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美国20世纪最伟大的100篇演讲Stokeley Carmichael - Black Power

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AmericanRhetoric.com


Stokely
Carmichael


Black Power

 

delivered
October
1966, Berkeley,
CA


AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED:
Text
version below
transcribed
directly
from
audio

Thank you
very much. It’s a privilege and an
honor to be in the white intellectual ghetto of the
West. We wanted to do a couple of things before we started. The first
is that, based on the
fact that SNCC, through the articulation of its program by its chairman, has been able to win
elections in
Georgia, Alabama, Maryland, and by our appearance here will win an election
in
California, in 1968 I'm going to run for President of the United States. I just can't make it,
'cause I wasn't born in the United States. That's the only thing holding me back.

We wanted to say that this is a student conference, as it should be,
held on a campus, and
that we're not ever to be caught
up in
the intellectual masturbation of the question of Black
Power. That’s a function of people who are advertisers that call themselves reporters. Oh, for
my members and friends of the press, my selfappointed
white critics, I was reading Mr.
Bernard Shaw
two days ago, and I came across a very important quote which I think is most
apropos for you. He says, "All criticism is a[n] autobiography." Dig yourself. Okay.

The philosophers Camus and Sartre raise the question whether or not a man
can condemn
himself.
The black existentialist philosopher who is pragmatic, Frantz Fanon, answered the
question. He said that man could not. Camus and Sartre was not. We in
SNCC tend to agree
with Camus and Sartre, that a man cannot condemn himself.1 Were he to condemn
himself,
he would then have to
inflict punishment
upon
himself. An example would be the Nazis. Any of
the Nazi prisoners who admitted, after he was caught and incarcerated, that he committed
crimes, that
he killed all the many people that he killed,
he committed suicide.
The only ones
who were able to
stay alive were the ones who never admitted that they committed a crimes
[sic] against people that
is,
the ones who
rationalized that Jews were not
human beings and
deserved to be killed, or that
they were only following orders.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Copyright Status: Restricted, seek permission.
.2007
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On a more immediate scene, the officials and the white population
in Neshoba County,
Mississippi
that’s
where Philadelphia is could
not
condemn [Sheriff] Rainey, his deputies,
and the other fourteen
men
that killed three human beings.
They could not because they
elected Mr. Rainey to
do precisely what
he did. and that
for them to condemn
him will be for
them to condemn
themselves.

In a much
larger view, SNCC
says that white America cannot
condemn herself. And since we
are liberal, we have done it: You stand condemned. Now, a number of things that arises from
that answer of how do you condemn
yourselves. Seems to
me that
the institutions that
function in this country are clearly racist, and that they're built
upon
racism. And the question,
then, is how can black people inside of this country move? And then how
can white people
who say they’re not a part of those institutions begin
to
move? And how
then do we begin to
clear away the obstacles that we have in this society, that
make us live like human beings?
How can we begin
to build institutions that will allow people to relate with each other as
human beings? This country has never done that, especially around the country of white or
black.

Now, several people have been upset because we’ve said that
integration was irrelevant when
initiated by blacks, and that in fact it was a subterfuge, an insidious subterfuge, for the
maintenance of white supremacy. Now we maintain that in the past
six years or so, this
country has been
feeding us a "thalidomide drug of integration," and that some negroes have
been walking down a dream street
talking about sitting next
to white people. and that
that
does not begin to
solve the problem. that when
we went
to Mississippi we did not go
to sit
next
to Ross Barnett2. we did not go to
sit
next
to Jim Clark3. we went
to get
them out of our
way. and that people ought to understand that. that we were never fighting for the right
to
integrate, we were fighting against white supremacy.

Now, then, in order to understand white supremacy we must dismiss the fallacious notion
that
white people can give anybody their freedom. No man can given anybody his freedom. A
man
is born
free. You
may enslave a man after he is born free, and that
is in fact what
this country
does. It enslaves black people after they’re born, so that the only acts that white people can
do
is to stop denying black people their freedom. that is, they must stop denying freedom.
They never give it to anyone.


