The Ballot or the Bullet Speech

Speaker: Malcolm X
Delivered On: 4/3/1964
Place: Cleveland, OH
Subject: Civil Rights
Audio/Video Available:

Description: On April 3, 1964, just one month after announcing he was leaving the Nation of Islam,
Malcolm X delivered one of the most powerfully charged messages of the Civil Rights
Movement. In this speech, Malcolm X encouraged African Americans to exercise their
right to vote, as they had just been granted that right when Congress passed the
Civil Rights bill in February of that year; however, he went on to say that if the
government should try to stop them from attaining full equality under the law, that
it may be necessary for them (African Americans) to take up arms. He encouraged
them to look past their differences and unite to address the common problem: that
white politicians would make unkeepable promises. He explained that the vote of
the black people could swing the entire election. Most famously, he compared these
two things by saying “A ballot is like a bullet. You don’t throw your ballots until
you see a target, and if that target is not within your reach, keep your ballot
in your pocket.”

Mr. Moderator, Reverend Cleage, Brother Lomax. Brothers, and sisters, and friends,
and I see some enemies. In fact, I think we’d be fooling ourselves if we had an
audience this large and didn’t realize that there were some enemies present. This
afternoon, we want to talk about the ballot or the bullet. The ballot or the bullet
explains itself. But before we get into it, since this is the year of the ballot
of the bullet, I would like to clarify some things that refer to me personally,
concerning my own personal position. I’m still a Muslim. That is, my religion is
still Islam. My religion is still Islam. I still credit Mr. Muhammad for what I
know and what I am. He’s the one who opened my eyes.

At present, I am the minister of the newly founded Muslim Mosque Incorporated, which
has its offices in the Theresa Hotel right in the heart of Harlem. That’s the black
belt in New York City. And when we realized that Adam Clayton Powell is a Christian
minister. He has the Abyssinian Baptist Church, but at the same time, he’s more
famous for his political struggling. And Dr. King is a Christian minister in Atlanta,
Georgia, but he’s become more famous for being involved in the Civil Rights struggle.
There’s another in New York, Reverend Galamison. I don’t know if you’ve heard of
him around here. He’s a Christian minister from Brooklyn, but has become famous
for his spite against the segregated school system in Brooklyn. Reverend Cleage,
right here, is a Christian minister here in Detroit. He’s the head of the Freedom
Now Party.

All of these are Christian ministers, but they don’t come to us as Christian ministers.
They come to us as fighters in some other category. I’m a Muslim minister. The same
as they are Christian ministers, I’m a Muslim minister. And I don’t believe in fighting
today in any one front, but on all fronts.

In fact, I’m a Black nationalist freedom fighter. Islam is my religion, but I believe
my religion is my personal business. It governs my personal life, my personal morals.
My religious philosophy is personal between me and the god in whom I believe. Just
as the religious philosophy of these others is between them and the god in whom
they believe. And this is best this way. Were we to come out here discussing religion,
we’d have too many differences from the outstart, and we could never get together.

So, today, Islam is my religious philosophy. My political, economic, and social
philosophy is Black nationalism. As I say, if we bring up religion, we’ll have differences;
we’ll have arguments. We’ll never be able to get together. But if we keep our religion
at home, keep our religion in the closet, keep our religion between ourselves and
our god, then when we come out here, we have a fight that’s common to all of us,
against an enemy who is common to all of us.

The political philosophy of Black nationalism only means that the black man should
control the politics and the politicians in his own community. The time when white
people can come in our community and get us to vote for them, so that they can be
our political leaders and tell us what to do and what not to do is long gone.

By the same token, the time when that same white man, knowing that your eyes are
too far open, can send another Negro into the community, and get you and me to support
him, so he can use him to lead us astray. Those days are long gone.

The political philosophy of Black nationalism only means that if you and I are going
to live in a black community, and that’s where we’re going to live, but as soon
as you move into one of their, as soon as you move out of the black community into
their community, it’s missed for a period of time, but they’re gone, and you’re
right there all by yourself.

We must understand the politics of our community, and we must know what politics
is supposed to produce. We must know what part politics play in our lives, and until
we become politically mature, we will always be misled, led astray, or deceived,
or maneuvered into supporting someone politically who doesn’t have the good of our
community at heart. So, the political philosophy of Black nationalism only means
that we will have to carry on a program, a political program, of re-education to
open our people’s eyes, make us become more politically conscious, politically mature.
And then, whenever we get ready to cast our ballot, that ballot will be cast for
a man of the community who has the good of the community at heart.

