Malcolm X: Front Page Challenge, January 5, 1965

  • White Interviewer #1: Sometimes, whether you may have or not, and I think probably you have, have sometimes, seems to me, been preaching hate to meet hate.
  • Malcolm X: I don't advocate any kind of hate, but I think that-
  • White Interviewer #1: But there's a lot of talk that sounds very much like it.
  • Malcolm X: No, I think that the guilt complex of the American white man is so profound, until when you begin to analyze the real condition of the Black man in America, instead of the American white man eliminating the causes that create that condition, he tries to cover it up by accusing his accusers of teaching hate, but actually they're just exposing him for being responsible for what exists.
  • White Interviewer #1: Well, that's something of an argument, but I've heard speeches made by some of the people of your group. I think I've heard you make speeches. It seems to me that you are advocating violence to meet the serious injuries that have been done to your people with which I totally agree.
  • Malcolm X: I don't call that violence. I don't in any way encourage Black people to go out and initiate acts of aggression indiscriminately against whites. But I do believe that the Black man in the United states, and any human being anywhere, is well within his right to do whatever is necessary, by any means necessary, to protect his life and property, especially in a country where the federal government itself has proven that it is either unable or unwilling to protect the lives and property of those human beings.
  • White Interviewer #2: Are you still a Muslim?
  • Malcolm X: Oh, yes. I'm a Muslim. I believe in the religion of Islam which believes in brotherhood; complete brotherhood of all people. But at the same time that I believe in this brotherhood, I don't believe enforcing my desire for brotherhood upon those who aren't willing to accept it.
  • White Interviewer #2: The Christians would say that they also believe in brotherhood. What would you say to that?
  • Malcolm X: I'd say they believe in it but don't practice it.
  • White Interviewer #3: Mr. X, since your split with the Black Muslim movement, have you formed your own group?
  • Malcolm X: Yes.
  • White Interviewer #3: And also, you say that you don't believe that Martin Luther King has solutions. What are your solutions?
  • Malcolm X: Well, first we formed two groups. The split resulted in the formation of two groups. Those who left the Black Muslim movement regrouped into what has now become known as the Muslim Mosque Incorporated, which is strictly religious; based upon the religion as it is taught in Mecca and Cairo, and other centers of Islamic religious learning. Then, realizing that our problem in America, that we are Black Americans; we have a problem that goes beyond religion. We formed the group known as the Organization of Afro-American Unity, and the objective of this organization-It's nonreligious, number one. Any negro can belong to it. And the objective of that organization is to bring about a condition that will guarantee respect and recognition of the 22 million Black Americans as human beings. And-
  • White Interviewer #3: Now, this is very radical, but how?
  • Malcolm X: By any means necessary. We feel that the problem, number one, of the Black man in America, is beyond America's ability to solve. It's a human problem, not an American problem or a Negro problem. And as a human problem, or a world problem, we feel that it should be taken out of the jurisdiction of the United States government and the United States courts, and taken into the United Nations in the same manner that the problems of the Black man in South Africa, Angola, and other parts of the world, and even the way they're trying to bring the problems of the Jews in Russia into the United Nations because of violation of human rights. We believe that our problem is one not of violation of civil rights, but a violation of human rights. Not only are we denied the right to be a citizen in the United States, we're denied the right to be a human being.
  • Interviewers: .......
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