Now we want to
take that
to its logical
extension, so
that we could understand, then, what its
relevancy would be in
terms of new civil rights bills. I maintain that every civil rights bill
in
this country was passed for white people, not for black people. For example,
I am black. I
know
that. I also know that while I am black I am a human being, and therefore I
have the
right
to go
into any public place. White people didn't
know
that. Every time I
tried to go
into a
place they stopped me. So
some boys had
to write a bill
to tell
that white man, "He’s a human
being. don’t stop him." That bill was for that white man, not for me. I knew
it all
the time. I
knew
it all
the time.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Copyright Status: Restricted, seek permission.
.2007
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AmericanRhetoric.com


I knew
that
I could vote and that
that wasn’t a privilege. it was my right. Every time I tried I
was shot, killed or jailed, beaten or economically deprived. So somebody had
to write a bill
for
white people to
tell
them, "When a black man comes to vote, don’t bother him." That bill,
again, was for white people, not for black people. so that when you talk about open
occupancy, I
know
I can
live anyplace I want
to
live. It
is white people across this country who
are incapable of allowing me to live where I want
to live.
You need a civil rights bill, not me. I
know I can
live where I want to
live.

So that the failures to pass a civil
rights bill
isn’t because of Black Power, isn't because of the
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. it's not because of the rebellions that are
occurring in the major cities. It is incapability of whites to deal with
their own problems inside
their own communities. That is the problem of the failure of the civil rights bill.

And so in a larger sense we must
then ask, “How is it
that black people move?” And what do
we do? But the question in a greater sense is, “How can white people who are the majority and
who are responsible for making democracy work?”

They have miserably failed to
this point. They have never made democracy work, be it
inside
the United States, Vietnam, South Africa, Philippines, South
America, Puerto Rico. Wherever
American
has been, she has not been able to make democracy work. so that in a larger
sense, we not only condemn
the country for what it's done internally, but we must
condemn it
for what
it does externally. We see this country
trying to
rule the world, and someone must
stand up and start articulating that
this country is not God, and cannot
rule the world.


Now, then, before we move on we ought to develop the white supremacy attitudes that were
either conscious or subconscious thought and how they run rampant
through
the society
today. For example,
the missionaries were sent
to Africa. They went with
the attitude that
blacks were automatically inferior. As a matter of fact, the first act
the missionaries did,
you
know, when they got
to Africa was to
make us cover up our bodies, because they said it got
them excited. We couldn’t go barebreasted
any more because they got excited.

Now when the missionaries came to
civilize us because we were uncivilized, educate us
because we were uneducated, and give us some literate studies because we were illiterate,
they charged a price. The missionaries came with
the Bible, and we had
the land. When
they
left, they had
the land, and we still have the Bible. And that has been
the rationalization for
Western
civilization as it moves across the world and stealing and plundering and raping
everybody in its path. Their one rationalization is that the rest of the world is uncivilized and
they are in fact civilized.
And they are uncivilized.


And that runs on today, you
see, because what
we have today is we have what we call
"modernday
Peace Corps missionaries," and they come into our ghettos and they Head
Start,
Upward Lift, Bootstrap, and Upward Bound us into white society, 'cause they don’t want
to
face the real problem which
is a man
is poor for one reason and one reason only: 'cause he
does not
have money period.
If you want
to get rid of poverty, you give people money period.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Copyright Status: Restricted, seek permission.
.2007
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AmericanRhetoric.com


And you ought not to tell me about people who
don’t work, and you can’t give people money
without working, 'cause if that were true,
you’d
have to start stopping Rockefeller, Bobby
Kennedy, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Lady Bird Johnson, the whole of Standard Oil, the Gulf
Corp, all of them, including probably a large number of the Board of Trustees of this
university. So
the question, then, clearly, is not
whether or not one can work. it’s Who
has
power? Who
has power to make his or her acts legitimate? That is all. And that this country,
that power is invested in the hands of white people, and they make their acts legitimate.
It is
now, therefore, for black people to make our acts legitimate.


Now we are now engaged in a psychological
struggle in
this country, and that
is whether or
not black people will
have the right to
use the words they want
to use without white people
giving their sanction
to it. and that we maintain, whether they like it or not, we gonna use the
word "Black Power" and
let
them address themselves to
that. but
that we are not going to
wait
for white people to sanction
Black Power. We’re tired waiting. every time black people
move in this country, they’re forced to defend their position before they move. It’s time that
the people who are supposed to
be defending their position do
that. That's white people. They
ought
to start defending themselves as to why they have oppressed and exploited us.

