. One of them is right and one of them is wrong: either Mr. Muhammad is right and the preacher is wrong, or the preacher is right and Mr. Muhammad is wrong. This is what we are putting on the line today.
Who is the seed of Abraham? Is it this blue-eyed, blond-haired, pale-skinned Jew? Or is it the so-called Negro — you? Who is it? And what makes it so pitiful, many of our people would rather believe that the Jews are God’s Chosen People than to believe that they are God’s Chosen People. They would rather believe that the Jew is better than anybody else. This is a Negro. Nobody else would put everybody else above him but the Negro. I mean the American Negro. Remember, God said that the people would be strangers. The Jews aren’t strangers. The Jews know their history, the Jews know their culture, the Jews know their language; they know everything there is to know about themselves. They know how to rob you, they know how to be your landlord, they know how to be your grocer, they know how to be your lawyer, they know how to join the NAACP and become the president — right or wrong? They know how to control everything you’ve got. You can’t say they’re lost. But the poor so-called Negro, he doesn’t control the NAACP, he can’t control the Urban League, he can’t control his own schools, he can’t control his own businesses in his own community. He can’t even control his own mind. He’s lost and lost control of himself and gone astray.
But he fits the picture here that the Bible says concerning our people in the last day: “Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them.” And you have served the white man; he hasn’t served you and me. Why, the Jew hasn’t served anybody here. You are the one that’s serving: “And they shall afflict them four hundred years; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterwards shall they come out with great substance.” Ofttimes when you say this to the so-called Negroes they’ll come up and tell you that this is the Jew. But if you’ll notice, when Jesus was talking to the Jews, way back here in John, he told them that they shall know the truth and it will make them free. The Jews popped up and said: “How are you going to say that we shall be made free? We have never been in bondage to anyone.” Isn’t that what the Jews told Jesus? Now look at it. If the Jews said to Jesus, two thousand years after Moses supposedly led the Hebrews out of bondage, that they had never been in bondage — now you know the Jews had Moses’ history, they knew who Moses was — how could they stand up and tell Jesus they had never been in bondage? Not these things that you call Jews. They weren’t in Egypt, they weren’t the people that Moses led out of Egypt, and the Jews know this. But the Bible is written in such a tricky way, when you read it you think that Moss led the Jews out of bondage. But if you get a Jew in a good solid conversation today and you know how to talk to him, he’ll have to admit this, that it wasn’t out of bondage that Moses brought them — it was out of somewhere else — and where Moses really brought them is their secret, but, thanks to Almighty God, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad knows their secret, and he told it to us and we’re going to tell it to you.
If the Bible said that God is going to judge that nation, the nation that enslaved His people, how would He keep from destroying His own people? The same Bible is a book of history and in the eighteenth chapter of the book of Deuteronomy, in the eighteenth verse, God told Moses: “I will raise them up a Prophet” — talking about you and me — I’ll raise them up a prophet just like thee — a prophet like Moses whose mission it would be to do for you and me the same thing that Moses did back them. It would be a prophet like Moses. In fact, when you get down to Malachi, He lets it be known that just before He comes to judge that nation, the name of the prophet or messenger whom He would send among the people would be Elijah. If says: “Before the coming of that great and dreadful day I shall send you Elijah and Elijah’s job will be to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers and the hearts of the fathers to the children.” What does this mean, turn the hearts of the children to the fathers? The so-called Negro are childlike people — you’re like children. No matter how old you get, or how bold you get, or how wise you get, or how rich you get, or how educated you get, the white man still calls you what? “Boy!” Why, you are a child in his eyesight! And you are a child. Anytime you have to let another man set up a factory for you and you can’t set up a factory for yourself, you’re a child; anytime another man has to open up businesses for you and you don’t know how to open up businesses for yourself and your people, you’re a child; anytime another man sets up schools and you don’t know how to set up your own schools, you’re a child. Because a child is someone who sits around and waits for his father to do for him what he should be doing for himself, or what he’s too young to do for himself, or what he is too dumb to do for himself. So the white man, knowing that here in America all the Negro has done — I hate to say it, but it’s the truth — all you and I have done is build churches and let the white man build factories.
You and I build churches and let the white man build schools. You and I build churches and let the white man build up everything for himself. Then after you build the church you have to go and beg the white man for a job, and beg the white man for some education. Am I right or wrong? Do you see what I mean? It’s too bad but it’s true. And it’s history. So it shows that these childlike people — people who would be children, following after the white man — it says in the last day that God will raise up Elijah, and Elijah’s job will be to turn the hearts of these children back toward their fathers. Elijah will come and change our minds; he’ll teach us something that will turn us completely around. When Elijah finds us we’ll be easy to lead in the wrong direction but hard to lead in the right direction. But when Elijah gets through teaching the Lost Sheep, or the Lost People of God, he’ll turn them around, he’ll change their minds, he’ll put a board in their back, he’ll make them throw their shoulders back and stand upright like men for the first time. It says he’ll turn the hearts of these children toward their fathers and the hearts of the fathers toward the children. This is something that The Honorable Elijah Muhammad is doing here in America today. You and I haven’t thought in terms of our forefathers. We haven’t thought of our fathers. Our fathers, brothers, are back home. Our fathers are in the East. We’re running around here begging the Great White Father. You never hear of black pe ople in this country talking or speaking or thinking in terms of connecting themselves with their own kind back home. They are trying to make contact with the white man, trying to make a connection with the white man, trying to connect, trying to make a connection with a kidnapper who brought them here, trying to make a connection with, actually, the man who enslaved them. You know that’s a shame — it’s pitiful — but it’s true.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that when Elijah comes, the Book says when Elijah comes, what Elijah will do is to teach these people the truth. And the truth that Elijah will teach the people would be so strong it will make all that other stuff that the preachers are talking about sound like a fairy story. Elijah will open the people’s eyes up so wide that from then on a preacher won’t be able to talk to them — and this is really true. Do you know, people have come to Muhammad’s Mosque and no matter whether they believed in what Mr. Muhammad was saying or not they never could go back and sit in church. This is true. What The Honorable Elijah Muhammad does is to turn on the light, and when he turns on the light it enables us to see and think for ourselves. He shows us that what the white man has taught us concerning history has actually been a distortion. He’s never given you and me true facts about history, neither about himself nor about our people. You know I read a book one day called The Four Cities of Troy. You can go to the library, some libraries, and check it out. What was this based on? To show you what a liar the white man is. When Isay liar: you have white people who are scientists and keep truth in their own circles, and they never let you — they never let the masses — know anything about this truth that they keep in the circle. They got something else that they invent and put out for the masses to believe, but they themselves keep knowledge in a circle. So in this particular book it pointed out that some archaeologists were delving in the ruins of the ancient city of Troy, and it’s the practice of archaeologists to dig, so in digging down into the ruins of Troy they dug deeper than they intended to, and they ran into the ruins of another city that had been there so much longer than this city of Troy that it had gone down beneath the sands of time, and they had built this city of Troy on top of it. When these archaeologists were delving into the ruins of the ancient city they learned that there were ruins of a city more ancient than that. So they started frantically digging onto that one and dug some more until they found another one and before they got through digging they had dug down and they had discovered that civilizations in that area had been there so far back into history that at different times in history some of the cities had been destroyed, had become completely covered up with sand and dirt, until another people came along and didn’t even know it was there and built another civilization on top of it. This happened four different times -to give you some idea of what the white man knows concerning the length of time man has been on this earth — and still that white man would jump up in your face and try to make you believe that the first man was made six thousand years ago named Adam. And a lot of Negroes will want to know what you are talking about — Adam — that’s what God called him — God took some dirt and breathed on it and told Adam, “Come forth,” and there he was. Now you know that’s a shame. It’s all right to believe when you were a little baby that God made a little doll out of the sand and mud and breathed on it and that was the first man. But here it is 1962 with all this information floating around in everybody’s ears — you can get it free. Why, you should open up your minds and your heads and your hearts and realize that you have been led by a lie. Today it’s time to listen to nothing but naked, undiluted truth. And when you know the truth, as Jesus said: “The truth will make you free.” Abraham Lincoln won’t make you free. Truth will make you free. when you know the truth, you’re free. Also you have your archaeologists, anthropologists, other forms of historians who agree that they don’t know how long man has been on earth, but they do know that man has been on earth longer than six thousand years. They know that man was not made just six thousand years ago. They know this now but a long time ago they didn’t know it. There was a time when they believed that a man had fewer ribs than a woman. You can believe that because they said that God made Eve from one of Adam’s ribs -so Adam had a rib missing. And they actually ran around here believing for many years that man had one less rib, and they were shook up when they got into the science of anatomy and discovered that man — all his ribs were there! They began to wonder then what happened in the Bible?
How long has man been here? In the Bible in the first chapter of Genesis and the twenty-sixth verse, after God had made everything else it says: “And God said, Let us make man.” Let me write what God said here on the board … Look what God said, brothers. I don’t think you ever looked at this. It says: “And God said, Let us make man.” The key word here is what? Yes, what does “us” mean? More than one. Who was God talking to? If God was all by Himself, no one was there but Him, who was He talking to when He said, “Let us make man”? Who was there with God who was about to help Him make this man? When God was getting ready to make the sun He didn’t say, “Let us make some sun!” He said, “Let there be light.” And here is the sun, a ball of fire 2,679,785 miles in circumference, 853,000 miles in diameter, 17,072 degrees hot, and God said, “Let there be,” and that big ball of fire popped up there in the universe, with no help. Now you know something is wrong. It should be harder to make that than man: a huge ball of fire 2,679,785 miles in circumference, 17,072 degrees hot — that’s a whole lot of heat. And God said, “Let there be,” and that just jumped up in the universe. He didn’t ask for no help: “Let there be this and let there be that.” He had so much power that everything He wanted came into existence; as soon as He said “be,” there it was. But when He got to man something happened, someone else was there, wasn’t there? That’s something to think about. We let you think about it for a minute…
The white man’s world is newer world than the black man’s world. If this man said that they were about to make man, and he said we would make him how — in your image — this shows you that there’s somebody there with him. “Let us make man on our image, in our likeness. Let us make him look like us. He won’t be the same as we are, he’ll be in our image.” That’s God talking, right? He’s talking to somebody. You know, I’m thankful to Allah for raising up The Honorable Elijah Muhammad and making us see these things that we could never see before. The birth of the white race has always been a secret. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that the birth of the white race is shrouded in the story of Adam. The story of Adam hides the birth of the white race, and because you and I have never been taught to look into a thing and analyze a thing we took the story of Adam exactly as it was. We thought that God made a man named Adam six thousand years ago. But today The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that man, Adam, was a white man; that before Adam was made the black man was already here. The white man will even tell you that, because he refers to Adam as the first one. He refers to the Adamites as those who came from that first one. He refers to the pre-Adamites as those who were here before Adam. Right or wrong? Those people who were here before Adam. And he always refers to these people as “aborigines,” which means what? BLACK FOLK! You never find a white aborigine. Aborigines are called natives, and they’re always dark-skinned people. You and I are aborigines. But you don’t like to be called an aborigine; you want to be called an American. Aborigine actually means, “from the beginning.” It’s two Latin words, “ab” meaning “from”; “origine” meaning “the beginning”; and aborigine is only the term applied to those dark-skinned people who have been on this earth since the beginning of the universe. You know that’s going way back. What do you mean, since the beginning of the universe?
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that, just as we pointed out a moment ago, the black man has been here a long time. He never has had a beginning. But the white man has never had a knowledge of the history of the black man. It’s like a father and a son. If the father is fifty years old and the son is only ten, the father knows everything there is to know about his son because he was here before his son was born; the son only knows what has happened during his own ten years. He only knows what went on before his arrival from what his father tells him. It’s the same way with the black man and the white man: the black man’s been here a long time, but the white man has been here a short time. Now the white man only knows about himself, what he’s been told, and he hasn’t been told anything. He came to himself up in the caves of Europe, and he can’t get any information that goes beyond the cave. And since you and I fell into his trap and were made deaf, dumb, and blind by him, we don’t have access to any information that the white man doesn’t know about. So we think that the beginning of the white man meant the beginning of everything, us too. We’re not aware that we were here before he was made. Can you understand that? The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that sixty-six trillion years ago — trillion, how much is trillion? Not hundreds, not thousands, nor millions, nor billions, but sixty-six trillions years ago — the black man was here. We have the sun which is the center of the universe; 36,000,000 miles form the sun is the planet we call Mercury, and 67,200,000 miles from the sun is the planet called Venus, and 93,000,000 miles from the sun is the planet here that you and I live on called Earth, 141,500,000 miles out here is a planet called Mars, and 483,000,000 miles from the sun is a planet called Jupiter, 886,000,000 miles from the sun is a planet called Saturn, and on down the road a piece are a couple more planets. So right here this planet that you and I live on called Earth, that rotates around the sun, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that sixty-six trillion years ago our people were living on this planet: the black man was living on this planet. But in those days it was larger than it is now, and the planet Mars, that was off here beyond it, had an effect upon our planet then in the same manner that the moon affects us today. At that time there was no moon up there. Where was the moon? The moon was down here, the moon was part of this planet, the moon and this planet were one planet, and the black man was living here then. He was a scientist, he was a wise black man. Black men have always been wise, black men have always been the wisest beings in the universe, and among these beings, black beings, there is one who is supreme; he is referred to as the Supreme Being, do you understand?
So The Honorable Elijah Muhammad tells us that a wise black scientist, sixty-six trillion years ago, began to argue with the other scientists because he wanted the people of Earth to speak a certain language, and since they wouldn’t agree he wanted to destroy civilization. So this scientist drove a shaft into the center of the Earth and filled it with high explosives and set it off. He was trying to destroy civilization; he was trying to destroy the black man. But you can’t destroy the black man; the black man can’t destroy himself. The black man has the most powerful brain in the universe. So there is no intelligence more powerful than the intelligence of the black man. And because of this the black man can’t even create thought that would destroy him. He is indestructible. You can blow up everything and the black man will still be here. You just can’t get away from him, brother. So The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said he filled the Earth, the planet, with high explosives and set it off, and w hen it was exploded the piece that you and I today call the moon was tossed out here into space and it rotated around the Earth. It still rotates around the Earth; it came from the Earth; it was blasted right off the Earth. And as it was blasted right o ff the Earth, it turned over and over and over and all of the water that was on it stayed with the earth. So that the piece that was blasted out there has no water on it today, and because it has no water on it it has no civilization on it, has no life on it. You can’t have life where there’s no water there’s no life; where there’s no life there’s no civilization. Can you understand that? So this dead piece, called the moon by us today, turning over and over and over, lost all of its water, all of the water coming with this piece. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad told us that this piece, that the earth, that we remained on, shifted, dropped thirty-six thousand miles in the pocket that we remained in. And as it dropped and all of water came with it, that left a situation in which today the Earth that we now live on weighs six sextillion tons. The weight of it is six sextillion tons. And as it makes its way around the sun, the strong power of the sun’s rays striking the equator causes the planet to turn on its own axis at the speed 10371/3 miles per hour. And he teaches us that the square mileage of the Earth is 196,940,000 square miles which means only 57,255,000 square miles of land stuck up out of 139,685,000 square miles of water. Three-fourths of the Earth’s surface is covered with water. Part of the water that left the moon is here with the Earth. So you say since it’s the natural law for water to seek its own level, why doesn’t it overrun the land? The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that as the Earth speeds around the sun turning on its axis 10371/3 miles per hour it creates gravity and the strong attracting power of the sun pulls on the waters of the Earth, drawing them up into the Earth’s atmosphere in fine mist that the naked eye can hardly detect. As this water gathers into the Earth’s atmosphere it then distills and comes back to Earth. When it gets heavier than the atmosphere in which it is, it distills and comes back to the Earth in the form of water, rain, hail, or snow. All of the water that you see coming out of the sky went up into the sky. Everything that’s coming down on the Earth got up there by leaving the Earth. Do you understand? And he teaches us that it comes back down in the form of hail or rain or snow or whatever else you have, depending upon the temperature of the current atmosphere that it was in. He says that at night the gravitational pull of the moon takes over, and, because the power of the moon is not as great as that of the sun, once the attracting power o f the sun is absent at night the moon takes over, but since it can’t pull the waters up like the sun does, it still has that magnetic pull and it causes the waves that you see out there on the ocean to churn. It is the moon that does that; the moon makes the waves go up and down. It never lets them level out. If they leveled out the water would overrun the land. It also causes the shifting of the tide. This is the pull of the moon upon the waters of the Earth. If it weren’t for the attracting powers of the sun and the moon upon the Earth, the waters would overrun the land and drown out civilization. All of this was done by man himself, not some Mystery God. A black man set this up. And you and I have been running around in the trap that the white man put us in, thinking that the only one who can do anything is a Mystery God and what the Mystery God doesn’t do the white man does.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that all the time that this was going on there was no white man. The white man was nowhere on the scene. He says that when the moon was blasted away and we came along with the Earth, one tribe was in fact destroyed. Prior to the time that the explosion took place there were thirteen tribes. In the explosion set off sixty-six trillion years ago the thirteenth tribe was destroyed and then all of the time down through the wheel of time since then there were twelve tribes until six thousand years ago. And six thousand years ago, a scientist named Yacub created another tribe on this Earth.Understand, prior to the time the explosion took place, there were thirteen tribes, but the thirteenth tribe was destroyed in that explosion and then six thousand years ago another tribe came on the scene. It was made different from all of the twelve tribes that were here when it arrived. A new tribe, a weak tribe, a wicked tribe, a devilish tribe, a diabolical tribe, a tribe that is devilish by nature. So that before they got on the scene, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that when we came with the Earth, the oldest city on the Earth is the Holy City, Mecca, in Arabia. Mecca is the oldest city on Earth. Mecca is the city that is forbidden. No one can go there but the black man. No one can go there but the Muslims. No one can go there but the believer. No one can go there but the righteous. And at Mecca are kept the records of history that go on back to the beginning of time. He says that fifty thousand years ago another scientist named Shabazz became angry with the scientists of his day. He wanted to bring about a tougher people. He wanted the people to undergo a form of life that would make them tough and hard, and the other scientists wouldn’t agree with him. So this scientist named Shabazz took his family and wandered down into the jungles of Africa. Prior to that time no one lived in the jungles of Africa. Our people were soft; they were black but they were soft and delicate, fine. They had straight hair. Right here on this Earth you find some of them look like that today. They are black as night, but their hair is like silk, and originally all our people had that kind of hair. But this scientist took his family down into the jungles of Africa, and living in the open, living a jungle life, eating all kinds of food had an effect on the appearance of our people. Actually living in the rough climate, our hair became stiff, like it is now. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that the only hair that the black man has today that looks now like it looked prior to fifty thousand years ago is your and my eyebrows. Right here, you notice, all Negroes has straight — I don’t care how nappy their hair is — they have straight eyebrows. When you see a nappy-hair-eyebrowed Negro [chuckle] you got somebody. But all of this took place back in history, and everything The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches is based on history. Now then, where does this white man come in?
