The Ballot or the Bullet Essay

7007 WordsDec 17, 201229 Pages
"The Ballot or the Bullet" Malcolm X Delivered 12 April, 1964 in Detroit (USA) Mr. Moderator, Reverend Cleage, Brother Lomax, brothers and sisters, and friends and I see some enemies. In fact, I think we’d be fooling ourselves if we had an audience this large and didn’t realize that there were some enemies present. This afternoon we want to talk about the ballot or the bullet. The ballot or the bullet explains itself. But before we get into it, since this is the year of the ballot or the bullet, I would like to clarify some things that refer to me per- sonally - concerning my own personal position. I'm still a Muslim. That is, my religion is still Islam. My religion is still Islam. I still credit Mr. Mohammed for what I know and what I am. He’s the one who opened my eyes. At pre- sent, I'm the Minister of the newly founded Muslim Mosque, Inc., which has its offices in the Teresa Hotel, right in the heart of Harlem - that’s the black belt in New York city. And when we realize that Adam Clayton Powell is a Christian minister, he’s the - he heads Abyssinian Baptist Church, but at the same time, he’s more famous for his political struggling. And Dr. King is a Christian Minister, in Atlanta, Georgia, but he’s become more famous for being involved in the civil rights struggle. There’s another in New York, Reverend Galamison - I don’t know if you’ve heard of him out here - he’s a Christian Minister from Brooklyn, but has become famous for his fight against a segregated school system in Brooklyn. Reverend Clee, right here, is a Christian Minister, here in Detroit. He’s the head of the “Freedom Now Party”. All of these are Christian Ministers, but they don’t come to us as Christian Ministers. They come to us as fighters in some other category. I’m a Muslim minister - the same as they are Christian Ministers - I’m a Muslim minister. And I don’t believe in fighting today in

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