Under (de)Construction

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Posts tagged Ballot or Bullet

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Anyone who knows me, knows that Malcolm X is one of my biggest intellectual influences. He was one of the first people to spark my awareness of not only racism as a social structure, but the power of community organizing, radical rhetoric, and eventually the power, possibility, and hope inherent in a human rights struggle. Below read and and listen to the “Ballot or Bullet” Speech.

Malcolm X: Full “Ballot or Bullet” Speech

If you’re only going to do one thing today, let it be listening to this speech.

“Islam is my religion but I believe my religion is my personal business. It governs my personal life, my personal morals. And 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.”

“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 mislead, led astray, or deceived, or maneuvered in to supporting someone politically who doesn’t have the good of our community at heart.”

“We have to become involved in a program of reeducation, to educate our people about the importance of knowing that when you spend your 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 once we see that all these other sources to which we turn 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 to late’ philosophy; this is what you and I need to get with.”

“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 behaviour pattern -and then you go on into some action.”

“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 a 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 been sitting long enough, and it’s time today for us to start doing some standing, and some fighting to back that up.”

“What do you call second class citizenship? Why, that’s colonization. Second class citizenship is nothing but 20th century slavery. How you gonna 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.”

“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”

“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.”

“He keeps us divided in order to conquer us. He tells you I’m for separation and you’re 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 are for is freedom.”

“The whole church structure in this country is White Nationalism. You go inside a white church, that’s what they preaching: White Nationalism. They got Jesus white, Mary white, God white, everybody white, that’s White Nationalism!”

“It’ll be the ballot or it’ll be the bullet. It’ll be liberty or it’ll be death. And if you’re not ready to pay that price don’t use the word freedom in your vocabulary.”

(Source: stay-human, via intrinsicintentions)

Filed under Malcolm X Ballot or Bullet radical change