Malcolm X on John Brown
This month is the 150th anniversary of militant white abolotionist John Brown’s armed raid on the federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, an important moment in the African American Liberation struggle. To mark the occasion, here is a quote from Malcolm X in 1965 (My year of birth):
There are many white people in this country, especially the younger generation, who realize that the injustice that has been done and is being done to black people cannot go on without the chickens coming home to roost eventually. And those white people, even if they’re not morally motivated, their intelligence forces them to see that something must be done. And many of them would be willing to involve themselves in the type of operation that you were just talking about.
For one, when a white man comes to me and tells me how liberal he is, the first thing I want to know, is he a nonviolent liberal, or the other kind. I don’t go for any nonviolent white liberals. If you are for me and my problems – when I say me, I mean us, our people – then you have to be willing to do as old John Brown did. And if you’re not of the John Brown school of liberals, we’ll get you later – later.