Printable Version

Malcolm X speech
Digital History ID 3619

Author:   Malcolm X
Date:1963

Annotation: Malcolm X (1925-1965) was one of the most prominent black leaders in the history of the United States. “This speech was delivered before Malcolm left the Nation of Islam and accepted true Islam. His views do not reflect his own or those he held near the end of his life.”


Document: The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that as it was the evil sin of slavery that caused the downfall and destruction of ancient Egypt and Babylon, and of ancient Greece, as well as ancient Rome, so it was the evil sin of colonialism (slavery, nineteenth-century European style) that caused the collapse of the white nations in present-day Europe as world powers. Unbiased scholars and unbiased observers agree that the wealth and power of white Europe has rapidly declined during the nineteen-year period between World War II and today.

So we of this present generation are also witnessing how the enslavement of millions of black people in this country is now bringing White America to her hour of judgment, to her downfall as a respected nation. And even those Americans who are blinded by childlike patriotism can see that it is only a matter of time before White America too will be utterly destroyed by her own sins, and all traces of her former glory will be removed from this planet forever.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that as it was divine will in the case of the destruction of the slave empires of the ancient and modern past, America's judgement and destruction will also be brought about by divine will and divine power. Just as ancient nations paid for their sins against humanity, White America must now pay for her sins against twenty-two million "Negroes." White America's worst crimes her hypocrisy and her deceit. White America pretends to ask herself: "What do these Negroes want?" White America knows that four hundred years of cruel bondage has made these twenty-two million ex-slaves too (mentally) blind to see what they really want.

White America should be asking herself: "What does God want for these twenty-two million ex-slaves?" Who will make White America know what God wants? Who will present God's plan to White America? What is God's solution to the problem caused by the presence of twenty-two million unwanted slaves here in America? And who will present God's solution?

We, the Muslims who follow The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, believe whole-heartedly in the God of justice. We believe in the Creator, whose divine power and laws of justice created and sustain the universe. We believe in the all-wise Supreme Being: the great God who is called "Jehovah" by the monotheistic Hebrews. We do not believe in the Trinity (or "plurality of gods") as advocated by the Polytheistic Christians. We who are Muslims call God by his true name: Allah, the great God of the Universe, the Lord of all the worlds, the Master of the Day of Judgement. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that Allah is the true name of the divine Supreme Being, and that Islam is an Arabic word which means complete submission to God's will, or obedience to God's guidance.

We who are Muslims believe in this religion that is described in the Arabic language by the word "Islam." This religion, Islam, teaches us submission to God's will and obedience to God's guidance. It gives us the moral discipline that makes it easy for us to walk the path of truth and righteousness. "Muslim" is an Arabic word, and it describes a person whose religion is Islam. A Muslim is one who practices complete submission and obedience to God's will. Here in America the word "Muslim" is westernized or anglicized and pronounced "Moslem." Muslim and Moslem are actually the same word. The true believers in Allah call themselves Muslims, but the nonbelieving infidels refer to Muslims as Moslems or Muhammadans.

Many of the weak, backsliding Muslims who come to this country have also adopted some of these same pronunciations coined for them by the infidels. But we don't condemn these "orthodox" Muslims, because the reward of the believer, as well as the chastisement of the nonbeliever and the backslider, comes only from Allah. Allah is the only judge. He alone is master of this Day of Judgment in which we now live.

Why is the American white man so set against the twenty-two million "Negroes" learning about the religion of Islam? Islam is the religion that elevates the morals of the people who want to do right. Just by teaching us the religion of Islam, and by showing us how to live the life of a Muslim, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad is turning hundreds of thousands of Americans "Negroes" away from drunkenness, drug addiction, nicotine, stealing, lying, cheating, gambling, profanity, filth, fornication, adultery, and the many other acts of immorality that are almost inseparable from this indecent Western society. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad has restored our cultural roots, our racial identity, our racial pride, and our racial confidence. He has given us the incentive and energy to stand on our own feet and walk for ourselves.

