Two massacres of Black people by racist police on either side of the Atlantic remind us how little Black life is valued globally. On June 24, 2022, Moroccan police humiliated, beat, and then slaughtered somewhere between 47 and 200 Black asylum seekers trying to cross over to the Spanish-held enclave of Melilla – a land bridge between the African continent and Europe. The Moroccan police were feted by both the Spanish overlords and neocolonial puppets in Morocco. A few days later, police thugs in Akron, Ohio, USA, fired 90 bullets at 25-year-old Jayland Walker as he ran away following an attempted traffic stop. Sixty of those bullets entered Walker’s body from the back. They then handcuffed his body as he lay dead on the ground. Although the killings in Melilla and Ohio add to a long, growing list of massacres of Black people globally, they have rarely been connected. To do so, to bring them together, would force the acknowledgement that not only that Black lives, African lives, don’t matter globally, but also that, as Malcolm X argued, only a global Black revolution can bring about justice.
On April 8, 1964, Malcolm X delivered a speech at the Militant Labor Forum in New York City that stressed the need for African Americans to forge a radical path for liberation through their connection with other Africans around the globe. Entitled “The Black Revolution is Part of World-wide Struggle,” the speech was delivered in the context of the 75-day filibuster of Republican senators against the impending Civil Rights Act of 1964. This Act, which would eventually pass in June 1964, was to end segregation and outlaw discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sex, and religion. But Malcolm X saw the demand for “civil rights” as misguided as he believed it would lead to the erosion of African American political power. While calling out the treachery and deception of Democrats and white liberals, Malcolm argued that the Black leaders calling for “civil rights” were spending their time “trying to prove they are Americans.” Their thinking, he stated, “is usually domestic, confined to the boundaries of America.” As such, they always saw themselves as a minority needing to beg a more-powerful majority for their rights.
Instead of civil rights, Malcolm called for “human rights.” Those who fight for human rights, he stated, “don’t look upon themselves as Americans. They look upon themselves as part of dark mankind.” Black folk are part of a global majority; “white America,” along with the white West, is actually a small group wielding an outsized power. The fight for human rights connects African Americans to the larger Black – and colonial – world.
In 1964, Malcolm saw many African Americans waking up to the deceit of the Democrats and the futility of “civil rights” in the country, but he believed they needed to make an internationalist turn. He saw Black people as the fuse that would light “America’s racial powder keg” which would, in turn, “ignite a world-wide powder keg.” At the time, the Black revolution seemed imminent; perhaps the failure of that revolution came, in part, from a rejection of Malcolm’s analysis. But from Melilla to Ohio the Black world appears to have returned to those “explosive condition[s].” For this reason, it is worth reading Malcolm X’s “The Black Revolution is Part of World-wide Struggle” today. We reprint it below.
Black Revolution is part of World-Wide Struggle
Friends and enemies, tonight I hope that we can have a little fireside chat with as few sparks as possible being tossed around. Especially because of the very explosive condition that the world is in today. Sometimes, when a person’s house is on fire and someone comes in yelling fire, instead of the person who is awakened by the yell being thankful, he makes the mistake of charging the one who awakened him with having set the fire. I hope that this little conversation tonight about the black revolution won’t cause many of you to accuse us of igniting it when you find it at your doorstep.
I’m still a Muslim, that is, my religion is still Islam. I still believe that there is no god but Allah and that Mohammad is the apostle of Allah. That just happens to be my personal religion. But in the capacity which I am functioning in today, I have no intention of mixing my religion with the problems of 22,000,000 black people in this country. Just as it’s possible for a great man whom I greatly respect, Ben Bella, to be a Muslim and still be a nationalist, and another one whom I greatly respect, Gamal Nasser, to be a Muslim and still be a nationalist, and Sukarno of Indonesia to be a Muslim and still be a nationalist, it was nationalism which enabled them to gain free- dom for their people.
I’m still a Muslim but I’m also a nationalist, meaning that my political philosophy is black nationalism, my economic philosophy is black nationalism, my social philosophy is black nationalism. And when I say that this philosophy is black nationalism, to me this means that the political philosophy of black nationalism is that which is designed to encourage our people, the black people, to gain complete control over the politics and the politicians of our own community.
