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Chapter 15 I Carus

The more places I represented Mr. Muhammad on television and radio, and at colleges and elsewhere, the more letters came from people who had heard me. I'd say that ninety-five per cent of the letterswere from white people.

  Only a few of the letters fell into the "Dear Nigger X" category, or the death-threats. Most of my mailexposed to me the white man's two major dreads. The first one was his own private belief that Godwrathfully is going to destroy this civilization. And the white man's second most pervading dread washis image of the black man entering the body of the white woman.

  An amazing percentage of the white letter-writers agreed entirely with Mr. Muhammad's analysis ofthe problem-but not with his solution. One odd ambivalence was how some letters, otherwise all butchampioning Mr. Muhammad, would recoil at the expression "white devils." I tried to explain this insubsequent speeches:

  "Unless we call one white man, by name, a 'devil,' we are not speaking of any _individual_ white man.

  We are speaking of the _collective_ white man's _historical_ record. We are speaking of the collectivewhite man's cruelties, and evils, and greeds, that have seen him _act_ like a devil toward the nonwhite man. Any intelligent, honest, objective person cannot fail to realize that this white man's slavetrade, and his subsequent devilish actions are directly _responsible_ for not only the _presence_ of thisblack man in America, but also for the _condition_ in which we find this black man here. You cannotfind _one_ black man, I do not care who he is, who has not been personally damaged in some way bythe devilish acts of the collective white man!"Nearly every day, some attack on the "Black Muslims" would appear in some newspapers.

  Increasingly, a focal target was something that I had said, "Malcolm X" as a "demagogue." I wouldgrow furious reading any harsh attack upon Mr. Muhammad. I didn't care what they said about me.

  Those social workers and sociologists-they tried to take me apart. Especially the black ones, for somereason. Of course, I knew the reason: the white man signed their paychecks. If I wasn't "polarizing thecommunity," according to this bunch, I had "erroneously appraised the racial picture." Or in somestatement, I had "over-generalized." Or when I had made some absolutely true point, "Malcolm Xconveniently manipulated. . . ."Once, one of my Mosque Seven Muslim brothers who worked with teenagers in a well-known Harlemcommunity center showed me a confidential report. Some black senior social worker had been given amonth off to investigate the "Black Muslims" in the Harlem area. Every paragraph sent me back to thedictionary-I guess that's why I've never forgotten one line about me. Listen to this: "The dynamicinterstices of the Harlem sub-culture have been oversimplified and distorted by Malcolm X to meet hisown needs."Which of us, I wonder, knew more about that Harlem ghetto "sub-culture"? I, who had hustled foryears in those streets, or that black snob status-symbol-educated social worker?

  But that's not important. What's important, to my way of thinking about it, is that among America's 22 million black people so relatively few have been lucky enough to attend a college-and here was one ofthose who had been lucky. Here was, to my way of thinking, one of those "educated" Negroes whonever had understood the true intent, or purpose, or application of education. Here was one of thosestagnant educations, never used except for parading a lot of big words.

  Do you realize this is one of the major reasons why America's white man has so easily contained andoppressed America's black man? Because until just lately, among the few educated Negroes scarcelyany applied their education, as I am forced to say the white man does-in searching and creativethinking, tofurther themselves and their own kind in this competitive, materialistic, dog-eat-dog white man'sworld. For generations, the so-called "educated" Negroes have "led" their black brothers by echoingthe white man's thinking-which naturally has been to the exploitive white man's advantage.

  The white man-give him his due-has an extraordinary intelligence, an extraordinary cleverness. Hisworld is full of proof of it. You can't name a thing the white man can't make. You can hardly name ascientific problem he can't solve. Here he is now solving the problems of sending men exploring intoouter space-and returning them safely to earth.

  But in the arena of dealing with human beings, the white man's working intelligence is hobbled. Hisintelligence will fail him altogether if the humans happen to be non-white. The white man's emotionssuperseded his intelligence. He will commit against non-whites the most incredible spontaneousemotional acts, so psyche-deep is his "white superiority" complex.

  Where was the A-bomb dropped . . ."to save American lives"? Can the white man be so naive as tothink the clear import of this ever will be lost upon the non-white two-thirds of the earth's population?