The economic philosophy of Black nationalism only means that we should own and operate
and control the economy of our community. You would never find, you can’t open up
a black store in a white community; white man won’t even patronize you. And he’s
not wrong. He’s got sense enough to look out for himself, and you don’t have sense
enough to look out for yourself.

The white man is too intelligent to let someone else come and gain control of the
economy of his community. But you will let anybody come in and control the economy
of your community, control the housing, control the education, control the jobs,
control the businesses under the pretext that you want to integrate. No, you’re
out of your mind. The economic philosophy of Black nationalism only means that we
have to become involved in a program of re-education, to educate our people into
the importance of knowing that when you spend you dollar out of the community in
which you live, the community in which you spend your money becomes richer and richer.
The community out of which you take your money becomes poorer and poorer.

And because these Negroes, who have been misled, misguided, are breaking their necks
to take their money and spent it with the man, the man is becoming richer and richer,
and you’re becoming poorer and poorer. And then, what happens, the community in
which you live becomes a slum. It becomes a ghetto. The conditions become run down,
and then you have the audacity to complain about poor housing in a run-down community.
While you run it down yourself when you take your dollar.

And you and I are in a double-trap because not only do we lose by taking our money
someplace else and spending it, when we try and spend it in our own community, we’re
trapped because we haven’t had sense enough to set up stores and control the businesses
of our community. The man who’s controlling the stores in our community is a man
who doesn’t look like we do. He’s a man who doesn’t even live in the community.
So, you and I, even when we try and spend our money in the block where we live or
the area where we live, we’re spending it with a man who when the sun goes down
takes that basket full of money in another part of the town.

So, we’re trapped. Trapped. Double-trapped. Triple-trapped. Anywhere we go, we find
that we’re trapped. And every kind of solution that someone comes up with is just
another trap. But the political and economic philosophy of Black nationalism, the
economic philosophy of Black nationalism shows our people the importance of setting
up these little stores, and developing them, and expanding them into larger operations.

Woolworth didn’t start out big like they are today. They started out with a dime
store, and expanded, and expanded, and expanded until the day they’re all over the
country and all over the world, and they’re getting some of everybody’s money. Now,
this puts you and I in . . . General Motors, the same way, didn’t start out like
it is. It started out just a little rat race-type operation, and it expanded and
expanded until, today, it’s where it is right now. And you and I have to make a
start, and the best place to start is right in the community where we live.

So, our people not only have to be re-educated to the importance of supporting black
business, but the black man himself has to be made aware of the importance of going
into business. And once you and I go into business, we own and operate at least
the businesses in our community, what we will be doing is developing a situation
wherein we will actually be able to create employment for the people in the community.
And once you can create some employment in the community where you live, it will
eliminate the necessity of you and me having to act ignorantly and disgracefully,
boycotting and picketing some cracker someplace else, trying to take his poor job.
Any time you have to rely upon your enemy for a job, you’re in bad shape.

And he is your enemy, you wouldn’t be in this country if some enemy hadn’t kidnapped
you and brought you here. On the other hand, some of you think you came here on
the Mayflower. So, you can see, brothers and sisters, today, this afternoon, it’s
not our intention to discuss religion. We’re going to forget religion. If we bring
up religion, we’ll be in an argument. And the best way to keep away from arguments
and differences, as I said earlier, put your religion at home, in the closet. Keep
it between you and your god. Because if it hasn’t done anything more for you than
it has, you need to forget it anyway.

Whether you are a Christian or a Muslim or a nationalist, we all have the same problem.
They don’t hang you because you’re a Baptist; they hang you because you’re black.
They don’t attack me because I’m a Muslim. They attack me because I’m black. They
attack all of us for the same reason. All of us catch hell from the same enemy.
We’re all in the same bag, in the same boat. We suffer political oppression, economic
exploitation, and social degradation, all of them from the same enemy.