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that the wise black man who was a master of science never wrote his history like it is written today, of the past. The wise black man in that day wrote his history in the future. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that the circumference of the Earth is 24,896 miles, approximately 25,000 miles. So when he says the wise black man of the East writes history a year of every mile, he writes history to last for 25,000 years — not in the past, but in the future. He says that on this Earth there are wise black men who can tune in and tell what’s going to happen in the future just as clear — they can see ahead just as clear — as they can see in the past. And every 25,000 years he says that civilization reaches its peak, or reaches its perfection. At this time the wise black man can hear a pin drop anywhere on the planet Earth. And they sit down and write history to last for 25,000 years. After this history expires they put it in a vault at the Holy City, Mecca, and write a new history. This has been going on and on and on. So, in the year one of the cycle in which we now live, he says that in the East there are twenty-four wise men. They’re spoken of in the Bible as twenty-four elders or twenty-four prophets or twenty-four scientists or twenty-four imams. Twelve of them are major and twelve of them are minor. So The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that these twenty-three men are called together by this one, which makes twenty-four. And these twenty-four, these twenty-three presided over by the twenty-fourth, are spoken of in the Book of Revelation where John said he had a vision in heaven where there was a throne, and around the throne were twenty-four seats and on the seats sat twenty-four elders. These twenty -four elders are called angels. They are actually twenty-four wise black men who live right here on this Earth, but no one knows who they are. At the end of every 25,000 years this one calls all of them into conference, and they sit down at the Holy City, Mecca, and he informs them that the history of the past 25,000 years has expired and it’s time to write a new history. So these twenty-four, these scientists, begin to tune in on the population of the planet Earth and he says that back in his day — at that time there were five billion people on this Earth — all of them black, not a white man in sight — so he says that when these twenty-four scientists begin to tune in, they look down through the wheel of time. they can tell not only what the people on this Earth are thinking, but they can tell what their children are thinking, what the unborn children’s children are thinking. They can look right down through the wheel of time and tell minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, day-by-day, week-by-week, monthly-by-month, year-by-year, for 25,000 years exactly what is going to take place. And they discovered that in the year 8400 to come it would register that among five billion black people, seventy percent would be satisfied and thirty percent would be dissatisfied. And out of that thirty percent would be born a wise black scientist name Yacub, and Yacub would teach among these thirty percent dissatisfied form whom he would come, and create a new race, start a new world, and a new civilization that would rule this Earth for six thousand years to come. So they brought these findings back to the king and they were put in a book. And by the way, that which is written to last 25,000 years is called the Holy Koran.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that this was put into the history and then when the year 8,400 came, Yacub was born. When Yacub reached the age of six years he was playing in the sand one day with two pieces of metal, two pieces of steel, at which time he discovered what is known as the law of magnetism: that unlike attracts and like repels. Two objects that are alike repel each other like two women repel each other, but man and woman attract each other. Unlike attracts and like repels. Yacub discovered this. So Yacub knew that all he had to do was make a man unlike any other man on this Earth and because he would be different he would attract all other people. Then he could teach this man a science call tricknology, which is a science of tricks and lies, and this weak man would be able to use that science to trick and rob and rule the world. So Yacub turned to his uncle and said, “When I grow up I’m going to make a man who will rule you.” And Yacub’s uncle said,”What can you make other than that which will cause bloodshed and wickedness in the land?” And Yacub pointed to his head and said,”I know that which you know not.” Yacub was born with a determined idea to make this man because it had been predicted 8400 years prior to his birth that he would be born to do this work. So he was born with this idea in him, and when his uncle realized that this was he about whom it had been prophesied his uncle submitted. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that Yacub went to school in the East; he studied the astronomical sciences, mathematical sciences, and the germination of man. He discovered that in the black man there are two germs. In the black man there’s a brown man. In the black man, or the black germ, which is a strong germ, there’s a weak germ, a brown germ. Yacub was the first one to discover this and Yacub knew that by separating that brown one from the black one, and then by grafting the brown one from the black one so that it became lighter and lighter, it would eventually reach it s lightest stage which is known as white. And when it got to that stage it would be weak, and because it was weak it would be susceptible to wickedness. And then Yacub could take that weak man that he made and teach him how to lie and rob and cheat and thereby become the ruler of all the rest of the world.
So The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that Yacub began to preach at the age of sixteen. He began to preach all over Arabia in the East. He preached among the thirty percent who were dissatisfied and got many of them to follow him. As they began to listen to Yacub’s teachings and believe them, his teachings spread, his followers grew, and it created confusion in the land. So The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that so much confusion came into existence over there that they threw Yacub’s followers in jail, and as fast as they would throw them in jail they taught more people. So the teachings spread in jail. Finally Yacub was put in jail, under an alias. And one day, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says, the thing began to get out of hand and the authorities went to the king and told him that they couldn’t control these people, but that they had the leader of the people in jail right now, and the king said, “Take me to him.”
And when the king went to the jail where Yacub was, he greeted Yacub with “As-Salaam-Alaikum, Mr. Yacub” — I know you’re Mr. Yacub — and Yacub said, “Wa-Alaikum-Salaam” — I am Yacub! And the king said, “Look, I came to make an agreement with you. I know that you are the one that it is written or predicted would be on the scene in this day and would create a new race, and there is nothing we can do to stop you. But in order for us to have peace we want to make an agreement with you. In order to stop the confusion and for there to be some peace in the land, we want you to agree to take all who will follow you and exile yourselves out on an island in the Aegean Sea.”
Yacub told them, “I’ll go. But you’ve got to give me everything that I will need to bring into existence a new civilization. You’ve got to give me everything I’ll need. You’ve got to supply me with everything I need for the next twenty years.” And The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that the king agreed with Yacub, the government of that day agreed to supply Yacub and his followers with everything they needed for twenty years. And he says that he gets this from the Bible where it says Jacob wrestled with the angel. Jacob was Yacub, and the angel that Jacob wrestled with wasn’t God, it was the government of that day. “Angel only means “a power,” or somebody with power. When a man has his wings clipped, you say that he has lost his power, lost his position. So wings only mean a position of power entrapped him. So when it says Jacob wrestled with an angel,”angel” is only used as a symbol to hide the one he was really wrestling with. Jacob was wrestling with the government of that day. He made the government of that day give him everything he needed to last him and his followers for twenty years, just like The Honorable Elijah Muhammad is telling the government of this day that they’ve got to give us everything that we need in our own separate territory to last us for twenty to twenty-five years. You say, well, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that Yacub agreed, the government agreed, Yacub took all of his followers down to the sea. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that Yacub took 59,999 of his followers down to the seaside, with himself making 60,000. He piled them in boats and took them out to an island in the Aegean Sea called Pelan. In the Bible it’s called Patmos. When you read in the Book of Revelation where John, on the island of Patmos, heard the word of the Lord, that is Yacub. What was John doing on the island of Patmos? John was Yacub. John was out there getting ready to make a new race, he said, for the word of the Lord. What was the word of the Lord? The word was that in the year 8,400 a new man would be made, a new race world be made. And when Yacub and his followers got out there his followers realized that Yacub was wiser than any man of his day, and they recognized him as a god; he was a god to them. So when you get to the place in the Bible where it says, “And God said, ‘Let us make man,'” that was Yacub too, not the Supreme Being. It wasn’t the Supreme Being who made the sun who said, “Let us make man.” When the Supreme Being made the sun he said, “Let t here be light.” He said He was supreme, He was independent, He needed no help, no associates. But when it came to making a man, that god said, “Let us make man.” He didn’t speak with independence, because there were two different gods. God the Supreme Being made the light. His word is “be”; that’s how He makes things. But Yacub, who was lesser god, said to 59,999 of his followers, “Let us make man, let us make a man in our image, in our likeness. We’re going to make a white man.” It was Yacub talking: “Make him in our image and in our likeness, and give him dominion over the fowl of the air and the fish of the sea and the creatures of the land. And we’ll call him Adam.” It’s only a name for the white man. The white man has taken mastery over the air, his airplanes rule the sky, his submarines and ships rule the sea, his armies rule the land. This was the man that was made six thousand years ago and the purpose for making him was so he could rule the world for six thousand years. That’s the white man.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that first thing Yacub did was to get his ministers, doctors, nurses, and cremators together. He gave them the laws because he had to set up a birth control law. He told the doctors whenever two black ones come to him to get married to stick a needle in their veins, take some blood, and go back and tell them that their blood doesn’t match so that they can’t marry. He also said when a black one and a brown one come, let them get married, or if two brown ones come let them get married. Then he told the nurse nine months after they’re married, when you’re ready to deliver their child, if it’s a black child, put a needle in its brain and feed it to a wild animal or give it to the cremator. Let it be destroyed. But if it’s a brown child, take that child to the mother and tell her that this is going to be a great man when he grows up because he’s lighter than the others. Tell her that the child you destroyed was an angel baby and it went up to heaven to prepare a place for her when she dies. Same old lie they tell you today — when a little baby dies he goes to the same place a man goes when he dies — right down into the ground. Is that right or wrong? So The Honorable Elijah Muhammad has taught us that Yacub right there set up his birth control law. Within two hundred years they had killed off all of the black babies on the island. Everything black on the island had been destroyed. And then Yacub only lived 150 years. But he left laws and rules and regulations behind, for his followers to go by. And after they had destroyed all of the black on the island of Pelan, they began to work on the brown germ. They saved the yellow and destroyed the brown, because you see in the black there’s brown and in the brown there’s yellow. Can you see how it goes? The darkest one always has a lighter one in it. So in the black man there’s a brown man, in the brown man there’s a yellow man, in the yellow man there’s what? A white man. Oh yes. Getting weaker all the time. So it took two hundred years to destroy the black. And then they worked on the brown for two hundred years. And in two hundred years all the brown was destroyed and all they had on the island of Pelan was a yellow or mulatto-looking civilization. And then they went to work on it and began to destroy it. So that after six hundred years of destruction on the island of Pelan, they had grafted away the black, grafted away the brown, grafted away the yellow, so that all they had left was a pale-skinned, blue-eyed, blonde-haired thing that you call a man. But actually the Bible calls him the devil. That’s the devil that the Bible is talking about: old Lucifer, Satan, or the serpent. Because the lighter they got, the weaker they got. As they began to get lighter and lighter they grow weaker and weaker. Their blood became weaker, their bones became weaker, their minds became weaker, their morals became weaker. They became a wicked race; by nature wicked. Why by nature?
The Book says concerning the devil : “He was conceived in inequity and born in sin.” What does this mean? At the outset the nurses had to kill the little black babies, but after a while it got so that the mother, having been brainwashed, hated that black one so much she killed it herself. Killed it herself, and saved the light one. And right on down for six hundred years. In order for the white one to come into existence, the darker one was always murdered, murdered, MURDERED! this went right in to the nature of the child that was being born. The mother wanted a light baby when the child was being conceived. This went right into the baby. The mother hated black when the child was being conceived. this went right into the baby. So that at the end of the six hundred years, after planting the seed of inequity right into the brain, right into the mind, right into the heart, right into the nature of these people, by the time they got the white man, they had someone who by nature hated everything that was darker than he was. Why, they had to murder off the black to get to the brown. They had to murder off the brown to get to the yellow. They had to murder off the black, brown, and yellow in order to get to the white. And right to this very day the white man by nature wants to murder off the black, brown, and yellow. You don’t have to teach him to kill the black man. He does it for sport. He does it for kicks. he does it because it’s his nature to do it. Do you understand that?
So in six hundred years now they got a devil in the scene, a blue-eyed devil, bond-haired. Oh yes, they were out here on the island of Pelan. Yacub was dead. Yacub was their father but he never saw them. They never saw him. Yacub was their god. When the Bible says no man has seen God, that’s what it means. No white man has seen their god. None of them saw Yacub because Yacub only lived to be 150 years old. This doesn’t mean that no man can see God the Supreme Being. Why, the Book of Revelation says when He comes every eye will see Him. So The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says after these devils got grafted — now we’re not going to call them white any more. We call them what they are. White, that’s their color, but devil, that’s what they are. These aren’t white people. You’re not using the right language when you say the white man. You call it the devil. When you call him the devil you’re calling him by his name — serpent; another name — snake; another name — beast. All these names are in the Bible for the white man. Another name — Pharaoh; another name — Caesar; another name — France; French; Frenchman; Englishman; American; all those are just names for the devil.
So after they were out there six hundred years, after they were made and grafted and Yacub was dead, then they packed up their bags and made it back to civilization. Yacub had left them some laws to go by. He left them a science called “tricknology” : how to divide and conquer. Yacub told these people in his book : “All you got to do to take over the world is lie. Go back among the black people. Take your woman and send her to the black man’s woman and let her lie about the neighbor across the street. And then send another woman to that woman to lie on this woman to that woman. And when they get through spreading those lies and they all started fighting and killing one another, you tell them to let you be the mediator.” This is the trick the white man used. It all comes from Yacub. You see, he’s an underdog. He’s a minority, and the only way a minority can rule a majority is to divide the majority. This is the trick that the white man was born to execute among dark mankind here on this Earth. Yacub said, “When you go back among them, lie about them to each other, and when they start fighting, ask them to let you be the mediator. And as soon as you become the mediator then you’re the boss.” The white man has done this trick everywhere. Here in America to the Indians. He sent one priest to the Indians in New York and another priest to the Indians in Pennsylvania and both of them would tell lies to both Indians, and the Indians who had never been at war with each other would start beating the tom-toms, the war drums, and then as they got ready to fight the priest would rum in and say, “Let me be the mediator.”
So he told the New York Indians, you just move out to Minnesota; and the Pennsylvania Indians, you move out to Oklahoma. That would leave the whole states of New York and Pennsylvania for the white man. You see how he does it? He’s all over the world. He’s a mediator. He’s an instigator and a mediator. he instigates division and dissension and as soon as they start fighting one another he says, “OK, I’ll settle it.” if you don’t think so look all over the world right now. Every place on this earth you have a division: South Korea-North Korea, South Vietnam-North Vietnam. Right or wrong? He is the one that makes this decision. he doesn’t let anybody get together, but when it comes to his kind he’s united. United States means all white people are united. United States of Europe, or European Common Market — they want to get together. But when you start talking about a United States of Asia, or a United States of Africa, why he says,”Oh no, too many different languages [chuckle]. You all don’t have anything in common.” You see how he does it? He always discourages unity among others but he encourages unity among his own kind. “United We Stand,” that doesn’t mean you. That means the white man. The white man it the one who stands united.
So The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that these devils went back into Arabia. When they got there they started telling lies, started confusion, and in six months’ time they had turned heaven into hell. Oh yeah, they had so much fighting going on among our people, brother, it became hell. We never did fight each other; we loved each other, we were in harmony with each other. And when these devils came back into our midst they turned our paradise into a hell. So it was taken to the king and the king looked into the book and said, “Why, these are Yacub’s people.” He said, “They were made to do what they’re doing and the only way to have peace is to get rid of all of them. Put them all to death.” So the king gave the order for all of the devils to be rounded up. And by devils I mean all those blue-eyed, blond-haired, white things. He gave orders for them to be rounded up there in the East, and they were rounded up. They were rounded up and taken down to the edge of the Arabian Desert. They were stripped naked, stripped of everything except their language. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that we put lambskin aprons around their waists to hide their nakedness. We put them in chains and marched them across the hot sands of the Arabian Desert . This is what the black man did to the white man, brothers. This is what the gods did to the devils. Actually, if you think I don’t know what I’m talking about, those of you who are Masons, you go through this and don’t understand it. When you go in , they put a lambskin apron around your waist. They put you in what’s called the “cable tow.” Right or wrong? And then they make you jump up and down on an electric mat. Make you take off your shoes and put the juice in the mat and make you jump up and down. Why? What are they getting at? That’s all a sign of what happened to the white man six thousand years ago. It just doesn’t have anything to do with you, but you’re supposed to be walking on hot sands when you jump up and down. Right or wrong? You’ve all been in some of that stuff. They tell you that’s crossing the hot sand. And if you walk up to a Negro Mason and you ask him, “When you crossed the hot sand were you walking or riding?” he’ll say, “I was walking.” He’s a fool. Because he was riding. He was riding horseback. He was riding on a camel. It was the white man that was in chains. It was the white man that had the apron around him. It was the white man that was walking the white sand. We walked them at high noon. We wouldn’t even let them walk at night. We stopped at night. And you know how hot the sun and the sands are in Arabia. We expected the white man to die when we were running him out of the East. But that fool lived, brother [chuckle]. He lived. A lot of them died on the desert. And I might come back — all of this is tied up in the Masonic ritual. When a man gets initiated into the higher degrees of that order he goes through this. They put on the chains, they put on the aprons, and they darken him up and pretend to be driving him across. Then when he gets up to the top order in those degrees, they tell him what it means. The white man, they tell the white man what it means; a white Shriner, a white Mason, what it means. A Negro never learns what it means. But it actually points back toward the time when the white man, who is the devil, or Adam, as they say, was cast out of the Garden. When the Bible says Adam sinned and was cast out of the Garden, this is what is meant. And an angel was put at the East gate to keep him from coming back in. When the white man was run out of the East by the Muslims six thousand years ago into the caves of Europe, the people called Turks were put there at the Straits of the Dardanelles, with swords, and any old devil that they caught trying to come back across the water – WHOP! – off went his head. The Book tells you that the angel had a flaming sword, and any time any of them tried to come back across they were put to death.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that the white man went down into the caves of Europe and he lived there for two thousand years on all fours. Within one thousand years after he had gotten there he was on all fours, couldn’t stand upright. You watch an old cracker today. Crackers don’t walk upright like black people do. Every time you look at them, they’re about to go down on all fours. But those who have had some education, they straighten up a little bit because they’re taught how to straighten up. But a black man can be the most dumb, illiterate thing you can find anywhere, and he still walks like a million dollars because by nature he’s upright, by nature he stands up. But a white man has to be stood up. You have to put a white man on the square. But the black is born on the square.