Now it
is clear that when
this country started to
move in terms of slavery, the reason
for a
man being picked as a slave was one reason
because
of the color of his skin. If one was
black one was automatically inferior, inhuman, and therefore fit for slavery. so that
the
question of whether or not we are individually suppressed is nonsensical, and it’s a downright
lie. We are oppressed as a group because we are black, not because we are lazy, not because
we're apathetic, not because we’re stupid,
not because we smell, not because we eat
watermelon and have good rhythm. We are oppressed because we are black.

And in order to get out of that oppression one must wield the group power that one has, not
the individual power which this country then sets the criteria under which a man may come
into it. That
is what is called in this country as integration: "You do what I
tell you to do and
then we’ll let
you sit at
the table with us." And that we are saying that we have to be opposed
to that. We must
now set
up criteria and that if
there's going to be any integration, it's going
to be a twoway
thing.
If you believe in integration, you can come live in
Watts. You can
send
your children to
the ghetto
schools. Let’s talk about
that. If you
believe in
integration, then
we’re going to start adopting us some white people to live in our neighborhood.


So it
is clear that
the question is not one of integration or segregation. Integration
is a man's
ability to want
to move in
there by himself. If someone wants to
live in a white neighborhood
and he is black, that
is his choice. It
should be his rights. It
is not because white people will
not allow
him. So vice versa: If a black man wants to live in the slums, that should be his
right. Black people will
let
him. That is the difference. And it's a difference on which
this
country makes a number of logical mistakes when
they begin
to try to criticize the program
articulated by SNCC.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Copyright Status: Restricted, seek permission.
.2007
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AmericanRhetoric.com


Now we maintain
that we cannot be afford to be concerned about
6 percent of the children
in
this country, black children, who you allow to
come into white schools. We have 94 percent
who still live in shacks. We are going to be concerned about
those 94 percent. You ought
to be
concerned about them too. The question is, Are we willing to be concerned about those 94
percent? Are we willing to be concerned about the black people who will
never get to
Berkeley, who will
never get
to
Harvard, and cannot get an education, so
you’ll
never get a
chance to rub shoulders with
them and say, "Well, he’s almost as good as we are. he’s not
like the others"? The question
is, How can white society begin
to
move to see black people as
human beings? I am black, therefore I am. not that I am black and I must go
to college to
prove myself. I am black, therefore I am. And don’t deprive me of anything and say to me
that you
must go to
college before you gain access to X, Y, and Z. It
is only a rationalization
for one's oppression.

The political parties in this country do
not
meet
the needs of people on a daytoday
basis.
The question is, How
can we build new political
institutions that will become the political
expressions of people on a daytoday
basis? The question is, How
can you build political
institutions that will begin
to meet
the needs of Oakland, California? And the needs of
Oakland, California, is not
1,000 policemen with submachine guns. They don't need that. They
need that least of all. The question is,
How can
we build institutions where those people can
begin to
function on a daytoday
basis, where they can get decent jobs, where they can get
decent
houses, and where they can begin
to participate in the policy and major decisions that
affect
their lives? That’s what they need,
not
Gestapo
troops, because this is not 1942, and if
you play like Nazis, we playing back with
you
this time around.
Get
hip to
that.

The question then is,
How can white people move to start
making the major institutions that
they have in this country function
the way it is supposed to function? That is the real question.
And can white people move inside their own community and start
tearing down
racism where
in fact
it does exist?
Where it exists. It is you who live in Cicero and stop us from living there.
It
is white people who stop us from moving into
Grenada. It
is white people who make sure
that we live in the ghettos of this country. it
is
white institutions that do that. They must
change. In order In
order for America to really live on a basic principle of human
relationships, a new society must be born. Racism must die, and the economic exploitation of
this country of nonwhite
peoples around the world must also die must
also die.


Now there are several programs that we have in the South, most in poor white communities.
We're trying to organize poor whites on a base where they can begin to
move around the
question of economic exploitation and political disfranchisement. We know we've
heard the
theory several
times but
few people are willing to go
into
there. The question is, Can
the
white activist not
try to be a Pepsi
generation who comes alive in the black community, but
can he be a man who’s willing to
move into
the white community and start organizing where
the organization is needed? Can
he do
that? The question
is, Can
the white society or the
white activist disassociate himself with
two clowns who waste time parrying with each other
rather than
talking about the problems that are facing people in this state? Can
you dissociate
yourself with those clowns and start
to build new institutions that will
eliminate all
idiots like
them.


