Malcolm Little, May 19, 1925, Omaha, Nebraska
El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, February 21, 1965, Audubon Ballroom,
Harlem, New York City
York City, December 4, 1963
Edited by Benjamin Karim
this speech was delivered, Malcolm X was at the height of his
influence as a minister and spokesman for the Nation of Islam.
He was largely credited with increasing NOI national membership
to 30,000 from an estimated 500 in 1952, the year Malcolm left
prison as a follower of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
after making this speech, Malcolm was asked his opinion on the
assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the previous month.
Malcolm replied that Kennedy “never foresaw that the chickens
would come home to roost so soon" – the reason some
call this Malcolm’s “Chickens Come Home To Roost”
speech. The remark set off a firestorm, leading Elijah Muhammad
to sentence his spokesman to 90 days of silence. Malcolm formally
broke with the NOI in March 1964, to found the Muslim Mosque,
Inc. (See the
Malcolm X Web Site.)
Karim, Malcolm’s Assistant Minister, edited this speech.
We have taken the liberty of beginning the text about one-third
the way into the speech.
here to view complete printable image of BC's
Malcolm X tribute
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
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!
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.
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.
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
here think that integration into this doomed white society will
soon solve our problem.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 politics 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.
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.
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."
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?
are the eight million nonvoting Negroes; what do they want,
and why don't they vote?
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.
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.
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, white-minded, 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.
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 want 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.
the three million white-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.
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!
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.
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."
us examine briefly some of the tricky strategy used by white
liberals to harness and exploit the political energies of 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.
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"
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.
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
Negro "revolution" is controlled by these foxy white
liberals, by the government itself. But the black revolution
is controlled only by God.
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.
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 black
flames, these black firebrands.
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.
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.
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.
we prove that the Negro revolution is controlled by white liberals?
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.
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 necessity
of building them up, and propping them up, in order to hold
the black masses in check, keep them in his grasp, and under
late President knew that once Negroes heard The Honorable Elijah
Muhammad the white liberals will never influence or control
or misuse those Negroes for the benefit of the white liberals
any more. So the late President was faced with a desperate situation.
Luther King's image had been shattered the previous year when
he failed to bring about desegregation in Albany, Georgia. The
other civil rights leaders had also become fallen idols. The
black masses across the country at the grass roots level had
already begun to take their cases to the streets on their own.
The government in Washington knew that something had to be done
to get the rampaging Negroes back into the corral, back under
the control of the white liberals.
government propaganda machine began encouraging Negroes to follow
only what it called "responsible" Negro leaders. The
government actually meant, Negro leaders who were responsible
to the government, and who could therefore by controlled by
the government, and be used by that same government to control
their impatient people.
government knows that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad is responsible
only to God and can be controlled only by God. But this white
government of America doesn't believe in God!
us review briefly what happened last spring: In May in Birmingham,
Negroes erupted and retaliated against the whites. During the
many long weeks when the police dogs and police clubs and the
high-pressure water hoses were brutalizing black women and children
and babies, and the Birmingham Negroes had called for the government
to intervene with Federal troops, the late President did nothing
but sit on his hands. He said there was nothing he could do.
But when Negroes in Birmingham exploded and began to defend
themselves, the late President then sent in Federal troops,
not to defend the Negroes, but to defend the whites against
whom the Negroes had finally retaliated.
this point, spontaneous demonstrations began taking place all
over the country. At the grass roots level Negroes began to
talk about marching on Washington, tying up the Congress, the
Senate, the White House, and even the airport. They threatened
to bring this government to a halt. This frightened the entire
white power structure.
late President called in the Negro civil rights leaders and
told them to bring this "march" to a halt. The Negro
civil rights leaders were forced to tell the late President
that they couldn't stop the march because they hadn't started
it. It was spontaneous, at the grass roots level across the
country, and it had no leadership whatsoever.
the late President saw that he couldn't stop the march, he joined;
he endorsed it; he welcomed it; he became a part of it; and
it was he who put the six Negro civil rights leaders at the
head of it. It was he who made them the Big Six.
did he do it? How did he gain control of the March on Washington?
A study of his shrewd strategy will give you a glimpse of the
political genius with which the Kennedy family was ruling this
country from the White House, and how they used the American
Negro in all of their schemes.
late President endorsed the march; that should have been the
tip-off. A few days later in New York City, at the Carlysle
Hotel, a philanthropic society known as the Taconic Foundation,
headed by a shrewd white liberal named Stephen Currier, called
a meeting of the six civil rights leaders in an effort to bring
unity of action and purpose among all the civil rights groups.