Can we prove it? Yes. You notice in the East, dark people carry things on their heads, don’t they? Just throw it up there and walk with it, showing you they have perfect poise, perfect balance. It just comes natural to them. You and I lost our poise. We, you, can’t even wear a hat on your head, hardly, today [chuckle]. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that within one thousand years after the white people were up in the caves they were on all fours. And they were living in the outdoors where it’s cold, just as cold over there as it is outside right now. They didn’t have clothes. So by being out there in the cold their hair got longer and longer. Hair grew all over their bodies. By being on all fours, the end of their spine begin to grow. They grew a little tail that came out from the end of their spine…Oh yes, this was the white man, brother, up in the caves of Europe. He had a tail that long. You ever notice that anything that walks on all fours has a tail? That which straightens up doesn’t have a tail, because when you get down, you see, you just make that spine come right on out. And just like a dog, he was crawling around up there. He was hairy as a dog. He had a tail like a dog. He had a smell like a dog. And nothing could get along with him but another dog. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that all the beasts up in Europe wanted to kill the white man. Yeah, they tried to kill the white man. They were after the white man. They hated the white man. So, he says, what the white man would do, he’d dig a hole in the hill, that was his cave. And his mother and his daughter and his wife would all be in there with the dog. The only thing that made friends with the white man was the dog. Everything else hated him. He’d sit outside of the cave at night in a tree with rocks in his hand, and if any beast came up and tried to get in the cave at his family, he’d throw rocks at it, or he’d have a club that he’d swing down and try to drive it away with it. But the dog stayed in the cave with his family. It was then that the dog and the white man amalgamated. The white woman went with the dog while they were living in the caves of Europe. And right to this very day the white woman will tell you there is nothing she loves better than a dog. They tell you that a dog is a man’s best friend. They lived in that cave with those dogs and right now they got that dog smell. They got that dog…they are dog lovers. A dog can get in a white man’s house and eat at his table, lick out of his plate. They’ll kiss the dog right on the nose and think nothing of it. You’re not a dog kisser. You don’t see black people kissing or rubbing noses with dogs. But little white children will hug dogs and kiss dogs and eat with dogs. Am Iright or wrong? You — all have been inside their kitchens cooling their food, and making their beds, you know how they live. The dog will live right in the white man’s house, better than you can; you try and break your way in there and they’ll put a rope around your neck [chuckle], but the dog has got free run of the whole house. He’s the white man’s best friend.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that they lived up there for two thousand years, and at the end of two thousand years the scientists in the East, realizing that it was originally predestined that the white race would rule for six thousand years, and that they already lost two thousand years in the caves of Europe, sent a prophet up there, form Mecca, to teach the white race, the race of devils, how to become civilized again, and become upright, and come back and rule the way they had originally been meant to. The name of that prophet was Moses. Moses never went down into Egypt. Moses went into the caves of Europe and civilized the white man. It was Moses who raised the devil from a dead level to a perpendicular and placed him on the square. Moses taught the white man how to cook his food. Moses taught the white man how to build a house for himself. He taught the white man also some of the tricknology that Yacub had originally meant for him, and it was Moses who put the white man back on the road toward civilization. He told him that he was supposed to rule for six thousand years, but that much of the time had already been lost, and at the end of time one would come who would destroy the whole white race. Moses taught them this. And this is why when the Jews, two thousand years later, were looking for the Messiah, they thought that Jesus was the Messiah and they put him to death because they knew when the Messiah came he was going to destroy that whole race of devils. The Jews knew this, so they put him to death thinking that they could stop him from destroying them. But actually, they made a mistake because Jesus two thousand years ago wasn’t the Messiah. Their time wasn’t up two thousand years ago. Their time would not be up until two thousand years later, the day and time that we’re living in right now.
So, brothers and sisters, my time has expired. I just wanted to point out that the white man, a race of devils, was made six thousand years ago. This doesn’t mean to tell you that this implies any kind of hate. They’re just a race of devils. They were made six thousand years ago, they were made to rule for six thousand years, and their time expired in the year 19914. The only reason God didn’t remove them then was because you and I were here in their clutches and God gave them an extension of time — not them an extension of time, but they received an extension of time to give the wise men of the East the opportunity to get into this House of Bondage and “awaken” the Lost Sheep. Once the American so-called Negroes have been awakened to a knowledge of themselves and of their own God and of the white man, then they’re on their own. Then it’ll be left up to you and me whether we want to integrate into this wicked race or leave them and separate and go to our own. And if we integrate we’ll be destroyed along with them. If we separate then we have a chance for salvation. So on then note, in the name of Allah, and His Messenger The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, I bring my talk to a close, “As-Salaam Alaikum.”
With your hands outstretched in this manner, follow silently in the closing Muslim prayer: In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, The Beneficent, the Merciful, Master of this Day of Judgment in which we now live, Thee do we serve and Thee do we beseech for thine aid. Guide us on the right path, The path upon which Thou hast bestowed favors, Not the path upon which Thy wrath is brought down Nor of those who go astray after they have heard Thy teaching Say : He Allah is one God Allah is He upon whom nothing is independent but Upon whom we all depend He neither begets nor is He begotten and none is like Him. I bear witness there is none to be served but Allah, And I bear witness that The Honorable Elijah Muhammad is His True Servant and Last Apostle…Amen~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
note – this speech was delivered before Malcolm left the Nation of Islam and accepted true Islam — so his views in this speech do not reflect his own or those he held near the end of his life.
Dr. Powell, distinguished guests, brothers and sisters, friends, and even our enemies. As a follower and minister of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who is the Messenger of Allah to the American so-called Negro, I am very happy to accept Dr. Powell’s invitation to be here this evening at the Abyssinian Baptist Church and to express or at least to try to represent The Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s views on this most timely topic, the black revolution.
First, however, there are some questions we have to put to you. Since the black masses here in America are now in open revolt against the American system of segregation, will these same black masses turn toward integration or will they turn toward complete separation? Will these awakened black masses demand integration into the white society that enslaved them or will they demand complete separation from that cruel white society that has enslaved them? Will the exploited and oppressed black masses seek integration with their white exploiters and white oppressors or will these awakened black masses truly revolt and separate themselves completely from this wicked race that has enslaved us?
These are just some quick questions that I think will provoke some thoughts in your minds and my mind. How can the so-called Negroes who call themselves enlightened leaders expect the poor black sheep to integrate into a society of bloodthirsty white wolves, white wolves who have already been sucking on our blood for over four hundred years here in America? Or will these black sheep also revolt against the “false shepherd,” the handpicked Uncle tom Negro leader, and seek complete separation so that we can escape from the den of the wolves rather than be integrated with wolves in this wolves’ den? And since we are in church and most of us here profess to believe in God, there is another question: When the “good shepherd” comes will he integrate his long-lost sheep with white wolves? According to the Bible when God comes he won’t even let his sheep integrate with goats. And if his sheep can’t be safely integrated with goats they certainly aren’t safe integrated with wolves.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that no people on earth fit the Bible’s symbolic picture about the Lost Sheep more so than America’s twenty million so-called Negroes and there has never in history been a more vicious and blood-thirsty wolf than the American white man. He teaches us that for four hundred years America has been nothing but a wolves den for twenty million so-called Negroes, twenty million second-class citizens, and this black revolution that is developing against the white wolf today is developing because The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, a godsent shepherd, has opened the eyes of our people. And the black masses can now see that we have all been here in this white doghouse long, too long. The black masses don’t want segregation nor do we want integration. What we want is complete separation. In short, we don’t want to be integrated with the white man, we want to be separated from the white man. And now our religious leader and teacher, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, teaches us that this is the only intelligent and lasting solution to the present race problem. In order to fully understand why the Muslim followers of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad actually reject hypocritical promises of integration it must first be understood by every one that we are a religious group, and as a religious group we can in no way be equated or compared to the nonreligious civil rights groups.
We are Muslims because we believe in Allah. We are Muslims because we practice the religion of Islam. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that there is but one God, the creator and sustainer of the entire universe, the all-wise, all-powerful Supreme Being. The great God whose proper name is Allah. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad also teaches us that Islam is an Arabic word that means “complete submission to the will of Allah, or obedience to the God of truth, God of peace, the God of righteousness, the God whose proper name is Allah.” And he teaches us that the word Muslim is used to describe one who submits to God, one who obeys God. In other words a Muslim is one who strives to live a life of righteousness. You may ask what does the religion of Islam have to do with American so-called Negro’s changing attitude toward himself, toward the white man, toward segregation, toward integration, and toward separation, and what part will this religion of Islam play in the current black revolution that is sweeping the American continent today? The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that Islam is the religion of naked truth, undressed truth, truth that is not dressed up, and he says that truth is the only thing that will truly set our people free.
Truth will open our eyes and enable us to see the white wolf as he really is. Truth will stand us on our own feet. Truth will make us walk for ourselves instead of leaning on others who mean our people no good. Truth not only shows us who our real enemy is, truth also gives us the strength and the know-how to separate ourselves from that enemy. Only a blind man will walk into the open embrace of his enemy, and only a blind people, a people who are blind to the truth about their enemies, will seek to embrace or integrate with that enemy. Why, Jesus himself prophesied: You shall know the truth and it shall make you free. Beloved brothers and sisters, Jesus never said that Abraham Lincoln would make us free. He never said that the Congress would make us free. He never said that the Senate or Supreme Court or John Kennedy would make us free. Jesus two thousand years ago looked down the wheel of time and saw your and my plight here today and he knew the tricky high court, Supreme Court, desegregation decisions would only lull you into a deeper sleep, and the tricky promises of the hypocritical politicians on civil rights legislation would only be designed to advance you and me from ancient slavery to modern slavery. But Jesus did prophesy that when Elijah comes in the spirit and power of truth he said that Elijah would teach you the truth. Elijah would guide you with truth and Elijah would protect you with truth and make you free indeed. And brothers and sister, that Elijah, the one whom Jesus has said was to come, has come and is in America today in the person of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
This Elijah, the one whom they said was to come and who has come, teaches those of who are Muslims that our white slave masters have always known the truth and they have always known that truth alone would set us free. Therefore this same American white man kept the truth hidden from our people. He kept us in the darkness of ignorance. He made us spiritually blind by depriving us of the light of truth. During the four hundred years that we have spent confined to the darkness of ignorance here in this land of bondage, our American enslavers have given us an overdose of their own white-controlled Christian religion, but have kept all other religions hidden from us, especially the religion of Islam. And for this reason, Almighty God Allah, the God of our forefathers, has raised The Honorable Elijah Muhammad from the midst of our downtrodden people here in America. And this same God has missioned The Honorable Elijah Muhammad to spread the naked truth to America’s twenty million so-called Negroes, and the truth alone will make you and me free.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that there is but one God whose proper name is Allah, and one religion, the religion of Islam, and that this one God will not rest until he has used his religion to establish one world — a universal, one-world brotherhood. But in order to set up his righteous world God must first bring down this wicked white world. The black revolution against the injustices of the white world is all part of God’s divine plan. God must destroy the world of slavery and evil in order to establish a world based upon freedom, justice, and equality. The followers of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad religiously believe that we are living at the end of this wicked world, the world of colonialism, the world of slavery, the end of the Western world, the white world or the Christian world, or the end of the wicked white man’s Western world of Christianity.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that the symbolic stories in all religious scriptures paint a prophetic picture of today. He says that the Egyptian House of Bondage was only a prophetic picture of America. Mighty Babylon was only a prophetic picture of America. the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah painted only a prophetic picture of America. No one here in this church tonight can deny that America is the mightiest government on earth today, the mightiest, the richest, and the wickedest. And no one in this church tonight dare deny that America’s wealth and power stemmed from 310 years of slave labor contributed from the American so-called Negro.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that these same so-called American Negroes are God’s long-lost people who are symbolically described in the Bible as the Lost Sheep or the Lost Tribe of Israel. We who are Muslims believe in God, we believe in his scriptures, we believe in prophecy. Nowhere in the scriptures did God ever integrate his enslaved people with their slave masters. God always separates his oppressed people from their oppressor and then destroys the oppressor. God has never deviated from his divine pattern in the past and The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that God will not deviate from that divine pattern today. Just as God destroyed the enslavers in the past, God is going to destroy this wicked white enslaver of our people here in America.
God wants us to separate ourselves from this wicked white race here in America because this American House of Bondage is number one on God’s list for divine destruction today. I repeat: This American House of Bondage is number one on God’s list for divine destruction today. He warns us to remember Noah never taught integration, Noah taught separation; Moses never taught integration, Moses taught separation. The innocent must always be given a chance to separate themselves form the guilty before the guilty are executed. No one is more innocent than the poor, blind American so-called Negro who has been led astray by blind Negro leaders, and no one on earth is more guilty than the blue-eyed white man who has used his control and influence over the Negro leader to lead the rest of our people astray.
Beloved brothers and sisters here, a beautiful here at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, because of America’s evil deeds against the so-called Negroes, like Egypt and Babylon before her, America herself now stands before the bar of justice. America herself is now facing her day of judgement, and she can’t escape because God Himself is the judge. If America can’t atone for the crimes she has committed against the twenty million so-called Negroes, if she can’t undo the evils that she has brutally and mercilessly heaped upon our people these past four hundred years, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that America has signed her own doom. And you, our people, would be foolish to accept her deceitful offers of integration at this late date into her doomed society.
Can America escape? Can America atone? And if so how can she atone for these crimes? In my conclusion I must point out that The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says a desegregated theater, a desegregated lunch counter won’t solve our problem. Better jobs won’t even solve our problems. An integrated cup of coffee isn’t sufficient pay for four hundred years of slave labor. He also says that a better job, a better job in the white man’s factory, or a better job in the white man’s business, or a better job in the white man’s industry or economy is, at best, only a temporary solution. He says that the only lasting and permanent solution is complete separation on some land that we can call our own. Therefore, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that this problem can be solved and solved forever just by sending our people back to our own homeland or back to our own people, but that this government should provide the transportation plus everything else we need to get started again in our own country. This government should give us everything we need in the form of machinery, material, and finance-enough to last for twenty to twenty-five years until we can become an independent people and an independent nation in our own land. He says that if the American government is afraid to send us back to our own country and to our own people, then America should set aside some separated territory right here in the Western hemisphere where the two races can live apart from each other, since we certainly don’t get along peacefully while we are together.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says that the size of the territory can be judged according to our population. If a seventh of the population of this country is black, then give us a seventh of the territory, a seventh part of the county. And that is not asking too much because we already worked for the man for four hundred years.
He says it must not be in the desert, but where there is plenty of rain and much mineral wealth. We want fertile, productive land on which we can farm and provide our own people with food, clothing, and shelter. He says that this government should supply us on that territory with the machinery and other tools needed to dig into the earth. Give us everything we need for twenty to twenty-five years until we can produce and supply our own needs.
And in my conclusion I repeat: We want no part of integration with this wicked race of devils. But he also says we should not be expected to leave America empty-handed. After four hundred years of slave labor, we have some back pay coming. A bill that is owed to us and must be collected. If the government of America truly repents of its sins against our people and atones by giving us our true share of the land and the wealth, then America can save herself. But if America waits for God to step in and force her to make a just settlement, God will take this entire continent away from the white man. And the Bible says that God can then give the kingdom to whomsoever he pleases. I thank you.
God’s Judgement of White America (The Chickens Come Home to Roost)
Malcolm X, edited by Imam Benjamin Karim
December 4 , 1963
note – this speech was delivered before Malcolm left the Nation of Islam and accepted true Islam — so his views in this speech do not reflect his own or those he held near the end of his life.
This speech is sometimes called “The Chickens Come Home To Roost,” because of an answer Malcolm X gave in response to a question following the speech. The question concerned the late President John Kennedy. It was Malcolm X’s answer, that the Presidents death was a case of “chickens coming home to roost” — that the violence that Kennedy had failed to stop had come back to him, this resulted in the Elijah Muhammad silencing him. Malcolm X left the Nation of Islam a short time later.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that as it was the evil sin of slavery that caused the downfall and destruction of ancient Egypt and Babylon, and of ancient Greece, as well as ancient Rome, so it was the evil sin of colonialism (slavery, nineteenth-century European style) that caused the collapse of the white nations in present-day Europe as world powers. Unbiased scholars and unbiased observers agree that the wealth and power of white Europe has rapidly declined during the nineteen-year period between World War II and today.
So we of this present generation are also witnessing how the enslavement of millions of black people in this country is now bringing White America to her hour of judgment, to her downfall as a respected nation. And even those Americans who are blinded by childlike patriotism can see that it is only a matter of time before White America too will be utterly destroyed by her own sins, and all traces of her former glory will be removed from this planet forever.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that as it was divine will in the case of the destruction of the slave empires of the ancient and modern past, America’s judgement and destruction will also be brought about by divine will and divine power. Just as ancient nations paid for their sins against humanity, White America must now pay for her sins against twenty-two million “Negroes.” White America’s worst crimes her hypocrisy and her deceit. White America pretends to ask herself: “What do these Negroes want?” White America knows that four hundred years of cruel bondage has made these twenty-two million ex-slaves too (mentally) blind to see what they really want.