Transcription by
Michael
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.2007
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AmericanRhetoric.com


And the question
is, If we are going to do that when and where do we start, and how do we
start? We maintain
that we must
start doing that
inside the white community. Our own
personal position
politically is that we don't think the Democratic Party represents the needs
of black people.
We know
it don't. And that if, in fact, white people really believe that, the
question
is, if they’re going to move inside that
structure, how are they going to organize
around a concept of whiteness based on true brotherhood and based on stopping exploitation,
economic exploitation, so
that there will be a coalition base for black people to hook up with?
You cannot
form a coalition based on national
sentiment. That is not a coalition. If you need a
coalition
to redress itself to real
changes in this
country, white people must
start building
those institutions inside the white community. And that
is the real question, I
think, facing the
white activists today. Can they, in
fact, begin to
move into and tear down
the institutions
which
have put us all
in a trick bag
that we’ve been
into
for the last
hundred years?

I don't
think that we should follow what many people say that we should fight
to be leaders of
tomorrow. Frederick Douglass said that
the youth should fight to be leaders today. And God
knows we need to be leaders today, 'cause the men who run
this country are sick, are sick. So
that can we on a larger sense begin
now, today, to start building those institutions and to
fight to articulate our position, to fight to be able to control our universities We
need to be
able to do that and
to
fight to
control
the basic institutions which perpetuate racism by
destroying them and building new ones? That’s the real question
that face us today, and it
is a
dilemma because most of us do
not
know
how to work, and that the excuse that most white
activists find is to run into
the black community.

Now we maintain
that we cannot have white people working in the black community, and we
mean it on a psychological ground. The fact
is that all black people often question whether or
not
they are equal to whites, because every time they start to do
something, white people are
around showing them how to do
it. If we are going to eliminate that for the generation
that
comes after us, then black people must be seen
in positions of power, doing and articulating
for themselves, for themselves.

That is not
to say that one is a reverse racist. it
is to say that one is moving in a healthy
ground. it is to say what the philosopher Sartre says: One is becoming an "antiracist racist."
And this country can’t understand that. Maybe it's because it's all caught
up in racism. But I
think what you have in SNCC
is an antiracist
racism. We are against
racists. Now if
everybody who is white see themself [sic] as a racist and then
see us against
him, they're
speaking from their own guilt
position, not ours, not ours.

Now then, the question is,
How can we move to
begin to
change what's going on in this
country. I
maintain, as we have in SNCC, that the war in Vietnam is an illegal and immoral
war. And the question is,
What can we do
to stop that war? What can we do
to stop the
people who, in
the name of our country, are killing babies, women, and children? What can we
do to stop that? And I maintain
that we do
not
have the power in our hands to change that
institution, to begin
to recreate it, so that they learn to
leave the Vietnamese people alone,
and that
the only power we have is the power to say, "Hell
no!" to
the draft.


Transcription by
Michael
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.2007
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We have to
say to ourselves that
there is a higher law than the law of a racist
named
McNamara. There is a higher law than
the law of a fool
named Rusk. And there's a higher law
than
the law of a buffoon
named Johnson. It’s the law of each of us. It's the law of each of us.
It
is the law of each of us saying that we will not allow
them to
make us hired killers. We will
stand pat. We will
not
kill anybody that
they say kill. And if we decide to
kill, we're going to
decide who we going to kill. And this country will only be able to stop the war in Vietnam
when the young men who are made
to fight
it begin to
say, "Hell, no, we ain’t going."

Now then, there's a failure because the Peace Movement
has been
unable to get off the
college campuses where everybody has a 2S and not going to get drafted anyway. And the
question
is, How can you
move out of that
into the white ghettos of this country and begin
to
articulate a position for those white students who do not want
to go. We cannot do
that. It is
something sometimes
ironic that many of the
peace groups have beginning to
call
us
violent and say they can
no
longer support us, and we are in fact
the most militant
organization [for] peace or civil rights or human rights against
the war in Vietnam in this
country today. There isn’t one organization that
has begun
to meet our stance on the war in
Vietnam, 'cause we not only say we are against
the war in Vietnam. we are against the draft.
We are against the draft. No man
has the right
to take a man
for two years and train
him to
be a killer. A
man should decide what
he wants to do with his life.