  Before that bomb was dropped-right over here in the United States, what about the one hundredthousand loyal naturalized and native-born Japanese-American citizens who were herded into camps,behind barbed wire? But how many German-born naturalized Americans were herded behind barbedwire? They were _white_!

  Historically, the non-white complexion has evoked and exposed the "devil" in the very nature of thewhite man.

  What else but a controlling emotional "devil" so blinded American white intelligence that it couldn'tforesee that millions of black slaves, "freed," then permitted even limited education, would one dayrise up as a terrifying monster within white America's midst?

  The white man's brains that today explore space should have told the slavemaster that any slave, if heis educated, will no longer fear his master. History shows that an educated slave always begins to ask,and next demand, equality with his master.

  Today, in many ways the black man sees the collective white man in America better than that whiteman can see himself. And the 22 million blacks realize increasingly that physically, politically,economically, and even to some degree socially, the aroused black man can create a turmoil in whiteAmerica's vitals-not to mention America's international image.

   I had not intended to stray off. I had been telling how in 1963, I was trying to cope with the whitenewspaper, radio, and television reporters who were determined to defeat Mr. Muhammad'steachings.

  I developed a mental image of reporters as human ferrets-steadily sniffing, darting, probing for someway to trick me, somehow to corner me in our interview exchanges.

  Let some civil rights "leader" make some statement, displeasing to the white public power structure,and the reporters, in an effort to whip him back into line, would try to use me. I'll give an example. I'dget a question like this: "Mr. Malcolm X, you've often gone on record as disapproving of the sit-ins andsimilar Negro protest actions-what is your opinion of the Montgomery boycott that Dr. King isleading?"Now my feeling was that although the civil rights "leaders" kept attacking us Muslims, still they wereblack people, still they were our own kind, and I would be most foolish to let the white man maneuverme against the civil rights movement.

  When I was asked about the Montgomery boycott, I'd carefully review what led up to it. Mrs. RosaParks was riding home on a bus and at some bus stop the white cracker bus driver ordered Mrs. Parksto get up and give her seat to some white passenger who had just got on the bus. I'd say, "Now, just_imagine_ that! This good, hard-working, Christian-believing black woman, she's paid her money,she's in her seat. Just because she's _black_, she's asked to get up! I mean, sometimes even for _me_ it'shard to believe the white man's arrogance!"Or I might say, "No one will ever know exactly what emotional ingredient made this relatively trivialincident a fuse for those Montgomery Negroes. There had been _centuries_ of the worst kind ofoutrages against Southern black people-lynchings, rapings, shootings, beatings! But you know historyhas been triggered by trivial-seeming incidents. Once a little nobody Indian lawyer was put off a train,and fed up with injustice, he twisted a knot in the British Lion's tail. _His_ name was MahatmaGandhi!"Or I might copy a trick I had seen lawyers use, both in life and on television. It was a way that lawyerswould slip in before a jury something otherwise inadmissable. (Sometimes I think I really might havemade it as a lawyer, as I once told that eighth-grade teacher in Mason, Michigan, I wanted to be, whenhe advised me to become a carpenter.) I would slide right over the reporter's question to drop into hislap a logical-extension hot potato for him.

  "Well, sir, I see the same boycott reasoning for Negroes asked to join the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

  Why should we go off to die somewhere to preserve a so-called 'democracy' that gives a whiteimmigrant of one day more than it gives the black man with four hundred years of slaving andserving in this country?"Whites would prefer fifty local boycotts to having 22 million Negroes start thinking about what I hadjust said. I don't have to tell you that it never got printed the way I said it. It would be turned insideout if it got printed at all. And I could detect when the white reporters had gotten their heads together;they quit asking me certain questions.

  If I had developed a good point, though, I'd bait a hook to get it said when I went on radio ortelevision. I'd seem to slip and mention some recent so-called civil rights "advance." You know, wheresome giant industry had hired ten showpiece Negroes; some restaurant chain had begun making moremoney by serving Negroes; some Southern university had enrolled a black freshman withoutbayonets-like that. When I "slipped," the program host would leap on that bait: "Ahhh! Indeed, Mr.