Our economic philosophy is that we should gain economic control over the economy of our own community, the businesses and the other things which create employment so that we can provide jobs for our own people instead of having to picket and boycott and beg someone else for a job.
And, in short, our social philosophy means that we feel that it is time to get together among our own kind and eliminate the evils that are destroying the moral fiber of our society, like drug addiction, drunkenness, adultery that leads to an abundance of bastard children, welfare problems. We believe that we should lift the level or the standard of our own society to a higher level wherein we will be satisfied and then not inclined toward pushing ourselves into other societies where we are not wanted.
All of that aside, tonight we are dealing with the black revolution. During recent years there has been much talk about a population explosion and whenever they are speaking of the population explosion, in my opinion they are referring primarily to the people in Asia or in Africa–the black, brown, red, and yellow people. It is seen by people of the West that as soon as the standard of living is raised in Africa and Asia, automatically the people begin to reproduce abundantly. And there has been a great deal of fear engendered by this in the minds of the people of the West, who happen to be, on this earth, a very small minority.
In fact, in most of the thinking and planning of whites in the West today it’s easy to see the fear in their minds, conscious minds and subconscious minds, that the masses of dark people in the West, in the East rather, who already outnumber them, will continue to increase and multiply and grow until they eventually overrun the people of the West like a human sea, a human tide, a human flood. And the fear of this can be seen in the minds, in the actions, of most of the people here in the West in practically everything that they do. It governs political views and it governs their economic views and it governs most of their attitudes toward the present society.
Reason for Filibuster
I was listening to [Everett] Dirksen, the Senator from Illinois, in Washington, D.C. filibustering the civil-rights bill and one thing that he kept stressing over and over and over was that if this bill is passed it will change the social structure of America. Well, I know what he’s getting at, and I think that most other people today, and especially our people, know what is meant when these whites who filibuster these bills, and express fears of changes in the social structure, our people are beginning to realize what they mean.
Just as we can see that all over the world one of the main problems facing the West is race, like- wise here in America today, most of your Negro leaders as well as the whites agree that 1964 itself appears to be one of the most explosive years yet in the history of America on the racial front, on the racial scene. Not only is this racial explosion probably to take place in America, but all of the ingredients for this racial explosion in America to blossom into a world-wide racial explosion present themselves right here in front of us. America’s racial powder keg, in short, can actually fuse or ignite a world-wide powder keg.
And whites in this country who are still complacent when they see the possibilities of racial strife getting out of hand and you are complacent simply because you think you outnumber the racial minority in this country, what you have to bear in mind is wherein you might outnumber us in this country, you don’t outnumber us all over the earth.
And any kind of racial explosion that takes place in this country today, in 1964, is not a racial explosion that can be confined to the shores of America. It is a racial explosion that can ignite the racial powder keg that exists all over the planet that we call earth. Now I think that nobody would disagree that the dark masses of Africa and Asia and Latin America are already seething with bitterness, animosity, hostility, unrest, and impatience with the racial intolerance that they themselves have experienced at the hands of the white West.
And just as they themselves have the ingredients of hostility toward the West in general, here we also have 22,000,000 African- Americans, black, brown, red, and yellow people in this country who are also seething with bitterness and impatience and hostility and animosity at the racial intolerance not only of the white West but of white America in particular.
Black Nationalist Party
And by the hundreds of thousands today we find our own people have become impatient, turning away from your white nationalism, which you call democracy, toward the militant uncompromising policy of black nationalism. I point out right here that as soon as we announced we were going to start a black nationalist party in this country we received mail from coast to coast, especially from young people at the college level, the university level, who expressed complete sympathy and support and a desire to take an active part in any kind of political action based on black nationalism, designed to correct or eliminate immediately evils that our people have suffered here for 400 years.
The black nationalists to many of you may represent only a minority in the community. And therefore you might have a tendency to classify them as something insignificant. But just as the fuse is the smallest part or the smallest piece in the powder keg it is yet that little fuse that ignites the entire powder keg. The black nationalists to you may represent a small minority in the socalled Negro community. But they just happen to be composed of the type of ingredient necessary to fuse or ignite the entire black community. And this is one thing that whites–whether you call yourselves liberals or conservatives or racists or whatever else you might choose to be–one thing that you have to realize is, where the black community is concerned, although there the large majority you come in contact with may impress you as being moderate and patient and loving and long-suffering and all that kind of stuff, the minority who you consider to be Muslims or nationalists happen to be made of the type of ingredient that can easily spark the black community. This should be understood. Because to me a powder keg is nothing without a fuse.