So the question
then is it
becomes crystal clear for black people because we can easily say
that anyone fighting in the war in Vietnam is nothing but a black mercenary, and that's all
he
is. Any time a black man
leaves the country where he can’t vote to
supposedly deliver the
vote for somebody else, he’s a black mercenary.
Any time a black man leaves this country,
gets
shot
in Vietnam on foreign ground, and returns home and you won’t give him a burial in
his own
homeland,
he’s a black mercenary, a black mercenary.

And that even
if I were to believe the lies of Johnson, if I were to believe his lies that we're
fighting to give democracy to the people in Vietnam, as a black man
living in
this country I
wouldn’t fight to give this to anybody.
I wouldn't give it to anybody.
So that we have to use
our bodies and our minds in
the only way that we see fit. We must begin like the philosopher
Camus to
come alive by saying "No!" That is the only act
in which we begin
to come alive, and
we have to say "No!" to
many, many things in this country.

This country is a nation of thieves. It has stole everything it
has, beginning with black people,
beginning with black people.
And that
the question is, How
can we move to start changing this
country from what
it is a
nation of thieves. This country cannot justify any longer its
existence. We have become the policeman of the world.
The marines are at our disposal to
always bring democracy, and if the Vietnamese don’t want democracy, well dammit, "We’ll
just wipe them the hell out, 'cause they don’t deserve to
live if they won’t have our way of
life."

There is then in a larger sense,
What do
you do
on your university campus? Do you raise
questions about the hundred black students who were kicked off campus a couple of weeks
ago? Eight
hundred? And how does that question begin to
move? Do you begin to
relate to
people outside of the ivory tower and university wall?


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Michael
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.2007
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Do you
think you’re capable of building those human
relationships, as the country now
stands? You're fooling yourself. It is impossible for white and black people to talk about
building a relationship based on humanity when
the country is the way it is, when
the
institutions are clearly against us.

We have taken all
the myths of this country and we've found them to be nothing but
downright lies. This country told us that
if we worked hard we would succeed, and if that were
true we would own
this country lock, stock, and barrel. It is we who
have picked the cotton for
nothing. It
is we who are the maids in
the kitchens of liberal white people.
It is we who are
the janitors, the porters, the elevator men. we who sweep up your college floors. Yes, it
is we
who are the hardest workers and the lowest paid, and the lowest paid.

And that it is nonsensical for people to start
talking about
human relationships until they're
willing to build new
institutions. Black people are economically insecure. White liberals are
economically secure. Can you begin
to build an
economic coalition? Are the liberals willing to
share their salaries with the economically insecure black people they so much
love? Then if
you’re not, are you willing to start building new institutions that will provide economic security
for black people? That’s the question we want
to deal with. That's the question we want
to
deal with.

We have to
seriously examine the histories that
we have been
told.
But we have something
more to do than that. American students are perhaps the most politically unsophisticated
students in the world, in the world, in the world. Across every country in
this world, while we
were growing up,
students were leading the major revolutions of their countries. We have not
been able to do
that. They have been politically aware of their existence. In South America
our neighbors down below
the border have one every 24 hours just
to remind us that
they're
politically aware.


And we have been
unable to grasp it because we’ve always moved in
the field of morality and
love while people have been politically jiving with our lives. And the question
is, How do we
now move politically and stop trying to
move morally? You can't move morally against a man
like Brown and Reagan. You've got
to
move politically to put
them out of business. You've got
to move politically.

You can’t move morally against Lyndon Baines Johnson because he is an
immoral man. He
doesn’t know what
it’s all about. So you’ve got
to move politically. You've got
to move
politically. And that we have to begin
to develop a political sophistication
which
is not
to be
a parrot: "The twoparty
system is the best party in
the world." There is a difference between
being a parrot and being politically sophisticated.

We have to
raise questions about whether or not we do
need new
types of political
institutions
in this country, and we in SNCC
maintain
that we need them now. We need new
political
institutions in this country. Any time Any
time Lyndon Baines Johnson
can head a Party
which
has in it Bobby Kennedy, Wayne Morse,
Eastland,
Wallace, and all
those other
supposedtobeliberal
cats, there’s something
wrong with
that Party. They’re moving
politically, not
morally.


