article contains incredibly vicious attacks on Malcolm X.
In the interests of historical accuracy, I've scanned and posted
this material so contemporary readers would be able to read it.
--- Walter Lippmann
A Fighting People Forging Unity
The upsurge of the Negro masses to secure the full measure of their equal rights as American citizens, is a revolutionary movement of powerful social dynamism which is having its impact upon all social forces and relationships in our society.
This great movement of the Negro people to be "free in '64" expresses itself in militant mass demonstrations of "direct non-violent action" — picketing, boycotts, work stoppages, sit-ins, stand-ins, etc. It manifests itself in mass meetings, rallies, marches, lobbying delegations and giant assemblies, where unjust racist, jimcrow laws are violated en masse.
The major organizations of the Negro people are swollen with the surging tide of this revolutionary passion and determination of the Negro masses to secure now their long denied rights.
The largest of these organizations is the 400,000 strong National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) whose outstanding leader is Roy Wilkins.
The most renowned leader of the movement is the head of the new Southern Christian Leadership Conference the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Smaller component parts of the total movement have also outstanding personalities in their leadership.
Among them are: the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) led by James Farmer; the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) with John Henry Lewis as president; the Negro American Labor Council (NALC) which is headed by the foremost Negro trade unionist, A. Philip Randolps, AFL-CIO vice-president; the Urban League, whose director is Whitney Young.
In addtion to these national organizations whose main activity is to secure Negro rights, the various fraternal organizations, such as the Elks, and church bodies, such as the National Baptist Convention, identify themselves with the program and actively engage in one or another aspect of the movement.
But the scope and tempo of the revolutionary upsurge of the Negro masses is far too sweeping to be wholly contained within the established national organizations. It is also expressed through numerous local organizations and struggle-initiatives on specific issues and aspects of the general offensive against the total complex of the system of segregation and discrimination.
There are diversity and attimes, differences in stress, in tactics and specific undertakings as between theseveral organizations and leaders who command the action on the far-flung battle front. At times one or another leader and organization will lag behind in response to the militant thrust of the masses but, in general, there is a profound over-all unity in the ever-developing struggle and common agreement is being consciously cultivated and will no doubt become more formalized.
The mettle of the movements' unity was dramatically affirmed during the White House conference when each one of the 31 Negro leaders affirmed the determination of all others to go ahead with the mass march on Washington to protest the filibuster of the reactionary solons against the Administration's recommended Civil Rights Act of 1963. The July 2consultation in New York of some 15o leaders of all the principle organizations making-up the Negro freedom movement is a further testament to the unity that is being forged in the fires of the mass struggle.
Since those days in May when Birmingham's ex-police chief, Bull Connor, set dogs upon demonstrating crowds of youth, bowled over old people with high powered water hoses, and helmeted police beat women into the ground with their bellies and rifle butts, the magnitude of the Negro people's upsurgethroughout the South and the principle cities of the country has brought about an unprecendented positive response from the President of the United States and the Adminstration.
The President has committed himself and his Administration to securing new legislation and invoking administrative measures to bring about the equality of status and opportunity which American Negroes demand. "No President has ever done this before," noted Walter Lippmann, the columnist.
This new commitment marks a reversal of form on the part of the President and reveals that he has properly judged the "temper of the rebellion that has been set aflame" by the mass rising of a people who have unanimoously resolved to have their rights now.
In spite of the rallying of the vast majority of the nation to the support of the just demands of the Negro people, the resistance of the ultra-reactionaries—the racists, with their vested interest in the system of Negro segregation, who have built political careers out of the disfranchised status of Negroes and who enrich themselves out of the victims of racial discrimination—the resistance of these reactionaries grows more violent as their cause becomes more desperate.
The main danger to victory of the movement for Negro freedom remains that unholy combination of Dixiecrat politicians of the Senators Richard Russell-James O. Eastland-stripe with their Northern Republican ultra-Rightist colleagues, such as Barry Goldwater. Their ill-gotten political power is dependent upon the continued disenfranchisement of the Negro masses and maintaining firm curbs upon the democratic masses in general. Also, they serve those economic interests whose profits are geared to the system of white supremacy which facilitates the double exploitation and wholesale robbery of the Negro masses as workers and as consumers.
But as the segregationists are more and more isolated and discredited, the enemies of Negro equality and of social progress for the deprived masses in general, seek to retard the advancing movement for Negro freedom by other means and agencies. Fundamentally, the monopolist ruling circles of our country fear the presence on the political scene and the scene of social action of a militant mass movement of Negro working people marching forward under the banner of integration.
They foresee that victory in the struggle of the Negro masses for integration will bring the Negro working people (95 percent of all the Negro people) into a new, close and direct relationship with their class equals among the white masses.
It would establish the prerequisites for common organization unity and social action of the deprived masses of Negro and white in struggle against the monopolists in behalf of common needs—for socialprogress, economic security, democratic renovations and world peace.
A victory for integration would create the conditions for the united action of Negro and white working people against the monopolists, the common exploiters; it would establish the high ground on which the common people themselves could advance their own representatives for public office, in opposition to those of the men of the trusts.
Facing this prospect, the monopoly ruling circles wish for the disintegration of the Negro people's movement, no matter what substantial concessions they maybe compelled to make in terms of rights to the Negro people. They dread the thought of a fusion between this movement and the growing discontent among the many millions of unemployed and deprived white masses. They want to demobilize quickly the cantagious example of masses of marching blacks compelling concessions from government and the economic magnates through the militancy of their manifestations and the unity of their leadership.
Therefore, the ruling class circles can be expected to nurture and stimulate divisionism among the forces who make up the mighty movementof the Negro people. More than this, they will do all in their power to promote diversionists and patronize counter movements in the orbit of the genuine movement of the Negro people for freedom.