White America should be asking herself: “What does God want for these twenty-two million ex-slaves?” Who will make White America know what God wants? Who will present God’s plan to White America? What is God’s solution to the problem caused by the presence of twenty-two million unwanted slaves here in America? And who will present God’s solution?
We, the Muslims who follow The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, believe whole-heartedly in the God of justice. We believe in the Creator, whose divine power and laws of justice created and sustain the universe. We believe in the all-wise Supreme Being: the great God who is called “Jehovah” by the monotheistic Hebrews. We do not believe in the Trinity (or “plurality of gods”) as advocated by the Polytheistic Christians. We who are Muslims call God by his true name: Allah, the great God of the Universe, the Lord of all the worlds, the Master of the Day of Judgement. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that Allah is the true name of the divine Supreme Being, and that Islam is an Arabic word which means complete submission to God’s will, or obedience to God’s guidance.
We who are Muslims believe in this religion that is described in the Arabic language by the word “Islam.” This religion, Islam, teaches us submission to God’s will and obedience to God’s guidance. It gives us the moral discipline that makes it easy for us to walk the path of truth and righteousness. “Muslim” is an Arabic word, and it describes a person whose religion is Islam. A Muslim is one who practices complete submission and obedience to God’s will. Here in America the word “Muslim” is westernized or anglicized and pronounced “Moslem.” Muslim and Moslem are actually the same word. The true believers in Allah call themselves Muslims, but the nonbelieving infidels refer to Muslims as Moslems or Muhammadans.
Many of the weak, backsliding Muslims who come to this country have also adopted some of these same pronunciations coined for them by the infidels. But we don’t condemn these “orthodox” Muslims, because the reward of the believer, as well as the chastisement of the nonbeliever and the backslider, comes only from Allah. Allah is the only judge. He alone is master of this Day of Judgment in which we now live.
Why is the American white man so set against the twenty-two million “Negroes” learning about the religion of Islam? Islam is the religion that elevates the morals of the people who want to do right. Just by teaching us the religion of Islam, and by showing us how to live the life of a Muslim, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad is turning hundreds of thousands of Americans “Negroes” away from drunkenness, drug addiction, nicotine, stealing, lying, cheating, gambling, profanity, filth, fornication, adultery, and the many other acts of immorality that are almost inseparable from this indecent Western society. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad has restored our cultural roots, our racial identity, our racial pride, and our racial confidence. He has given us the incentive and energy to stand on our own feet and walk for ourselves.
Just as we believe in one God, whose proper name is Allah, we believe also that this one God has only one religion, the religion of Islam. We believe that we are living in the time of “prophecy fulfillment,” the time predicted by the ancient prophets of God, when this one God would use his one religion to establish one world here on earth — the world of Islam, or Muslim world…which only means: a world of universal brotherhood that will be based upon the principles of truth, freedom, justice, equality , righteousness, and peace.
But before God can set up his new world, the Muslim world, or world of Islam, which will be established on the principles to truth, peace, and brotherhood, God himself must first destroy this evil Western world, the white world…a wicked world, ruled by a race of devils, that preaches falsehood, practices slavery, and thrives on indecency and immorality. You and I are living in that great Doomsday, the final hour, when the ancient prophets predicted that God himself would appear in person, in the flesh, and with divine power He would bring about the judgement and destruction of this present evil world. The hour of judgement and doom is upon White America for the evil seeds of slavery and hypocrisy she has sown; and God himself has declared that no one shall escape the doom of this Western world, except those who accept Allah as God, Islam as his only religion, and The Honorable Elijah Muhammad as his Messenger to the twenty-two million ex-slaves here in America, twenty-two million “Negroes” who are referred to in the symbolism of the Scriptures as the Lost Sheep, the Lost Tribes, or the Lost People of God.
White America is doomed! God has declared that The Honorable Elijah Muhammad is your only means of escape. When you reject The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, when you refuse to hear his message or heed his warning you are closing your only door of escape. When you cut yourself off from him, you cut yourself off from your only way out of the divine disaster that is fast approaching White America.
Before your pride causes you to harden your heart and further close your ears, and before your ignorance provokes laughter, search the Christian Scriptures. Search even the histories of other nations that sat in the same positions of wealth, power, and authority that these white Americans now hold…and see what God did to them. If God’s unchanging laws of justice caught up with every one of the slave empires of the past, how dare you think White America can escape the harvest of unjust seeds planted by her white forefathers against our black forefathers here in the land of slavery!
According to the Scriptures, when God was going to destroy the wicked world with the flood, He first raised up a man named Noah, and missioned him as a warner to warn the wicked world that the flood was coming, and that he, Noah, was their only way out ….But their own wickedness and lust for evil made them too blind to see Noah, and they were thus destroyed by the flood of their own evil deeds. Again, when God prepared to destroy the wicked world of the Sodomites with the fire of his wrath, He first raised up a man Lot, and missioned him to warn the Sodomites of the fire that was coming to destroy them because of their evil deeds, and to let them know that Lot was their only way out….But the Sodomites’ addiction to their own lowly passions also made them too blind to see the divinity of Lot’s mission and too deaf to heed his warning. They inherited the sea of fire and brimstone as reward for their rejection of God’s servant.
Still later. when God prepared to turn his wrath upon the Egyptians, that House of Bondage, or Land of Slavery, God raised his servant Moses as a warner to the cruel slave master, Pharaoh. Moses’ message to the slave master was simple and clear: “Let my people go…Let them no longer be segregated by you; stop trying to deceive them with false promises of integration with you; let them separate themselves from you. Let them go with me to a place wherein the God of our forefathers has prepared a land for us…a land in which we can serve our own God, practice righteousness, and live in peace among our own kind.” And Moses warned Pharaoh: “If you will not let them separate from you and go with me, then our God will destroy you and your entire slave empire from the face of this earth.” Pharaoh’s wealth and power made him too proud to listen to the little inarticulate ex-slave named Moses. He ridiculed Moses’ lack of eloquence. White America’s attitude today is the same toward The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. They ridicule him because of his lack of education and his cotton-field origin in Georgia. White America chooses to listen to the Negro civil rights leaders, the Big Six. Six puppets who have been trained by the whites in white institutions and then placed over our people by these same whites as “spokesmen” for our people. These handpicked “spokesmen” do nothing but parrot for the whites exactly what they know the whites want to hear.
Pharaoh used this same strategy to oppose Moses. Pharaoh also set up puppet-magicians to parrot his lies and to deceive the Hebrew slaves into thinking that Moses was a hate-teacher, an extremist, who was advocating violence and racial supremacy simply because Moses was trying to restore unto his people their own lost culture, their lost identity, their lost racial dignity…the same as The Honorable Elijah Muhammad is trying to do among the twenty-two million “Negro” slaves here in this modern House of Bondage today. By opposing Moses, Pharaoh was actually opposing Moses’ God; thus that same God (Jehovah) was forced to drown Pharaoh in the Red Sea, destroy his slave empire, and remove the Egyptian influence from the face of this earth.
History is repeating itself today. America faces the same fate at the hands of Almighty God. That same divine handwriting is now on the walls of this modern American House of Bondage. We, the Muslims who follow The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, believe that the symbolic stories in these ancient Scriptures paint a prophetic picture of today, of America, and of the twenty-two million “Negroes” herein America….We believe that our present generation is witnessing the fulfillment of these divine prophecies, through the work being done among our people here in America today by The Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
This little, meek, humble, inarticulate ex-slave is a modern Noah, a modern Lot, a modern Moses…a modern Daniel. In fact, he is a modern David, and like ancient David The Honorable Elijah Muhammad has refused the carnal weapons of this wicked world and, armed only with a “slingshot” and “stones of truth,” this modern David is battering the head of this modern Goliath (giant America), with a doctrine that no “helmet of falsehood” or “shield of deceit” can withstand…and it is only a matter time, before The Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s gospel of truth will make this American “giant of falsehood” topple and fall for ever.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us to believe in all of the prophets (including prophet Jesus), all of the Scriptures, the resurrection of the dead (not the resurrection of the physical dead, but the resurrection of the mentally dead American Negroes); also Judgment Day and Doomsday (which only means: the judgment of this wicked world and its destruction by God himself).
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us belief but also the principles of Muslim practice:
1) We practice prayer toward the Holy City of Mecca five times daily.
2) We make charitable contributions toward the spread of Islam, or to spread this divine truth that will save our people from the destruction of this wicked Western world.
3) We practice fasting (we eat only one meal every twenty-four hours, and we abstain from all food for three days out of every month of the year…and we fast also during the holy month of Ramadan.)
4) Those of us who can afford it strive to make the pilgrimage to the Holy City, Mecca, at least once during out lifetime. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad and two of his sons made this trip in December of 1959, and others of his followers have been making it since then.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s mission as messenger is to remind America that God has not forgotten America’s crimes against his Long-Lost people, who have spent four hundred miserable years in this land of bondage. His mission is to warn America of the divine destruction that twill soon rain down upon her from the very skies above her. His mission is to warn America to repent, and to atone for her sins against God’s people…or face complete destruction and permanent removal from the face of this earth…and removal not only as a nation but removal even as a race! The Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s divine mission, his message, and his work here in America is the same as that of Noah, Lot, Moses, and Daniel. He is a warner to our white oppressor, but a savior to the oppressed. He is preaching the divine execution of the wicked slave master (whom God can justifiably hold responsible for all sins); but he preaches forgiveness and salvation for the Negro ex-slaves, who have been made so deaf, dumb, and mentally blind by the slave master that no just God could now condemn these American Negroes for their sinful, ignorant behavior.
When The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says “end of the world,” he does not mean the end of the earth; he is referring to the end of a race of “world of people,” and their removal from this earth: the removal of their world. There are many “worlds” here on this earth: the Buddhist world, Hindu world, Jewish world, Christian world — Capitalist world, Communist world, Socialist world — Eastern world and Western world — Oriental world and Occidental world — dark world and white world. Which of these many worlds has come to the end of its rope, the end of its time? Look around you at all of the signs and you will agree that it is the end of time for the Western world, the European world, the Christian world, the white world.
The time is past when the white world can exercise unilateral authority and control over the dark world. The independence and power of the dark world is on the increase; the dark world is rising in wealth, power, prestige, and influence. It is the rise of he dark world that is causing the fall of the white world. As the white man loses his power to oppress and exploit the dark world, the white man’s own wealth (power or “world”) decreases. His world is on its way down; it is on its way out…and it is the will and power of God himself that is bringing an end to the white world.
You and I were born at this turning point on history; we are witnessing the fulfillment of prophecy. Our present generation is witnessing the end of colonialism, Europeanism, Westernism, or “White-ism”…the end of white supremacy, the end of the evil white man’s unjust rule. I must repeat: The end of the world only means the end of a certain “power.” The end of colonialism ends the world (or power) of the colonizer. The end of Europeanism ends the world (or power) of the European…and the end of “White-ism” ends the world (or power) of THE WHITE MAN.
According to the Christian Bible, Judgment Day is that final hour when God will cause “those who led others into captivity to go into captivity themselves”…and “those who killed others with the sword to be killed by the sword of justice themselves.” Justice only means that the wicked slave master must reap the fruit (or harvest) of the evil seeds of slavery he has planted. This is justice! Other slave empires received justice, and now White America must receive justice. According to White America’s own evil past, which is clearly recorded on the pages of history, so shall God judge her today.
Before God can bring about this divine destruction, He must first separate the innocent from the guilty, the righteous from the wicked, the oppressed from the oppressor, the exploited from the exploiter, the slaves from the slave master. God never integrates his people with those who are not his people. The Scripture says God will separate his (black) sheep from the (white) goats, and the wheat from the tare. The goats are to be slaughtered and the tare cast to the burning flame…while the sheep are to be gathered into his pasture and the wheat into his barn.
In like manner God has prepared a Doomsday (a day of slaughter, a lake of fire) for this sinful white world of colonizers, enslavers, oppressors, exploiters, lynchers…and all others who refuse to repent and atone at the end of this white world. God has also prepared a refuge, a haven of salvation, for those who will accept his last Messenger and heed his last warning.
White America is doomed! Death and devastating destruction hang at this very moment in the skies over America. But why must her divine execution take place? Is it too late for her to avoid this catastrophe?
All the prophets of the past listed America as number one among the guilty that would be too proud, and too blind, to repent and atone when God’s last Messenger is raised in her midst to warn her. America’s last chance, her last warning, is coming from the lips of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad today. Accept him and be saved; reject him and be damned! It is written that White America will reject him; it is also written that White America will be damned and doomed… and the prophets who make these prophecies are never wrong in their divine predictions.
White America refuses to study, reflect, and learn a lesson from history; ancient Egypt didn’t have to be destroyed. It was her corrupt government, the crooked politicians, who caused her destruction. Pharaoh hired Hebrew magicians to try and fool their own people into thinking they would soon be integrated into the mainstream of that country’s life. Pharaoh didn’t want the Hebrews to listen to Moses’ message of separation. Even in that day separation was God’s solution to the “slave’s problem.” By opposing Moses, the magicians were actually choosing sides against the God of their own people.
In like manner, modern Negro magicians are hired by the American government to oppose The Honorable Elijah Muhammad today. They pose as Negro “leaders.” They have been hired by this white government (white so-called liberals) to make our people her think that integration into this doomed white society will soon solve our problem.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad warns us daily: The only permanent solution to America’s race problem is the complete separation of these twenty-two million ex-slaves from our white slave master, and the return of these ex-slaves to our own land, where we can then live in peace and security among our people. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad warns us daily: The American government is trying to trick her twenty-two million ex-slaves with promises that she never intends to keep. the Crooked politicians in the government are working with the Negro civil rights leaders, but not to solve the race problem. The greedy politicians who run this government give lip-service to the civil rights struggle only to further their own selfish interests. And their main interest as politicians is to stay in power.
In this deceitful American game of power politics, the Negroes (i.e., the race problem, the integration and civil rights issues) are nothing but tools, used by one group of whites called Liberals against another group of whites called Conservatives, either to get into power or to remain in power. Among whites here in America, the political teams are no longer divided into Democrats and Republicans. The whites who are now struggling for control of the American political throne are divided into “liberal” and “conservative” camps. The white liberals from both parties cross party lines to work together toward the same goal, and white conservatives from both parties do likewise.
The white liberal differs from the white conservative only in one way: the liberal is more deceitful than the conservative. The liberal is more hypocritical than the conservative. Both want power, but the white liberal is the one who has perfected the art of posing as the Negro’s friend and benefactor; and by winning the friendship, allegiance, and support of the Negro, the white liberal is able to use the Negro as a pawn or tool in this political “football game” that is constantly raging between the white liberals and white conservatives.
Politically the American Negro is nothing but a football and the white liberals control this mentally dead ball through tricks of tokenism: false promises of integration and civil rights. In this profitable game of deceiving and exploiting the political politician of the American Negro, those white liberals have the willing cooperation of the Negro civil rights leaders. These “leaders” sell out our people for just a few crumbs of token recognition and token gains. These “leaders” are satisfied with token victories and token progress because they themselves are nothing but token leaders.
According to a New York Herald-Tribune editorial (dated February 5,1960), out of eleven million qualified Negro voters, only 2,700,000 actually took time to vote. This means that, roughly speaking, only three million of the eleven million Negroes who are qualified to vote actually take an active part. The remaining eight million remain voluntarily inactive…and yet this small (three million) minority of Negro voters hold the decisive edge in determining who will be the next President.
If who will be the next President is influenced by only three million Negro voters, it is easy to understand why the presidential candidates of both political parties put on such a false show with the Civil Rights Bill and with false promises of integration. They must impress the three million voting Negroes who are the actual “integration seekers.” If such a fuss is made over these three million “integration seekers,” what would presidential candidates have to do to appease the eight million nonvoting Negroes, if they ever decide to become politically active? Who are the eight million nonvoting Negroes; what do they want, and why don’t they vote?
The three million Negro voters are the so-called middle-class Negroes, referred to by the late Howard University sociologist, E. Franklin Frazier, as the “black bourgeoisie,” who have been educated to think as patriotic “individualists,” with no racial pride, and who therefore look forward hopefully to the future “integrated-intermarried” society promised them by the white liberals and the Negro “leaders.” It is with this hope that the “integration-minded” three million remain an active part of the white-controlled political parties. But it must never be overlooked that these three million “integration seekers” are only a small minority of the eleven million potential Negro voters.
The eight million nonvoting Negroes are in the majority; they are the downtrodden black masses. The black masses have refused to vote, or to take part in politics, because they reject the Uncle Tom approach of the Negro leadership that has been handpicked for them by the white man. These Uncle Tom leaders do not speak for the Negro majority; they don’t speak for the black masses. They speak for the “black bourgeoisie,” the brainwashed, whiteminded, middle-class minority who are ashamed of black, and don’t want to be identified with the black masses, and are therefore seeking to lose their “black identity” by mixing, mingling, intermarrying, and integrating with the white man.
The race problem can never be solved by listening to this white-minded minority. The white man should try to learn what the black masses want, and the only way to learn what the black masses wants is by listening to the man who speaks for the black masses of America. The one man here in America who speaks for the downtrodden, dissatisfied black masses is this same man so many of our people are flocking to see and hear. This same Mr. Muhammad who is labeled by the white man as a black supremacist and as a racist.
If the three million whiter-minded Negroes are casting their ballots for integration and intermarriage, what do the nonvoting black masses want? Find out what the black masses want, and then perhaps America’s grave race problem can be solved.
Think how the late President himself got into office by only scant margin which was “donated” to him by Negro voters, and think how many governors and other white politicians hold their seats (some by less than five thousand votes). Only then can you understand the importance of these white liberals place on their control of the Negro vote! The white liberals hate The Honorable Elijah Muhammad because they know their present position in the power structure stems form their ability to deceive and to exploit the Negro, politically as well as economically.
