Sunday, February 8, 2009

Malcolm X on Rioting

You’re trying to drive him into a ghetto and make him the victim of every kind of unjust condition imaginable. Then when he explodes, you want him to explode politely!

scratchboard art by William Schaff

Last summer, when the Blacks were rioting—the riots, actually they weren’t riots in the first place; they were reactions against police brutality.2 And when the Afro-Americans reacted against the brutal measures that were executed against them by the police, the press all over the world projected them as rioters. When the store windows were broken in the Black community, immediately it was made to appear that this was being done not by people who were reacting over civil rights violations, but they gave the impression that these were hoodlums, vagrants, criminals....

And when you see the Blacks react, since the people who do this aren’t there, they react against their property. The property is the only thing that’s there. And they destroy it. And you get the impression over here that because they are destroying the property where they live, that they are destroying their own property. No. They can’t get to the man, so they get at what he owns.

Read the entire speech here.

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