Malcolm X - Quotations and Make It Plain Documentary Film


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Malcolm X - Quotations and Make It Plain Documentary Film

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  2. 2. Malcolm X - Quotations By Any Means Necessary..."We declare our right on this be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to begiven the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend tobring into existence by any means necessary.""Our objective is complete freedom, justice and equality by any means necessary.""The day that the black man takes an uncompromising step and realizes that hes within hisrights, when his own freedom is being jeopardized, to use any means necessary to bring about hisfreedom or put a halt to that injustice, I dont think hell be by himself." Malcolm X |Make It Plain
  3. 3. Education, Students, the Youth..."Without education, youre not going anywhere in this world.""Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for ittoday.""Look at yourselves. Some of you teenagers, students. How do you think I feel and I belong to ageneration ahead of you - how do you think I feel to have to tell you, We, my generation, sataround like a knot on a wall while the whole world was fighting for its hum an rights - andyouve got to be born into a society where you still have that same fight. What did we do, whopreceded you ? Ill tell you what we did. Nothing. And dont you make the same mistake wemade....""If youve studied the captives being caught by the American soldiers in South Vietnam, youllfind that these guerrillas are young people. Some of them are just children and some haventreached their teens. Most are teenagers. It is the teenagers abroad, all over the world, who areactually involving themselves in the struggle to eliminate oppression and exploitation. In theCongo, the refugees point out that many of the Congolese revolutionaries, they shoot all the waydown to seven years old - thats been reported in the press. Because the revolutionaries arechildren, young people. In these countries, the young people are the ones who most quicklyidentify with the struggle and the necessity to eliminate the evil conditions that exist. And here inthis country, it has been my own observation that when you get into a conversation on racismand discrimination and segregation, you will find young people more incensed over it - they feelmore filled with an urge to eliminate it."On Martin Luther King, Jr..."He got the peace prize, we got the problem.... If Im following a general, and hes leading meinto a battle, and the enemy tends to give him rewards, or awards, I get suspicious of him.Especially if he gets a peace award before the war is over.""Ill say nothing against him. At one time the whites in the United States called him a racialist,and extremist, and a Communist. Then the Black Muslims came along and the whites thankedthe Lord for Martin Luther King.""Dr. King wants the same thing I want -- freedom!""I want Dr. King to know that I didnt come to Selma to make his job difficult. I really did comethinking I could make it easier. If the white people realize what the alternative is, perhaps theywill be more willing to hear Dr. King." Malcolm X |Make It Plain
  4. 4. Dr. King on Malcolm X:"You know, right before he was killed he came down to Selma and said some pretty passionatethings against me, and that surprised me because after all it was my territory there. Butafterwards he took my wife aside, and said he thought he could help me more by attacking methan praising me. He thought it would make it easier for me in the long run.""The goal has always been the same, with the approaches to it as different as mine and Dr.Martin Luther Kings non-violent marching, that dramatizes the brutality and the evil of the whiteman against defenseless blacks. And in the racial climate of this country today, it is anybodysguess which of the "extremes" in approach to the black mans problems might personally meet afatal catastrophe first -- "non-violent" Dr. King, or so-called "violent" me."Violence, Nonviolence, Self-Defense..."Concerning nonviolence: It is criminal to teach a man not to defend himself, when he is theconstant victim of brutal attacks. It is legal and lawful to own a shotgun or a rifle. We believe inobeying the law.""It doesnt mean that I advocate violence, but at the same time, I am not against using violence inself-defense. I dont call it violence when its self-defense, I call it intelligence.""If violence is wrong in America, violence is wrong abroad. If it is wrong to be violent defendingblack women and black children and black babies and black men, then it is wrong for America todraft us, and make us violent abroad in defense of her. And if it is right for America to draft us,and teach us how to be violent in defense of her, then it is right for you and me to do whatever isnecessary to defend our own people right here in this country.""I dont mean go out and get violent; but at the same time you should never be nonviolent unlessyou