1964 will be America’s hottest year; her hottest year yet; a year of much racial violence and much racial bloodshed. But it won’t be blood that’s going to flow only on one side. The new generation of black people that have grown up in this country during recent years are already forming the opinion, and it’s a just opinion, that if there is to be bleeding, it should be reciprocal–bleeding on both sides.[It] should also be understood that the racial sparks that are ignited here in America today could easily turn into a flaming fire abroad which only means it could engulf all the people of this earth into a giant race war. You cannot confine it to one little neighborhood, or one little community, or one little country. What happens to a black man in America today happens to the black man in Africa. What happens to a black man in America and Africa happens to the black man in Asia and to the man down in Latin America. What happens to one of us today happens to all of us. And when this is realized I think that the whites–who are intelligent even if they aren’t moral or aren’t just or aren’t impressed by legalities–those who are intelligent will realize that when ’they touch this one, they are touching all of them, and this in itself will have a tendency to be a checking factor.
The seriousness of this situation must be faced up to. I was in Cleveland last night, Cleveland, Ohio. In fact I was there Friday, Saturday and yesterday. Last Friday the warning was given that this is a year of bloodshed, that the black man has ceased to turn the other cheek, that he has ceased to be non-violent, that he has ceased to feel that he must be confined to all these restraints that are put upon him by white society in struggling for what white society says he was supposed to have had a hundred years ago.
So today, when the black man starts reaching out for what America says are his rights, the black man feels that he is within his rights–when he becomes the victim of brutality by those who are depriving him of his rights–to do whatever is necessary to protect himself. And an example of this was taking place last night at this same time in Cleveland, where the police were putting water hoses on our people there and also throwing tear gas at them and they met a hail of stones, a hail of rocks, a hail of bricks. Couple weeks ago in Jacksonville, Florida, a young teenage Negro was throwing Molotov cocktails.
Well Negroes didn’t do this ten years ago. But what you should learn from this is that they are waking up. It was stones yesterday, Molotov cocktails today; it will be hand grenades tomorrow and whatever else is available the next day. The seriousness of this situation must be faced up to. You should not feel that I am inciting someone to violence. I’m only warning of a powder-keg situation. You can take it or leave it. If you take the warning perhaps you can still save yourself. But if you ignore it or ridicule it, well death is already at your doorstep. There are 22,000,000 African-Americans who are ready to fight for independence right here. When I say fight for independence right here, I don’t mean any non-violent fight, or turn-the- other-cheek fight. Those days are gone. Those days are over.
If George Washington didn’t get independence for this country non-violently, and if Patrick Henry didn’t come up with a non- violent statement, and you taught me to look upon them as patriots and heroes, then it’s time for you to realize that I have studied your books well.
Power of Minority
Our people, 22,000,000 African- Americans, are fed up with America’s hypocritical democracy and today we care nothing about the odds that are against us. Every time a black man gets ready to defend himself some Uncle Tom tries to tell us, how can you win? That’s Tom talking. Don’t listen to him. This is the first thing we hear: the odds are against you. You’re dealing with black people who don’t care anything about odds. We care nothing about odds.
Again I go right back to the people who founded and secured the independence of this country from the colonial power of England. When George Washington and the others got ready to declare or come up with the Declaration of Independence, they didn’t care anything about the odds of the British Empire. They were fed up with taxation without representation. And you’ve got 22,000,000 black people in this country today, 1964, who are fed up with taxation without representation, and will do the same thing. Who are ready, willing and justified to do the same thing today to bring about independence for our people that your forefathers did to bring about independence for your people.
And I say your people because I certainly couldn’t include myself among those for whom independence was fought in 1776. How in the world, can a Negro talk about the Declaration of Independence when he is still singing “We Shall Overcome.” Our people are increasingly developing the opinion that we just have nothing to lose but the chains of segregation and the chains of second-class citizenship.