Martin Luther King had been released from his Birmingham jail
cell in May, he traveled from coast to coast in a fund-raising
campaign for his Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Roy
Wilkins then began to attack King, accusing him of stirring
up trouble, saying that after the NAACP would bail out King
and the other demonstrators, then King would capitalize on the
trouble by taking up all the money for his own organization,
leaving the NAACP to hold the bag at a great financial loss.
King, Wilkins, and the other civil rights leaders began to fight
publicly among themselves over the money they were trying to
get from the white liberals, they were destroying their own
white liberal, Stephen Currier, showed them how they were destroying
themselves by attacks upon each other, and it was suggested
that, since most of their divisions and disagreements stemmed
from competition for funds from white liberals, they should
unite their fund raising efforts. Then they formed the Council
for the United Civil Rights Leadership, under the pretext that
it would be for fund-raising purposes. They chose the Urban
League's Whitney Young as the chairman, and the white liberal
Stephen Currier became the co-chairman.
took the white man to bring those Negro leaders together and
to unite them into one group. He let them select their own chairman,
but he himself became the co-chairman. This shrewd maneuver
placed the white liberal and the Taconic Foundation in the position
to exercise influence and control over the six civil rights
leaders and, by working through them, to control the entire
civil rights movement, including the March on Washington.
also put the white liberals in a position to force the Big Six
to come out against the recently proposed Christmas boycott
by threatening to withdraw their financial support from the
civil rights drive.)
to the August 4 edition of The New York Times, $800,000 was
split up between these six Negro civil rights leaders on June
19 at the Carlysle Hotel, and another $700,000 was promised
to be given to them at a later date after the march was over,
if everything went well with the march.
relations experts were made available to these "Six Big
Negroes," and they were given access to the news media
throughout the country. The press skillfully projected them
as the leaders of the March on Washington, and as soon as the
Big Six were looked upon in the public eye as the organizers
of the march, their first step was to invite four white "leaders"
to become a part of the march "godhead." This group
of leaders would supposedly okay all the plans and thereby control
the "direction and the mood" of the march.
four white "leaders" represented the same factions
that had put the late President in the White House: Catholics,
Jews, Labor, and Protestant liberals. When the late President
had learned that he couldn't stop the march, he not only joined
it himself but he encouraged all of his political bedfellows
to join it. This is the way the white liberals took over the
March on Washington, weakened its impact, and changed its course;
by changing the participants and the contents, they were able
to change the very nature of the march itself.
If I have a cup of coffee that is too strong for me because
it is too black, I weaken it by pouring cream into it. I integrate
it with cream. If I keep pouring enough cream in the coffee,
pretty soon the entire flavor of the coffee is changed; the
very nature of the coffee is changed. If enough cream is poured
in, eventually you don't even know that I had coffee in this
cup. This is what happened with the March on Washington. The
whites didn't integrate it; they infiltrated it. Whites joined
it; they engulfed it; they became so much a part of it, it lost
its original flavor. It ceased to be a black march; it ceased
to be militant; it ceased to be angry; it ceased to be impatient.
In fact, it ceased to be a march. It became a picnic, an outing
with a festive, circus-like atmosphere ... CLOWNS AND ALL.
government had learned that in cases where the demonstrators
are predominantly black, they are extremely militant, and oft-times
very violent. But to the same degree that whites participate,
violence most times is decreased. The government knew that in
cases wherein blacks were demonstrating all by themselves, those
blacks are so dissatisfied, disenchanted, and angry at the white
man that they will oft-times strike back violently regardless
of the odds or the consequences. The white government had learned
that the only way to hold these black people in check is by
joining them, by infiltrating their ranks disguised as integrationists;
by integrating their marches and all their demonstrations, and
weakening them: in this way only could they be held in check.
government told the marchers what time to arrive in Washington,
where to arrive, and how to arrive. The government then channeled
them from the arrival point to the feet of a dead President,
George Washington, and then let them march from there to the
feet of another dead President, Abraham Lincoln.
original black militants had planned to march on the White House,
the Senate, and the Congress and to bring all political traffic
on Capitol Hill to a halt, but the shrewd politicians in Washington,
realizing that those original black militants could not be stopped,
joined them. By joining the marchers, the white liberals were
able to lead the marchers away from the White House, the Senate,
the Congress, Capitol Hill, and away from victory. By keeping
them marching from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Monument,
marching between the feet of two dead Presidents, they never
reached the White House to see the then living President.
entire march was controlled by the late president. The government
in Washington had told the marchers what signs to carry, what
songs to sing, what speeches to make, and what speeches not
to make, and then told the marchers to be sure to get out of
town by sundown.
of the Big Six leaders, John Lewis, chairman of the Student
Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, was prevented from making
a very militant speech. He wanted to attack the Kennedy administration
for its hypocrisy on civil rights.