run into some nonviolence. Im nonviolent with those who are nonviolent with me. But whenyou drop that violence on me, then youve made me go insane, and Im not responsible for what Ido.""I dont favor violence. If we could bring about recognition and respect of our people by peacefulmeans, well and good. Everybody would like to reach his objectives peacefully. But Im also arealist. The only people in this country who are asked to be nonviolent are black people.""Last but not least, I must say this concerning the great controversy over rifles and shotguns. Theonly thing Ive ever said is that in areas where the government has proven itself either unwillingor unable to defend the lives and the property of Negroes, its time for Negroes to defendthemselves. Article number two of the Constitutional amendments provides you and me the rightto own a rifle or a shotgun. It is constitutionally legal to own a shotgun or a rifle. This doesnt Malcolm X |Make It Plain
  5. 5. mean youre going to get a rifle and form battalions and go out looking for white folks, althoughyoud be within your rights - I mean, youd be justified; but that would be illegal and we dont doanything illegal. If the white man doesnt want the black man buying rifles and shotguns, then letthe government do its job. Thats all."The White Man..."If I have a cup of coffee that is too strong for me because it is too black, I weaken it by pouringcream into it. I integrate it with cream. If I keep pouring enough cream in the coffee, pretty soonthe entire flavor of the coffee is changed; the very nature of the coffee is changed. If enoughcream is poured in, eventually you dont even know that I had coffee in this cup. This is whathappened with the March on Washington. The whites didnt integrate it; they infiltrated it.Whites joined it; they engulfed it; they became so much a part of it, it lost its original flavor. Itceased to be a black march; it ceased to be militant; it ceased to be angry; it ceased to beimpatient. In fact, it ceased to be a march.""But it does make the black people in this country who are jobless and unemployed and standingin the welfare line very much discouraged to see a government that cant solve our problem, cantprovide job opportunities for us, and at the some time not only Cubans but Hungarians and everyother type of white refugee imaginable can come to this country and get everything thisgovernment has to offer.""Ive never seen a sincere white man, not when it comes to helping black people. Usually thingslike this are done by white people to benefit themselves. The white mans primary interest is notto elevate the thinking of black people, or to waken black people, or white people either. Thewhite man is interested in the black man only to the extent that the black man is of use to him.The white mans interest is to make money, to exploit.""The common enemy is the white man."Repayment (or Lack Thereof)..."An integrated cup of coffee isnt sufficient pay for four hundred years of slave labor.""How can you thank a man for giving you whats already yours? How then can you thank him forgiving you only part of what is yours?""I cant turn around without hearing about some civil rights advance! White people seem tothink the black man ought to be shouting hallelujah! Four hundred years the white man has hadhis foot-long knife in the black mans back - and now the white man starts to wiggle the knifeout, maybe six inches! The black mans supposed to be grateful? Why, if the white man jerkedthe knife out, its still going to leave a scar! Malcolm X |Make It Plain
  6. 6. Freedom, Death, and the Oppressed..."Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression.""Truth is on the side of the oppressed.""You cant separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has hisfreedom.""You dont have to be a man to fight for freedom. All you have to do is to be an intelligenthuman being.""If youre not ready to die for it, put the word freedom out of your vocabulary.""The price of freedom is death.""Respect me, or put me to death.""When a person places the proper value on freedom, there is nothing under the sun that he willnot do to acquire that freedom. Whenever you hear a man saying he wants freedom, but in thenext breath he is going to tell you what he wont do to get it, or what he doesnt believe in doingin order to get it, he doesnt believe in freedom. A man who believes in freedom will do anythingunder the sun to acquire...or preserve his freedom."I Am Not a Racist..."I am not a racist. I am against every form of racism and segregation, every form ofdiscrimination. I believe in human beings, and that all human beings should be respected as such,regardless of their color.""I am not a racist.... In the past I permitted myself to be make sweeping indictments ofall white people, the entire white race and these generalizations have caused injuries to somewhites who perhaps did not deserve to be hurt. Because of the spiritual enlightenment which Iwas blessed to receive as a result of my recent pilgrimage to the Holy city of Mecca, I no longersubscribe to sweeping indictments of any one race. I am now striving to live the life of atrue...Muslim. I must repeat that I am not a racist nor do I subscribe to the tenants of racism. Ican state in all sincerity that I wish nothing but freedom, justice and equality, life, liberty and thepursuit of happiness for all people.""I am not a racist in any form whatsoever. I dont believe in any form of discrimination orsegregation." Malcolm X |Make It Plain