  Malcolm X-you can't deny _that's_ an advance for your race!"I'd jerk the pole then. "I can't turn around without hearing about some 'civil rights advance'! Whitepeople seem to think the black man ought to be shouting 'hallelujah'! Four hundred years the whiteman has had his foot-long knife in the black man's back-and now the white man starts to _wiggle_ theknife out, maybe six inches! The black man's supposed to be _grateful_? Why, if the white man jerkedthe knife _out_, it's still going to leave a _scar_!"Similarly, just let some mayor or some city council somewhere boast of having "no Negro problem."That would get off the newsroom teletypes and it would soon be jammed right in my face. I'd say theydidn't need to tell me where this was, because I knew that all it meant was that relatively very fewNegroes were living there. That's true the world over, you know. Take "democratic" England-when100,000 black West Indians got there, England stopped the black migration. Finland welcomed aNegro U.S. Ambassador. Well, let enough Negroes follow him to Finland! Or in Russia, whenKhrushchev was in power, he threatened to cancel the visas of black African students whose antidiscrimination demonstration said to the world, "Russia, too. . . ." The Deep South white press generally blacked me out. But they front-paged what I felt aboutNorthern white and black Freedom Riders going _South_ to "demonstrate." I called it "ridiculous";their own Northern ghettoes, right at home, had enough rats and roaches to kill to keep all of theFreedom Riders busy. I said that ultra-liberal New York had more integration problems thanMississippi. If the Northern Freedom Riders wanted more to do, they could work on the roots of suchghetto evils as the little children out in the streets at midnight, with apartment keys on strings aroundtheir necks to let themselves in, and their mothers and fathers drunk, drug addicts, thieves,prostitutes. Or the Northern Freedom Riders could light some fires under Northern city halls, unions, and major industries to give more jobs to Negroes to remove so many of them from the relief andwelfare rolls, which created laziness, and which deteriorated the ghettoes into steadily worse placesfor humans to live. It was all-it is all-the absolute truth; but what did I want to say it for? Snakescouldn't have turned on me faster than the liberal.

  Yes, I will pull off that liberal's halo that he spends such efforts cultivating! The North's liberals havebeen for so long pointing accusing fingers at the South and getting away with it that they have fitswhen they are exposed as the world's worst hypocrites.

  I believe my own life _mirrors_ this hypocrisy. I know nothing about the South. I am a creation of theNorthern white man and of his hypocritical attitude toward the Negro.

  The white Southerner was always given his due by Mr. Muhammad. The white Southerner, you cansay one thing-he is honest. He bares his teeth to the black man; he tells the black man, to his face, thatSouthern whites never will accept phony "integration." The Southern white goes further, to tell theblack man that he means to fight him every inch of the way-against even the so-called "tokenism." Theadvantage of this is the Southern black man never has been under any illusions about the oppositionhe is dealing with.

  You can say for many Southern white people that, individually, they have been paternalisticallyhelpful to many individual Negroes. But the Northern white man, he grins with his teeth, and hismouth has always been full of tricks and lies of "equality" and "integration." When one day all overAmerica, a black hand touched the white man's shoulder, and the white man turned, and there stoodthe Negro saying "Me, too . . ." why, that Northern liberal shrank from that black man with as muchguilt and dread as any Southern white man.

  Actually, America's most dangerous and threatening black man is the one who has been kept sealedup by the Northerner in the black ghettoes-the Northern white power structure's system to keeptalking democracy while keeping the black man out of sight somewhere, around the comer.

  The word "integration" was invented by a Northern liberal. The word has no real meaning. I ask you:

  in the racial sense in which it's used so much today, whatever "integration" is supposed to mean, can itprecisely be defined? The truth is that "integration" is an _image_, it's a foxy Northern liberal'ssmokescreen that confuses the true wants of the American black man. Here in these fifty racist andneo-racist states of North America, this word "integration" has millions of white people confused, andangry, believing wrongly that the black masses want to live mixed up with the white man. That is thecase only with the relative handful of these "integration"-mad Negroes.