It is from this standpoint that we must appraise the activities of Malcolm X, Muhammad, and the Muslim organizations.
The Muslim organization, in general, and Malcolmn X, in particular, are ultra-reactionary forces operating in the orbit of the Negro people's movement, with the strategic assignment to sow ideological confusion, to dissipate the organization energies of the Negro masses, to promote divisionism within the Negro movement, and to alienate the Negro movement from fraternal ties with and support of comparably deprived or democratically inclined white masses.
The Muslim movement objectively serves the interests of the main enemies of the cause of Negro freedom and equality.
The Muslims advocate a self-contained society within the U.S. They glorify the economic, political and cultural isolation of Negro communities in the cities of the country, and they call for the designation of one or more states or areas by the Federal government for development as closed territories of Negro resettlement and white exodus.
They propagate the call for the total separation of Negroes from any manner of association with whites. They call for Negroes to divorce themselves from all identication with the nation.
They denounce all Negro leaders who work for the integration of the Negro people in the life of the nation on a basis of equality and freedom. They represent all white people, regardless of class status and relationship to the ruling power, as the enemies of the Negro —"the white devils," as they say.
In sum, the Muslims in general, and MalcoIm X in particular, are militant defenders of segregation and the isolation of Negroes from the life of the nation. Malcolm X and the Muslim cultists are avowed opponents of Negro-white unity including trade union and class brotherhood of the workers.
They counterpose a mystique of black racial supremacy to the racist doctrine of white supremacy; they do not fight racism, they merely advocate their own brand of the poison. One brand of racism can hardly be represented as an antidote to another brand, but they make such claims.
The utterly reactionary essence of the Muslim "program" is masked in an attractive posture of militancy which their leaders assume when inveighing against the conditions which characterize the oppressed and super-exploited status of Negroes in the U.S.
Malcolm X describes the suffering and misery of Negroes under the heel of the jimcrow system with an eloquence and use of popular idiom and imagery such as evoke an identifying response from his listeners. But this is demagogic comeon by a conscious huckster of worthless nostrums, which succor onl the enemy of the Negro people, and debilitate the unity and vision of the masses.
Malcolm X and his fellow cultist leaders work untiringly to undermine the prestige of such vital leaders of the Negro movement as The Rev. Martin Luther King, Roy Wilkins and others.
At the height of the Bull Connor terror against the heroic Birmingham demonstrations, Malcolm X came forth with scurrilous attacks upon Rev. King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
With the gunmen-police of Mississippi making wild rampages in the Negro community of Jackson, where. the NAACP leader, Medgar Evers, gave up his life in the leadership of a massive assault on this bastion of segregation, Malcolm X denounced Roy Wilkins and the NAACP as an "Uncle Tom leader of an Uncle Tom Association which is led by white folk."
Malcolm X in no sense of the word can be considered a leader of the Negro people, he is an agent of their enemies and consequently an opponent of their progress. The Muslims represent the single most reactionary and counter-revolutionary force among the organizations in Negro life today
They demagogically make a flambouyant appeal to the sub-proletarian mass of unemployed Negro youth of the cities, but they offer no serious program of struggle to relieve their plight. The siren song would lead the Negro movement onto the reefs. Their doctrine is so much sand in the eyes of the masses. They are as a leach on the Negro freedom movement — sucking its blood; wasting its revolutionary energies; seeking to divert it into a blind alley; all in the service of the worst enemies of the Negro people and the whole American nation—the segregationists and racists.
There are certain other personalities who, in their egotism and ignorance, persist in counter-posing their conceited schemes to the primary requirements of the movement of the Negro masses.
They come forward as representing all other leaders as "sellout artists" and glorify themselves as the "true" saviors of the people. Whatever the merits of their contribution in the past, the role they play in the present situation only brings grist to the mills of the segregationists.
Such a personality is Robert F. Williams, whose utterly irresponsible attacks upon the personalilties of Negro leaders and their allies in the thick of the battles here made in his broadcasts from Cuba and in his newsletter The Crusader, must be roundly denounced.
Also, it must be said that the monthly magazine Liberator, in its July editorial and editorial cartoon, went beyond the bounds of criticism to compete with the worst of the segregationist slanders of Negro leadership and the Negro freedom movement, in exercising its bias against the movement headed by Martin Luther King.
It is necessary to expose the connections, sinister purposes, and the use which the enemy makes, of such people as Malcolm X and assorted diversionists. It is necessary to call them by their rightful names and defeat them ideologically.
It is also a fact to be reckoned with that some of the most respected and dedicated of the Negro people's leaders, who are themselves often the target of slanderous red-smears, continue to indulge in the McCarthyite-age fashion of genuflecting before the "sacred symbol" of anti-communism.
In modern times, when a third of the world's people areliving under societies whose guiding ideas are communist, when another third of the world's people find profitable fraternal collaboration with communist societies and great liberating strength in communist ideals and ideas, it is not a mark of maturity and sophistication for a people's leader to garnish his speeches with the bromides of anti-communist vouchsafes and red-baiting asides.
Anti-communism can only foster divisionism in the ranks of the movement at a time when the paramount resolution of all conscious forces are striving to enhance its unity for victory in the sharp battles thatstill are to be fought in order to consolidate gains made and to secure full freedom.
* * *
The Negro freedom movement stands on the threshold of a great victory. In the mighty revolutionary upsurge of the Negro masses against segregation and discrimination, social forces are being activized, fighting alliances of the common people are being forged such as will carry our nation forward to a genuine new birth of democracy, of peoples well being, social progress and peace.