Malcolm Little, May 19, 1925, Omaha, Nebraska
El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, February 21, 1965, Audubon Ballroom, Harlem,
New York City
York City, December 4, 1963
Edited by Benjamin Karim
this speech was delivered, Malcolm X was at the height of his influence
as a minister and spokesman for the Nation of Islam. He was largely credited
with increasing NOI national membership to 30,000 from an estimated 500
in 1952, the year Malcolm left prison as a follower of the Honorable Elijah
after making this speech, Malcolm was asked his opinion on the assassination
of President John F. Kennedy, the previous month. Malcolm replied that
Kennedy “never foresaw that the chickens would come home to roost
so soon" – the reason some call this Malcolm’s “Chickens
Come Home To Roost” speech. The remark set off a firestorm, leading
Elijah Muhammad to sentence his spokesman to 90 days of silence. Malcolm
formally broke with the NOI in March 1964, to found the Muslim Mosque,
Inc. (See the
Malcolm X Web Site.)
Karim, Malcolm’s Assistant Minister, edited this speech. We have
taken the liberty of beginning the text about one-third the way into the
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.
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
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 here think that integration into this doomed white
society will soon solve our problem.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 politics 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.
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
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.
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.
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, white-minded, 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.
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 want 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
If the three
million white-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
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!
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.
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
Let us examine
briefly some of the tricky strategy used by white liberals to harness
and exploit the political energies of the Negro.
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.
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.
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.
"revolution" is controlled by these foxy white liberals, by
the government itself. But the black revolution is controlled only by
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.
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 black flames, these black firebrands.
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.
"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!
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.
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.
President knew that once Negroes heard 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 American Negro in all of their schemes.
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
Luther King had been released from his Birmingham jail cell in May, he
traveled from coast to coast in a 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.
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."
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
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.
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.)
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.
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, 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.
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.
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 the 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.
had learned that in cases where the demonstrators are predominantly black,
they are extremely militant, and oft-times 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 oft-times 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 integrationists; by integrating
their marches and all their demonstrations, and weakening them: in this
way only could they be held in check.
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.
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.
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 of 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 on civil rights.
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.
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 go 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 an Oscar for the "Best Supporting Cast," because they
supported the late President in his entire act, and in his entire program.
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
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.
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.
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 other, since we certainly don't get along peacefully while
we are here together.
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
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!
wake up and take heed, before it is too late!