After the Bombing
Speech at Ford Auditorium (Detroit)
transcribed and edited by the Malcolm X Museum and Noaman
the press, behind something like that, they call us racist and people
who are "violent in reverse." This is how they psycho you.
They make you think that if you try to stop the Klan from lynching
you, you're practicing "violence in reverse." Pick up on
this, I hear a lot of you all parrot what the [white] man says. You
say, "I don't want to be a Ku Klux Klan in reverse." Well,
you - heh! -- if a criminal comes around your house with his gun,
brother, just because he's got a gun and he's robbing your house,
brother, and he's a robber, it doesn't make you a robber because you
grab your gun and run him out. No, see, the man is using some tricky
logic on you. And he has absolutely got a Ku Klux Klan outfit that
goes through the country frightening black people. Now, I say it is
time for black people to put together the type of action, the unity,
that is necessary to pull the sheet off of them so they won't be frightening
black people any longer. That's all. And when we say this, the press
calls us "racist in reverse."
struggle -- only within the ground rules that the people you're struggling
against have laid down." Why, this is insane. But it shows you
how they can do it. With skillful manipulating of the press, they're
able to make the victim look like the criminal, and the criminal look
like the victim.
now in New York we had a couple cases where police grabbed the brother
and beat him unmercifully -- and then charged him with assaulting
them. They used the press to make it look like he's the criminal and
they're the victim. This is how they do it, and if you study how they
do it [t]here, then you'll know how they do it over here. It's the
same game going all the time, and if you and I don't awaken and see
what this man is doing to us, then it'll be too late. They may have
the gas ovens already built before you realize that they're hot.
of the shrewd ways that they use the press to project us in the eye
or image of a criminal: they take statistics. And with the press they
feed these statistics to the public, primarily the white public. Because
there are some well-meaning persons in the white public as well as
bad-meaning persons in the white public. And whatever the government
is going to do, it always wants the public on its side, whether it's
the local government, state government, federal government. So they
use the press to create images. And at the local level, they'll create
an image by feeding statistics to the press -- through the press showing
the high crime rate in the Negro community. As soon as this high crime
rate is emphasized through the press, then people begin to look upon
the Negro community as a community of criminals.
then any Negro in the community can be stopped in the street. "Put
your hands up," and they pat you down. You might be a doctor,
a lawyer, a preacher, or some other kind of Uncle Tom. But despite
your professional standing, you'll find that you're the same victim
as the man who's in the alley. Just because you're Black and you live
in a Black community, which has been projected as a community of criminals.
This is done. And once the public accepts this image also, it paves
the way for a police-state type of activity in the Negro community.
They can use any kind of brutal methods to suppress Blacks because
"they're criminals anyway." And what has given this image?
The press again, by letting the power structure or the racist element
in the power structure use them in that way.