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Malcolm X Speaks Out

June 15, 1964 - Malcolm X sat in a Harlem restaurant and spooned up a banana split as he talked about reciprocal dying, guerrilla fighting, revolution, and his new Pan African organization.

Malcolm, the former chief spokesman for Elijah Muhammad, head of the Black Muslim separatist sect, said he has discarded the unyielding “hate white” philosophy of that group.

His conversation, however, indicated that he still regards the white man as the No. 1 enemy of the Negroes and that his course will be to fight that enemy with all his energy.

“I reserve the right to do whatever, wherever, whenever, and however is necessary to get results,” he said.

No change resulted from his pilgrimage to Mecca, Malcolm said. He remains angered by the American Negro’s condition and thinks only a revolution will correct it.

“When you have a political system which is not capable of producing freedom for Negroes because it was founded to produce freedom for whites,” he said, “then you must change it. And you don’t change it by getting on your knees and singing ‘We Shall Overcome’ for 100 years.”

His political group, separate from his exclusively black Muslim Mosque Inc., so that it can attract other peoples as well as American Negroes, will not advocate or initiate violence, Malcolm said.

“The last thing the Negro wants to do is violence, but he must protect himself,” Malcolm said. “When you start talking freedom, you have to talk about dying a little too. Reciprocal dying, I mean. When a black man dies, a white man should die. Suffering is all right, and nonviolence is all right too, as long as they are reciprocal.”

Malcolm insisted that Negroes “should form vigilante committees — anything to protect themselves.” “People aren’t using much foresight,” he said, “if they don’t see guerrilla warfare as the next step in the civil rights struggle.”


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