The government has failed us. You can’t deny that. Any time you’re living in the
20th century, 1964, and you’re walking around here singing We Shall Overcome, the
government has failed us. This is part of what’s wrong with you. You do too much
singing. Today, it’s time to stop singing and start swinging. You can’t sing up
on freedom, but you can swing up on some freedom. Cassius Clay can sing. But singing
didn’t help him to become the Heavyweight Champion of the World. Swinging helped

This government has failed us. The government itself has failed us, and the white
liberals, who have been posing as our friends, have failed us. And once we see all
these other sources to which we’ve turned have failed, we stop turning to them and
turn to ourselves. We need a self-help program, a do-it-yourself philosophy, a do-it-right-now
philosophy, a it’s-already-too-late philosophy. This is what you and I need to get
with. The only time, the only way we’re going to solve our problem is with a self-help
program. Before we can get a self-help program started, we have to have a self-help

Black nationalism is a self-help philosophy. What’s so good about it, you can stay
right in the church where you are, and still take Black nationalism as your philosophy.
You can stay in any kind of civic organization that you belong to, and still take
Black nationalism as your philosophy. You can be an atheist and still take Black
nationalism as your philosophy. This is a philosophy that eliminates the necessity
for division and argument because if you’re black, you should be thinking black.
And if you’re black, and you’re not thinking black at this late date, well, I’m
sorry for you.

Once you change your philosophy, you change your thought pattern. Once you change
your thought pattern, you change your attitude. Once you change your attitude, it
changes your behavior pattern. And then you’re going into some action. As long as
you’ve got a sit-down philosophy, you’ll have a sit-down thought pattern, and as
long as you think that old sit-down thought, you’ll be in some kind of sit-down
action. They’ll have you sitting in everywhere.

It’s not so good to refer to what you’re going to do as a sit-in. That, right there,
castrates you. Right there, it brings you down. What goes with it? Think of the
image of someone sitting. An old woman can sit. An old man can sit. A chump can
sit. A coward can sit. Anything can sit. Well, you and I have been sitting long
enough, and it’s time today for us to start doing some standing, and some thinking
to back that up.

When we look at other parts of this earth upon which we live, we find that black,
brown, red, and yellow people in Africa, in Asia, are getting very independent.
They’re not getting it by singing We Shall Overcome. No, they’re getting it through

It is nationalism that brought about the independence of the people in Asia. Every
nation in Asia came to its independence through the philosophy of nationalism. Every
nation on the African continent that has gotten its independence brought it about
through the philosophy of nationalism. And it will take Black nationalism to bring
about the freedom of 22 million Afro-Americans here in this country where we have
suffered colonialism for the past 400 years. America is just as much a colonial
power as England ever was. America is just as much a colonial power as France ever
was. In fact, America is more so a colonial power than they. Because she’s a hypocritical
colonial power behind it.

What do you call second-class citizenship? Why, that’s colonization. Second-class
citizenship is nothing but 20th century slavery. How are you going to tell me you’re
a second class citizen? They don’t have second class citizenship in any other government
on this earth. They just have slaves and people who are free. Well, this country
is a hypocrite. They try and make you think they set you free by calling you a second-class
citizen. No, you’re nothing but a 20th-century slave.

Just as it took nationalism to remove colonialism from Asia and Africa, it will
take Black nationalism today to remove colonialism from the backs and the minds
of 22 million Afro-Americans here in this country. And 1964 looks like it might
be the year of the ballot or the bullet.

Why does it look like it might be the year of the ballot or the bullet? Because
Negroes have listened to the trickery and the lies and the false promises of the
white man now for too long, and they’re fed up. They’ve become disenchanted, they’ve
become disillusioned, they’ve become dissatisfied, and all of this has built up
frustrations in the black community. This makes the Black community throughout America,
today, more explosive than all of the atomic bombs the Russians can ever invent.
Whenever you’ve got a racial powder keg sitting in your lap, you’re in more trouble
than if you had an atomic powder keg sitting in your lap. When a racial powder keg
goes off, it doesn’t care who it knocks out the way. Understand this. It’s dangerous.

And in 1964, this seems to be the year. Because, what can the white man use now
to fool us? That’s when he put down that march on Washington, and you see all through
that, now. He tricked you, had you marching down to Washington. Yes, had you marching
back and forth between the feet of a dead man named Lincoln and another dead man
named George Washington, singing We Shall Overcome. He made a chump out of you.
He made a fool out of you. He made you think you were going somewhere, and you end
up going nowhere but between Lincoln and Washington.

So today, our people are disillusioned. They’ve become disenchanted. They’ve become
dissatisfied. And in their frustrations, they want action. And in 1964, you’ll see
this young black man, this new generation asking for the ballot or the bullet. That
old Uncle Tom action is outdated. The young generation don’t want to hear anything
about the odds are against us. What do we care about odds?