Struggles Will Merge
So 1964 will see the Negro revolt evolve and merge into the world-wide black revolution that has been taking place on this earth since 1945. The so-called revolt will become a real black revolution. Now the black revolution has been taking place in Africa and Asia and in Latin America. Now when I say black, I mean non-white. Black, brown, red or yellow. Our brothers and sisters in Asia, who were colonized by the Europeans, our brothers and sisters in Africa, who were colonized by the Europeans, and in Latin America, the peasants, who were colonized by the Europeans, have been involved in a struggle since 1945 to get the colonialists, or the colonizing powers, the Europeans, off their land, out of their country.
This is a real revolution. Revolution is always based on land. Revolution is never based on begging somebody for an integrated cup of coffee. Revolutions are never fought by turning the other cheek. Revolutions are never based upon love your enemy, and pray for those who spitefully use you. And revolutions are never waged singing, “We Shall Overcome.” Revolutions are based upon bloodshed. Revolutions are never fought by turning the other cheek. Revolutions are never based upon love your enemy, and pray for those who spitefully use you. And revolutions are never waged singing, “We Shall Overcome.” Revolutions are based upon bloodshed. Revolutions are never compromising. Revolutions never compromising. Revolutions are never based upon negotiations. Revolutions are never based upon any kind of tokenism whatsoever. Revolutions are never even based upon that which is begging a corrupt society or a corrupt system to accept us into it. Revolutions overturn systems, and there is no system on this earth which has proven itself more corrupt, more criminal than this system, that this system, that in 1964 still colonizes 22,000,000 African-Americans, still enslaves 22,000,000 Afro-Americans.
There is no system more corrupt than a system that represents itself as the example of freedom, the example of democracy and can go all over this earth telling other people how to straighten out their house, and you have citizens of this country who have to use bullets if they want to cast a ballot. The greatest weapon the colonial powers have used in the past against our people has always been divide and conquer.
America is a colonial power. She has colonized 22,000,000 Afro-Americans by depriving us of first-class citizenship, by depriving us of civil rights, actually by depriving us of human rights. She has not only deprived us of the right to be a citizen, she has deprived us of the right to be human beings, the right to be recognized and respected as men and women. And in this country the slack can be 50 years old and he is still a “boy.”
I grew up with white people. I was integrated before they even invented the word and I have never met white people yet–if you are around them long enough–who won’t refer to you as a “boy” or a “gal,” no matter how old you are or what school you came out of, no matter what your intellectual or professional level is. In this society we remain “boys.”
So America’s strategy is the same strategy as that which was based in the past by the colonial powers: divide and conquer. She plays one Negro leader against the other. She plays one Negro organization against the other. She makes us think we have different objectives, different goals. As soon as one Negro says something, she runs to this Negro and asks him what do you think about what he said. Why anybody can see through that today–except some of the Negro leaders.
All of our people have the same goals. The same objective. That objective is freedom, justice, equality. All of us want recognition and respect as human beings. We don’t want to be integrationists. Nor do we want to be separationists. We want to be human beings. Integration is only a method that is used by some groups to obtain freedom, justice, equality and respect as human beings. Separation is only a method that is used by other groups to obtain freedom, justice, equality or human dignity.
So our people have made the mistake of confusing the methods with the objectives. As long as we agree on objectives, we should never fall out with each other just because we believe in different methods or tactics or strategy to reach a common objective.
We have to keep in mind at all times that we are not fighting for integration, nor are we fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition as human beings. We are fighting for the right to live as free humans in this society. In fact, we are actually fighting for rights that are even greater than civil rights and that is human rights.
We are fighting for human rights in 1964. This is a shame. The civil-rights struggle has failed to produce concrete results because it has kept us barking up the wrong tree. It has made us put the cart ahead of the horse. We must have human rights before we can secure civil rights. We must be respected as humans before we can be recognized as citizens.
Among the so-called Negroes in this country, as a rule the civil-rights groups, those who believe in civil rights, they spend most of their time trying to prove they are Americans. Their thinking is usually domestic, confined to the boundaries of America, and they always look upon themselves as a minority. When they look upon themselves upon the American stage, the American stage is a white stage. So a black man standing on that stage in America automatically is in the minority. He is the underdog, and in his struggle he always uses an approach that is a begging, hat-in-hand, compromising approach.