They know that The Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s divine message will make our people (1) wake up, (2) clean up, (3) stand up. They know that once The Honorable Elijah Muhammad is able to resurrect the Negro from this mental grave of ignorance, by teaching him the truth about himself and his real enemy, the Negro will then be able to see and think for himself. Once the Negro learns to think for himself, he will no longer allow the white liberal to use him as a helpless football in the white man’s crooked game of “power politics.”
Let us examine briefly some of the tricky strategy used by white liberals to harness and exploit the political energies of the Negro. The crooked politicians in Washington, D.C., purposely make a big noise over the proposed civil rights legislation. By blowing up the civil rights issue they skillfully add false importance to the Negro civil rights “leaders.” Once the image of these Negro civil rights “leaders” has been blown up way beyond its proper proportion, these same Negro civil rights “leaders” are then used by white liberals to influence and control the Negro voters, all for the benefit of the white politicians who pose as liberals, who pose as friends of the Negro.
The white conservatives aren’t friends of the Negro either, but they at least don’t try to hide it. They are like wolves; they show their teeth in a snarl that keeps the Negro always aware of where he stands with them. But the white liberals are foxes, who also show their teeth to the Negro but pretend that they are smiling. The white liberals are more dangerous than the conservatives; they lure the Negro, and as the Negro runs from the growling wolf, he flees into the open jaws of the “smiling” fox.
The job of the Negro civil rights leader is to make the Negro forget that the wolf and the fox both belong to the (same) family. Both are canines; and no matter which one of them the Negro places his trust in, he never ends up in the White House, but always in the dog house.
The white liberals control the Negro and the Negro vote by controlling the Negro civil rights leaders. As long as they control the Negro civil rights leaders, they can also control and contain the Negro’s struggle, and they can control the Negro’s so-called revolt. The Negro “revolution” is controlled by these foxy white liberals, by the government itself. But the black revolution is controlled only by God.
The black revolution is the struggle of the nonwhites of this earth against their white oppressors. The black revolution has swept white supremacy out of Africa, out of Asia, and is getting ready to sweep it out of Latin America. Revolutions are based upon land. Revolutionaries are the landless against the landlord. Revolutions are never peaceful, never loving, never nonviolent. Nor are they ever compromising. Revolutions are destructive and bloody. Revolutionaries don’t compromise with the enemy; they don’t even negotiate. Like the flood in Noah’s day, revolution drowns all opposition, or like the fire in Lot’s day, the black revolution burns everything that gets in its path.
America is the last stronghold of white supremacy. The black revolution, which is international in nature and scope. is sweeping down upon America like a raging forest fire. It is only a matter of time before America herself will be engulfed by the b lack flames, these black fire brands. Whenever an uncontrollable forest fire is roaring down upon the farmhouse, the only way the farmer can fight that forest fire is by building a “backfire,” a smaller fire that he himself can control. He then uses this “controlled fire” to fight the fire that is raging beyond his control.
Here in America, the black revolution (the “uncontrollable forest fire”) is personified in the religious teachings, and the religious works, of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. This great man of God cannot in any way be controlled by the white man, and he will not compromise in any way with the wrongs this government has inflicted upon our people.
The Negro “revolt” is controlled by the white man, the white fox. The Negro “revolution” is controlled by this white government. The leaders of the Negro “revolution” (the civil rights leaders) are all subsidized, influenced and controlled by the white liberals; and all of the demonstrations that are taking place on this country to desegregate lunch counters, theaters, public toilets, etc., are just artificial fires that have been ignited and fanned by the white liberals in the desperate hope that they can use this artificial revolution to fight off the real black revolution that has already swept white supremacy out of Africa, Asia, and is sweeping it out of Latin America…and is even now manifesting itself also right here among the black masses in this country.
Can we prove that the Negro revolution is controlled by white liberals? Certainly!
Right after the Birmingham demonstrations, when the entire world had seen on television screens the police dogs, police clubs, and fire hoses brutalizing defenseless black women, children, and even babies, it was reported on page twenty-six in the May 15 issue of The New York Times, that the late President Kennedy and his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, during a luncheon conference with several newspaper editors from the State of Alabama, had warned these editors that they must give at least some token gains to the moderate Negro leaders in order to enhance the image of these moderate Negro leaders in the eyesight of the black masses; otherwise the masses of Negroes might turn in the direction of Negro extremists. And the late President named the Black Muslims as being foremost among the Negro extremist groups that he did not want Negroes to turn toward.
In essence, the late President told these southern editors that he was trying to build up the weak image of the Negro civil rights leaders, in order to offset the strong religious image of the Muslim leader, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. He wasn’t giving these Negro leaders anything they deserved; but he was confessing the necessity of building them up, and propping them up, in order to hold the black masses in check, keep them in his grasp, and under his control. The late President knew that once Negroes hear The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the white liberals will never influence or control or misuse those Negroes for the benefit of the white liberals any more. So the late President was faced with a desperate situation.
Martin Luther King’s image had been shattered the previous year when he failed to bring about desegregation in Albany, Georgia. The other civil rights leaders had also become fallen idols. The black masses across the country at the grass roots level had already begun to take their cases to the streets on their own. The government in Washington knew that something had to be done to get the rampaging Negroes back into the corral, back under the control of the white liberals.
The government propaganda machine began encouraging Negroes to follow only what it called “responsible” Negro leaders. The government actually meant Negro leaders who were responsible to the government, and who could therefore by controlled by the government, and be used by that same government to control their impatient people. The government knows that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad is responsible only to God and can be controlled only by God. But this white government of America doesn’t believe in God!
Let us review briefly what happened last spring: In May in Birmingham, Negroes erupted and retaliated against the whites. During the many long weeks when the police dogs and police clubs and the high-pressure water hoses were brutalizing black women and children and babies, and the Birmingham Negroes had called for the government to intervene with Federal troops, the late President did nothing but sit on his hands. He said there was nothing he could do. But when Negroes in Birmingham exploded and began to defend themselves, the late President then sent in Federal troops, not to defend the Negroes, but to defend the whites against whom the Negroes had finally retaliated.
At this point, spontaneous demonstrations began taking place all over the country. At the grass roots level Negroes began to talk about marching on Washington, tying up the Congress, the Senate, the White House, and even the airport. They threatened to bring this government to a halt. This frightened the entire white power structure. The late President called in the Negro civil rights leaders and told them to bring this “march” to a halt. The Negro civil rights leaders were forced to tell the late President that they couldn’t stop the march because they hadn’t started it. It was spontaneous, at the grass roots level across the country, and it had no leadership whatsoever. When the late President saw that he couldn’t stop the march, he joined; he endorsed it; he welcomed it; he became a part of it; and it was he who put the six Negro civil rights leaders at the head of it. It was he who made them the Big Six.
How did he do it? How did he gain control of the March on Washington? A study of his shrewd strategy will give you a glimpse of the political genius with which the Kennedy family was ruling this country from the White House, and how they used the America Negro in all of their schemes. The late President endorsed the march; that should have been the tip-off. A few days later in New York City, at the Carlysle Hotel, a philanthropic society known as the Taconic Foundation, headed by a shrewd white liberal named Stephen Currier, called a meeting of the six civil rights leaders in an effort to bring unity of action and purpose among all the civil rights groups.
After Martin Luther King had been released from his Birmingham jail cell in May, he traveled from coast to coast in fund-raising campaign for his Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Roy Wilkins then began to attack King, accusing him of stirring up trouble, saying that after the NAACP would bail out King and the other demonstrators, then King would capitalize on the trouble by taking up all the money for his own organization, leaving the NAACP to hold the bag at a great financial loss.
As King, Wilkins, and the other civil rights leaders began to fight publicly among themselves over the money they were trying to get from the white liberals, they were destroying their own leadership “image.”
The white liberal, Stephen Currier, showed them how they were destroying themselves by attacks upon each other, and it was suggested that, since most of their divisions and disagreements stemmed from competition for funds from white liberals, they should unite their fund raising efforts. Then they formed the Council for the United Civil Rights Leadership, under the pretext that it would be for fund-raising purposes. They chose the Urban League’s Whitney Young as the chairman, and the white liberal Stephen Currier became the co-chairman.
It took the white man to bring those Negro leaders together and to unite them into one group. He let them select their own chairman, but he himself became the co-chairman. This shrewd maneuver placed the white liberal and the Taconic Foundation in the position to exercise influence and control over the six civil rights leaders and, by working through them, to control the entire civil rights movement, including the March on Washington. (It also put the white liberals in a position to force the Big Six to come out against the recently proposed Christmas boycott by threatening to withdraw their financial support from the civil rights drive.)
According to the August 4 edition of The New York Times, $800,000 was split up between these six Negro civil rights leaders on June 19 at the Carlysle Hotel, and another $700,000 was promised to be given to them at a later date after the march was over, if everything went well with the march.
Public relations experts were made available to these “Six BIg Negroes,” and they were given access to the news media throughout the country. The press skillfully projected them as the leaders of the March on Washington, and as soon as the Big Six were looked upon in the public eye as the organizers of the march, and their first step was to invite four white “leaders” to become a part of the march “godhead.” This group of leaders would supposedly okay all the plans and thereby control the “direction and the mood” of the march.
These four white “leaders” represented the same factions that had put the late President in the White House: Catholics, Jews, Labor, and Protestant liberals. When the late President had learned that he couldn’t stop the march, he not only joined it himself but he encouraged all of his political bedfellows to join it. This is the way the white liberals took over the March on Washington, weakened its impact, and changed its course; by changing the participants and the contents, they were able to change the very nature of the march itself.
Example: If I have a cup of coffee that is too strong for me because it is too black, I weaken it by pouring cream into it, I integrate it with cream. If I keep pouring enough cream in the coffee, pretty soon the entire flavor of he coffee is changed; the very nature of the coffee is changed. If enough cream is poured in, eventually you don’t even know that I had coffee in this cup. This is what Happened with the March on Washington. The whites didn’t integrate it; they infiltrated it. Whites joined it; they engulfed it; they became so much a part of it, it lost its original flavor. It ceased to be a black march; it ceased to be militant; it ceased to be angry; it ceased to be impatient. In fact, it ceased to be a march. It became a picnic, an outing with a festive, circus-like atmosphere…CLOWNS AND ALL.
The government had learned that in cases where the demonstrators are predominantly black, they are extremely militant, and ofttimes very violent. But to the same degree that whites participate, violence most times is decreased. The government knew that in cases wherein blacks were demonstrating all by themselves, those blacks are so dissatisfied, disenchanted, and angry at the white man that they will ofttimes strike back violently regardless of the odds or the consequences. The white government had learned that the only way to hold these black people in check is by joining them, by infiltrating their ranks disguised as integrationist; by integrating their marches and all their demonstrations, and weakening them: in this way only could they be held in check.
The government told the marchers what time to arrive in Washington, where to arrive, and how to arrive. The government then channeled them from the arrival point to the feet of a dead President, George Washington, and then let them march from there to the feet of another dead President, Abraham Lincoln.
The original black militants had planned to march on the White House, the Senate, and the Congress and to bring all political traffic on Capitol Hill to a halt, but the shrewd politicians in Washington, realizing that those original black militants could not be stopped, joined them. By joining the marchers, the white liberals were able to lead the marchers away from the White House, the Senate, the Congress, Capitol Hill, and away from victory. By keeping them marching from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Monument, marching between the feet of two dead Presidents, they never reached the White House to see the then living President.
The entire march was controlled by the late president. The government in Washington had told the marchers what signs to carry, what songs to sing, what speeches to make, and what speeches not to make, and then told the marchers to be sure to get out o f town by sundown.
One of the Big Six leaders, John Lewis, chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, was prevented from making a very militant speech. He wanted to attack the Kennedy administration for its hypocrisy o civil rights. The speech was censored by the Rt. Rev. Patrick O’Boyle, the Catholic Archbishop of Washington, D.C.. This was a case in which the Catholic Church itself, for whom Rev. O’Boyle speaks, put itself in the position of censoring the legitimate opinion of one of the Big Six Negro civil rights leaders.
The late President’s shrewd strategy was: If you can’t beat them, join them. The Catholic President placed his Catholic bishop in a strategic position to exercise censorship over any one of the Big Six Negro leaders who tried to deviate from the script in this great “extravaganza” called the March on Washington, which the government had controlled right from the very beginning.
So, in the final analysis of the march: It would have to be classified as the best performance of the year; in fact it was the greatest performance of this century. It topped anything that Hollywood could have produced. If we were going to give out Academy Awards in 1963, we would have to give the late President an Oscar for the “Best Producer of the Year”; and to the four white liberals who participated should get an Oscar as the “Best Actors of the Year,” because they really acted like sincere liberals and fooled many Negroes. And to the six Negro civil rights leaders should go and Oscar for the “Best Supporting Cast,” because they supported the late President in his entire act, and in his entire program.
Now that the show is over, the black masses are still without land, without jobs, and without homes…their Christian churches are still being bombed, their innocent little girls murdered. So what did the March on Washington accomplish? Nothing!
The late President has a bigger image as a liberal, the other whites who participated have bigger liberal images also, and the Negro civil rights leaders have now been permanently named the Big Six (because of their participation in the Big Fix?)…but the black masses are still unemployed, still starving, and still living in the slums…and, I might add, getting angrier and more explosive every day.
History must repeat itself! Because of America’s evil deeds against these twenty-two million “Negroes,” like Egypt and Babylon before her, America herself now stands before the “bar of justice.” White America is now facing her Day of Judgment, and she can’t escape because today God himself is the judge. God himself is now the administrator of justice, and God himself is to be her divine executor!
Is it possible for America to escape this divine disaster? If America can’t atone for the crimes she has committed against the twenty-two million “Negroes,” if she can’t undo the evils she has brutally and mercilessly heaped upon our people these past four hundred years, then America has signed her own doom…and our own people would be foolish to accept her deceitful offers of integration into her doomed society at this late date!
How can America atone for her crimes? The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that a desegregated theater or lunch counter won’t solve our problems. Better jobs won’t even solve our problems. An integrated cup of coffee isn’t sufficient pay for four hundred years of slave labor, and a better job in the white man’s factory or position in his business is, at best, only a temporary solution. The only lasting or permanent solution is complete separation on some land that we can call our own.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that the race problem can easily be solved, just by sending these twenty-two million ex-slaves back to our own homeland where we can live in peace and harmony with our own kind. But this government should provide the transportation, plus everything else we need to get started again in our own country. This government should provide everything we need in machinery, materials, and finance; enough to last us for from twenty to twenty-five years, until we can become an independent people in our own country.
If this white government is afraid to let her twenty-two million ex-slaves go back to our country and to our own people, then America must set aside some separate territory here in the Western Hemisphere, where the two races can live apart from each ot her, since we certainly don’t get along peacefully while we are here together. The size of the territory can be judged according to our own population. If our people number one-seventh of America’s total population, then give us one-seventh of this land. We don’t want any land in the desert, but where there is rain and much mineral wealth. We want fertile, productive land on which we can farm and provide our own people with sufficient food, clothing, and shelter. This government must supply us with the machinery and other tools needed to dig into the earth. Give us everything we need for them for from twenty to twenty-five years, until we can produce and supply our own needs.
If we are a part of America, then part of what she is worth belongs to us. We will take our share and depart, then this white country can have peace. What is her net worth? Give us our share in gold and silver and let us depart and go back to our homeland in peace. We want no integration with this wicked race that enslaved us. We want complete separation from this race of devils. But we should not be expected to leave America and go back to our homeland empty-handed. After four hundred years of slave labor, we have some back pay coming, a bill owed to us that must be collected.
If the government of White America truly repents of its sins against our people, and atones by giving us our true share, only then can America save herself! But if America waits for Almighty God himself to step in and force her into a just settlement, God will take this entire continent away from her; and she will cease to exist as a nation. Her own Christian Scriptures warn her that when God comes He can give the “entire Kingdom to whomsoever He will”…which only means that the God of Justice on Judgment Day can give this entire continent to whomsoever He wills!
White America, wake up and take heed, before it is too late!
Malcolm X, transcribed and edited by the Malcolm X Museum and Noaman Ali
You can listen to this speech, click here [requires RealPlayer, approx. 1hr 24min].February 14, 1965
note – Malcolm delivered this speech on the very night that his home in New York was firebombed. He was terribly tired and worried, yet he still showed up all the way in Detroit– this shows his extreme courage and determination. This is probably his last speech outside of New York, and displays his intellect and honesty, as well as his ideas and understanding close to his death.
Distinguished guests, brothers and sisters, ladies and gentlemen, friends and enemies:
I want to point out first that I am very happy to be here this evening and I’m thankful [to the Afro-American Broadcasting Company] for the invitation to come here to Detroit this evening. I was in a house last night that was bombed, my own. It didn’t destroy all my clothes, not all, but you know what happens when fire dashes through — they get smoky. The only thing I could get my hands on before leaving was what I have on now.
It isn’t something that made me lose confidence in what I am doing, because my wife understands and I have children from this size on down, and even in their young age they understand. I think they would rather have a father or brother or whatever the situation may be who will take a stand in the face of any kind of reaction from narrow-minded people rather than to compromise and later on have to grow up in shame and in disgrace.
So I just ask you to excuse my appearance. I don’t normally come out in front of people without a shirt and a tie. I guess that’s somewhat a holdover from the ‘Black Muslim’ movement, which I was in. That’s one of the good aspects of that movement. It teaches you to be very careful and conscious of how you look, which is a positive contribution on their part. But that positive contribution on their part is greatly offset by too many other liabilities.
Tonight we want to discuss — and by the way, also, when I came here today I was a bit — last night, the temperature was about twenty above and when this explosion took place, I was caught in what I had on, some pajamas. And in trying to get my family out of the house, none of us stopped for any clothes at that point — twenty-degree cold. I myself was — I had gotten them into the house of the neighbor next door. So I thought perhaps being in that condition for so long I would get pneumonia or a cold or something like that, so a doctor came today — a nice doctor too — and he shot something in my arm that naturally put me to sleep. I’ve been back there asleep ever since the program started in order to get back in shape. So if I have a tendency to stutter or slow down, it’s still the effects of that drug. I don’t know what kind it was, but it was good; it makes you sleep, and there’s nothing like sleeping through a whole lot of excitement.