Just as we believe in one God, whose proper name is Allah, we believe also that this one God has only one religion, the religion of Islam. We believe that we are living in the time of "prophecy fulfillment," the time predicted by the ancient prophets of God, when this one God would use his one religion to establish one world here on earth -- the world of Islam, or Muslim world...which only means: a world of universal brotherhood that will be based upon the principles of truth, freedom, justice, equality , righteousness, and peace.

But before God can set up his new world, the Muslim world, or world of Islam, which will be established on the principles to truth, peace, and brotherhood, God himself must first destroy this evil Western world, the white world...a wicked world, ruled by a race of devils, that preaches falsehood, practices slavery, and thrives on indecency and immorality. You and I are living in that great Doomsday, the final hour, when the ancient prophets predicted that God himself would appear in person, in the flesh, and with divine power He would bring about the judgement and destruction of this present evil world. The hour of judgement and doom is upon White America for the evil seeds of slavery and hypocrisy she has sown; and God himself has declared that no one shall escape the doom of this Western world, except those who accept Allah as God, Islam as his only religion, and The Honorable Elijah Muhammad as his Messenger to the twenty-two million ex-slaves here in America, twenty-two million "Negroes" who are referred to in the symbolism of the Scriptures as the Lost Sheep, the Lost Tribes, or the Lost People of God.

White America is doomed! God has declared that The Honorable Elijah Muhammad is your only means of escape. When you reject The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, when you refuse to hear his message or heed his warning you are closing your only door of escape. When you cut yourself off from him, you cut yourself off from your only way out of the divine disaster that is fast approaching White America.

Before your pride causes you to harden your heart and further close your ears, and before your ignorance provokes laughter, search the Christian Scriptures. Search even the histories of other nations that sat in the same positions of wealth, power, and authority that these white Americans now hold...and see what God did to them. If God's unchanging laws of justice caught up with every one of the slave empires of the past, how dare you think White America can escape the harvest of unjust seeds planted by her white forefathers against our black forefathers here in the land of slavery!

According to the Scriptures, when God was going to destroy the wicked world with the flood, He first raised up a man named Noah, and missioned him as a warner to warn the wicked world that the flood was coming, and that he, Noah, was their only way out ....But their own wickedness and lust for evil made them too blind to see Noah, and they were thus destroyed by the flood of their own evil deeds. Again, when God prepared to destroy the wicked world of the Sodomites with the fire of his wrath, He first raised up a man Lot, and missioned him to warn the Sodomites of the fire that was coming to destroy them because of their evil deeds, and to let them know that Lot was their only way out....But the Sodomites' addiction to their own lowly passions also made them too blind to see the divinity of Lot's mission and too deaf to heed his warning. They inherited the sea of fire and brimstone as reward for their rejection of God's servant.

Still later. when God prepared to turn his wrath upon the Egyptians, that House of Bondage, or Land of Slavery, God raised his servant Moses as a warner to the cruel slave master, Pharaoh. Moses' message to the slave master was simple and clear: "Let my people go...Let them no longer be segregated by you; stop trying to deceive them with false promises of integration with you; let them separate themselves from you. Let them go with me to a place wherein the God of our forefathers has prepared a land for us...a land in which we can serve our own God, practice righteousness, and live in peace among our own kind." And Moses warned Pharaoh: "If you will not let them separate from you and go with me, then our God will destroy you and your entire slave empire from the face of this earth." Pharaoh's wealth and power made him too proud to listen to the little inarticulate ex-slave named Moses. He ridiculed Moses' lack of eloquence. White America's attitude today is the same toward The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. They ridicule him because of his lack of education and his cotton-field origin in Georgia. White America chooses to listen to the Negro civil rights leaders, the Big Six. Six puppets who have been trained by the whites in white institutions and then placed over our people by these same whites as "spokesmen" for our people. These handpicked "spokesmen" do nothing but parrot for the whites exactly what they know the whites want to hear.

