The Militant(logo) 
    Vol.62/No.9           March 9, 1998 
Malcolm X And The Fight Against Imperialism  
The following selection is excerpted from an interview printed in Malcolm X Talks to Young People. The interview was given to Jack Barnes and Barry Sheppard, leaders of the Young Socialist Alliance, on Jan. 18, 1965. Malcolm X read and approved the final text, which appeared in the March-April 1965 issue of the Young Socialist. It is copyright c 1965 by Betty Shabazz and Pathfinder Press. Reprinted by permission.

YOUNG SOCIALIST: How do you view the role of the U.S. in the Congo?(1)

MALCOLM X: As criminal. Probably there is no better example of criminal activity against an oppressed people than the role the U.S. has been playing in the Congo, through her ties with Tshombe and the mercenaries. You can't overlook the fact that Tshombe gets his money from the U.S. The money he uses to hire these mercenaries -these paid killers imported from South Africa - comes from the United States. The pilots that fly these planes have been trained by the U.S. The bombs themselves that are blowing apart the bodies of women and children come from the U.S. So I can only view the role of the United States in the Congo as a criminal role. And I think the seeds she is sowing in the Congo she will have to harvest. The chickens that she has turned loose over there have got to come home to roost.

YOUNG SOCIALIST: What about the U.S. role in South Vietnam?

MALCOLM X: The same thing. It shows the real ignorance of those who control the American power structure. If France, with all types of heavy arms, as deeply entrenched as she was in what then was called Indochina, couldn't stay there, I don't see how anybody in their right mind can think the U.S. can get in there - it's impossible. So it shows her ignorance, her blindness, her lack of foresight and hindsight; and her complete defeat in South Vietnam is only a matter of time...

YOUNG SOCIALIST: What contribution can youth, especially students, who are disgusted with racism in this society, make to the Black struggle for freedom?

MALCOLM X: Whites who are sincere don't accomplish anything by joining Negro organizations and making them integrated. Whites who are sincere should organize among themselves and figure out some strategy to break down the prejudice that exists in white communities. This is where they can function more intelligently and more effectively, in the white community itself, and this has never been done.

YOUNG SOCIALIST: What part in the world revolution are youth playing, and what lessons may this have for American youth?

MALCOLM X: If you've studied the captives being caught by the American soldiers in South Vietnam, you'll find that these guerrillas are young people. Some of them are just children and some haven't yet reached their teens. Most are teenagers. It is the teenagers abroad, all over the world, who are actually involving themselves in the struggle to eliminate oppression and exploitation. In the Congo, the refugees point out that many of the Congolese revolutionaries are children. In fact, when they shoot captive revolutionaries, they shoot all the way down to seven years old - that's been reported in the press. Because the revolutionaries are children, young people. In these countries the young people are the ones who most quickly identify with the struggle and the necessity to eliminate the evil conditions that exist. And here in this country, it has been my own observation that when you get into a conversation on racism and discrimination and segregation, you will find young people are more incensed over it - they feel more filled with an urge to eliminate it.

I think young people here can find a powerful example in the young simbas [lions] in the Congo and the young fighters in South Vietnam.

Another point: as the dark-skinned nations of this earth become independent, as they develop and become stronger, that means that time is on the side of the American Negro. At this point the American Negro is still hospitable and friendly and forgiving. But if he is continually tricked and deceived and so on, and if there is still no solution to his problems, he will become completely disillusioned, disenchanted, and disassociate himself from the interest of America and its society. Many have done that already.

YOUNG SOCIALIST: What is your opinion of the worldwide struggle now going on between capitalism and socialism?

MALCOLM X: It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system of capitalism needs some blood to suck. Capitalism used to be like an eagle, but now it's more like a vulture. It used to be strong enough to go and suck anybody's blood whether they were strong or not. But now it has become more cowardly, like the vulture, and it can only suck the blood of the helpless. As the nations of the world free themselves, then capitalism has less victims, less to suck, and it becomes weaker and weaker. It's only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.

1. Congo declared its independence from Belgian colonial rule in June 1960 and Patrice Lumumba, who had led the liberation struggle, headed the first independent Congolese government. He was deposed by U.S.-backed rival Moise Tshombe as Washington led an intervention force under the United Nations flag in late 1960. Lumumba was murdered by the Tshombe's forces in January 1961. Tshombe, installed as prime minister in 1964, crushed a revolt in eastern Congo by Lumumba's followers. Washington later admitted that U.S. planes flown by U.S. pilots had taken part in the operation.

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