Whereas the other segment or section in America, known as the nationalist, black nationalists, are more interested in human rights than they are in civil rights. And they place more stress on human rights than they do on civil rights. The difference between the thinking and the scope of the Negroes who are involved in the human-rights struggle and those who are involved in the civil-rights struggle–those so-called Negroes involved in the human-rights struggle don’t look upon themselves as Americans.
They look upon themselves as a part of dark mankind. They see the whole struggle not within the confines of the American stage, but they look upon the struggle on the world stage. And, in the world context, they see that the dark man outnumbers the white man. On the world stage the white man is just a microscopic minority.
So in this country you find two different types of Afro-Americans, the type who looks upon himself as a minority and you as the majority, because his scope is limited to the American scene; and then you have the type who looks upon himself as part of the majority and you as part of a microscopic minority. And this one uses a different approach in trying to struggle for his rights. He doesn’t beg. He doesn’t thank you for what you give him, because you are only giving him what he should have had a hundred years ago. He doesn’t think you are doing him any favors.
He doesn’t see any progress that he has made since the Civil War. He sees not one iota of progress because, number one, if the Civil War had freed him, he wouldn’t need civil-rights legislation today. If the Emancipation Proclamation, issued by that great shining liberal called Lincoln, had freed him, he wouldn’t be singing “We Shall Overcome” today. If the amendments to the Constitution had solved his problem, still his problem wouldn’t be here today. And even if the Supreme Court desegregation decision of 1954 was genuinely and sincerely designed to solve his problem, his problem wouldn’t be with us today.
So this kind of black man is thinking, he can see where every maneuver that America has made–supposedly to solve this problem–has been nothing but political trickery and treachery of the worst order. So today he doesn’t have any confidence in these so-called liberals. Now I know that you–all that have come in here tonight don’t call yourselves liberals. Because that’s a nasty name today. It represents hypocrisy. So these two different types of black people exist in the so-called Negro community and they are beginning to wake up and their awakening is producing a very dangerous situation.
So you have whites in the community who express sincerity when they say they want to help. Well how can they help? How can a white person help the black man solve his problem? Number one: you can’t solve it for him. You can help him solve it, but you can’t solve it for him today. One of the best ways that you can solve it–or to help him solve it— is to let the so-called Negro, who has been involved in the civil-rights struggle, see that the civil-rights struggle must be expanded beyond the level of civil rights to human rights. Once it is expanded beyond the level of civil rights to the level of human rights, it opens the door for all of our brothers and sisters in Africa and Asia, who have their independence, to come to our rescue.
Why, when you go to Washington, D.C., expecting those crooks down there to pass some kind–and that’s what they are–to pass some kind of civil-rights legislation to correct a very criminal situation, what you are doing is encouraging the black man, who is the victim, to take his case into the court that’s controlled by the criminal that made him the victim. It will never be solved in that way. Just like running from the wolf to the fox. The civil-rights struggle involves the black man taking his case to the white man’s court. But when he fights it at the human-rights level, it is a different situation. It opens the door to take Uncle Sam to the world court. The black man doesn’t have to go to court to be free. Uncle Sam should be taken to court and made to tell why the black man is not free in a so- called free society. Uncle Sam should be taken into the United Nations and charged with violating the UN charter on human rights.
You can forget civil rights. How are you going to get civil rights with men like Eastland and men like Dirksen and men like Johnson? It has to be taken out of their hands and taken into the hands of those whose power and authority exceed theirs. Washington has become too corrupt. Uncle Sam’s conscience–Uncle Sam has become bankrupt when it comes to a conscience–it is impossible for Uncle Sam to solve the problem of 22,000,000 black people in this country. It is absolutely impossible to do it in Uncle Sam’s courts–whether it is the Supreme Court or any other kind of court that comes under Uncle Sam’s jurisdiction.
The only alternative that the black man has in America today is to take it out of Senator Dirksen’s and Senator Eastland’s and President Johnson’s jurisdiction and take it downtown on the East River and place it before that body of men who represent international law and let them know that the human rights of black people are being violated in a country that professes to be the moral leader of the free world.