Pharaoh used this same strategy to oppose Moses. Pharaoh also set up puppet-magicians to parrot his lies and to deceive the Hebrew slaves into thinking that Moses was a hate-teacher, an extremist, who was advocating violence and racial supremacy simply because Moses was trying to restore unto his people their own lost culture, their lost identity, their lost racial dignity...the same as The Honorable Elijah Muhammad is trying to do among the twenty-two million "Negro" slaves here in this modern House of Bondage today. By opposing Moses, Pharaoh was actually opposing Moses' God; thus that same God (Jehovah) was forced to drown Pharaoh in the Red Sea, destroy his slave empire, and remove the Egyptian influence from the face of this earth.

History is repeating itself today. America faces the same fate at the hands of Almighty God. That same divine handwriting is now on the walls of this modern American House of Bondage. We, the Muslims who follow The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, believe that the symbolic stories in these ancient Scriptures paint a prophetic picture of today, of America, and of the twenty-two million "Negroes" herein America....We believe that our present generation is witnessing the fulfillment of these divine prophecies, through the work being done among our people here in America today by The Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

This little, meek, humble, inarticulate ex-slave is a modern Noah, a modern Lot, a modern Moses...a modern Daniel. In fact, he is a modern David, and like ancient David The Honorable Elijah Muhammad has refused the carnal weapons of this wicked world and, armed only with a "slingshot" and "stones of truth," this modern David is battering the head of this modern Goliath (giant America), with a doctrine that no "helmet of falsehood" or "shield of deceit" can withstand...and it is only a matter time, before The Honorable Elijah Muhammad's gospel of truth will make this American "giant of falsehood" topple and fall for ever.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us to believe in all of the prophets (including prophet Jesus), all of the Scriptures, the resurrection of the dead (not the resurrection of the physical dead, but the resurrection of the mentally dead American Negroes); also Judgment Day and Doomsday (which only means: the judgment of this wicked world and its destruction by God himself).

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us belief but also the principles of Muslim practice:

1) We practice prayer toward the Holy City of Mecca five times daily.

2) We make charitable contributions toward the spread of Islam, or to spread this divine truth that will save our people from the destruction of this wicked Western world.

3) We practice fasting (we eat only one meal every twenty-four hours, and we abstain from all food for three days out of every month of the year...and we fast also during the holy month of Ramadan.)

4) Those of us who can afford it strive to make the pilgrimage to the Holy City, Mecca, at least once during out lifetime. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad and two of his sons made this trip in December of 1959, and others of his followers have been making it since then.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad's mission as messenger is to remind America that God has not forgotten America's crimes against his Long-Lost people, who have spent four hundred miserable years in this land of bondage. His mission is to warn America of the divine destruction that twill soon rain down upon her from the very skies above her. His mission is to warn America to repent, and to atone for her sins against God's people...or face complete destruction and permanent removal from the face of this earth...and removal not only as a nation but removal even as a race! The Honorable Elijah Muhammad's divine mission, his message, and his work here in America is the same as that of Noah, Lot, Moses, and Daniel. He is a warner to our white oppressor, but a savior to the oppressed. He is preaching the divine execution of the wicked slave master (whom God can justifiably hold responsible for all sins); but he preaches forgiveness and salvation for the Negro ex-slaves, who have been made so deaf, dumb, and mentally blind by the slave master that no just God could now condemn these American Negroes for their sinful, ignorant behavior.

When The Honorable Elijah Muhammad says "end of the world," he does not mean the end of the earth; he is referring to the end of a race of "world of people," and their removal from this earth: the removal of their world. There are many "worlds" here on this earth: the Buddhist world, Hindu world, Jewish world, Christian world -- Capitalist world, Communist world, Socialist world -- Eastern world and Western world -- Oriental world and Occidental world -- dark world and white world. Which of these many worlds has come to the end of its rope, the end of its time? Look around you at all of the signs and you will agree that it is the end of time for the Western world, the European world, the Christian world, the white world.

The time is past when the white world can exercise unilateral authority and control over the dark world. The independence and power of the dark world is on the increase; the dark world is rising in wealth, power, prestige, and influence. It is the rise of he dark world that is causing the fall of the white world. As the white man loses his power to oppress and exploit the dark world, the white man's own wealth (power or "world") decreases. His world is on its way down; it is on its way out...and it is the will and power of God himself that is bringing an end to the white world.

