When it comes time for a black man to explode, they call it violence, but white people can be exploding against black people all day long and it’s never called violence. I have even had some of you come to me and ask if I’m for violence. I’m the victim of violence and you’re the victim of violence. In fact, you’ve been so victimized by it, you can’t recognize it for what it is today.
They don’t mind you struggling for freedom as long as you struggle according to their rules. As long as you let them tell you how to struggle, they go for your struggle. But as soon as you come to one of them who is supposed to be for your freedom and tell him you’re for freedom by any means necessary, he gets away from you. He’s for his freedom by any means necessary, but he’ll never go along with you to get your freedom by any means necessary.
United States history is that of a country that does whatever it wants to by any means necessary, to look out for its interest by any means necessary, but when it comes to your and my interest, then all of the means become limited. And we can’t go along with that. We say what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If we are going to be non-violent, then let America become non-violent. Let her pull her troops out of Saigon and pull her troops out of the Congo and pull back all her troops everywhere and then we will see that she is a nonviolent country, that we’re living in a nonviolent society. But until they get nonviolent themselves, you’re out of your mind to get nonviolent. That’s all I say on that.
I’m for peace, but I don’t see how any black people can be at peace before the war is over, and you haven’t even won a battle yet. If I have to follow a general who is fighting for my freedom and the enemy begins to pin peace medals on him before I’ve gotten my freedom, I’m afraid I’ll have to find another general because its impossible for a general to be at peace when his people don’t get no peace. It is impossible to give out peace medals when the people who are oppressed don’t have any peace.
The only man who has peace is the man at the top. And I don’t think that black people should be at peace in any way. There should be no peace on earth for anybody until there’s peace also for us.