Tonight one of the things that has to be stressed is that which has not only the United States very much worried but which also has France, Great Britain, and most of the powers, who formerly were known as colonial powers, worried also, and that primarily is the African revolution. They are more concerned with the revolution that’s taking place on the African continent than they are with the revolution in Asia and in Latin America. And this is because there are so many people of African ancestry within the domestic confines or jurisdiction of these various governments.
There are four different types of people in the Western Hemisphere, all of whom have Africa as a common heritage, common origin, and that’s the — those of our people in Latin America, who are Black, but who are in the Spanish-speaking areas. Many of them ofttimes migrate back to Spain, the only difference being Spain has such bad economic conditions until many of the people from Latin America don’t think it’s worthwhile to migrate back there. And then the British and the French had a great deal of control in the Caribbean, in the West Indies. And so now you have many people from the West Indies migrating to both London — rather both England and France. The people from the British West Indies go to London, and those from the French West Indies go to Paris. And it has put France and England since World War II in the precarious position of having a sort of a commonwealth structure that makes it easy for all of the people in the commonwealth territories to come into their country with no restrictions. So there’s an increasing number of dark-skinned people in England and also in France.
When I was in Africa in May, I noticed a tendency on the part of the Afro-Americans to, what I call lollygag. Everybody else who was over there had something on the ball, something they were doing, something constructive. For instance, in Ghana, just to take Ghana as an example. There would be many refugees in Ghana from South Africa. But those who were in Ghana were organized and were serving as pressure groups, some were training for military — some were being trained in how to be soldiers, but others were involved as a pressure group or lobby group to let the people of Ghana never forget what’s happening to the brother in South Africa. Also you’d have brothers there from Angola and Mozambique. But all of the Africans who were exiles from their particular country and would be in a place like Ghana or Tanganyika, now Tanzania, they would be training. Their every move would still be designed to offset what was happening to their people back home where they had left.
The only difference on the continent was the American Negro. Those who were over there weren’t even thinking about these over here. This was the basic difference. The Africans, when they escaped from their respective countries that were still colonized, they didn’t try and run away from the problem. But as soon as they got where they were going, they then began to organize into pressure groups to get governmental support at the international level against the injustices they were experiencing back home.
And as I said, the American Negro, or the Afro-American, who was in these various countries, some working for this government, some working for that government, some just in business — they were just socializing, they had turned their back on the cause over here, they were partying, you know.
And when I went through one country in particular, I heard a lot of their complaints and I didn’t make any move on them.
But when I got to another country, I found the Afro-Americans there were making the same complaints. So we sat down and talked and we organized a branch in this particular country, a branch of the OAAU, Organization of Afro-American Unity. That one was the only one in existence at that time. Then during the summer, when I went back to Africa, I was able in each country that I visited, to get the Afro-American community together and organize them and make them aware of their responsibility to those of us who are still here in the lion’s den.
They began to do this quite well, and when I got to Paris and London — there are many Afro-Americans in Paris, and many in London. And in December — no, November — we organized a group in Paris and just within a very short time they had grown into a well-organized unit. And they, in conjunction with the African community, invited me to Paris, Tuesday, to address a large gathering of Parisians and Afro-Americans and people from the Caribbean and also from Africa who were interested in our struggle in this country and the rate of progress that we have been making.
But since the French government and the British government and this government here, the United States, know that I have been almost fanatically stressing the importance of the Afro-American uniting with the African and working as a coalition, especially in areas which are of mutual benefit to all of us. And the governments in these different places were frightened because they know that the Black revolution that’s taking place on the outside of their house —
And I might point out right here that colonialism or imperialism, as the slave system of the West is called, is not something that’s just confined to England or France or the United States. But the interests in this country are in cahoots with the interests in France and the interests in Britain. It’s one huge complex or combine, and it creates what’s known as not the American power structure or the French power structure, but it’s an international power structure. And this international power structure is used to suppress the masses of dark-skinned people all over the world and exploit them of their natural resources.
So that the era in which you and I have been living during the past ten years most specifically has witnessed the upsurge on the part of the Black man in Africa against the power structure.
He wants his freedom.
Now, mind you, the power structure is international, and as such, its own domestic base is in London, in Paris, in Washington, D.C., and so forth. And the outside or external phase of the revolution, which is manifest in the attitude and action of the Africans today is troublesome enough. The revolution on the outside of the house, or the outside of the structure, is troublesome enough. But now the powers that be are beginning to see that this struggle on the outside by the Black man is affecting, infecting the Black man who is on the inside of that structure. I hope you understand what I’m trying to say.
The newly awakened people all over the world pose a problem for what’s known as Western interests, which is imperialism, colonialism, racism, and all these other negative isms or vulturistic isms. Just as the external forces pose a grave threat, they can now see that the internal forces pose an even greater threat. But the internal forces pose an even greater threat only when they have properly analyzed the situation and know what the stakes really are.
Just by advocating a coalition of Africans, Afro-Americans, Arabs, and Asians who live within the structure, it automatically has upset France, which is supposed to be one of the most liberal — heh! — countries on earth, and it made them expose their hand. England the same way. And I don’t have to tell you about this country that we are living in now.
So when you count the number of dark-skinned people in the Western Hemisphere you can see that there are probably over 100 million. When you consider Brazil has two-thirds what we call colored, or nonwhite, and Venezuela, Honduras and other Central American countries, Cuba and Jamaica, and the United States and even Canada — when you total all these people up, you have probably over 100 million. And this 100 million on the inside of the power structure today is what is causing a great deal of concern for the power structure itself.
Not a great deal of concern for all white people, but a great deal of concern for most white people. See, if I said “all white people” then they would call me a racist for giving a blanket condemnation of things.
And this is true; this is how they do it. They take one little word out of what you say, ignore all the rest, and then begin to magnify it all over the world to make you look like what you actually aren’t. And I’m very used to that.
So we saw that the first thing to do was to unite our people, not only unite us internally, but we have to be united with our brothers and sisters abroad. It was for that purpose that I spent five months in the Middle East and Africa during the summer. The trip was very enlightening, inspiring, and fruitful. I didn’t go into any African country, or any country in the Middle East for that matter, and run into any closed door, closed mind, or closed heart. I found a warm reception and an amazingly deep interest and sympathy for the Black man in this country in regards to our struggle for human rights.
While I was traveling, I had a chance to speak in Cairo, or rather Alexandria, with President [Gamal Abdel-]Nasser for about an hour and a half. He’s a very brilliant man. And I can see why they’re so afraid of him, and they are afraid of him — they know he can cut off their oil. And actually the only thing power respects is power. Whenever you find a man who’s in a position to show power against power then that man is respected. But you can take a man who has power and love him all the rest of your life, nonviolently and forgivingly and all the rest of those ofttime things, and you won’t get anything out of it.
So I also had a chance to speak to President [Julius K.] Nyerere in Tanganyika, which is now Tanzania, and also [President Jomo] Kenyata — I know that all of you know him. He was the head of the Mau Mau, which really brought freedom to many of the African countries. This is true. The Mau Mau played a major role in bringing about freedom for Kenya, and not only for Kenya but other African countries. Because what the Mau Mau did frightened the white man so much in other countries until he said, “Well I better get this thing straight before some of them pop up here.” This is good to study because you see what makes him react: Nothing loving makes him react, nothing forgiving makes him react. The only time he reacts is when he knows you can hurt him, and when you let him know you can hurt him he has to think two or three times before he tries to hurt you. But if you’re not going to do nothing but return that hurt with love — why good night! He knows you’re out of your mind.
And also I had an opportunity to speak with President [Nnamdi] Azikiwe in Nigeria, President [Kwame] Nkrumah in Ghana, and President Sekou Toure in Guinea. And in all of these people I found nothing but warmth, friendship, sympathy, and a desire to help the Black man in this country in fighting our problem. And we have a very complex problem.
Now I hope you’ll forgive me for just speaking so informally tonight, but I frankly think it’s always better to be informal. As far as I am concerned, I can speak to people better in an informal way than I can with all of this stiff formality that ends up meaning nothing. Plus, when people are informal, they’re relaxed. When they’re relaxed, their mind is more open, and they can weigh things more objectively. Whenever you and I are discussing our problems we need to be very objective, very cool, calm, collected. But that doesn’t mean we should always be. There’s a time to be cool and a time to be hot. See, you got messed up into thinking that there’s only one time for everything. There’s a time to love and a time to hate. Even Solomon said that, and he was in that Book too. You’re just taking something out of the Book that fits your cowardly nature. And when you don’t want to fight, you say, “Well, Jesus said don’t fight.” But I don’t even believe Jesus said that.
Also I am very pleased to see so many who have come out to always see for yourself, where you can hear for yourself, and then think for yourself. Then you’ll be in a better position to make an intelligent judgment for yourself. But if you form the habit of listening to what others say about something or some one or reading what someone else has written about someone, somebody can confuse you and misuse you. So as Afro-Americans or Black people here in the Western Hemisphere, you and I have to learn to weigh things for ourselves. No matter what the [white] man says, you better look into it.
And a good example of why it’s so important to look into things for yourself: I was on a plane between Algiers and Geneva and it just happened that two other Americans were sitting in the two seats next to me. None of us knew each other and the other two were white, one a male, the other a female. And after we had been flying along for about forty minutes, the lady, she says, “Could I ask you a personal question?”
I said, ‘”Yes.” She said, “Well–” she had been looking at my briefcase, and she said, “Well, what does that X–” she says, “What kind of last name could you have that begins with X?” So I said, “That’s it — X.” And she said, “Well, what does the ‘M’ stand for?” I said, “Malcolm.” So she was quiet for about ten minutes, and she turned to me and she says, “You’re not Malcolm X?”
You see, we had been riding along in a nice conversation like three human beings, you know, no hostility, no animosity, just human. And she couldn’t take this, she said, “Well you’re not who I was looking for,” you know. And she ended up telling me that she was looking for horns and all that, and for someone who was out to kill all white people, as if all white people could be killed. This was her general attitude, and this attitude had been given her — this image had been given [to] her by the press.
So before I get involved in anything nowadays, I have to straighten out my own position, which is clear. I am not a racist in any form whatsoever. I don’t believe in any form of racism. I don’t believe in any form of discrimination or segregation. I believe in Islam. I am a Muslim. And there’s nothing wrong with being a Muslim, nothing wrong with the religion of Islam. It just teaches us to believe in Allah as the God. Those of you who are Christians probably believe in the same God, because I think you believe in the God who created the universe. That’s the One we believe in, the one who created the universe, the only difference being you call Him God and I — we call Him Allah. The Jews call him Jehovah. If you could understand Hebrew, you’d probably call him Jehovah too. If you could understand Arabic, you’d probably call him Allah.
But since the white man, your “friend,” took your language away from you during slavery, the only language you know is his language. You know, your friend’s language. So you call for the same God he calls for. When he’s putting a rope around your neck, you call for God and he calls for God. [Laughter and applause.] And you wonder why the one you call on never answers you.
So that once you realize that I believe in the Supreme Being who created the universe, and believe in him as being one — I also have been taught in Islam that one God only has one religion, and that religion is called Islam, and all of the prophets who came forth taught that religion — Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, all of them. And by believing in one God and one religion and all of the prophets, it creates unity. There’s no room for argument, no need for us to be arguing with each other.
And also in that religion, of the real religion of Islam — when I was in the Black Muslim movement, I wasn’t — they didn’t have the real religion of Islam in that movement. It was something else. And the real religion of Islam doesn’t teach anyone to judge another human being by the color of his skin. The yardstick that is used by the Muslim to measure another man is not the man’s color but the man’s deeds, the man’s conscious behavior, the man’s intentions. And when you use that as a standard of measurement or judgment, you never go wrong.
But when you just judge a man because of the color of his skin, then you’re committing a crime, because that’s the worst kind of judgment. If you judged him just because he was a Jew, that’s not as bad as judging him because he’s Black. Because a Jew can hide his religion. He can say he’s something else — and which a lot of them do that, they say they’re something else. But the Black man can’t hide. When they start indicting us because of our color that means we’re indicted before we’re born, which is the worst kind of crime that can be committed. The Muslim religion has eliminated all tendencies to judge a man according to the color of his skin, but rather the judgment is based upon his deeds.
And when, prior to going into the Muslim world, I didn’t have any — Elijah Muhammad had taught us that the white man could not enter into Makkah in Arabia, and all of us who followed him, we believed it. And he said the reason he couldn’t enter was because he’s white and inherently evil, it’s impossible to change him. And the only thing that would change him is Islam, and he can’t accept Islam because by nature he’s evil. And therefore by not being able to accept Islam and become a Muslim, he could never enter Makkah. This is how he taught us, you know.
So when I got over there and went to Makkah and saw these people who were blond and blue-eyed and pale-skinned and all those things, I said, “Well!” But I watched them closely. And I noticed that though they were white, and they would call themselves white, there was a difference between them and the white one over here. And that basic difference was this: in Asia or the Arab world or in Africa, where the Muslims are, if you find one who says he’s white, all he’s doing is using an adjective to describe something that’s incidental about him, one of his incidental characteristics; so there’s nothing else to it, he’s just white.
But when you get the white man over here in America and he says he’s white, he means something else. You can listen to the sound of his voice — when he says he’s white, he means he’s a boss. That’s right. That’s what “white” means in this language. You know the expression, “free, white, and twenty-one.” He made that up. He’s letting you know all of them mean the same. “White” means free, boss. He’s up there. So that when he says he’s white he has a little different sound in his voice. I know you know what I’m talking about.
This was what I saw was missing in the Muslim world. If they said they were white, it was incidental. White, black, brown, red, yellow, doesn’t make any difference what color you are. So this was the religion that I had accepted and had gone there to get a better knowledge of it.
But despite the fact that I saw that Islam was a religion of brotherhood, I also had to face reality. And when I got back into this American society, I’m not in a society that practices brotherhood. I’m in a society that might preach it on Sunday, but they don’t practice it on no day — on any day. And so, since I could see that America itself is a society where there is no brotherhood and that this society is controlled primarily by racists and segregationists — and it is — who are in Washington, D.C., in positions of power. And from Washington, D.C., they exercise the same forms of brutal oppression against dark-skinned people in South and North Vietnam, or in the Congo, or in Cuba, or in any other place on this earth where they’re trying to exploit and oppress. This is a society whose government doesn’t hesitate to inflict the most brutal form of punishment and oppression upon dark-skinned people all over the world.
To wit, right now what’s going on in and around Saigon and Hanoi and in the Congo and elsewhere. They are violent when their interests are at stake. But all of that violence that they display at the international level, when you and I want just a little bit of freedom, we’re supposed to be nonviolent. They’re violent. They’re violent in Korea, they’re violent in Germany, they’re violent in the South Pacific, they’re violent in Cuba, they’re violent wherever they go. But when it comes time for you and me to protect ourselves against lynchings, they tell us to be nonviolent.
That’s a shame. Because we get tricked into being nonviolent, and when somebody stands up and talks like I just did, they say, “Why, he’s advocating violence!” Isn’t that what they say? Every time you pick up your newspaper, you see where one of these things has written into it that I’m advocating violence. I have never advocated any violence. I’ve only said that Black people who are the victims of organized violence perpetrated upon us by the Klan, the Citizens’ Council, and many other forms, we should defend ourselves. And when I say that we should defend ourselves against the violence of others, they use their press skillfully to make the world think that I’m calling on violence, period. I wouldn’t call on anybody to be violent without a cause. But I think the Black man in this country, above and beyond people all over the world, will be more justified when he stands up and starts to protect himself, no matter how many necks he has to break and heads he has to crack.
I saw in the paper where they — on the television where they took this Black woman down in Selma, Alabama, and knocked her right down on the ground, dragging her down the street. You saw it, you’re trying to pretend like you didn’t see it ’cause you knew you should’ve done something about it and didn’t. It showed the sheriff and his henchmen throwing this Black woman on the ground — on the ground.
And Negro men standing around doing nothing about it saying, “Well, let’s overcome them with our capacity to love.” What kind of phrase is that? “Overcome them with our capacity to love.” And then it disgraces the rest of us, because all over the world the picture is splashed showing a Black woman a with some white brutes, with their knees on her holding her down, and full-grown Black men standing around watching it. Why, you are lucky they let you stay on earth, much less stay in the country.
When I saw it I dispatched a wire to Rockwell; Rockwell was one of the agitators down there, Rockwell, this [George] Lincoln Rockwell [leader of the American Nazi Party].
And the wire said in essence that this is to warn him that I am no longer held in check from fighting white supremacists by Elijah Muhammad’s separatist ‘Black Muslim’ movement. And that if Rockwell’s presence in Alabama causes harm to come to Dr. King or any other Black person in Alabama who’s doing nothing other than trying to enjoy their rights, then Rockwell and his Ku Klux Klan friends would be met with maximum retaliation from those of us who are not handcuffed by this nonviolent philosophy. And I haven’t heard from Rockwell since.
Brothers and sisters, if you and I would just realize that once we learn to talk the language that they understand, they will then get the point. You can’t ever reach a man if you don’t speak his language. If a man speaks the language of brute force, you can’t come to him with peace. Why, good night! He’ll break you in two, as he has been doing all along. If a man speaks French, you can’t speak to him in German. If he speaks Swahili, you can’t communicate with him in Chinese. You have to find out what does this man speak. And once you know his language, learn how to speak his language, and he’ll get the point. There’ll be some dialogue, some communication, and some understanding will be developed.