When this country here was first being founded, there were 13 colonies. The whites
were colonized. They were fed up with this taxation without representation, so some
of them stood up and said, “Liberty or death.”

I went to a white school over here in Mason, Michigan. The white man made the mistake
of letting me read his history books. He made the mistake of teaching me that Patrick
Henry was a patriot, and George Washington, wasn’t nothing non-violent about old
Pat or George Washington. Liberty or death was what brought about the freedom of
Whites in this country from the English.

They didn’t care about the odds. Why, they faced the wrath of the entire British
empire. And in those days, they used to say that the British empire was so vast
and so powerful, the sun would never set on it. This is how big it was. Yet, these
13 little, scrawny states tired of taxation without representation, tired of being
exploited and oppressed, and degraded, toward that big British empire, liberty or
death. And here you have 22 million Afro-Americans, Black people today, catching
more hell than Patrick Henry ever saw.

And I’m here to tell you, in case you don’t know it, that you’ve got a new generation
of Black people in this country, who don’t care anything whatsoever about odds.
They don’t want to hear, you old Uncle Tom handkerchief heads talking about the
odds. No.

This is a new generation. If they’re going to draft these young Black men, and send
them over to Korea or South Vietnam to face 800 million Chinese . . . If you’re
not afraid of those odds, you shouldn’t be afraid of these odds.

Why does this loom to be such an explosive political year? Because this is the year
of politics. This is the year when all of the White politicians are going to come
into the Negro community. You’ve never seen them until election time. You can’t
find them until election time. They’re going to come in with false promises, and
as they make these false promises, they’re going to feed our frustration. And this
will only serve to make matters worse.

I’m no politician. I’m not even a student of politics. I’m not a Republican nor
a Democrat nor an American, and I’ve got sense enough to know it. I’m one of the
22 million Black victims of the Democrats. One of the 22 million Black victims of
the Republicans, and one of the 22 million Black victims of Americanism.

And when I speak, I don’t speak as a Democrat, or a Republican, nor an American.
I speak as a victim of America’s so-called democracy. You and I have never seen
democracy. All we’ve seen is hypocrisy. When we open our eyes, today, and look around
America, we see America, not through the eyes of someone who has enjoyed the fruits
of Americanism. We see America through the eyes of someone who has been a victim
of Americanism.

We don’t see any American dream. We’ve experienced only the American nightmare.
We haven’t benefited from America’s democracy. We’ve only suffered from America’s
hypocrisy. And the generation that’s coming up now can see it, and are not afraid
to say it. If you go to jail, so what? If you’re black, you were born in jail. If
you’re Black, you were born in jail in the North as well as the South.

Stop talking about the South. Long as you south of the Canadian border, you’re south.
Don’t call Governor Wallace a Dixie governor; Romney is a Dixie governor. 22 million
black victims of Americanism are waking up, and they’re gaining a new political
consciousness, becoming politically mature. And as they develop this political maturity,
they’re able to see the recent trends in these political elections. They see that
the Whites are so evenly divided that every time they vote, the race is so close,
they have to go back and count the votes all over again. Which means that any block,
any minority that has a block of votes that stick together, is in a strategic position.
Either way you go, that’s who gets it. You’re in a position to determine who will
go to the White House, and who will stay in the doghouse.

You’re the one who has that power. You can keep Johnson in Washington DC, or you
can send him back to his Texas cotton patch. You’re the one who sent Kennedy to
Washington. You’re the one who put the present Democratic administration in Washington
DC. The Whites were evenly divided. It was the fact that you threw 80% of your votes
behind the Democrats that put the Democrats in the White House.

When you see this, you can see that the Negro vote is the key factor. And despite
the fact that you are in a position to be the determining factor, what do you get
out of it? The Democrats have been in Washington DC only because of the Negro vote.
They’ve been down there four years, and there, all other legislations they wanted
to bring up, they brought it up and gotten it out of the way, and now they bring
up you. And now, they bring up you. You put them first, and they put you last because
you’re a chump . . . a political chump.