  7. 7. Unity, Brotherhood, Objectives..."It is a time for martyrs now, and if I am to be one, it will be for the cause of brotherhood. Thatsthe only thing that can save this country.""Our people have made the mistake of confusing the methods with the objectives. As long as weagree on objectives, we should never fall out with each other just because we believe in differentmethods, or tactics, or strategy. We have to keep in mind at all times that we are not fighting forseparation. We are fighting for recognition as free humans in this society.""The only way well get freedom for ourselves is to identify ourselves with every oppressedpeople in the world. We are blood brothers to the people of Brazil, Venezuela, Haiti... Cuba - yesCuba too.""When you go to a church and you see the pastor of that church with a philosophy and a programthats designed to bring black people together and elevate black people, join that church! If yousee where the NAACP is preaching and practising that which is designed to make blacknationalism materialize, join the NAACP. Join any kind of organization--civic, religious,fraternal, political or otherwise--thats based on lifting... the black man up and making himmaster of his own community.""I believe in the brotherhood of man, all men, but I dont believe in brotherhood with anybodywho doesnt want brotherhood with me. I believe in treating people right, but Im not going towaste my time trying to treat somebody right who doesnt know how to return the treatment.""We black men have a hard enough time in our own struggle for justice, and already haveenough enemies as it is, to make the drastic mistake of attacking each other and adding moreweight to an already unbearable load.""There can be no black-white unity until there is first some black unity.... We cannot think ofuniting with others, until after we have first united among ourselves. We cannot think of beingacceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves."Revolution..."Who ever heard of angry revolutionists all harmonizing We shall overcome ... Suum Day...while tripping and swaying along arm-in-arm with the very people they were supposed to beangrily revolting against ? Who ever heard of angry revolutionists swinging their bare feettogether with their oppressor in lily-pad park pools, with gospels and guitars and I have a dreamspeeches? And the black masses in America were--and still are--having a nightmare.""The white man knows what a revolution is. He knows that the Black Revolution is worldwide inscope and in nature. The Black Revolution is sweeping Asia, is sweeping Africa, is rearing its Malcolm X |Make It Plain
  8. 8. head in Latin America. The Cuban Revolution - thats a revolution. They overturned the system.Revolution is in Asia, revolution is in Africa, and the white man is screaming because he seesrevolution in Latin America. How do you think hell react to you when you learn what a realrevolution is?""It is incorrect to classify the revolt of the Negro as simply a radical conflict of black againstwhite or as a purely American problem. Rather, we are today seeing a global rebellion of theoppressed against the oppressor, the exploited against the exploiter.""The same rebellion, the same impatience, the same anger that exists in the hearts of the darkpeople in Africa and Asia is existing in the hearts and minds of 20 million black people in thiscountry who have been just as thoroughly colonized as the people in Africa and Asia.""Usually when people are sad, they dont do anything. They just cry over their condition. Butwhen they get angry, they bring about a change.""I for one believe that if you give people a thorough understanding of what confronts them andthe basic causes that produce it, theyll create their own program, and when the people create aprogram, you get action."Africans in America..."Im not going to sit at your table and watch you eat, with nothing on my plate, and call myself adiner. Sitting at the table doesnt make you a diner, unless you eat some of whats on that plate.Being here in America doesnt make you an American.... No Im not an American, Im one of the22 million black people who are the victims of Americanism. One of the 22 million black peoplewho are the victims of democracy, nothing but disguised hypocrisy.... Im speaking as a victim ofthis American system. And I see America through the eyes of a victim. I dont see any Americandream; I see an American nightmare.""Were not Americans, were Africans who happen to be in America. We were kidnapped andbrought here against our will from Africa. We didnt land on Plymouth Rock - that rock landedon us.""One of the things that made the Black Muslim movement grow was its emphasis upon thingsAfrican. This was the secret to the growth of the Black Muslim movement. African blood,African origin, African culture, African ties. And youd be surprised - we discovered that deepwithin the subconscious of the black man in this country, he is still more African than he isAmerican.""Twenty-two million African-Americans - thats what we are - Africans who are in America.""When Im traveling around the country, I use my real Muslim name, Malik Shabazz. I make myhotel reservations under that name, and I always see the same thing Ive just been telling you. I Malcolm X |Make It Plain
