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   Vol. 69/No. 41           October 24, 2005  
‘Racism: a world, not just an American, problem’
Printed below are excerpts from one of Malcolm X’s final speeches, given at the Corn Hill Methodist Church in Rochester, New York, Feb. 16, 1965. Malcolm was felled by an assassin’s bullet just five days later. The excerpts are taken from February 1965: The Final Speeches by Malcolm X, published by Pathfinder Press. Copyright © 1992 by Betty Shabazz and Pathfinder Press. Reprinted by permission.

Many of you probably read last week I made an effort to go to Paris and was turned away. And Paris doesn’t turn anybody away. You know anybody is supposed to be able to go to France, it’s supposed to be a very liberal place. But France is having problems today that haven’t been highly publicized. And England is also having problems that haven’t been highly publicized, because America's problems have been so highly publicized. But all of these three partners, or allies, have troubles in common today that the Black American, or Afro-American, isn’t well enough up on….

And you should ask yourself why should a country like France be so concerned with a little insignificant American Negro that they would prohibit him from going there, when almost anybody else can go to that country whenever they desire. And it’s primarily because the three countries have the same problems….

And that common problem is the new mood that is reflected in the overall division of the Black people within continental France, within the same sphere of England, and also here in the United States. So that—and this mood has been changing to the same degree that the mood on the African continent has been changing. So when you find the African revolution taking place, and by African revolution I mean the emergence of African nations into independence that has been going on for the past ten or twelve years, has absolutely affected the mood of the Black people in the Western Hemisphere. So much so that when they migrate to England, they pose a problem for the English. And when they migrate to France, they pose a problem for the French. And when they—already here in the States—but when they awaken, and this same mood is reflected in the Black man in the States, then it poses a problem to the white man here in America….

So I had to give you that background, in order for you to understand some of the current problems that are developing here on this earth. And in no time can you understand the problems between Black and white people here in Rochester or Black and white people in Mississippi or Black and white people in California, unless you understand the basic problem that exists between Black and white people—not confined to the local level, but confined to the international, global level on this earth today. When you look at it in that context, you'll understand….

But we also realize that the problem facing Black people in this country is so complex and so involved and has been here so long, unsolved, that it is absolutely necessary for us to form another organization. Which we did, which is a nonreligious organization in which—is known as the Organization of Afro-American Unity, and it is so structured organizationally to allow for active participation of any Afro American, any Black American, in a program that is designed to eliminate the negative political, economic, and social evils that our people are confronted by in this society. And we have that set up because we realize that we have to fight against the evils of a society that has failed to produce brotherhood for every member of that society. This in no way means that we’re antiwhite, antiblue, antigreen, or antiyellow. We’re antiwrong. We're antidiscrimination. We're antisegregation. We’re against anybody who wants to practice some form of segregation or discrimination against us because we don’t happen to be a color that’s acceptable to you….

We are living in a society that is by and large controlled by a people who believe in racism, and practice segregation and discrimination and racism. And you can see by the pattern that this society follows all over the world. Right now in Asia you have the American army dropping bombs on dark-skinned people. You can't say that—it’s as though you can justify being that far from home, dropping bombs on somebody else….

It's racism. Racism practiced by America. Racism which involves a war against the dark-skinned people in Asia, another form of racism involving a war against the dark-skinned people in the Congo…as it involves a war against the dark-skinned people in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Rochester, New York.

So we’re not against people because they're white. But we’re against those who practice racism. We’re against those who drop bombs on people because their color happens to be of a different shade than yours. And because we’re against it, the press says we’re violent. We’re not for violence. We’re for peace. But the people that we’re up against are for violence. You can't be peaceful when you're dealing with them. [Applause]
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New Orleans cops assault Black man
Airing of video forces officers’ suspension
Jail New Orleans cops in brutal beating!  
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