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Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Copyright Status: Restricted, seek permission.
.2007
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AmericanRhetoric.com


And that if that party refuses to seat black people from Mississippi and goes ahead and seats
racists like Eastland and his clique,
it is clear to
me that
they’re moving politically, and that
one cannot begin
to talk morality to people like that.

We must begin to
think politically and see if we can have the power to impose and keep the
moral
values that we hold high. We must question the values of this society, and I maintain
that black people are the best people to do that
because we have been excluded from that
society. And the question is, we ought
to think
whether or not we want
to become a part of
that society. That's what we want to do.

And that that is precisely what it seems to me that the Student Nonviolent Coordinating
Committee is doing.
We are raising questions about
this country. I do
not want
to be a part of
the American pie. The American pie means raping South
Africa, beating Vietnam, beating
South
America, raping the Philippines, raping every country you’ve been in. I don’t want any
of your blood money. I don’t want
to be part of that system. And the question is,
How do we
raise those questions? How do we begin
to raise them?

We have grown up and we are the generation that has found this country to be a world power,
that
has found this country to be the wealthiest
country in the world.
We must question
how
she got
her wealth? That's what we're questioning, and whether or not we want
this country
to continue being the wealthiest country in
the
world at the price of raping everybody else
across the world. That's what we must begin to
question. And that because black people are
saying we do not
now want
to become a part of you, we are called reverse racists. Ain’t
that a
gas?

Now, then, we want to
touch on nonviolence because we see that again as the failure of white
society to make nonviolence work. I was always surprised at Quakers who came to Alabama
and counseled me to be nonviolent, but didn’t have the guts to start
talking to James Clark to
be nonviolent. That
is where nonviolence needs to be preached to
Jim Clark, not
to black
people. They have already been
nonviolent
too
many years. The question is, Can white people
conduct their nonviolent schools in Cicero where they belong to be conducted,
not among
black people in Mississippi. Can they conduct
it
among the white people in
Grenada?

Sixfoottwo
men who kick little black children can
you conduct
nonviolent
schools there?
That is the question that we must raise, not that you
conduct
nonviolence among black
people. Can you
name me one black man
today who's killed anybody white and is still alive?
Even after rebellion, when
some black brothers throw some bricks and bottles, ten
thousand
of them has to pay the crime, 'cause when
the white policeman comes in, anybody who’s
black is arrested, "'cause we all
look alike."


So that we have to
raise those questions. We,
the youth of this country, must begin
to raise
those questions. And we must begin
to move to
build new
institutions that's going to speak to
the needs of people who need it. We are going to have to
speak to change the foreign policy
of this country. One of the problems with
the peace movement is that
it's just
too caught
up
in Vietnam, and that if we pulled out
the troops from Vietnam this week, next week you’d
have to get another peace movement for Santo
Domingo.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Copyright Status: Restricted, seek permission.
.2007
Page
9



AmericanRhetoric.com


And the question
is, How do
you begin
to articulate the need to change the foreign policy of
this country a
policy that
is decided upon
race, a policy on which decisions are made
upon
getting economic wealth at any price, at any price.

Now we articulate that we therefore have to hook up with black people around the world. and
that
that
hookup is not only psychological, but becomes very real. If South America today
were to rebel, and black people were to shoot
the hell out of all
the white people there as
they should, as they should then
Standard Oil would crumble tomorrow. If South Africa
were to go today, Chase Manhattan
Bank would crumble tomorrow. If Zimbabwe, which
is
called Rhodesia by white people, were to go
tomorrow, General Electric would cave in on
the
East Coast. The question
is, How do we stop those institutions that are so willing to fight
against "Communist aggression" but closes their eyes to
racist oppression? That is the
question
that
you raise. Can this country do that?

Now, many people talk about pulling out of Vietnam.
What will happen? If we pull out of
Vietnam, there will be one less aggressor in there we
won't be there. And so
the question
is, How do we articulate those positions? And we cannot begin to articulate them from the
same assumptions that
the people in the country speak, 'cause they speak from different
assumptions than
I assume what the youth in this country are talking about.