  I'm talking about these "token-integrated" Negroes who flee from their poor, downtrodden blackbrothers-from their own self-hate, which is what they're really trying to escape. I'm talking about theseNegroes you will see who can't get enough of nuzzling up to the white man. These "chosen few"Negroes are more white-minded, more anti-black, than even the white man is.

   Human rights! Respect as _human beings_! That's what America's black masses want. That's the trueproblem. The black masses want not to be shrunk from as though they are plague-ridden. They wantnot to be walled up in slums, in the ghettoes, like animals. They want to live in an open, free societywhere they can walk with their heads up, like men, and women!

  Few white people realize that many black people today dislike and avoid spending any more timethan they must around white people. This "integration" image, as it is popularly interpreted, hasmillions of vain, self-exalted white people convinced that black people want to sleep in bed with them-and that's a lie! Or you can't _tell_ the average white man that the Negro man's prime desire isn't tohave a white woman-another lie! Like a black brother recently observed to me, "Look, you ever smellone of them wet?"The black masses prefer the company of their own kind. Why, even these fancy, bourgeois Negroes-when they get back home from the fancy "integrated" cocktail parties, what do they do but kick offtheir shoes and talk about those white liberals they just left as if the liberals were dogs. And the whiteliberals probably do the very same thing. I can't be sure about the whites, I am never around them inprivate-but the bourgeois Negroes know I'm not lying.

  I'm telling it like it _is_! You _never_ have to worry about me biting my tongue if something I know astruth is on my mind. Raw, naked truth exchanged between the black man and the white man is what awhole lot more of is needed in this country-to clear the air of the racial mirages, clich 俿, and lies thatthis country's very atmosphere has been filled with for four hundred years.

  In many communities, especially small communities, white people have created a benevolent image ofthemselves as having had so much "good-will toward our Negroes," every time any "local Negro"begins suddenly letting the local whites know the truth-that the black people are sick of being hind-tit,second-class, disfranchised, that's when you hear, uttered so sadly, "Unfortunately now because ofthis, our whites of good-will are starting to turn against the Negroes. . . . It's so regrettable. . . progress was being made . . . but now our communications between the races have broken down!"What are they talking about? There never was any _communication_. Until after World War II, therewasn't a single community in the entire United States where the white man heard from any localNegro "leaders" the truth of what Negroes felt about the conditions that the white communityimposed upon Negroes.

  You need some proof? Well, then, why was it that when Negroes did start revolting across America,virtually all of white America was caught up in surprise and even shock? I would hate to be general ofan army as badly informed as the American white man has been about the Negro in this country.

  This is the situation which permitted Negro combustion to slowly build up to the revolution-point,without the white man realizing it. AH over America, the local Negro "leader," in order to survive as a"leader," kept reassuring the local white man, in effect, "Everything's all right, everything's right in hand, boss!" When the "leader" wanted a little something for his people: "Er, boss, some of the peopletalking about we sure need a better school, boss." And if the local Negroes hadn't been causing any"trouble," the "benevolent" white man might nod and give them a school, or some jobs.

  The white men belonging to the power structures in thousands of communities across America knowthat I'm right! They know that I am describing what has been the true pattern of "communications"between the "local whites of good-will" and the local Negroes. It has been a pattern created bydomineering, ego-ridden whites. Its characteristic design permitted the white man to feel "noble"about throwing crumbs to the black man, instead of feeling guilty about the local community's systemof cruelly exploiting Negroes.

  But I want to tell you something. This pattern, this "system" that the white man created, of teachingNegroes to hide the truth from him behind a facade of grinning, "yessir-bossing," foot-shuffling andhead-scratching-that system has done the American white man more harm than an invading armywould do to him.

  Why do I say this? Because all this has steadily helped this American white man to build up, deep inhis psyche, absolute conviction that he _is_ "superior." In how many, many communities have, thus,white men who didn't finish high school regarded condescendingly university-educated local Negro"leaders," principals of schools, teachers, doctors, other professionals?

  The white man's system has been imposed upon non-white peoples all over the world. This is exactlythe reason why wherever people who are anything but white live in this world today, the white man'sgovernments are finding themselves in deeper and deeper trouble and peril.