  9. 9. come to the desk and always see that here-comes-a-Negro look. Its kind of a reserved, coldlytolerant cordiality. But when I say Malik Shabazz, their whole attitude changes: they snap torespect. They think Im an African. People say whats in a name? Theres a whole lot in a name.The American black man is seeing the African respected as a human being. The African getsrespect because he has an identity and cultural roots. But most of all because the African ownssome land. For these reasons he has his human rights recognized, and that makes his civil rightsautomatic."Politics and isms...When asked if he would accept outer help from the Communists:"Let me tell you a little story. Its like being in a wolfs den. The wolf sees someone on theoutside who is interested in freeing me from the den. The wolf doesnt like that person on theoutside. But I dont care who opens the door and lets me out.""Then your answer is yes?""No, Im talking about a wolf.""The zionist argument to justify Israels present occupation of Arab Palestine has no intelligent orlegal basis in history.""It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system of capitalism needs someblood to suck. Capitalism used to be like an eagle, but now its more like a vulture. It used to bestrong enough to go and suck anybodys blood whether they were strong or not. But now it hasbecome more cowardly, like the vulture, and it can only suck the blood of the helpless. As thenations of the world free themselves, the capitalism has less victims, less to suck, and it becomesweaker and weaker. Its only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.""I might point out here that colonialism or imperialism, as the slave system of the West is called,is not something that is just confined to England or France or the United States. The interests inthis country are in cahoots with the interests in France and the interests in Britain. Its one hugecomplex or combine, and it creates whats known not as the American power structure or theFrench power structure, but an international power structure. This international power structureis used to suppress the masses of dark-skinned people all over the world and exploit them of theirnatural resources.""I think that an objective analysis of events that are taking place on this earth today pointstowards some type of ultimate showdown. You can call it political showdown, or even ashowdown between the economic systems that exist on this earth which almost boil down alongracial lines. I do believe that there will be a clash between East and West. I believe that there willultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing. I believe that there Malcolm X |Make It Plain
  10. 10. will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and thosewho want to continue the systems of exploitation.""A new world order is in the making, and it is up to us to prepare ourselves that we may take ourrightful place in it.""A ballot is like a bullet. You dont throw your ballots until you see a target, and if that target isnot in reach, keep your ballot in your pocket.""We, the Black masses, dont want these leaders who seek our support coming to us representinga certain political party. They must come to us today as Black Leaders representing the welfareof Black people. We wont follow any leader today who comes on the basis of political party.Both parties (Democrat and Republican) are controlled by the same people who have abused ourrights, and who have deceived us with false promises every time an election rolls around."Hypocrisy, Delusion, Honesty..."They dont stand for anything different in South Africa than America stands for. The onlydifference is over there they preach as well as practice apartheid. America preaches freedom andpractices slavery.""I would like to point something out so that well understand each other better. I dont want youto think in the statements I made that Im being disrespectful towards you as white people. Imbeing frank. And I think that my statements will give you a better insight on the mind of a blackman than most statements you get from most people who call themselves Negroes, who usuallytell you what they want you to hear with the hope...that will make them draw closer to you andcreate a better possibility of getting from you some of the crumbs that you might