You’ve been in this country long enough to know the language the Klan speaks. They only know one language. And what you and I have to start doing in 1965 — I mean that’s what you have to do, because most of us already been doing it — is start learning a new language. Learn the language that they understand. And then when they come up on our doorstep to talk, we can talk. And they will get the point. There’ll be a dialogue, there’ll be some communication, and I’m quite certain there will then be some understanding. Why? Because the Klan is a cowardly outfit. They have perfected the art of making Negroes be afraid. As long as the Negro’s afraid, the Klan is safe. But the Klan itself is cowardly. One of them will never come after one of you. They all come together. Sure, and they’re scared of you.
And you sit there when they’re putting the rope around your neck saying, “Forgive them, Lord, they know not what they do.” As long as they’ve been doing it, they’re experts at it, they know what they’re doing!
No, since they federal government has shown that it isn’t going to do anything about it but talk, it is a duty, it’s your and my duty as men, as human beings, it is our duty to our people, to organize ourselves and let the government know that if they don’t stop that Klan, we’ll stop it ourselves. And then you’ll see the government start doing something about it. But don’t ever think that they’re going to do it just on some kind of morality basis, no. So I don’t believe in violence — that’s why I want to stop it. And you can’t stop it with love, not love of those things down there, no. So, we only mean vigorous action in self-defense, and that vigorous action we feel we’re justified in initiating by any means necessary.
Now, the press, behind something like that, they call us racist and people who are “violent in reverse.” This is how they psycho you. They make you think that if you try to stop the Klan from lynching you, you’re practicing “violence in reverse.” Pick up on this, I hear a lot of you all parrot what the [white] man says. You say, “I don’t want to be a Ku Klux Klan in reverse.” Well, you – heh! — if a criminal comes around your house with his gun, brother, just because he’s got a gun and he’s robbing your house, brother, and he’s a robber, it doesn’t make you a robber because you grab your gun and run him out. No, see, the man is using some tricky logic on you. And he has absolutely got a Ku Klux Klan outfit that goes through the country frightening black people. Now, I say it is time for black people to put together the type of action, the unity, that is necessary to pull the sheet off of them so they won’t be frightening black people any longer. That’s all. And when we say this, the press calls us “racist in reverse.”
“Don’t struggle — only within the ground rules that the people you’re struggling against have laid down.” Why, this is insane. But it shows you how they can do it. With skillful manipulating of the press, they’re able to make the victim look like the criminal, and the criminal look like the victim.
Right now in New York we had a couple cases where police grabbed the brother and beat him unmercifully — and then charged him with assaulting them. They used the press to make it look like he’s the criminal and they’re the victim. This is how they do it, and if you study how they do it [t]here, then you’ll know how they do it over here. It’s the same game going all the time, and if you and I don’t awaken and see what this man is doing to us, then it’ll be too late. They may have the gas ovens already built before you realize that they’re hot.
One of the shrewd ways that they use the press to project us in the eye or image of a criminal: they take statistics. And with the press they feed these statistics to the public, primarily the white public. Because there are some well-meaning persons in the white public as well as bad-meaning persons in the white public. And whatever the government is going to do, it always wants the public on its side, whether it’s the local government, state government, federal government. So they use the press to create images. And at the local level, they’ll create an image by feeding statistics to the press — through the press showing the high crime rate in the Negro community. As soon as this high crime rate is emphasized through the press, then people begin to look upon the Negro community as a community of criminals.
And then any Negro in the community can be stopped in the street. “Put your hands up,” and they pat you down. You might be a doctor, a lawyer, a preacher, or some other kind of Uncle Tom. But despite your professional standing, you’ll find that you’re the same victim as the man who’s in the alley. Just because you’re Black and you live in a Black community, which has been projected as a community of criminals. This is done. And once the public accepts this image also, it paves the way for a police-state type of activity in the Negro community. They can use any kind of brutal methods to suppress Blacks because “they’re criminals anyway.” And what has given this image? The press again, by letting the power structure or the racist element in the power structure use them in that way.
A very good example was the riots that took place here during the summer: I was in Africa, I read about them over there. If you’ll notice, they referred to the rioters as vandals, hoodlums, thieves. They tried to make it appear that this wasn’t — they tried to make it — and they did this. They skillfully took the burden off the society for its failure to correct these negative conditions in the Black community. It took the burden completely off the society and put it right on the community by using the press to make it appear that the looting and all of this was proof that the whole act was nothing but vandals and robbers and thieves, who weren’t really interested in anything other than that which was negative. And I hear many old, dumb, brainwashed Negroes who parrot the same old party line that the man handed down in his paper.
It was not the case that they were just knocking out store windows ignorantly. In Harlem, for instance, all of the stores are owned by white people, all of the buildings are owned by white people. Black people are just there, paying rent, buying the groceries. But they don’t own the stores, clothing stores, food stores, any kind of stores; don’t even own the homes that they live in. This is all owned by outsiders. And then these run down apartment dwellings, the Black man in Harlem pays more money for it than the man down in the rich Park Avenue section. It costs us more money to live in the slum, than it costs them to live down on Park Avenue. Black people in Harlem know this. And the white merchants charge us more money for food in Harlem — and it’s the cheap food, it’s the worst food; and we have to pay more money for it than the man has to pay for it downtown. So Black people know that they’re being exploited and that their blood is being sucked and they see no way out of it.
So finally, when the thing is sparked, the white man is not there; he’s gone. The merchant is not there, the landlord is not there; the one he considers to be the enemy isn’t there. So, they knock at his property. This is what makes them knock down the store windows and set fire to things, and things of that sort.
It’s not that they’re thieves. But they try and project the image to the public that this is being done by thieves, and thieves alone. And they ignore the fact that no, it is not thievery alone. It’s a corrupt, vicious, hypocritical system that has castrated the Black man; and the only way the Black man can get back at it is to strike it in the only way he knows how.
They use the press. That doesn’t mean that all reporters are bad. Some of them are good… I suppose. But you can take their collective approach to any problem and see that they can always agree when it gets to you and me. They knew that [the Afro-American Broadcasting Company was giving] this affair — which is designed to honor outstanding Black Americans, is it not? You’d find nothing in the newspapers to give the slightest hint that this affair was going to take place. Not one hint.
Why? You see, you have many sources of news. If you don’t think that they’re in cahoots, watch! They’re all interested, or none of them are interested. It’s not a staggering thing. They’re not going to say anything in advance [about an event] that’s being given by any Black people who believe in functioning beyond the scope of the ground rules that are laid down by the “liberal” element of the power structure.
When you begin to start thinking for yourself, you frighten them, and they try and block your getting to the public, for fear that if the public listens to you, then the public won’t listen to them anymore. And they’ve got certain Negroes whom they have to keep blowing up in the papers to make them look like leaders. So that the people will keep on following them, no matter how many knocks they get on their heads following him. This is how the man does it, and if you don’t wake up and find out how he does it, I tell you, they’ll be building gas chambers and gas ovens pretty soon — I don’t mean those kind you’ve got at home in your kitchen.
Another example at the international level of how skillfully they use this trickery was in the Congo. In the Congo, airplanes were dropping bombs on African villages. African villages don’t have a defense against bombs. And the pilot can’t tell who the bomb is being dropped upon. When a bomb hits a village, everything goes. And these pilots, flying planes filled with bombs, dropping these bombs on African villages, were destroying women, were destroying children, were destroying babies. You never heard any outcry over here about that.
And it had started way back in June. They would drop bombs on African villages that would blow that village apart and everything in it — man, woman, child, and baby. No outcry, no sympathy, no support, no concern, because the press didn’t project it in such a way that it would be designed to get your sympathy. They know how to put something so that you’ll sympathize with it, and they know how to put it so you’ll be against it. I’m telling you, they are masters at it. And if you don’t develop the analytical ability to read between the lines in what they’re saying, I’m telling you again — they’ll be building gas ovens, and before you wake up you’ll be in one of them, just like the Jews ended up in gas ovens over there in Germany. You’re in a society that’s just as capable of building gas ovens for Black people as Hitler’s society was.
This was mass murder in the Congo, of women and children and babies. But there was no outcry even from the white liberals, even from your “friends.” Why? Because they made it appear that it was a humanitarian project. They said that the planes were being flown by “American-trained anti-Castro Cuban pilots.” This is propaganda, too. Soon as you hear that it’s American-trained, you say, “Oh that’s all right, that’s us.” And the anti-Castro Cubans, “Oh that’s all right too, ’cause if they’re against Castro, whoever else they’re against that’s good, ’cause Castro is a monster.” But you see how step-by-step they grab your mind?
And these pilots are hired, their salaries are paid by the United States government. They’re called mercenaries, these pilots are. And a mercenary is not someone who kills you because he’s patriotic. He kills you for blood money, he’s a hired killer. This is what a mercenary means. And they’re able to take these hired killers, put them in American planes, with American bombs, and drop them on African villages, blowing to bits Black men, Black women, Black children, Black babies, and you Black people sitting over here cool like it doesn’t even involve you. You’re a fool. They’ll do it to them today, and do it to you tomorrow. Because you and I and they are all the same.
They call it a humanitarian project and that they’re doing it in the name of freedom. And all of this, these glorious terms, are used to pave the way in your mind for what they’re going to do.
Then they take Tshombe. You’ve heard of Tshombe. He’s the worst African that was ever born. The lowest type that was ever born. He’s a murderer himself. He’s the murderer of Lumumba, the former prime minister of — the first and only rightful prime minister of the Congo. He’s an international — he’s a murderer with an international stature as a murderer. Yet the United States government went and got Tshombe in Spain, and put him as the head of the Congolese government. This is criminal! Here’s a man who’s a murderer, so the United States takes him, puts him over the Congo, and supports his government with your tax dollars. Now — they hired him to occupy the position as head of state over the Congo — a killer! He is a hired killer himself! His salary’s paid by the United States government. And he turns — his first move is to bring in South Africans, who hate everything in sight. He hires those South Africans to come and kill his own Congolese people. And the United States, again, pays their salary.
You know, it’s something to think about. How do you think you would feel right now if some Congolese brothers walked up to you — and they look just like you, don’t think you don’t look Congolese. You look as much Congolese as a Congolese does. They got all kinds of Congolese over there. How would you feel if one of them walked up to you and asked you about what your government is doing in the Congo. I was asked that when I was over there. But they don’t have to come to me like that, ’cause they know where I stand automatically. And for one time I’m thankful to the press, for letting everybody know where I stand. They — but you have no explanation. Your tongue stays in your mouth. And then you have to become — you have to go to the extreme to convince them that you don’t go along with what the United States government is doing in the Congo.
And they justify the usage of Tshombe as the present head of state by saying that he’s the only African who can unite — or bring unity to the Congo. Has he brought unity to the Congo? But, see, this is their game! And their real reason for wanting Tshombe there was so that Tshombe could invite them to come in. Now, what African head of state would have dared to invite outside powers? So they put Tshombe there, and as soon as Tshombe got there he invited them to bring paratroopers from Belgium in the United States’ transport planes to try and recapture Congo.
This is all a cold-blooded act on the part of your Western powers, namely the Western powers here in the United States — interests in the United States, in England, and France, and Belgium and so forth. They want the wealth of the Congo, plus its strategic geographic position.
The step-by-step process that was used by the press: First they fanned the flame in such a manner to create hysteria in the mind of the public. And then they shift gears and fan the flame in a manner designed to get the sympathy of the public. And once they go from hysteria to sympathy, their next step is to get the public to support them in whatever act they’re getting ready to go down with. You’re dealing with a cold calculating international machine, that’s so criminal in its objectives and motives that it has the seeds of its own destruction, right within. They use the press to emphasize that white hostages are being held by [inaudible] — imagine that — or white priests, white missionaries, white nuns — they don’t say nuns: white nuns. You know what the paper said right here in Detroit: white missionaries, not just a missionary; a white nun — as if there’s a difference between a white nun and a black nun; or a white priest and a black priest; or if the light that’s in a white skin is more valuable than a light within a black skin. This is what they’re implying! And the press — look at the press when this thing was going on — and you will see what I’m talking about. They’re vicious in their whiteness.
But still, I wouldn’t judge them just ’cause they’re white, or they’d call me a racist. [I’m] judging by their deeds, by their conscious behavior — and you know how they’ve been consciously behaving in the Congo, and how they consciously behave in Vietnam, and how they consciously behave right now in Alabama and Mississippi. So you and I got to get conscious, and start behaving in a way that we can offset this thing before it’s too late — and this is what they don’t want to hear.
One more thing concerning Tshombe, if you notice — and I must — while we were over there on the African continent, in order to give you a better understanding of what is going on right here. The next thing that is good to know about Tshombe: no Congolese troops have ever won any victories, whatsoever, for the present Congolese government. Congolese soldiers won’t even fight unless they’re forced to.
But the fighters in the Congo, or the freedom fighters — the rebels from the Oriental, eastern province — they fought with stones, and sticks, and rocks, spears, and arrows. And the only time they had a gun was when they got some soldier who had it, and they’d kill him and take his gun. But they were winning, they took over two-thirds of the Congo. [I’m] showing you, they were fighting from their hearts.
The other people, their heart wasn’t in it. And because of the fighting spirit of these people, it will be impossible for Tshombe to remain as head of state over the Congo without additional troops — white troops — being constantly brought in from South Africa or elsewhere. But sooner or later, these troops are going to give out, and then America’s going to have to increase her troops like she did in South Vietnam. She’s not at war with Vietnam yet, she’s only there “advising.” They have 20,000 “advisors,” you know, on the front lines. But it’s not a war. Just — they’re in “advisory capacity.” Why, they insult the intelligence of their own public!
And they’re going to have to end up doing the same thing in the Congo, they’ll be trapped. They’ll have to eventually send American troops to occupy the Congo. ‘Cause the African freedom fighters are going to fight — they’re not going to give up one inch without fighting back. And there’s something that you should know! That they realize now on the African continent what’s at stake, and how much — what these Western powers have in common and what they’re doing in cahoots with each other behind the closed doors.
So on the African continent they are training Africans — these soldiers — so they can invade one of these countries, and take it over, and give it [back] to the rightful people.
One of the last things I must say concerning the Congo: not only do they not intend for the Congo to fall into African hands because of its mineral wealth — and it has the greatest deposits of some of the richest elements, or minerals, of any other area on this earth. They don’t intend to give it up because of its wealth; another reason they don’t intend to give it up is if you look at the map you’ll see that it is so strategically located geographically.
Wherein, if a real genuine African government were to come in power over the Congo, then it would be possible for African troops from all countries to invade Angola — which is a Portuguese possession. And if Angola fell, and it would fall, then it would only be a matter of time before South-West Africa, Southern Rhodesia, and Butuanoland also would fall. And it would put African troops right on the border of South Africa. And that’s where they really want to get, that man down there in South Africa.
And the United States’ interests are involved in blocking this, yes! Some of these liberals who grin in your face like they’re your best friends, they have money tied up in the Congo. Some of the most powerful political figures in this country, come up and governors over states, [have] got interests in the Congo, and got interests in South Africa, and got interests all over the African continent, and go there! And as the Africans awaken and realize, they — it makes them full of the incentive to never rest until that exploiter is driven out.
So, now what effect does this have on us? Why should the Black man in America concern himself — since he’s been away from the African continent for three or four hundred years — why should we concern ourselves? What impact does what happens to them have upon us? Number one, first you have to realize that up until 1959 Africa was dominated by the colonial powers. And by the colonial powers of Europe having complete control over Africa, they projected the image of Africa negatively. They projected Africa always in a negative light: jungles, savages, cannibals, nothing civilized. Why then naturally it was so negative [that] it was negative to you and me, and you and I began to hate it. We didn’t want anybody telling us anything about Africa, much less calling us Africans. In hating Africa and in hating the Africans, we ended up hating ourselves, without even realizing it. Because you can’t hate the roots of a tree and not hate the tree. You can’t hate your origin and not end up hating yourself. You can’t hate Africa and not hate yourself.
You show me one of these people over here who have been thoroughly brainwashed, who has a negative attitude toward Africa, and I’ll show you one that has a negative attitude toward himself. You can’t have a positive attitude toward yourself and a negative attitude toward Africa at the same time. To the same degree that your understanding of and attitude toward Africa becomes positive, you’ll find that your understanding of and your attitude toward yourself will also become positive. And this is what the white man knows. So they very skillfully made you and me hate our African identity, our African characteristics.
You know yourself — and we have been a people who hated our African characteristics. We hated our hair, we hated the shape of our nose — we wanted one of those long, dog-like noses, you know. Yeah. We hated the color of our skin, hated the blood of Africa that was in our veins. And in hating our features and our skin and our blood, why, we had to end up hating ourselves.
And we hated ourselves. Our color became to us a chain. We felt that it was holding us back. Our color became to us like a prison, which we felt was keeping us confined, not letting us go this way or that way. We felt that all of these restrictions were based solely upon our color. And the psychological reaction to that would have to be that as long as we felt imprisoned or chained or trapped by Black skin, Black features, and Black blood, that skin and those features and that blood that was holding us back automatically had to become hateful to us. And it became hateful to us. It made us feel inferior; it made us feel inadequate; it made us feel helpless.
And when we fell victims to this feeling of inadequacy or inferiority or helplessness, we turned to somebody else to show us the way. We didn’t have confidence in another Black man to show us the way, or Black people to show us the way. In those days we didn’t. We didn’t think a Black man could do anything but play some horn — you know, some sounds and make you happy with some songs and in that way. But in serious things, where our food, clothing, and shelter was concerned and our education was concerned, we turned to the man. We never thought in terms of bringing these things into existence for ourselves, we never thought in terms of doing things for our selves. Because we felt helpless. What made us feel helpless was our hatred for ourselves. And our hatred for ourselves stemmed from our hatred of things African.
Along about 1955 they had the Bandung Conference in Indonesia. And at that time the Africans, the Asians, the Arabs, all of the nonwhite people got together and agreed to de-emphasize their differences and emphasize what they had in common, and form a working unity. And it was the working unity — the spirit of Bandung created a working unity that made it possible for the Asians, who were oppressed, the Africans, who were oppressed, and others who were oppressed to work together toward gaining independence for these other people. And it was the spirit of Bandung that brought into existence this working unity that made it possible for nations that didn’t have a chance to become independent to come into their independence. And most of this began along in 1959.
