Malcolm X Interview, England, November 20, 1964

Interview: Can I first of all clear up your name? Was it in fact Malcolm Little?

Malcolm X: I don't think it was in fact. If it was in fact I would have let it remain. Little was the name of the man who formerly owned my grandfather as a slave, so I gave it back.

Interviewer: So, do people now address you as Mr. X?

Malcolm X: Mr. X, Malcolm X.

Interviewer: The Black Muslim policy was completely separatist. They wanted this separate state. As I understand it, you don't. The policy of your group is now that you don't want this separate state. What do you want?

Malcolm X: Well, number 1, there are 2 groups of us now. That is, those who broke away have formed into 2 groups. One which is religious and based upon the orthodox Islamic teaching, and the other is nonreligious, and the name of it is the Organization of Afro-American Unity, and we want to be recognized and respected as human beings. And we have a motto which tells how we intend to bring it about. Our motto is "By Any Means Necessary." By whatever means is necessary to bring about complete respect and recognition of the 22 million Black people in America as human beings. That's what we're for, that's what we're dedicated to.

Interviewer: By any means?

Malcolm X: By any means.

Interview: A bloodbath?

Malcolm X: Well, I think that as deplorable as the word bloodbath may sound, I think the condition that Negroes in America have already experienced long-too-long is just as deplorable. And if it takes something that deplorable to remove this other deplorable condition, I think it's justified.

Interviewer: But don't you think there's also justification in the case for the gradual white and Negro coming together. This gradual integration policy. Because after all, it's a change of heart and mind and everything else for both sides.

Malcolm X: In America, I don't think there's any gradual coming together. There may be a gradual coming together at the top. A few handpicked, upper crust, bourgeois Negroes are coming together with the so-called liberal element in the white community. But at the mass level, I don't think there's any real, honest, sincere coming together. If there's anything, there's a widening of the gap.

Interviewer: Now, if there is this widening of the gap then, when do you see this explosion taking place?

Malcolm X: Well, there doesn't necessarily have to be an explosion. If the proper type of education is brought about to give the people the correct understanding of the causes of these conditions that exist, and to try and educate them away from this animosity and hostility-

Interviewer: But this education takes a long time.

Malcolm X: Not as long as legislation. Education will do it much faster than legislation. You can't legislate goodwill.

Interviewer: Now, you said, at the end of 1963, that 1964 will be a very explosive year, and in many ways Mr. X, it has. Has it been as explosive as you would have hoped?

Malcolm X: That's not the question. Has it been as explosive as I would have "thought."It wasn't as explosive as I would have thought. I think the miracle of 1964 was the ability of the American Negro to restrain himself against extreme unjust provocation and dillydallying on the part of the United States government where his rights are concerned.

Interview: Will he restrain himself-so in 1965?

Malcolm X: I very much doubt that he will restrain himself-so very much longer.

Interviewer: Mr. X, thank you very much indeed.

Malcolm X: You're welcome

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