What are your thoughts on the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin
Of course, they had two very different styles of leadership,
however, they were both great leaders of their time. I did not know
Malcom X, and he was assassinated some time before I became active. I do
know that he directed most of his leadership to Black people, while Dr.
King was more inclusive. And asked for help from all people. Being a
person who is and has remained non-violent my entire life, I followed
However, the thoughts of assassinations of anyone, Malcom X, Dr. King,
President Kennedy, Senator Bobby Kennedy and the attempted assassination
of George Wallace, is all very deplorable to me.
I think that the full truth of these assasinations has never been
revealed. I believe that the U.S. government had a direct hand in them
that has been covered up all these years. The FBI's unjustified and
illegal attacks against Dr. King and Malcom X are well documented.
Someday, I hope we will learn the truth.
Along with the assassinations of JFK and RFK, they effectively ended the
civil rights movement prematurely. Both of the blacks were killed as their
horizons seemed to broaden, Malcolm X to include whites, Martin, to include
poverty and the war as primary issues.
The assassinations of King, Malcolm, and Bobby Kennedy were a disaster
in political as well as human terms. In terms of the movement, it was a
terrible and discouraging blow that made many people give up, turn
inside themselves and become cynical about the possibility of change.
But the possibility of a grassroots movement emerging to make our
society more just is always there. We just have to seize the moment. I
myself am now working with students to get big money out of
politics to build a new student movement for social
change for real democracy, I have hope, but even if we don't win the
struggle is worth it it is the meaning of life.
Wazir (Willie) Peacock:
I was in New York in 1964 getting myself together and I went to some of
Malcolm's meetings at the Audubon. The kind of tension that I felt there
I'd never felt anywhere before then or since. I felt there were elements
there that was like a conspiracy brewing. I think he was assassinated by
the United States government and they picked the a time to do it when
there was controversy between Malcolm and Elijah Mohammad. I think they
planted people there to take him out. Because when Malcolm went to Mecca
and came back, he started talking about another kind of thing. Because
he went to Mecca, and in Mecca he saw white people. He didn't know that
there were white Muslims before that. Malcom had been given a position
in the world of Islam. He never got a chance to exercise that. So the
State Department had a lot of reasons to take him out.
The same goes with Martin Luther King. It was obvious that there was a
conspiracy going to kill him. Starting with everything that happened in
Memphis, housing, security forces were moved around and changed. They
set it all up. I think Martin knew that there was no escape after seeing
things that happened. That's why he gave that speech [the "Been to the
Mountain" speech the night before he was murdered]. I think the reason
why is that they thought it would stop the movement, especially the way
they thought it was going. His philosophy and all was getting to appeal
to everybody. That wasn't good for the politicians. He was addressing
economic issues and the [Vietnam] war. And he was powerful. He was
powerful enough to stop the clock. They had to stop him.
I think they'll stop anybody if they can. I think they're watching it
close to not let anybody, regardless what color, get that powerful again
outside of their control. The "they's" in this case are the bureaus of
our government that's gotten out of control and the CIA is one of them.
The military industrial complex is out of control. I mean, they run the
country. They basically just try to run the world and it's almost got to
be a kind of a system that nobody can stop. It runs itself now. They
talk about this artificial intelligence. The thing is running itself.
I think the people who run this country are concerned about their image
internationally. When Malcolm X started going around to all these
African countries talking about human rights here, I feel that that made
a lot of people very nervous. I think that was probably the reason he
Tragic, the latter almost certainly involving Federally, and or state
supported action, the extent of which, I believe, is obvious, but due to
integration of Federal police, media, etc. blocked from public view..
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