In Washington DC, in the House of Representatives, there are 257 who are Democrats.
Only 177 are Republican. In the Senate, there are 67 Democrats, only 33 are Republicans.
The party that you backed controls two-thirds of the House of Representatives and
the Senate, and still, they can’t keep their promise to you because you’re a chump.
Anytime you throw your weight behind the political party that controls two-thirds
of the government, and that party can’t keep the promise that it made to you during
election time, and you’re dumb enough to walk around continuing to identify yourself
with that Party, you’re not only a chump, but you’re a traitor to your race.

And what kind of alibi do they come up with? They try and pass the buck to the Dixiecrats.
Now back during the days when you were blind, deaf, and dumb, ignorant, politically
immature, naturally, you went along with that. But today, as your eyes come open
and you develop political maturity, you’re able to see and think for yourself, and
you can see that a Dixiecrat is nothing but a Democrat in disguise.

You look at the structure of the government that controls this country. It’s controlled
by 16 Senatorial committees and 20 Congressional committees. Of the 16 Senatorial
committees that run the government, 10 of them are in the hands of Southern segregationists.
Of the 20 congressional committees that run the government, 12 of them are in the
hands of Southern segregationists. And they’re going to tell you and me that the
South lost the war.

You, today, are in the hands of a government of segregationists, racists, White
supremacists who belong to the Democratic party, but disguise themselves as Dixiecrats.
A Dixiecrat is nothing but a Democrat. Whoever runs the Democrats is also the father
of the Dixiecrats, and the father of all of them is sitting in the White House.

I say and I say it again. You got a President who’s nothing but a Southern segregationist
from the state of Texas. They’ll lynch you in Texas as quick as they’ll lynch you
in Mississippi. Only in Texas, they lynch you with a Texas accent. In Mississippi,
they lynch you with a Mississippi accent.

And the first thing the cracker does when he comes in power, he takes all the Negro
leaders and invites them for coffee to show that he’s all right. And those Uncle
Toms can’t pass up the coffee. They come away from the coffee table telling you
and me that this man is all right because he’s from the South, and since he’s from
the South, he can deal with the South.

Look at the logic that they’re using. What about Eastland? He’s from the South.
Make him the President. He can, if Johnson is a good man because he’s from Texas,
and being from Texas will enable him to deal with the South, Eastland can deal with
the South better than Johnson. Oh, I say you’ve been misled. You been had. You been

I was in Washington a couple weeks ago while the Senators were filibustering, and
I noticed in the back of the Senate a huge map. And on this map, it showed the distribution
of Negroes in America, and surprisingly, the same Senators that were involved in
the filibuster were from the states where there were the most Negroes.

Why were they filibustering the Civil Rights legislation? Because the Civil Rights
legislation is supposed to guarantee voting rights to Negroes in those states, and
those senators from those states know that if the Negroes in those states can vote,
those senators are down the drain. The representatives of those states go down the
drain. And in the constitution of this country, it has a stipulation wherein, whenever
the rights, the voting rights, of people in a certain district are violated, then
the representative who’s from that particular district, according to the constitution,
is supposed to be expelled from the Congress.

Now, if this particular aspect of the constitution was enforced, why, you wouldn’t
have a cracker in Washington DC. But what would happen when you expel the Dixiecrat,
you’re expelling the Democrat. When you destroy the power of the Dixiecrat, you’re
destroying the power of the Democratic Party. So, how in the world can the Democratic
Party in the South actually side with you in sincerity, when all of its power is
based in the south?

These Northern Democrats are in cahoots with the Southern Democrats. They’re playing
a giant con game, a political con game. You know how it goes. One of them comes
to you and makes believe he’s for you, and he’s in cahoots with the other one that’s
not for you. Why? Because neither one of them is for you, but they got to make you
go with one of them or the other. So, this is a con game. And this is what they’ve
been doing with you and me all these years.

First thing Johnson got off the plane when he became President, he asked “Where’s
Dicky?” You know who “Dicky” is? Dicky is old Southern cracker Richard Russell.
Look here, yes. Lyndon Johnson’s best friend is the one who is the head, who’s heading
the forces that are filibustering Civil Rights legislation. You tell me how in the
hell is he going to be Johnson’s best friend? How can Johnson be his friend and
your friend too? No, that man is too tricky. Especially if his friend is still old

Whenever the Negroes keep the Democrats in power, they’re keeping the Dixiecrats
in power. Is this true? A vote for a Democrat is nothing but a vote for a Dixiecrat.
I know you don’t like me saying that, but I’m not the kind of person who come here
to say what you like. I’m going to tell you the truth whether you like it or not.