Any time you have a filibuster in America, in the Senate, in 1964 over the rights of 22,000,000 black people, over the citizenship of 22,000,000 black people or that will effect the freedom and justice and equality of 22,000,000 black people, it’s time for that government itself to be taken before a world court. How can you condemn South Africa? There are only 11,000,000 million of our people in South Africa, there are 22,000,000 of them here. And we are receiving an injustice which is just as criminal as that which is being done to the black people of South Africa.
So today those whites who profess to be liberals— and as far as I am concerned it’s just lip profession–you understand why our people don’t have civil rights. You’re white. You can go and hang out with another white liberal and see how hypocritical they are. While a lot of you sitting right here, know that you’ve seen whites up in a Negro’s face with flowery words and as soon as that Negro walks away you listen to how your white friend talks. We have black people who can pass as white. We know how you talk.
We can see that it is nothing but a governmental conspiracy to continue to deprive the black people in this country of their rights. And the only way we will get these rights restored is by taking it out of Uncle Sam’s hands. Take him to court and charge him with genocide, the mass murder of millions of black people in this country–political murder, economic murder, social murder, mental murder. This is the crime that this government has committed and, if you yourself don’t do something about it in time, you are going to open the doors for something to be done about it from outside forces.
I read in the paper yesterday where one of the Supreme Court Justices, Goldberg, was crying about the violation of human rights of 3,000,000 Jews in the Soviet Union. Imagine this. I haven’t got anything against Jews, but that’s their problem. How in the world are you going to cry about problems on the other side of the world when you haven’t got the problems straightened out here? How can the plight of 3,000,000 Jews in Russia be qualified to be taken to the United Nations by a man who is a Justice in this Supreme Court, and is supposed to be a liberal, supposed to be a friend of black people and hasn’t opened up his mouth one time about taking the plight of black people down here to the United Nations?
Our people are becoming more politically mature. Their eyes are coming open. They are beginning to see the trend in all of the American politics today. They notice that every time there is an election it is so close among whites that they have to count the votes over again. This happened in Massachusetts when they were running for governor, this happened in Rhode Island, it happened in Minnesota, and many other places, and it happened in the election between Kennedy and Nixon. Things are so close that any minority that has a bloc vote can swing it either way.
And I think that most students of political science agree that it was the 80 per cent support that Kennedy got from the black man in this country that enabled him to sit in the White House. Sat down there four years and the Negro was still in the doghouse. The same ones that we put in the White House have continued to keep us in the doghouse. The Negro can see that he holds the balance of power in this country politically.
It is he who puts in office the one who gets in office. Yet when the Negro helps that person get in office the Negro gets nothing in return. All he gets is a few appointments. A few handpicked Uncle Tom handkerchief-head Negroes are given big jobs in Washington, D.C. And then those Negroes come back and try and make us think that that administration is going to lead us to the promised land of integration. And the only ones whose problems have been solved have been those hand-picked Negroes. A few big Negroes got jobs who didn’t even need the jobs. They already were working. But the masses of black people are still unemployed.
The present administration, the Democratic administration, has been down there for four years. Yet no meaningful legislation has been passed by them that proposes to benefit black people in this country, despite the fact that in the House they have 257 Democrats and only 177 are Republicans. They control two thirds of the House. In the Senate there are 67 Democrats and only 33 Republicans. The Democrats control two thirds of the government and it is the Negroes who put them in a position to control the government. Yet they give the Negroes nothing in return but a few handouts in the form of appointments that are only used as window- dressing to make it appear that the problem is being solved.
Trickery and Treachery
No, something is wrong. And when these black people wake up and find out for real the trickery and the treachery that has been heaped upon us you are going to have revolution. And when I say revolution I don’t mean that stuff they were talking about last year about “ We Shall Overcome.” The Democrats get Negro support, yet the Negroes get nothing in return. The Negroes put the Democrats first, yet the Democrats put the Negroes last. ‘And the alibi that the Democrats use–they blame the Dixiecrats.
A Dixiecrat is nothing but a Democrat in disguise. You show me a Dixiecrat and I’ll show a Democrat. And chances are, you show me a Democrat and I’ll show you a Dixiecrat. Because Dixie in reality means all that territory south of the Canadian border. There are 16 Senatorial committees that run this government. Of the 16 Senatorial committees that run the government, ten of them are controlled by chairmen that are from the South. Of the 20 Congressional committees that help run the government, 12 of them are controlled by Southern segregationists.
