MALCOLM X: Whether you are a Christian or a Muslim or a Nationalist, we all have the same problem. They don't hang you because you're a Baptist; they hang you 'cause you're black. They don't attack me because I'm a Muslim; they attack me 'cause I'm black. They attack all of us for the same reason; all of us catch hell from the same enemy. We’re all in the same bag, in the same boat. We suffer political oppression, economic exploitation, and social degradation, all of them from the same enemy. The government has failed us; you can’t deny that. Anytime you live in the twentieth century, and you walkin' around here singing "We Shall Overcome," the government has failed us.
This is part of what’s wrong with you: You do too much singing. Today, it’s time to stop singing and start swinging. You can't sing up on freedom, but you can swing up on some freedom. Cassius Clay can sing, but singing didn’t help him to become the heavy-weight champion of the world. Swinging helped him become the heavy-weight champion. This government has failed us; the government itself has failed us, and the white liberals who have been posing as our friends have failed us.
And once we see that all these other sources to which we've turned 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-too- late philosophy. This is what you and I need to get with, and the only time -- the only way we are going to solve our problem is with a self-help program. Before we can get a self-help program started, we have to have a self-help philosophy.
That's from Democracy Now! (On the 41st Anniversary of the Assassination of Malcolm X, "The Ballot or the Bullet"). If you missed it, you can listen online or watch online or read the transcript. But think about how little has changed in all this time.
That's my thought for tonight.