You and I were born at this turning point on history; we are witnessing the fulfillment of prophecy. Our present generation is witnessing the end of colonialism, Europeanism, Westernism, or "White-ism"...the end of white supremacy, the end of the evil white man's unjust rule. I must repeat: The end of the world only means the end of a certain "power." The end of colonialism ends the world (or power) of the colonizer. The end of Europeanism ends the world (or power) of the European...and the end of "White-ism" ends the world (or power) of THE WHITE MAN.

According to the Christian Bible, Judgment Day is that final hour when God will cause "those who led others into captivity to go into captivity themselves"...and "those who killed others with the sword to be killed by the sword of justice themselves." Justice only means that the wicked slave master must reap the fruit (or harvest) of the evil seeds of slavery he has planted. This is justice! Other slave empires received justice, and now White America must receive justice. According to White America's own evil past, which is clearly recorded on the pages of history, so shall God judge her today.

Before God can bring about this divine destruction, He must first separate the innocent from the guilty, the righteous from the wicked, the oppressed from the oppressor, the exploited from the exploiter, the slaves from the slave master. God never integrates his people with those who are not his people. The Scripture says God will separate his (black) sheep from the (white) goats, and the wheat from the tare. The goats are to be slaughtered and the tare cast to the burning flame...while the sheep are to be gathered into his pasture and the wheat into his barn.

In like manner God has prepared a Doomsday (a day of slaughter, a lake of fire) for this sinful white world of colonizers, enslavers, oppressors, exploiters, lynchers...and all others who refuse to repent and atone at the end of this white world. God has also prepared a refuge, a haven of salvation, for those who will accept his last Messenger and heed his last warning.

White America is doomed! Death and devastating destruction hang at this very moment in the skies over America. But why must her divine execution take place? Is it too late for her to avoid this catastrophe?

All the prophets of the past listed America as number one among the guilty that would be too proud, and too blind, to repent and atone when God's last Messenger is raised in her midst to warn her. America's last chance, her last warning, is coming from the lips of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad today. Accept him and be saved; reject him and be damned! It is written that White America will reject him; it is also written that White America will be damned and doomed... and the prophets who make these prophecies are never wrong in their divine predictions.

White America refuses to study, reflect, and learn a lesson from history; ancient Egypt didn't have to be destroyed. It was her corrupt government, the crooked politicians, who caused her destruction. Pharaoh hired Hebrew magicians to try and fool their own people into thinking they would soon be integrated into the mainstream of that country's life. Pharaoh didn't want the Hebrews to listen to Moses' message of separation. Even in that day separation was God's solution to the "slave's problem." By opposing Moses, the magicians were actually choosing sides against the God of their own people.

In like manner, modern Negro magicians are hired by the American government to oppose The Honorable Elijah Muhammad today. They pose as Negro "leaders." They have been hired by this white government (white so-called liberals) to make our people her think that integration into this doomed white society will soon solve our problem.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad warns us daily: The only permanent solution to America's race problem is the complete separation of these twenty-two million ex-slaves from our white slave master, and the return of these ex-slaves to our own land, where we can then live in peace and security among our people. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad warns us daily: The American government is trying to trick her twenty-two million ex-slaves with promises that she never intends to keep. the Crooked politicians in the government are working with the Negro civil rights leaders, but not to solve the race problem. The greedy politicians who run this government give lip-service to the civil rights struggle only to further their own selfish interests. And their main interest as politicians is to stay in power.

In this deceitful American game of power politics, the Negroes (i.e., the race problem, the integration and civil rights issues) are nothing but tools, used by one group of whites called Liberals against another group of whites called Conservatives, either to get into power or to remain in power. Among whites here in America, the political teams are no longer divided into Democrats and Republicans. The whites who are now struggling for control of the American political throne are divided into "liberal" and "conservative" camps. The white liberals from both parties cross party lines to work together toward the same goal, and white conservatives from both parties do likewise.

