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Malcolm X Announces Revised Goals

May 23, 1964 - Malcolm X said tonight that he now rejected separation of the races as a goal for the Negro because of a “spiritual rebirth” in which he had found a new kind of brotherhood.

“Separation is not the goal of the Afro-American,” Malcolm told a mixed audience of 1,500 in the Chicago Opera House. “Nor is integration the goal. They are merely methods toward his real end — respect and recognition as a human being.”

The black nationalist leader from New York said he had experienced a “spiritual rebirth” during a five-week tour of the Middle East and Africa, during which he visited Mecca.

“I saw a spirit of unity and brotherhood between blue-eyed blondes and dark-skinned Negroes that I have never seen before,” he said.

“In the past,” he added, “I committed myself to the indictment of all whites. But no longer do I subscribe to a sweeping indictment of any race.”

Malcolm is former leader of the New York mosque of Black Muslims. This group is a religious sect seeking a separate homeland apart from white-dominated society.

Malcolm made the statements tonight during a debate with Louis Lomax, the Negro author. The men agreed on their necessity for dignity and freedom for Negroes but differed in their approaches to the civil rights movement.

At one point, Mr. Lomax said: “I hate to admit this, Malcolm, but you’ve become a moderate.”

In his opening statements, Malcolm chided the U.S. Government as preaching integration but allowing racism and as being afraid to take the racial issue to the United Nations.

“We cannot expect the help of our black brothers in Africa as long as civil rights is an issue,” he said.

“I propose we lift the issue of civil rights to the level of human rights by bringing it before the United Nations.”

Malcolm called President Johnson “as much a Dixiecrat as a Democrat.”

His greatest applause came when he said that “unless the race issue is quickly settled, the 20 million American Negroes could easily adopt the guerrilla tactics of other deprived revolutionaries around the world.”

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