1968 Interview with Robert F. Williams

  • Interviewer: What do you see for the United States? What do you think is going to happen here in the States?
  • Robert: Well I think great turmoil is going to take place there. And what we’ve seen today is just a sample of what is developing in the world, a new attitude. That there is much contempt and much hatred for America because of its imperialist attitude, because of its capitalist attitude in dealing with others, because of its racist attitude. And people in the world are beginning to get tired with this. And more and more they’re beginning to complain. And more and more they’re beginning to see the United States as the devil power of the earth. And not only the people outside, but all people inside. The Black people are beginning to see America serving as the devil to make life miserable for the good people of the world or the struggling peoples. So I can foresee the day when unless America changes, and unless it changes soon, it is going to be completely destroyed. It’s going to be wiped off the face of the earth because it is impossible for a nation to serve as the devil-to do such evil to others and exist. And it was Abraham Lincoln himself who said that “a nation divided among itself cannot stand,” and America is divided.
  • Interviewer: Now when you say “wiped off the face of the earth,” there’s no power on earth that will dare to attack us. We can destroy Russia or China, or anybody else who tries us. What are you talking about when you say “wiped off the face of the earth?”
  • Robert: Well, when I saw wiped off the face of the earth I mean that part of it is going to come from within America. America is already about to destroy itself. America now is in such a sorry state that even the president of the United States is not safe. A man who is [running] for presidency can be killed openly in the streets-
  • Interviewer: But that’s not the destruction of the United States.
  • Robert: No, but this is the beginning! This shows that there is something seriously wrong. And this shows that the society is becoming so degenerate, and so many explosions are taking place among the people that it can’t possibly stand, plus the fact it’s suffering defeat in Vietnam. And more and more of the peoples of the world are beginning to resist, and they’re going to resist more. And all of these forces brought together, including the degenerates inside the country is going to bring about its destruction. That’s all there is to it-
  • Interviewer: Yeah, but you’re talking the abstract here. In your newsletter, in your radio broadcasts in the past, and in many statements that you’ve made, you’ve said that Afro-Americans are going to blow up American factories, dynamite Hoover dam, destroy the railroad lines, destroy electrical power lines. You tell how to make molotov cocktails, how to attack the police. Aren’t you in fact advocating, preaching, that Afro-Americans should try to destroy American industry and bring chaos to American cities?
  • Robert: I’m preaching for my people the same thing that George Washington and Patrick Henry preached for their people, in another time, in another day; that I’m preaching that we must use any means necessary in order to liberate ourselves, and the we have no right to submit to tyranny. I’m saying that we must become men and we must resist and we must use any means, no matter what it requires. And the fact that I’m more concerned with the liberation of people, I’m more concerned with humanity and the human flesh than with buildings, than with the loss of property. You see this is the cold capitalist version of the fact that we must save the property, but I’m interested in saving the people, and Black people have a right to be saved as much as anybody. And unless white America is willing to liberate the black people and to stop oppressing us, then if America must go up in smoke, then let it go, let it go. Let it burn.
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