That we're not talking about a policy or aid or sending Peace Corps people in to
teach people
how to read and write and build houses while we steal their raw materials from them. Is that
what we're talking about? 'Cause that’s all we do. What
underdeveloped countries needs information
on how
to become industrialized,
so they can keep their raw materials where they
have it, produce them and sell it to this country for the price it’s supposed to pay. not
that we
produce it and sell
it
back to
them for a profit and keep sending our modern
day missionaries
in, calling them the sons of Kennedy.
And that
if the youth are going to participate in that
program, how do you raise those questions where you begin to
control
that Peace Corps
program? How do you begin
to raise them?

How do we raise the questions of poverty? The assumptions of this country is that if someone
is poor, they are poor because of their own individual blight, or they weren’t born on the right
side of town. they had
too many children. they went in the army too early. or their father was
a drunk, or they didn’t care about school, or they made a mistake. That’s a lot of nonsense.
Poverty is well
calculated in
this country. It
is well calculated, and the reason why the poverty
program won’t work is because the calculators of poverty are administering it. That's why it
won't work.

So how can we, as the youth
in
the country, move to start tearing those things down? We
must
move into
the white community. We are in the black community. We have developed a
movement
in the black community. The challenge is that
the white activist
has failed
miserably to develop the movement inside of his community. And the question is, Can we find
white people who are going to have the courage to go
into white communities and start
organizing them? Can we find them? Are they here and are they willing to do that? Those are
the questions that we must raise for the white activist.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Copyright Status: Restricted, seek permission.
.2007
Page
10



AmericanRhetoric.com


And we're never going to get
caught up in questions about power. This country knows what
power is. It knows it very well. And it knows what Black Power is 'cause it deprived black
people of it for 400 years. So
it knows what Black Power is. That the question of,
Why do
white people in this country associate Black Power with violence? And the question
is because
of their own inability to deal with "blackness."
If we had said "Negro power" nobody would get
scared.
Everybody would support it. Or if we said power for colored people,
everybody’d be for
that, but it is the word "black" it
is the word "black" that bothers people in this country, and
that’s their problem, not mine they're
problem.

Now there's one modern day lie that we want
to attack and then move on very quickly and
that
is the lie that says anything all black is bad. Now, you’re all a college university crowd.
You’ve taken
your basic logic course. You
know
about a major premise and minor premise. So
people have been
telling me anything all black is bad. Let’s make that our major premise.

Major premise: Anything all black is bad.

Minor premise or particular premise: I am all black.

Therefore....


I’m never going to be put
in that
trick bag. I am all black and I’m all good, dig it. Anything all
black is not
necessarily bad.
Anything all black is only bad when
you
use force to keep whites
out. Now
that’s what white people have done in
this country, and they’re projecting their
same fears and guilt on
us, and we won’t have it, we won't
have it. Let
them handle their own
fears and their own guilt. Let
them find their own psychologists. We refuse to be the therapy
for white society any longer. We have gone mad trying to do it. We have gone stark raving
mad trying to do
it.

I look at Dr. King on
television every single day, and I say to myself: "Now
there is a man
who’s desperately needed
in this country. There is a man
full of love. There is a man
full of
mercy. There is a man full of compassion." But
every time I see Lyndon on television, I said,
"Martin, baby, you got a long way to go."


So that the question stands as to what we are willing to do, how we are willing to say "No" to
withdraw
from that system and begin within our community to start
to function and to build
new
institutions that will
speak to our needs. In
Lowndes County, we developed something
called the
Lowndes County Freedom Organization. It
is a political party.

The Alabama
law
says that if you
have a Party you must
have an emblem. We chose for the
emblem a black panther, a beautiful black animal which
symbolizes the strength and dignity of
black people, an animal
that
never strikes back until
he's back so far into the wall, he's got
nothing to do but spring out. Yeah. And when
he springs he does not stop.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Copyright Status: Restricted, seek permission.
.2007
Page
11



AmericanRhetoric.com


Now there is a Party in
Alabama
called the
Alabama Democratic Party. It
is all white. It
has as
its emblem a white rooster and the words "white supremacy" for the write. Now
the
gentlemen of the Press, because they're advertisers, and because most of them are white,
and because they're produced by that white institution, never called the Lowndes County
Freedom Organization by its name, but rather they call it the Black Panther Party. Our
question
is, Why don't they call
the Alabama Democratic Party the "White Cock Party"? (It's
fair to
us.....) It
is clear to me that that just points out
America's problem with sex and color,
not our problem, not our problem. And it
is now
white America that
is going to deal with
those
problems of sex and color.