let fall fromyour table. Well, Im not looking for crumbs so Im not trying to delude you.""Youre not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you cant face reality. Wrong is wrong,no matter who does it or who says it."Women..."If you are in a country that is progressive, the woman is progressive. If youre in a country thatreflects the consciousness toward the importance of education, its because the woman is awareof the importance of education. But in every backward country youll find the women arebackward, and in every country where education is not stressed its because the women dont haveeducation."Humans, Human Rights, Humanity..."I believe in human rights for everyone, and none of us is qualified to judge each other and thatnone of us should therefore have that authority." Malcolm X |Make It Plain
  11. 11. "It is not a case of our people...wanting either separation or integration. The use of these wordsactually clouds the real picture. The 22 million Afro-Americans dont seek either separation orintegration. They seek recognition and respect as human beings.""Im for truth, no matter who tells it. Im for justice, no matter who it is for or against. Im ahuman being, first and foremost, and as such Im for whoever and whatever benefits humanity asa whole.""We have to keep in mind at all times that we are not fighting for integration, nor are we fightingfor separation. We are fighting for recognition...for the right to live as free humans in thissociety.""I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being - neither white, black, brown, orred; and when you are dealing with humanity as a family theres no question of integration orintermarriage. Its just one human being marrying another human being or one human beingliving around and with another human being."Who Am I?When asked: "Do you consider yourself militant?""I consider myself Malcolm!""Im the man you think you are.... If you want to know what Ill do, figure out what youll do. Illdo the same thing -- only more of it.""I am neither a fanatic nor a dreamer. I am a black man who loves peace, and justice, and loveshis people.""I believe that it would be almost impossible to find anywhere in America a black man who haslived further down in the mud of human society than I have; or a black man who has been anymore ignorant than I have; or a black man who has suffered more anguish during his life than Ihave. But it is only after the deepest darkness that the greatest joy can come; it is only afterslavery and prison that the sweetest appreciation of freedom can come.""I may say, though, that I dont think it should ever be put upon a black man, I dont think theburden to defend any position should ever be put upon the black man, because it is the white mancollectively who has shown that he is hostile toward integration and toward intermarriage andtoward those other strides toward oneness. So as a black man, and especially as a blackAmerican, any stand that I formerly took, I dont think that I have to defend it because its still areaction to the society, and its a reaction that was produced by the society; and I think that it isthe society that produced this that should be attacked, not the reaction that develops among thepeople who are the victims of that negative society.""I am and always will be a Muslim. My religion is Islam." Malcolm X |Make It Plain
  12. 12. The NOI (Nation of Islam)/"Black Muslims""For 12 long years I lived within the narrow-minded confines of the straightjacket world createdby my strong belief that Elijah Muhammad was a messenger direct from God Himself, and myfaith in what I now see to be a pseudo-religious philosophy that he preaches.... I shall never restuntil I have undone the harm I did to so many well-meaning, innocent Negroes who through myown evangelistic zeal now believe in him even more fanatically and more blindly than I did.""I had blind faith in him. My faith in Elijah Muhammad was more blind and moreuncompromising than any faith that any man has ever had for another man. And so I didnt tryand see him as he actually was.""The thing that you have to understand about those of us in the Black Muslim movement wasthat all of us believed 100 percent in the divinity of Elijah Muhammad. We believed in him. Weactually believed that God, in Detroit by the way, that God had taught him and all of that. Ialways believed that he believed in himself. And I was shocked when I found out that he himselfdidnt believe it. And when that shock reached me, then I began to look everywhere else and tryto get a better understanding of the things that confront all of us so that we can get together insome kind of way to offset them.""Before the Black Muslim movement came along, the NAACP was looked upon as radical; theywere getting ready to investigate it. And then along came the Muslim movement and frightenedthe white man so hard that he began to say, Thank God for old Uncle Roy, and Uncle Whitney,and Uncle A. Philip.... ""I think youll find, brother, that there are Muslims everywhere. Wherever you find militancytoday among so-called Negroes, watch real closely. Youre liable to be looking at a Muslim."Before True Islam..."I am a Muslim, because its a religion that teaches you an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.It teaches you to respect everybody, and treat everybody right. But it also teaches you if someonesteps on your toe, chop off their foot. And I carry my religious axe with me all the time.""There is nothing in our book, the Quran, that teaches us to suffer peacefully. Our religionteaches us to be intelligent. Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but ifsomeone lays a hand on you, send him to the cemetery."Islam..."I believe in Islam. I am a Muslim and there is nothing wrong with being a Muslim, nothingwrong with the religion of Islam. It just teaches us to believe in Allah as the God. Those of youwho are Christian probably believe in the same God, because I think you believe in the God Whocreated the universe. Thats the One we believe in, the One Who created universe--the only Malcolm X |Make It Plain
  13. 13. difference being you call Him God and we call Him Allah. The Jews call Him Jehovah. If youcould understand Hebrew, you would probably call Him Jehovah too. If you could understandArabic, you would probably call Him Allah....""America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its societythe race problem. Throughout my travels in the Muslim world, I have met, talked to, and eveneaten with people who in America would have been considered white, but the white attitude wasremoved from their minds by the religion of Islam. I have never before seen sincere and truebrotherhood practiced by all together, irrespective of their color.""I believe in a religion that believes in freedom. Any time I have to accept a religion that wontlet me fight a battle for my people, I say to hell with that religion.""True Islam taught me that it takes all of the religious, political, economic, psychological, andracial ingredients, or characteristics, to make the Human Family and the Human Societycomplete.""At one or another college or university, usually in the informal gatherings after I had spoken,perhaps a dozen generally white-complexioned people would come up to me, identifyingthemselves as Arabian, Middle Eastern or North African Muslims who happened to be visiting,studying, or living in the United States. They had said to me that, my white-indicting statementsnotwithstanding, they felt I was sincere in considering myself a Muslim -- and they felt if I wasexposed to what they always called true Islam, I would understand it, and embrace it.Automatically, as a follower of Elijah, I had bridled whenever this was said. But in the privacy ofmy own thoughts after several of these experiences, I did question myself: if one was sincere inprofessing a religion, why should he balk at broadening his knowledge of that religion?Those orthodox Muslims whom I had met, one after another, had urged me to meet and talk witha Dr. Mahmoud Youssef Shawarbi. . . . Then one day Dr. Shawarbi and I were introduced by anewspaperman. He was cordial. He said he had followed me in the press; I said I had been toldof him, and we talked for fifteen or twenty minutes. We both had to leave to make appointmentswe had, when he dropped on me something whose logic never would get out of my head. Hesaid, No man has believed perfectly until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself. ""I am and always will be a Muslim. My religion is Islam."Miscellaneous..."If we dont stand for something, we may fall for anything.""Early in life I had learned that if you want something, you had better make some noise.""My alma mater was books, a good library.... I could spend the rest of my life reading, justsatisfying my curiosity." Malcolm X |Make It Plain
  14. 14. "Anytime you see someone more successful than you are, they are doing something you arent.""History is a peoples memory, and without a memory, man is demoted to the lower animals."The End..."Here I am, back in Mecca. I am still traveling, trying to broaden my mind, for Ive seen toomuch of the damage narrow-mindedness can make of things, and when I return home toAmerica, I will devote what energies I have to repairing the damage.""In my recent travels into African countries and others, I was impressed by the importance ofhaving a working unity among all peoples, black as well as white.""For the freedom of my 22 million black brothers and sisters here in America, I do believe that Ihave fought the best that I know how, and the best that I could, with the shortcomings that I havehad...I know that societies often have killed people who have helped to change those societies.And if I can die having brought any light, having exposed any meaningful truth that will helpdestroy the racist cancer that is malignant in the body of America then, all of the credit is due toAllah. Only the mistakes have been mine.""I always knew it would end like this.""All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds."Source: Malcolm X |Make It Plain