After 1959 the spirit of African nationalism was fanned to a high flame, and we then began to witness the complete collapse of colonialism. France began to get out of French West Africa; Belgium began to make moves to get out of the Congo; Britain began to make moves to get out of Kenya, Tanganyika, Uganda, Nigeria, and some of these other places. And although it looked like they were getting out, they pulled a trick that was colossal.
In that — when you’re playing basketball and they get you trapped, you don’t throw the ball away, you throw it to one of your teammates who’s in the clear. And this is what the European powers did. They were trapped on the African continent, they couldn’t stay there; they were looked upon as colonial, imperialist. So they had to pass the ball to someone whose image was different, and they passed the ball to Uncle Sam. And he picked it up and has been running it for a touchdown ever since. He was in the clear, he was not looked upon as one who had colonized the African continent. But at that time, the Africans couldn’t see that though the United States hadn’t colonized the African continent, he had colonized twenty-two million Blacks here on this continent. Because we are just as thoroughly colonized as anybody else.
When the ball was passed to the United States, it was passed at the time when John Kennedy came into power. He picked it up and helped to run it. He was one of the shrewdest backfield runners that history has ever recorded. He surrounded himself with intellectuals — highly educated, learned, and well-informed people. And their analysis told him that the government of America was confronted with a new problem. And this new problem stemmed from the fact that Africans were now awakened, they were enlightened, and they were fearless, they would fight. So this meant that the Western powers couldn’t stay there by force. And since their own economies, the European economy and the American economy, was based upon their continued influence over the African continent, they had to find some means of staying there. So they used the “friendly” approach. They switched from the old, open colonial, imperialistic approach to the benevolent approach. They came up with some benevolent colonialism, philanthropic colonialism, humanitarianism, or dollarism. Immediately everything was Peace Corps, Crossroads, “We’ve got to help our African brothers.” Pick up on that. Can’t help us in Mississippi. Can’t help us in Alabama, or Detroit, out here in Dearborn where some real Ku Klux Klan live.
They’re going to send all the way to Africa to help. I know Dearborn; you know, I’m from Detroit, I used to live out here in Inkster. And you had to go through Dearborn to get to Inkster. Just like driving through Mississippi when you go to Dearborn. Is it still that way? [From the audience: “Yes.”] Well, you should straighten it out.
So, realizing that it was necessary to come up with these new approaches, Kennedy did it. He won — he created an image of him self that was skillfully designed to make the people on the African continent think that he was Jesus, the great white father, come to make things right. I’m telling you, some of these Negroes cried harder when he died than they cried for Jesus when he was crucified.
From 1954 to 1964 was the era in which we witnessed the emerging of Africa. The impact that this had upon the civil rights struggle in America has never been told, fully told.
For one reason — for one thing, one of the primary ingredients in the complete civil rights struggle was the ‘Black Muslim’ movement. The ‘Black Muslim’ movement, though it took no part in things political, civic — it didn’t take too much part in anything other than stopping people from doing this drinking, smoking, and so on. Moral reform it had, but beyond that it did nothing. But it talked such a strong talk until it put the other Negro organizations on the spot. Before the ‘Black Muslim’ movement came along, the NAACP was looked upon as radical; they were getting ready to investigate it. And then along came the ‘Muslim’ movement and frightened the white man so much he began to say, “Thank God for old Uncle Roy and Uncle Whitney and Uncle A. Philip and Uncle… — you’ve got a whole lot of uncles in there. I can’t remember their names, they’re all older than I, so I call them “uncle.” Plus, if you use the word “Uncle Tom” nowadays, I heard they’ll sue you for libel, you know. So I don’t call any of them Uncle Tom anymore. I call them Uncle Roy.
One of the things that made the ‘Black Muslim’ movement grow was its emphasis upon things African. This was the secret to the growth of the ‘Black Muslim’ movement. African blood, African origin, African culture, African ties. And you’d be surprised, we discovered that deep within the subconscious of the Black man in this country, he’s still more African than he is American. He thinks that he’s more American than African, because the man is jiving him, the man is brainwashing him every day. He’s telling him, “You’re an American, you’re an American.” Man, how could you think you’re an American and you haven’t ever had any kind of American treat over here? You have never, never!
Ten men can be sitting at a table eating, you know, dining, and I can come and sit down where they’re dining. They’re dining; I’ve got a plate in front of me, but nothing is on it. Because all of us are sitting at the same table, are all of us diners? I’m not a diner until you let me dine. Then I become a diner. Just being at the table with others who are dining doesn’t make me a diner, and this is what you’ve got to get in your head here in this country.
Just because you’re in this country doesn’t make you an American. No, you’ve got to go farther than that before you can become an American. You’ve got to enjoy the fruits of Americanism. You haven’t enjoyed those fruits. You’ve enjoyed the thorns. You’ve enjoyed the thistles. But you have not enjoyed the fruits, no sir. You have fought harder for the fruits than the white man has. You have worked harder for the fruits than the white man has, but you’ve enjoyed less. When the man put the uniform on you and sent you abroad, you fought harder than they did. Yeah, I know you — when you’re fighting for them, you can fight.
The ‘Black Muslim’ movement did make that contribution. They made the whole civil rights movement become more militant, and more acceptable to the white power structure. He would rather have them than us. In fact, I think we forced many of the civil rights leaders to be even more militant than they intended. I know some of them who get out there and “boom, boom, boom” and don’t mean it. Because they’re right on back in their corner as soon as the action comes.
John F. Kennedy also saw that it was necessary for a new approach among the American Negroes. And during his entire term in office, he specialized in how to psycho the American Negro. Now, a lot of you all don’t like my saying that, but I wouldn’t ever take a stand on that if I didn’t know what I was talking about. And I don’t — by living in this kind of society, pretty much around them — and you know what I mean when I say “them” — I learned to study them. You can think that they mean you some good ofttimes, but if you look at it a little closer you’ll see that they don’t mean you any good. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some of them who mean good. But it does mean that most of them don’t mean good.
Kennedy’s new approach was pretending to go along with us in our struggle for civil rights and different other forms of rights. But I remember the expose that Look magazine did on Meredith’s situation in Mississippi. Look magazine did an expose showing that Robert Kennedy and Governor Wallace — not Governor Wallace, Governor Barnett — had made a deal, wherein the attorney general was going to come down and try and force Meredith into school, and Barnett was going to stand at the door, you know, and say, “No, you can’t come in.” He was going to get in anyway. But it was all arranged in advance. And then Barnett was supposed to keep the support of the white racists, because that’s who he was holding up, and Kennedy would keep the support of the Negroes, because that’s who he’d be holding up. That’s — it was a cut-and-dried deal. And it’s not a secret; it was written, they write about it. But if that’s a deal and that’s a deal, how many other deals do you think go down? What you think is on the level is crookeder, brothers and sisters, than a pretzel, which is most crooked.
So in my conclusion I would like to point out that the approach that was used by the administration right on up until today — see, even the present generation — was designed skillfully to make it appear that they were trying to solve the problem when they actually weren’t. They would deal with the conditions, but never the cause. They only gave us tokenism. Tokenism benefits only a few. It never benefits the masses, and the masses are the ones who have the problem, not the few. That one who benefits from tokenism, he doesn’t want to be around us anyway — that’s why he picks up on the token.
You ever notice how some Negroes will brag, “I’m the only one out there, I’m the only one on my job.” Don’t you hear them say that? Yes, you ought to punch him in hi — no he’s your brother, you shouldn’t punch your brother. But you should really get him — you can punch him with some words.
Whenever you see a Negro bragging about “he’s the only one in his neighborhood,” he’s bragging. He’s telling you in essence, “I’m surrounded by white folks,” you know. “I love them, and they love me.” Oh yes. And on his job “I’m the only one on my job.” I’ve been listening to that stuff all my life, and the generation that’s coming up, they’re not going to be saying that. The generation that’s coming up, everybody is going to look like an Uncle Tom to them. And you and I have to learn that in time, so that we don’t pose that image when our people, when our young generation come up and begin to look at us.
The masses of our people still have bad housing, bad schooling, and inferior jobs, jobs that don’t compensate with sufficient salary for them to carry on their life in this world. So that the problem for the masses has gone absolutely unsolved. The only ones for whom it has been solved are people like Whitney Young, who’s supposed to be placed in the cabinet, so the rumors say. He’ll be one of the first Black cabinet men. And that answers where he’s at. And others who have been given jobs — Carl Rowan, who was put over the USIA, who is very skillfully trying to make Africans think that the problem of Black men in this country is all solved.
And this is the worst thing the white man can do to himself is to take one of these kind of Negroes and ask him, “How do your people feel, boy?” He’s going to tell that man that we are satisfied. That’s what they do, brothers and sisters. They get behind the door and tell the white man we’re satisfied. “Just keep on — keep me up here in front of them, boss, and I’ll keep ’em behind you.” That’s what they talk when they’re behind closed doors. ‘Cause, see, the white man doesn’t go along with anybody who’s not for him. He doesn’t care whether you’re for right or wrong, he wants to know, are you for him. And if you’re for him, he doesn’t care what else you’re for. As long as you’re for him, then he puts you up over the Negro community. You become the spokesman.
In your struggle it’s like standing on a revolving wheel: you’re running, but you’re not going anywhere. You run faster and faster and the wheel just goes faster and faster. You don’t ever leave the spot that you’re standing in. So, it is very important for you and me to see that the only way that our problem is going to be solved, it has to be with a solution that will benefit the masses, not the upper class — so-called “upper class.”
Actually, there’s no such thing as an upper-class Negro, because he catches the same hell as the other class Negro. All of them catch the same hell, which is one of the things that’s good about this racist system — it makes us all one.
Quickly, if you’ll notice in 1963, everyone was talking about the “centennial of progress!” I think that’s what they called it. A hundred years since the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, and everyone is celebrating how much white and Black people have learned to love each other in America. You probably remember how they were talking in January of 1963. Well, if you had stood up in January at the same time that they were talking all this talk about a good year ahead, good things ahead, and told them that by May, Birmingham would have exploded, and Bull Connor would be known as an international thug for the brutality that he heaped upon Black people; if you would tell the people in January of ’63 that John F. Kennedy would be killed for his role in everything; if you had told them in January that Medgar Evers would be murdered and nobody able to bring his killer to justice; or if you were to have told them in January of 1963 that a church would be bombed in Birmingham, with four little Black girls blown to bits while they were praying and serving Jesus — why, they would say you’re crazy.
In 1964 they started out the same way. That was the year of promise. If you were to have told them while they were talking about this great year of promise ahead, you know, civil rights and all of that, what was coming, that before long three civil rights workers would be brutally murdered and the government unable to do anything about it. A Negro educator in Georgia brutally murdered in broad daylight and the men who did it be known, and the government not able to do anything about it. If you had said this in January of ’64, they’d say you were nuts. Now they are starting out 1965 the same way. Talking about the “Great Society,” you know, “antipoverty.”
If you tell them right now what is in store for 1965, they’ll think you’re crazy for sure. But 1965 will be the longest and hottest and bloodiest year of them all. It has to be, not because you want it to be, or I want it to be, or we want it to be, but because the conditions that created these explosions in 1963 are still here; the conditions that created explosions in ’64 are still here. You can’t say that you’re not going to have an explosion and you leave the condition, the ingredients, still here. As long as those ingredients, explosive ingredients, remain, then you’re going to have the potential for explosion on your hands.
Brothers and sisters, let me tell you, I spend my time out there in the street with people, all kind of people, listening to what they have to say. And they’re dissatisfied, they’re disillusioned, they’re fed up, they’re getting to the point of frustration where they are beginning to feel: What do they have to lose? And when you get to that point you’re the type of person who can create a very dangerously explosive atmosphere. This is what’s happening in our neighborhood, to our people. I read in a poll taken by Newsweek magazine this week, saying that Negroes are satisfied. Oh yes, poll you know, in Newsweek, supposed to be a top magazine with a top pollster, talking about how satisfied Negroes are. Maybe I haven’t met the Negroes he met. Because I know he hasn’t met the ones that I’ve met.
But this is dangerous. This is where the white man does himself the most harm. He invents statistics to create an image, thinking that that image is going to hold things in check. You know why they always say Negroes are lazy? ‘Cause they want Negroes to be lazy. They always say Negroes can’t unite because they don’t want Negroes to unite. And once they put this thing in the mind, they feel that the Negro gets that into him and he tries to fulfill their image. If you say you can’t unite him, and then you come to him to unite him, he won’t unite because it’s been said that he’s not supposed to unite. It’s a psycho that they work, and it’s the same way with these statistics.
When they think that an explosive era is coming up, then they grab their press again and begin to shower the Negro public, to make it appear that all Negroes are satisfied. Because if you know that you’re dissatisfied all by yourself and ten others aren’t, you play it cool; but you know if all ten of you are dissatisfied, you get with it. Well, this is what the man knows. The man knows that if these Negroes find out how dissatisfied they really are — and all of them, even Uncle Tom is dissatisfied, he’s just playing his part for now — this is what makes them frightened. It frightens them in France, it frightens them in England, and it frightens them in the United States.
And it is for this reason that it is so important for you and me to start organizing among ourselves, intelligently, and try to find out: What are we going to do if this happens, that happens, or the next thing happens? Don’t think that you’re going to run to the man and say, “Look, boss, this is me.” Why, when the deal goes down, you’ll look just like me in his eyesight; I’ll make it tough for you. Yes, when the deal goes down, he doesn’t look at you in any better light than he looks at me.
I was on a television program in New York last week. One of the liberals did a take-off on James Farmer. Now here’s James Farmer teaching Negroes to be nonviolent and loving and all of that — why they should be patting him on the back. And instead of them patting him on the back they want to knock at him. And it put me in a position of having to defend him, which I did; I was glad to because I wanted to crack this man’s neck anyway — mentally, rather I should say intellectually.
I point these things out, brothers and sisters, so that you and I will know the importance in 1963 of being in complete unity with each other, in harmony with each other, and not letting the man maneuver us into fighting one another. The situation I have been maneuvered into right now between me and the ‘Black Muslim’ movement, is something that I really deeply regret, because I don’t think anything is more destructive than two groups of Black people fighting each other. But it’s something that can’t be avoided because it goes deep down beneath the surface, and these things wiIl come up in the very near future.
I might say this before I sit down. If you recall, when I left the ‘Black Muslim’ movement, I stated clearly that it wasn’t my intention to even continue to be aware that they existed; but that I was going to spend my time working in the non-Muslim community. But they were fearful that if they didn’t do something that perhaps many of those who were in the mosque would leave it and follow a different direction. So they had to start doing a take-off on me, plus, they had to try and silence me because of what they know that I know.
I should think that they should know me well enough to know that they certainly can’t frighten me. But when it does come to the light — excuse me for keep coughing like that, but I got some of that smoke last night — there are some things involving the ‘Black Muslim’ movement which, when they come to light, you will be shocked. The thing that you have to understand where those of us in the Black Muslim movement were concerned: all of us believed 100 percent in the divinity of Elijah Muhammad. We believed in him. We actually believed that God had taught him — right here in Detroit by the way — that God had taught him and all of that. I always thought that he believed it himself. And I was shocked when I found out that he himself didn’t believe it. And when that shock reached me, then I began to look everywhere else and try to get a better understanding of the things that confront all of us, so that we can get together in some kind of way to offset them.
I want to thank you for coming out this afternoon — this evening. I think it’s wonderful that as many of you came out, considering the blackout on the meeting that took place. Also, [Milton Henry] and the brothers who are here in Detroit are very progressive young men, and I would advise all of you to get with them in every way that you can to try and create some kind of united effort toward common goals, common objectives. Don’t let the power structure maneuver you into a time wasting battle with others when you could be involved in something that’s constructive and getting a real job done. Probably, one thing I should’ve pointed out to you, that once we formed our new organization, once we became identified with the orthodox Muslim world, we also formed a group known as the Organization of Afro-American Unity, which is designed to fight all the negative political, economic, and social conditions that exist in our neighborhood. It’s a nonreligious organization to which anyone can belong who’s interested in direct action.
And one of our first programs is to take our problem out of the civil rights context and place it at the international level, of human rights, so that the entire world can have a voice in our struggle. If we keep it at civil rights, then the only place we can turn for allies is within the domestic confines of America. But when you make it a human rights struggle, it becomes international, and then you can open the door for all types of advice and support from our brothers in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and elsewhere. So it’s very, very important — that’s our international aim, that’s our external aim.
Our internal aim is to become immediately involved in a mass voter registration drive. But we don’t believe in voter registration without voter education. We believe that our people should be educated into the science of politics, so that they will know what a vote is for, and what a vote is supposed to produce, and also how to utilize this united voting power so that you can control the politics of your own community, and the politicians that represent that community. We’re for that.
And in that line we will work with all others, even civil rights groups, who are dedicated to increase the number of Black registered voters in the South. The only area in which we differ with them is this: we don’t believe that young students should be sent into Mississippi, Alabama, and these other places without some kind of protection. So we will join in with them in their voter registration [Applause] and help to train brothers in the arts that are necessary in this day and age to enable one to continue his existence upon this earth.
I say again that I’m not a racist, I don’t believe in any form of segregation or anything like that. I’m for the brotherhood of everybody, but I don’t believe in forcing brotherhood upon people who don’t want it. Long as we practice brotherhood among ourselves, and then others who want to practice brotherhood with us, we practice it with them also, we’re for that. But I don’t think that we should run around trying to love somebody who doesn’t love us.
On Martin Luther King, Jr…
“You know, right before he was killed he came down to Selma and said some pretty passionate things against me, and that surprised me because after all it was my territory there. But afterwards he took my wife aside, and said he thought he could help me more by attacking me than praising me. He thought it would make it easier for me in the long run.”
THE MALCOLM X INTERVIEW: A PLAYBOY CLASSIC – ALEX HALEY INTERVIEWS MALCOLM X: