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“By Any Means Necessary...”
MALCOLM X SPEAKS
Revolutionary Black Liberation Leader in the U.S.
Whenever one is viewing this political system through the eyes of a victim, he sees something different. But today these twenty-two million black people who are the victims of American democracy, whether you realize it or not, are viewing your democracy with new eyes. Yesterday our people used to look upon the American system as an American dream. But the black people today are beginning to realize that it is an American nightmare. What is a dream to you is a nightmare to us. What is hope to you has long since become hopeless to our people. And as this attitude develops, not so much on Sugar Hill—although it’s there too—but in the ghetto, in the alley where the masses of our people live...there you have a new situation on your hands. There’s a new political consciousness developing among our people in this country. In the past, we weren’t conscious of the political maneuvering that goes on in this country, which exploits our people politically. We knew something was wrong, but we weren’t conscious of what it was. Today there’s a tendency on the part of this new generation of black people (who have been born and are growing up in this country) to look at the thing not as they wish it were, but as it actually is. And their ability to look at the situation as it is, is what is primarily responsible for the ever-increasing sense of frustration and hopelessness that exists in the so-called Negro community today.
Excerpt from Speech at Harvard University (March 18,1964)
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