Printed below are excerpts of a speech given by Malcolm X at the Militant Labor Forum in New York on March 29, 1964, upon his return from his first trip to Africa and the Middle East.
It is published in the pamphlet Two Speeches by Malcolm X…... Malcolm spoke as part of a symposium on the then-current effort by the New York cops and press to promote a racist scare-campaign about an alleged gang of young Black “Blood Brothers” sworn to kill whites.
Copyright 1965, 1990 by Betty Shabazz and Pathfinder Press,
reprinted by permission.
Subheadings by the Militant.
BY EL HAJJ MALIK EL SHABAZZ
I visited the Casbah in Casablanca and I visited the one in Algiers, with some of the brothers–blood brothers. They took me all down into it and showed me the suffering, showed me the conditions that they had to live under while they were being occupied by the French… They showed me the conditions that they lived under while they were colonized by these people from Europe. And they also showed me what they had to do to get those people off their back. The first thing they had to realize was that all of them were brothers; oppression made them brothers; exploitation made them brothers; degradation made them brothers; discrimination made them brothers; segregation made them brothers; humiliation made them brothers.
And once all of them realized that they were blood brothers, they also realized what they had to do, to get that man off their back. They lived in a police state, Algeria was a police state. Any occupied territory is a police state, and this is what Harlem is. Harlem is a police state. The police in Harlem–their presence is like occupation forces, like an occupying army. They’re not in Harlem to protect us; they’re not in Harlem to look out for our welfare; they’re in Harlem to protect the interests of the businessmen who don’t even live there.
The same conditions that prevailed in Algeria that forced the people, the noble people of Algeria, to resort eventually to the terrorist-type tactics that were necessary to get the monkey off their backs, those same conditions prevail today in America in every Negro community.
And I would be other than a man to stand up and tell you that the Afro-American, the Black people who live in these communities and in these conditions are ready and willing to continue to sit around nonviolently and patiently and peacefully looking for some good will to change the conditions that exist. No!…
Conditions creating resistance
You will find that there is a growing tendency among our people, among us, to do whatever is necessary to bring this to a halt. You have a man like Police Commissioner Murphy–and I’m not against the law; I’m not against law enforcement. You need laws to survive and you need law enforcement to have an intelligent, peaceful society; but we have to live in these places and suffer the type of conditions that exist from officers who lack understanding, who lack any human feeling, and lack any feeling for their fellow human being….
I’m not here to apologize for the existence of any blood brothers. I’m not here to minimize the factors that hint toward their existence. I’m here to say that if they don’t exist it’s a miracle….
If those of you who are white have the good of the Black people in this country at heart, my suggestion is that you have to realize now that the day of nonviolent resistance is over; that the day of passive resistance is over….
The next thing you’ll see here in America–and please don’t blame it on me when you see it–you will see the same things that have taken place among other people on this earth whose position was parallel to the 22 million Afro-Americans in this country.
The people of China grew tired of their oppressors and the people rose up against their oppressors. They didn’t rise up nonviolently. It was easy to say that the odds were against them but eleven of them started out and today those eleven control 800 million. They would have been told back then that the odds were against them. As the oppressor always points out to the oppressed, “the odds are against you.”
When Castro was up in the mountains of Cuba they told him the odds were against him. Today he’s sitting in Havana and all the power this country has can’t remove him.
They told the Algerians the same thing–what do you have to fight with? Today they have to bow down to Ben Bella. He came out of the jail that they put him in and today they have to negotiate with him because he knew that the one thing he had on his side was truth and time. Time is on the side of the oppressed today. It’s against the oppressor. Truth is on the side of the oppressed today, it’s against the oppressor. You don’t need anything else.
I would just like to say this in my conclusion. You’ll see terrorism that will terrify you, and if you don’t think you’ll see it, you’re trying to blind yourself to the historic development of everything that’s taking place on this earth today. You’ll see other things.
Why will you see them? Because as soon as people realize that it’s impossible for a chicken to produce a duck egg even though they both belong to the same family of fowl–a chicken just doesn’t have within its system to produce a duck egg. It can’t do it. It can only produce according to what that particular system was constructed to produce. The system in this country cannot produce freedom for an Afro-American. It is impossible for this system, this economic system, this political system, this social system, this system, period. It’s impossible for this system as it stands to produce freedom right now for the Black man in this country.
And if ever a chicken did produce a duck egg, I’m certain you would say it was certainly a revolutionary chicken!
[ i,S.I.S note: Are these ideologies even more relevant today than they were 46 years ago? Reposted from http://www.themilitant.com/2003/6706/670649.html]