top of page

Malcolm X Criticizes President Kennedy on Race Issue

May 16, 1963 - Malcolm X (pictured) attacked President Kennedy today for the manner in which he has dealt with the Birmingham crisis and with race relations in general. Mr. X is the New York and Washington leader of the Black Muslims, Negro separatist movement. His attack on President Kennedy contained the following accusations: “President Kennedy did not send troops to Alabama when dogs were biting black babies. He waited three weeks until the situation exploded. He then sent troops after the Negroes had demonstrated their ability to defend themselves. In his talk with Alabama editors on Monday, Kennedy did not urge that Negroes be treated right because it is the right thing to do. Instead, he said that if the Negroes aren’t well treated, the Muslims would become a threat. Instead of attacking the Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizens’ Committees, Kennedy attacked Islam, a religion. Although he is a member of the Roman Catholic faith, which has always complained of discrimination at the hands of the Protestants, he did not open his mouth in defense of the Negroes. We [the Black Muslims] don’t want to mix with the whites, and he therefore attacked us as extremists.” Mr. X expressed his criticism of the President outside the office of Representative Edith Green, Democrat of Oregon, in response to reporters’ questions. Mrs. Green had just discussed with him the Black Muslims’ views on race relations and juvenile delinquency. Mr. X said he told Mrs. Green that in the Black Muslim view, juvenile delinquency among the Negroes would always be a problem until the “image of the black man is changed in the black man’s mind.” “We are not interested in changing the white man’s image of the black man,” he added. Two members of the District of Columbia’s Commission on Juvenile Delinquency and a member of the President’s Committee on Juvenile Delinquency also attended the meeting with Mrs. Green.


bottom of page