African-American Muslim Minister, Human Rights Activist
Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little, Muslim name El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz
African-American Muslim Minister, Human Rights Activist
Whether you are a Christian, or a Muslim, or a Nationalist, we all have the same problem. They don?t hang you because you?re a Baptist; they hang you ?cause you?re black. They don?t attack me because I?m a Muslim; they attack me ?cause I?m black. They attack all of us for the same reason -- all of us catch hell from the same enemy. We?re all in the same bag, in the same boat. We suffer political oppression, economic exploitation, and social degradation all of them from the same enemy.
You don't stick a knife in a man's back nine inches and then pull it out six inches and say you're making progress... No matter how much respect, no matter how much recognition, whites show towards me, as far as I am concerned, as long as it is not shown to every one of our people in this country, it doesn't exist for me.
If it doesn't take senators and congressmen and presidential proclamations to give freedom to the white man, it is not necessary for legislation or proclamation or Supreme Court decisions to give freedom to the Black man. You let that white man know, if this is a country of freedom, let it be a country of freedom; and if it's not a country of freedom, change it.
I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I'm a human being, first and foremost, and as such I'm for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.
It is only after slavery and prison that the sweetest appreciation of freedom can come.
Let's cool it brothers. [Spoken to his assassins, 3 men who shot him 16 times]
On that same plantation, there was the field Negro. The field Negroes ? those were the masses. There were always more Negroes in the field than there were Negroes in the house. The Negro in the field caught hell. He ate leftovers. In the house they ate high up on the hog. The Negro in the field didn't get anything but what was left of the insides of the hog.
So early in my life, I had learned that if you want something, you had better make some noise.
The detectives grilled me. They didn't beat me. They didn't even put a finger on me. And I knew it was because I hadn't tried to kill the detective. They got my address from some papers they found on me. The girls soon were picked up. Shorty was pulled right off the bandstand that night. The girls also had implicated Rudy. To this day, I have always marveled at how Rudy, somehow, got the word, and I know he must have caught the first thing smoking out of Boston, and he got away. They never got him.
The political philosophy of black nationalism means that the black man should control the politics and the politicians in his own community; no more. The black man in the black community has to be re-educated into the science of politics so he will know what politics is supposed to bring him in return. Don?t be throwing out any ballots. A ballot is like a bullet. You don?t throw your ballots until you see a target, and if that target is not within your reach, keep your ballot in your pocket.
There can be no black-white unity until there is first some black unity. There can be no workers' solidarity until there is first some racial solidarity. We cannot think of uniting with others, until after we have first united among ourselves. We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves. One can't unite bananas with scattered leaves.
This was my first lesson about gambling: if you see somebody winning all the time, he isn't gambling, he's cheating. Later on in life, if I were continuously losing in any gambling situation, I would watch very closely.
We are nonviolent with people who are nonviolent with us.
Western interests: imperialism, colonialism, exploitation, racism, and other negative -isms.
Who taught you to hate yourself?
You get freedom by letting your enemy know that you'll do anything to get your freedom; then you'll get it. It's the only way you'll get it.
If Martin Luther King, Roy Wilkins or any of these compromising Negros who say exactly what the white man wants to hear is interviewed anywhere in the country you don't get anybody to offset what they say. But whenever a black man stands up and says something that white people don't like then the first thing that man does is run around to try and find somebody to say something to offset what has just been said. This is natural but it is done.
I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it's for or against. I'm a human being first and foremost, and as such I am for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.
It isn?t the American white man who is a racist, but it?s the American political, economic and social atmosphere that automatically nourishes a racist psychology in the white man.
Looking back, I think I really was at least slightly out of my mind. I viewed narcotics as most people regard food. I wore my guns as today I wear my neckties. Deep down, I actually believed that after living as fully as humanly possible, one should then die violently. I expected then, as I still expect today, to die at any time. But then, I think I deliberately invited death in many, sometimes insane, ways.
Once you change your philosophy, you change your thought pattern. Once you change your thought pattern, you change your ? your attitude. Once you change your attitude, it changes your behavior pattern and then you go on into some action. As long as you gotta sit-down philosophy, you?ll have a sit-down thought pattern, and as long as you think that old sit-down thought you?ll be in some kind of sit-down action.
So our next move is to take the entire civil rights struggle problems into the United Nations, and let the world see that Uncle Sam is guilty of violating the human rights of 22 million Afro-Americans... Uncle Sam? and still has the audacity or the nerve to stand up and represent himself as the leader of the free world. Not only is he a crook, he?s a hypocrite. Here he is standing up in front of other people, Uncle Sam, with the blood of your and my mothers and fathers on his hands, with the blood dripping down his jaws like a bloody-jawed wolf, and still got the nerve to point his finger at other countries. You can?t even get civil rights legislation. And this man has got the nerve to stand up and talk about South Africa, or talk about Nazi Germany, or talk about Deutschland.
The field Negro was beaten from morning to night; he lived in a shack, in a hut; he wore old, castoff clothes. He hated his master. I say he hated his master. He was intelligent. That house Negro loved his master, but that field Negro ? remember, they were in the majority, and they hated the master. When the house caught on fire, he didn't try to put it out; that field Negro prayed for a wind, for a breeze. When the master got sick, the field Negro prayed that he'd die. If someone came to the field Negro and said, "Let's separate, let's run," he didn't say, "Where we going?" He'd say, "Any place is better than here."
The political, the economic philosophy of Black Nationalism only means that we have to become involved in a program of re-education to educate our people into the importance of knowing that when you spend your dollar out of the community in which you live, the community in which you spend your money becomes richer and richer; the community out of which you take your money becomes poorer and poorer.
There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.