speech was censored by the Rt. Rev. Patrick O'Boyle, the Catholic
Archbishop of Washington, D.C. This was a case in which the
Catholic Church itself, for whom Rev. O'Boyle speaks, put itself
in the position of censoring the legitimate opinion of one of
the Big Six Negro civil rights leaders.
late President's shrewd strategy was: If you can't beat them,
join them. The Catholic President placed his Catholic bishop
in a strategic position to exercise censorship over any one
of the Big Six Negro leaders who tried to deviate from the script
in this great "extravaganza" called the March on Washington
which the government had controlled right from the very beginning.
in the final analysis of the march: It would have to be classified
as the best performance of the year; in fact it was the greatest
performance of this century. It topped anything that Hollywood
could have produced.
we were going to give out Academy Awards in 1963, we would have
to give the late President an Oscar for the "Best Producer
of the Year"; and to the four white liberals who participated
should go an Oscar as the "Best Actors of the Year,"
because they really acted like sincere liberals and fooled many
Negroes. And to the six Negro civil rights leaders should go
an Oscar for the "Best Supporting Cast," because they
supported the late President in his entire act, and in his entire
that the show is over, the black masses are still without land,
without jobs, and without homes ... their Christian churches
are still being bombed, their innocent little girls murdered.
So what did the March on Washington accomplish? Nothing!
late President has a bigger image as a liberal, the other whites
who participated have bigger liberal images also, and the Negro
civil rights leaders have now been permanently named the Big
Six (because of their participation in the Big Fix?) ... but
the black masses are still unemployed, still starving, and still
living in the slums ... and, I might add, getting angrier and
more explosive every day.
must repeat itself! Because of America's evil deeds against
these twenty-two million "Negroes," like Egypt and
Babylon before her, America herself now stands before the "bar
of justice." White America is now facing her Day of Judgment,
and she can't escape because today God himself is the judge.
God himself is now the administrator of justice, and God himself
is to be her divine executor!
it possible for America to escape this divine disaster? If America
can't atone for the crimes she has committed against the twenty-two
million "Negroes," if she can't undo the evils she
has brutally and mercilessly heaped upon our people these past
four hundred years, then America has signed her own doom ...
and our own people would be foolish to accept her deceitful
offers of integration into her doomed society at this late date!
can America atone for her crimes? The Honorable Elijah Muhammad
teaches us that a desegregated theater or lunch counter won't
solve our problems. Better jobs won't even solve our problems.
An integrated cup of coffee isn't sufficient pay for four hundred
years of slave labor, and a better job in the white man's factory
or position in his business is, at best, only a temporary solution.
The only lasting or permanent solution is complete separation
on some land that we can call our own.
Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that the race problem can
easily be solved, just by sending these twenty-two million ex-slaves
back to our own homeland where we can live in peace and harmony
with our own kind. But this government should provide the transportation,
plus everything else we need to get started again in our own
country. This government should provide everything we need in
machinery, materials, and finance; enough to last us for from
twenty to twenty-five years, until we can become an independent
people in our own country.
this white government is afraid to let her twenty-two million
ex-slaves go back to our country and to our own people, then
America must set aside some separate territory here in the Western
Hemisphere, where the two races can live apart from each other,
since we certainly don't get along peacefully while we are here
size of the territory can be judged according to our own population.
If our people number one-seventh of America's total population,
then give us one-seventh of this land. We don't want any land
in the desert, but where there is rain and much mineral wealth.
want fertile, productive land on which we can farm and provide
our own people with sufficient food, clothing, and shelter.
This government must supply us with the machinery and other
tools needed to dig into the earth. Give us everything we need
for them for from twenty to twenty-five years, until we can
produce and supply our own needs.
we are a part of America, then part of what she is worth belongs
to us. We will take our share and depart, then this white country
can have peace. What is her net worth? Give us our share in
gold and silver and let us depart and go back to our homeland
want no integration with this wicked race that enslaved us.
We want complete separation from this race of devils. But we
should not be expected to leave America and go back to our homeland
empty-handed. After four hundred years of slave labor, we have
some back pay coming, a bill owed to us that must be collected.
the government of White America truly repents of its sins against
our people, and atones by giving us our true share, only then
can America save herself!
if America waits for Almighty God himself to step in and force
her into a just settlement, God will take this entire continent
away from her; and she will cease to exist as a nation. Her
own Christian Scriptures warn her that when God comes He can
give the "entire Kingdom to whomsoever He will" ...
which only means that the God of Justice on Judgment Day can
give this entire continent to whomsoever He wills!
America, wake up and take heed, before it is too late!