Think of this: ten of the Senatorial committees are in the hands of the Dixiecrats, 12 of the 20 Congressional committees are in the hands of the Dixiecrats. These committees control the government. And you’re going to tell us that the South lost the Civil War? The South controls the government. And they control it because they have seniority. And they have seniority because in the states that they come from, they deny Negroes the right to vote.
If Negroes could vote south of the–yes, if Negroes could vote South of the Canadian border–south South, if Negroes could vote in the southern part of the South, Ellender wouldn’t be the head of the Agricultural and Forestry Committee, Richard Russell wouldn’t be head of the Armed Services Committee, Robertson of Virginia wouldn’t be head of the Banking and Currency Committee. Imagine that, all of the banking and currency of the government is in the hands of a cracker.
In fact, when you see how many of these committee men are from the South you can see that we have nothing but a cracker government in Washington, D.C. And their head is a cracker President. I said a cracker President. Texas is just as much a cracker state as Mississippi–and even more so. In Texas they lynch you with a Texas accent and in Mississippi they lynch you with a Mississippi accent.
And the first thing this man did when he came in office was invite all the big Negroes down for coffee. James Farmer was one of the first ones–the head of CORE. I have nothing against him. He’s all right–Farmer, that is. But could that same President have invited James Farmer to Texas for coffee? And if James Farmer went to Texas, could he have taken his white wife with him to have coffee with the President? Any time you have a man who can’t straighten out Texas, how can he straighten out the country? No, you’re barking up the wrong tree.
If Negroes in the South could vote, the Dixiecrats would lose power. When the Dixiecrats lost power, the Democrats would lose power. A Dixiecrat lost is a Democrat lost. Therefore the two of them have to conspire with each other to stay in power. The Northern Dixiecrat puts all the blame on the Southern Dixiecrat. It’s a con game. The job of the Northern Democrat is to make the Negro think that he is our friend. He is always smiling and wagging his tail and telling us how much he can do for us if we vote for him. But, at the same time he’s out in front telling us what he’s going to do, behind the door he’s in cahoots with the Southern Democrat setting up the machinery to make sure he’ll never have to keep his promise. This is the conspiracy that our people have faced in this country for the past 100 years. And today you have a new generation of black people who have come on the scene who have become disenchanted with the entire system, who have become disillusioned over the system and who are ready now and willing to do something about it. So in my conclusion in speaking about the black revolution, America today is at a time or in a day or at an hour where she is the first country on this earth that can actually have a bloodless revolution. In the past revolutions have been bloody. Historically you just don’t have a peaceful revolution. Revolutions are bloody, revolutions are violent, revolutions cause bloodshed and death follows in their paths. America is the only country in history in a position to bring about a revolution without viol- ence and bloodshed. But America is not morally equipped to do so.
Why is America in a position to bring about a bloodless revolution? Because the Negro in this country holds the balance of power and if the Negro in this country were given what the Constitution Says he is supposed to have, the added power of the Negro in this country would sweep all of the racists and the segregationists out of office. It would change the entire political structure of the country. It would wipe out the Southern segregationism that now controls America’s foreign policy, as well as America’s domestic policy.
And the only way without bloodshed that this can be brought about is that the black man has to be given full use of the ballot in everyone of the 50 states. But if the black man doesn’t get the ballot, then you are going to be faced with another man who forgets the ballot and starts using the bullet.
Revolutions are fought to get control of land, to remove the absentee landlord and gain control of the land and the institutions that flow from the land. The black man has been in a very low condition because he has had no control whatsoever over any land. He has been a beggar economically, a beggar politically, a beggar socially, a beggar even when it comes to trying to get some education. So that in the past the type of mentality that was developed in this colonial system among our people, today is being overcome. And as the young ones come up they know what they want. And as they listen to your beautiful preaching about democracy and all those other flowery words, they know what they’re supposed to have.
So you have a people today who not only know what they want, but also know what they are supposed to have. And they themselves are creating another generation that is coming up that not only will know what it wants and know what it should have, but also will be ready and willing to do whatever is necessary to see that what they should have materializes immediately. Thank you.