Up here in the north, you have the same thing. The Democratic Party don’t do it.
They don’t do it that way. They got a thing that they call gerrymandering. They
maneuver you out of power. Even though you can vote, they fix it so you’re voting
for nobody. They’ve got you going and coming. In the South, they’re outright political
wolves. In the north, they’re political foxes. A fox and a wolf are both canine.
Both belong to the dog family.

Now you take your choice. You going to choose a Northern dog or a Southern dog?
Because either dog you choose, I guarantee you you’ll still be in the doghouse.
This is why I say it’s the ballot or the bullet. It’s liberty or it’s death. It’s
freedom for everybody, or freedom for nobody.

America today finds herself in a unique situation. Historically, revolutions are
bloody. Oh, yes, they are. They haven’t ever had a bloodless revolution or a non-violent
revolution. That doesn’t happen even in Hollywood. You don’t have a revolution in
which you love your enemy, and you don’t have a revolution in which you are begging
the system of exploitation to integrate you into it. Revolutions overturn systems.
Revolutions destroy systems. A revolution is bloody.

But America is in a unique position. She’s the only country in history in a position
actually to become involved in a bloodless revolution. The Russian Revolution was
bloody, Chinese Revolution was bloody, French Revolution was bloody, Cuban Revolution
was bloody, and there was nothing more bloody then the American Revolution. But
today, this country can become involved in a revolution that won’t take bloodshed.
All she’s got to do is give the black man in this country everything that’s due
him, everything.

I hope that the White man can see this because if he doesn’t see it, you’re finished.
If you don’t see it, you’re going to become involved in some action in which you
don’t have a chance. And we don’t care anything about your atomic bomb. It’s useless
because other countries have atomic bombs. When two or three different countries
have atomic bombs, nobody can use them, so it means that the White man today is
without a weapon. If you want some action, you have to come on down to Earth. And
there’s more Black people on Earth than there are White people on Earth.

I only got a couple more minutes. The White man can never win another war on the
ground. His days of war, victory, his reign, his days of ground victory are over.
Can I prove it? Yes. Take all the action that’s going on this earth right now that
he’s involved in. Tell me where he’s winning. Nowhere.

Why, some rice farmers, some rice eaters ran him out of Korea. Yes, they ran him
out of Korea. Rice eaters with nothing but gym shoes, and a rifle, and a bowl of
rice took him and his tanks and his napalm, and all that other action he’s supposed
to have and ran him across the Yalu. Why? Because the day that he can win on the
ground has passed.

Up in French Indo-China, those little peasants, rice growers, took on the might
of the French army and ran all the Frenchmen. You remember Dien Bien Phu? No?

The same thing happened in Algeria. In Africa, they didn’t have anything but a rifle.
The French had all these highly mechanized instruments of warfare, but they put
some guerilla action on, and a White man can’t fight a guerilla warfare. Guerilla
action takes heart, takes nerve, and he doesn’t have that. He’s brave when he’s
got tanks. He’s brave when he’s got planes. He’s brave when he’s got bombs. He’s
brave when he’s got a whole lot of company along with him, but you take that little
man from Africa and Asia, turn him loose in the woods with a blade. That’s all he
needs. All he needs is a blade. And when the sun goes down and it’s dark, it’s even-steven.

So, it’s the ballot or the bullet. Today our people can see that we’re faced with
a government conspiracy. This government has failed us. The senators who are filibustering
concerning your and my rights, that’s the government. Don’t say it’s Southern senators.
This is the government. This is a government filibuster. It’s not a segregationist
filibuster. It’s a government filibuster.

Any kind of activity that takes place on the floor of the Congress or the Senate,
it’s the government. Any kind of dilly-dallying, that’s the government. Any kind
of pussy-footing, that’s the government. Any kind of act that’s designed to delay
or deprive you and me right now of getting full rights, that’s the government that’s
responsible. And any time you find the government involved in a conspiracy to violate
the citizenship or the Civil Rights of a people, then you are wasting your time
going to that government expecting redress. Instead, you have to take that government
to the World Court and accuse it of genocide and all of the other crimes that it
is guilty of today.

So, those of us whose political, and economic, and social philosophy is Black nationalism,
have become involved in the Civil Rights struggle. We have injected ourselves into
the Civil Rights struggle, and we intend to expand it from the level of Civil Rights
to the level of human rights. As long as you’re fighting on the level of Civil Rights,
you’re under Uncle Sam’s jurisdiction. You’re going to his court expecting him to
correct the problem. He created the problem. He’s the criminal. You don’t take your
case to the criminal. You take your criminal to court.

