Reporter: Malcolm, on your trip abroad, you said you sensed a feeling a great brotherhood and that conceivably you would be working toward integration in this country now, at least this is what you're reported to have said, do you have any comment on it?
Malcolm X: I don't think that I ever mentioned anything about working toward integration. If I recall I pointed out that while I was at Mecca making the pilgrimage, I spoke about the brotherhood that existed at all levels and among all people who were there on that hajj who had accepted the religion of Islam and I pointed out that for what it had done what the religion of Islam had done for those people over there despite their complexion differences that it would probably do America well to study the religion of Islam and perhaps it could drive some of the racism from this society as it has driven racism from the Muslim society.
Reporter: Do you think the current integration drive is aiming for this goal?
Malcolm X: Well I can't say that the current integration drive is aiming for that goal because it hasn't realized the goal in any state if they haven't even got integration right here in New York City you have worse integration problems in the North than they have in the South so if it doesn't work in...if you can't bring about integration in New York City, as international, cosmopolitan, up-to-date as it's supposed to be you'll never get integration anywhere else in the country.
Reporter: Malcolm, have your experiences with white skinned Muslims in Africa and the Middle East made you feel that relations between Negroes and whites who are not Muslims is any more possible?
Malcolm X: When I was on the pilgrimage I had close contact with Muslims whose skin within America be classified as white, and with Muslims who are themselves would be classified as white in America but these particular Muslims didn't call themselves white. They looked upon themselves as human beings, as part of the human family and therefore they looked upon all other segments of the human family as part of that same family. Now, they had a different look or different air or different attitude than that which is reflected in the attitude of the man in America who calls himself white. So I said that if Islam had done that for them perhaps if the white man in America would study Islam perhaps it could do the same thing for him.
Reporter: Malcolm, one of your more controversial remarks was a call for black people to get rifles and form rifle clubs sometime back, do you still favor that for self defense?
Malcolm X: I don't see why that should be controversial. I think that if white people found themselves the victim of the same kind of brutality that black people in this country face, and they saw that the government was either unwilling or unable to protect them that the intelligence on the part of the whites would make them get some rifles and shotguns and protect themselves. Now, Negroes are developing some kind of intellectual maturity too, and they can see that having waited upon the government to protect them has been a wait that has been in vain. So, any of them who live in areas where the government is not able to do its job, then we do have to get together and do a job of protecting ourselves.
Return from Mecca Press Conference
Hotel Theresa, Harlem, New York
(May 21, 1964)
Source: Malcolm X Network
Published on Jun 19, 2014