If we were to be real and to be honest, we would have to admit
that most people in
this
country see things black and white. We have to
do that. All of us do. We live in a country
that’s geared that way. White people would have to admit
that
they are afraid to go
into a
black ghetto at night. They are afraid.
That's a fact. They're afraid because they’d be "beat
up," "lynched," "looted," "cut
up," etcetera, etcetera.
It happens to black people inside the
ghetto every day,
incidentally, and white people are afraid of that. So you get a man to do
it
for you
a
policeman. And now
you
figure his
mentality, when he's afraid of black people.
The first time a black man jumps, that white man going to shoot
him. He's going to shoot him.
So police brutality is going to
exist on that level
because of the incapability of that white man
to see black people come together and to live in the conditions. This country is too
hypocritical
and that we cannot adjust ourselves to its hypocrisy.

The only time I
hear people talk about nonviolence is when black people move to defend
themselves against white people. Black people cut themselves every night
in the ghetto
Don't
anybody talk about nonviolence. Lyndon Baines Johnson
is busy bombing the hell of out
Vietnam Don't
nobody talk about nonviolence. White people beat up black people every day
Don't
nobody talk about nonviolence. But as soon as black people start to
move, the double
standard comes into being.


You can’t defend yourself. That's what you're saying, 'cause you
show
me a man who would
advocate aggressive violence that would be able to
live in this country. Show him to
me. The
double standards again come into
itself. Isn’t it ludicrous and hypocritical for the political
chameleon who calls himself a Vice President
in
this country to
stand up before this country
and say, "Looting never got anybody anywhere"? Isn't it hypocritical
for Lyndon to
talk about
looting,
that
you
can’t accomplish anything by looting and you must accomplish it by the legal
ways? What does he know about legality? Ask Ho Chi Minh, he'll tell you.

So that in conclusion we want to say that number one, it
is clear to
me that we have to wage
a psychological battle on the right for black people to define their own
terms, define
themselves as they see fit, and organize themselves as they see it.

Now the question is, How
is the white community going to begin to allow
for that organizing,
because once they start
to do
that, they will also allow
for the organizing that they want
to do
inside their community. It doesn’t
make a difference, 'cause we’re going to organize our way
anyway.


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Copyright Status: Restricted, seek permission.
.2007
Page
12



AmericanRhetoric.com


We're going to do it. The question is, How are we going to facilitate those matters, whether
it’s going to be done with a thousand policemen
with submachine guns, or whether or not it’s
going to be done in a context where it is allowed to be done by white people warding off those
policemen. That is the question.

And the question
is, How are white people who
call themselves activists ready to start move
into the white communities on two counts: on building new
political institutions to destroy the
old ones that we have? And to
move around the concept of white youth
refusing to go
into
the
army? So
that we can start, then, to build a new world. It
is ironic to talk about civilization in
this country. This country is uncivilized. It
needs to be civilized.
It
needs to be civilized.


And that we must
begin
to raise those questions of civilization:
What
it is? And who do
it? And
so we must
urge you to
fight now
to be the leaders of today, not tomorrow. We've got to be
the leaders of today. This country is a nation of thieves. It
stands on the brink of becoming a
nation of murderers. We must
stop it. We must
stop it. We must stop it. We must stop it.

And then, therefore, in a larger sense there's the question of black people.
We are on the
move for our liberation. We have been
tired of trying to prove things to white people. We are
tired of trying to explain
to white people that we’re not going to
hurt
them. We are concerned
with getting the things we want, the things that
we have to have to be able to function. The
question
is, Can white people allow
for that
in this country? The question is,
Will white people
overcome their racism and allow
for that
to happen in this country? If that does not
happen,
brothers and sisters, we have no choice but
to say very clearly, "Move over, or we’re going to
move on over you."


Thank you.


1
Probably
meant to
say
Fanon.
2
Former
Governor
of
Mississippi
3 Sheriff
of
Selma,
Alabama


Transcription by
Michael
E. Eidenmuller. Copyright Status: Restricted, seek permission.
.2007
Page
13


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