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"By Any Means Necessary..."
MALCOLM X SPEAKS
Excerpt from Malcolm X "The Ballot or the Bullet"
(April 3, 1964).
Well, I am one who doesn't believe in
deluding myself. I'm not going to sit at
your table and watch you eat, with nothing
on my plate, and call myself a diner. Sitting
at the table doesn't make you a diner,
unless you eat some of what's on that plate.
Being here in America doesn't make you
an American. Being born here in America
doesn't make you an American. Why, if
birth made you American, you wouldn't
need any legislation; you wouldn't need
any amendments to the Constitution;
you wouldn't be faced with civil-rights
filibustering in Washington, D.C., right
now. They don't have to pass civil-rights
legislation to make a Polack an American.
No, I'm not an American. I'm one of the 22
million black people who are the victims of
Americanism. One of the 22 million black
people who are the victims of democracy,
nothing but disguised hypocrisy. So, I'm
not standing here speaking to you as an
American, or a patriot, or a flag-saluter, or
a flag-waver - no, not I. I'm speaking as a
victim of this American system. And I see
America through the eyes of the victim.
I don't see any American dream; I see an
These 22 million victims are waking
up. Their eyes are coming open. They're
beginning to see what they used to only
look at. They're becoming politically
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