When the government of South Africa began to trample upon the human rights of the
people of South Africa, they were taken to the U.N. When the government of Portugal
began to trample upon the rights of our brothers and sisters in Angola, it was taken
before the U.N. Why, even the White man took the Hungarian question to the U.N.
And just this week, Chief Justice Goldberg was crying over 3 million Jews in Russia
about their human rights, charging Russia with violating the U.N. charter because
of its mistreatment of the human rights of Jews in Russia.

Now, you tell me how can the plight of everybody on this earth reach the halls of
the United Nations, and you have 22 million Afro-Americans whose choices are being
bound, whose little girls are being murdered, whose leaders are being shot down
in broad daylight. Now, you tell me why the leaders of this struggle have never
taken it before the United Nations?

So, our next move is to take the entire Civil Rights struggle [problems] into the
United Nations, and let the world see that Uncle Sam is guilty of violating the
human rights of 22 million Afro- Americans. Uncle Sam still has the audacity or
the nerve to stand up and represent himself as the leader of the free world.

Not only is he a crook, he’s a hypocrite. Here he is standing up in front of other
people, Uncle Sam, with the blood of your and mine mothers and fathers on his knees,
with the blood dripping down his jaws like a bloody-jawed wolf, and still got the
nerve to point his finger at other countries. In 1964 you can’t even get Civil Rights
legislation. And this man has got the nerve to stand up and talk about South Africa,
or talk about Nazi Germany, or talk about [Portugal]. Why? No more days like those.

So, I say in my conclusion, the only way we’re going to solve it, we’ve got to unite
in unity and harmony, and Black nationalism is the key. How we going to overcome
the tendency to be at each other’s throats that always exists in our neighborhoods?
And the reason this tendency exists, the strategy of the white man has always been
divide and conquer. He keeps us divided in order to conquer us. He tells you I’m
for separation and you for integration to keep us fighting with each other.

No, I’m not for separation and you’re not for integration. What you and I is for
is freedom. Only, you think that integration would get you freedom; I think separation
would get me freedom. We both got the same objective; we just got different ways
of getting at it.

So, I studied this man, Billy Graham, who preaches White nationalism. That’s what
he preaches. I say that’s what he preaches. The whole church structure in this country
is White nationalism. You go inside a White church. That’s what they preaching,
is White nationalism. They got Jesus white, Mary White, God White, everybody White–that’s
White nationalism.

So what he does, the way he circumvents the jealousy and envy that he ordinarily
would incur among the heads of the church, whenever he go into an area where the
church already is you going into trouble, because they got that thing, what you
call it, syndicated, they got a syndicate, just like the rest of the racketeers
have. I’m going to say what’s on my mind, because the churches are, the preachers
already proved to you that they got a syndicate.

And when you’re out in the rackets, whenever you’re getting in another man’s territory,
they gang up on you. And that’s the same way with you, you ran into the same thing.
So, how Billy Graham gets around that, instead of going into somebody else’s territory,
like he going to start up a new church. He doesn’t try to start a church. He just
goes in preaching Christ. And he says everybody who believes in him, wherever you
go wherever you find him. So this helps all the churches and since it helps all
the churches, they don’t mind fight him.

Well, we going to do the same thing, only our gospel’s Black nationalism. His gospel
is White nationalism. Our gospel is Black nationalism. And the gospel of Black nationalism,
as I told you, means you should control you own, the politics of your community,
the economy of your community, and all of the society in which you live should be
under your control.

And once you feel that this philosophy will solve your problem, go join any church
where that’s preached. Don’t join a church where White nationalism is preached.
Now you can go to a Negro church and be exposed to White nationalism, because you
are when you walk in a Negro church and you see a White Jesus and a White Mary and
some White angels, that Negro church is preaching White nationalism.

But when you go to a church and you see the pastor of that church with a philosophy
and a program that’s designed to bring Black people together and elevate Black people,
join that church. Join that church. If you see where the NAACP is preaching and
practicing that which is designed to make Black nationalism materialize, join the
NAACP. Join any kind of organization, civic, religious, fraternal, political, or
otherwise that’s based on lifting the Black man up and making him master of his
own community.

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