The white liberal differs from the white conservative only in one way: the liberal is more deceitful than the conservative. The liberal is more hypocritical than the conservative. Both want power, but the white liberal is the one who has perfected the art of posing as the Negro's friend and benefactor; and by winning the friendship, allegiance, and support of the Negro, the white liberal is able to use the Negro as a pawn or tool in this political "football game" that is constantly raging between the white liberals and white conservatives.

Politically the American Negro is nothing but a football and the white liberals control this mentally dead ball through tricks of tokenism: false promises of integration and civil rights. In this profitable game of deceiving and exploiting the political politician of the American Negro, those white liberals have the willing cooperation of the Negro civil rights leaders. These "leaders" sell out our people for just a few crumbs of token recognition and token gains. These "leaders" are satisfied with token victories and token progress because they themselves are nothing but token leaders.

According to a New York Herald-Tribune editorial (dated February 5,1960), out of eleven million qualified Negro voters, only 2,700,000 actually took time to vote. This means that, roughly speaking, only three million of the eleven million Negroes who are qualified to vote actually take an active part. The remaining eight million remain voluntarily inactive...and yet this small (three million) minority of Negro voters hold the decisive edge in determining who will be the next President.

If who will be the next President is influenced by only three million Negro voters, it is easy to understand why the presidential candidates of both political parties put on such a false show with the Civil Rights Bill and with false promises of integration. They must impress the three million voting Negroes who are the actual "integration seekers." If such a fuss is made over these three million "integration seekers," what would presidential candidates have to do to appease the eight million nonvoting Negroes, if they ever decide to become politically active? Who are the eight million nonvoting Negroes; what do they want, and why don't they vote?

The three million Negro voters are the so-called middle-class Negroes, referred to by the late Howard University sociologist, E. Franklin Frazier, as the "black bourgeoisie," who have been educated to think as patriotic "individualists," with no racial pride, and who therefore look forward hopefully to the future "integrated-intermarried" society promised them by the white liberals and the Negro "leaders." It is with this hope that the "integration-minded" three million remain an active part of the white-controlled political parties. But it must never be overlooked that these three million "integration seekers" are only a small minority of the eleven million potential Negro voters.

The eight million nonvoting Negroes are in the majority; they are the downtrodden black masses. The black masses have refused to vote, or to take part in politics, because they reject the Uncle Tom approach of the Negro leadership that has been handpicked for them by the white man. These Uncle Tom leaders do not speak for the Negro majority; they don't speak for the black masses. They speak for the "black bourgeoisie," the brainwashed, whiteminded, middle-class minority who are ashamed of black, and don't want to be identified with the black masses, and are therefore seeking to lose their "black identity" by mixing, mingling, intermarrying, and integrating with the white man.

The race problem can never be solved by listening to this white-minded minority. The white man should try to learn what the black masses want, and the only way to learn what the black masses wants is by listening to the man who speaks for the black masses of America. The one man here in America who speaks for the downtrodden, dissatisfied black masses is this same man so many of our people are flocking to see and hear. This same Mr. Muhammad who is labeled by the white man as a black supremacist and as a racist.

If the three million whiter-minded Negroes are casting their ballots for integration and intermarriage, what do the nonvoting black masses want? Find out what the black masses want, and then perhaps America's grave race problem can be solved.

Think how the late President himself got into office by only scant margin which was "donated" to him by Negro voters, and think how many governors and other white politicians hold their seats (some by less than five thousand votes). Only then can you understand the importance of these white liberals place on their control of the Negro vote! The white liberals hate The Honorable Elijah Muhammad because they know their present position in the power structure stems form their ability to deceive and to exploit the Negro, politically as well as economically.

They know that The Honorable Elijah Muhammad's divine message will make our people (1) wake up, (2) clean up, (3) stand up. They know that once The Honorable Elijah Muhammad is able to resurrect the Negro from this mental grave of ignorance, by teaching him the truth about himself and his real enemy, the Negro will then be able to see and think for himself. Once the Negro learns to think for himself, he will no longer allow the white liberal to use him as a helpless football in the white man's crooked game of "power politics."