  Let's just face truth. Facts! Whether or not the white man of the world is able to face truth, and facts,about the true reasons for his troubles-that's what essentially will determine whether or not he willnow survive.

  Today we are seeing this revolution of the non-white peoples, who just a few years ago would havefrozen in horror if the mighty white nations so much as lifted an eyebrow. What it is, simply, is thatblack and brown and red and yellow peoples have, after hundreds of years of exploitation andimposed "inferiority" and general misuse, become, finally, do-or-die sick and tired of the white man'sheel on their necks.

  How can the white American government figure on selling "democracy" and "brotherhood" to nonwhite peoples-if they read and hear every day what's going on right here in America, and see thebetter-than-a-thousand-words photographs of the American white man denying "democracy" and"brotherhood" even to America's native-born non-whites? The world's non-whites know how thisNegro here has loved the American white man, and slaved for him, tended to him, nursed him. ThisNegro has jumped into uniform and gone off and died when this America was attacked by enemiesboth white and non-white. Such a faithful, loyal non-white as _this_-and _still_ America bombs him,and sets dogs on him, and turns fire hoses on him, and jails him by the thousands, and beats him bloody, and inflicts upon him all manner of other crimes.

  Of course these things, known and refreshed every day for the rest of the world's non-whites, are avital factor in these burnings of ambassadors' limousines, these stonings, defilings, and wreckings ofembassies and legations, these shouts of"White man, go home!" these attacks on white Christian missionaries, and these bombings and tearingdown of flags.

  Is it clear why I have said that the American white man's malignant superiority complex has done himmore harm than an invading army?

   The American black man should be focusing his every effort toward building his _own_ businesses,and decent homes for himself. As other ethnic groups have done, let the black people, whereverpossible, however possible, patronize their own kind, hire their own kind, and start in those ways tobuild up the black race's ability to do for itself. That's the only way the American black man is evergoing to get respect. One thing the white man never can give the black man is self-respect! The blackman never can become independent and recognized as a human being who is truly equal with otherhuman beings until he has what they have, and until he is doing for himself what others are doing forthemselves.

  The black man in the ghettoes, for instance, has to start self-correcting his own material, moral, andspiritual defects and evils. The black man needs to start his own program to get rid of drunkenness,drug addiction, prostitution. The black man in America has to lift up his own sense of values.

  Only a few thousands of Negroes, relatively a very tiny number, are taking any part in "integration."Here, again, it is those few bourgeois Negroes, rushing to throw away their little money in the whiteman's luxury hotels, his swanky nightclubs, and big, fine, exclusive restaurants. The white peoplepatronizing those places can afford it. But these Negroes you see in those places can't afford it,certainly most of them can't. Why, what does some Negro one installment payment away fromdisaster look like somewhere downtown out to dine, grinning at some headwaiter who has moremoney than the Negro? Those bourgeois Negroes out draping big tablecloth-sized napkins over theirknees and ordering quail under glass and stewed snails-why, Negroes don't even _like_ snails! Whatthey're doing is proving they're integrated.

  If you want to get right down to the real outcome of this so-called "integration," what you've got toarrive at is intermarriage.

  I'm right _with_ the Southern white man who believes that you can't have so-called "integration," atleast not for long, without intermarriage increasing. And what good is this for anyone? Let's again facereality. In a world as color-hostile as this, man or woman, black or white, what do they want with a mate of the other race?

  Certainly white people have served enough notice of their hostility to any blacks in their families andneighborhoods. And the way most Negroes feel today, a mixed couple probably finds that blackfamilies, black communities, are even more hostile than the white ones. So what's bound to face"integrated" marriages, except being unwelcomed, unwanted, "misfits" in whichever world they try tolive in? What we arrive at is that "integration," socially, is no good for either side. "Integration,"ultimately, would destroy the white race . . . and destroy the black race.

  The white man's "integrating" with black women has already changed the complexion andcharacteristics of the black race in America. What's been proved by the "blacks" whose complexionsare "whiter" than many "white" people? I'm told that there are in America today between two and fivemillion "white Negroes," who are "passing" in white society. Imagine their torture! Living in constantfear that some black person they've known might meet and expose them. Imagine every day living alie. _Im............

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