Let us examine briefly some of the tricky strategy used by white liberals to harness and exploit the political energies of the Negro. The crooked politicians in Washington, D.C., purposely make a big noise over the proposed civil rights legislation. By blowing up the civil rights issue they skillfully add false importance to the Negro civil rights "leaders." Once the image of these Negro civil rights "leaders" has been blown up way beyond its proper proportion, these same Negro civil rights "leaders" are then used by white liberals to influence and control the Negro voters, all for the benefit of the white politicians who pose as liberals, who pose as friends of the Negro.

The white conservatives aren't friends of the Negro either, but they at least don't try to hide it. They are like wolves; they show their teeth in a snarl that keeps the Negro always aware of where he stands with them. But the white liberals are foxes, who also show their teeth to the Negro but pretend that they are smiling. The white liberals are more dangerous than the conservatives; they lure the Negro, and as the Negro runs from the growling wolf, he flees into the open jaws of the "smiling" fox.

The job of the Negro civil rights leader is to make the Negro forget that the wolf and the fox both belong to the (same) family. Both are canines; and no matter which one of them the Negro places his trust in, he never ends up in the White House, but always in the dog house.

The white liberals control the Negro and the Negro vote by controlling the Negro civil rights leaders. As long as they control the Negro civil rights leaders, they can also control and contain the Negro's struggle, and they can control the Negro's so-called revolt. The Negro "revolution" is controlled by these foxy white liberals, by the government itself. But the black revolution is controlled only by God.

The black revolution is the struggle of the nonwhites of this earth against their white oppressors. The black revolution has swept white supremacy out of Africa, out of Asia, and is getting ready to sweep it out of Latin America. Revolutions are based upon land. Revolutionaries are the landless against the landlord. Revolutions are never peaceful, never loving, never nonviolent. Nor are they ever compromising. Revolutions are destructive and bloody. Revolutionaries don't compromise with the enemy; they don't even negotiate. Like the flood in Noah's day, revolution drowns all opposition, or like the fire in Lot's day, the black revolution burns everything that gets in its path.

America is the last stronghold of white supremacy. The black revolution, which is international in nature and scope. is sweeping down upon America like a raging forest fire. It is only a matter of time before America herself will be engulfed by the b lack flames, these black fire brands. Whenever an uncontrollable forest fire is roaring down upon the farmhouse, the only way the farmer can fight that forest fire is by building a "backfire," a smaller fire that he himself can control. He then uses this "controlled fire" to fight the fire that is raging beyond his control.

Here in America, the black revolution (the "uncontrollable forest fire") is personified in the religious teachings, and the religious works, of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. This great man of God cannot in any way be controlled by the white man, and he will not compromise in any way with the wrongs this government has inflicted upon our people.

The Negro "revolt" is controlled by the white man, the white fox. The Negro "revolution" is controlled by this white government. The leaders of the Negro "revolution" (the civil rights leaders) are all subsidized, influenced and controlled by the white liberals; and all of the demonstrations that are taking place on this country to desegregate lunch counters, theaters, public toilets, etc., are just artificial fires that have been ignited and fanned by the white liberals in the desperate hope that they can use this artificial revolution to fight off the real black revolution that has already swept white supremacy out of Africa, Asia, and is sweeping it out of Latin America...and is even now manifesting itself also right here among the black masses in this country.

Can we prove that the Negro revolution is controlled by white liberals? Certainly!

Right after the Birmingham demonstrations, when the entire world had seen on television screens the police dogs, police clubs, and fire hoses brutalizing defenseless black women, children, and even babies, it was reported on page twenty-six in the May 15 issue of The New York Times, that the late President Kennedy and his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, during a luncheon conference with several newspaper editors from the State of Alabama, had warned these editors that they must give at least some token gains to the moderate Negro leaders in order to enhance the image of these moderate Negro leaders in the eyesight of the black masses; otherwise the masses of Negroes might turn in the direction of Negro extremists. And the late President named the Black Muslims as being foremost among the Negro extremist groups that he did not want Negroes to turn toward.

In essence, the late President told these southern editors that he was trying to build up the weak image of the Negro civil rights leaders, in order to offset the strong religious image of the Muslim leader, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. He wasn't giving these Negro leaders anything they deserved; but he was confessing the necessit

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