Image by Okinawa Soba via FlickrMalcolm X: Afro-American History (January 1964)
Another thing that you will find is that those who go to other places usually think of themselves as a minority. If you’ll notice, in all of their struggling, programming or even crying or demanding, they even refer to themselves as a minority, and they use a minority approach. By a minority they mean that they are lesser than something else, or they are outnumbered, or the odds are against them – and this is the approach that they use in their argument, in their demand, in their negotiation. But when you find those of us who have been following the nationalistic thinking that prevails in Harlem, we don’t think of ourselves as a minority, because we don’t think of ourselves just within the context of the American stage or the American scene, in which we would be a minority. We think of things worldly, or as the world is; we think of our part in the world, and we look upon ourselves not as a dark minority on the white American stage, but rather we look upon ourselves as a part of the dark majority who now prevail on the world stage. And when you think like this automatically, when you realize you are part of the majority, you approach your problem as if odds are on your side rather than odds are against you. You approach demanding rather than using the begging approach. And this is one of the things that is frightening the white man. As long as the black man in America thinks of himself as a minority, as an underdog, he can’t shout but so loud; or if he does shout, he shouts loudly only to the degree that the power structure encourages him to. He never gets irresponsible. He never goes beyond what the power structure thinks is the right voice to shout in. But when you begin to connect yourself on the world stage with the whole of dark mankind, and you see that you’re the majority and this majority is waking up and rising up and becoming strong, then when you deal with this man, you don’t deal with him like he’s your boss or he’s better than you or stronger than you. You put him right where he belongs. When you realize that he’s a minority, that his time is running out, you approach him like that, you approach him like one who used to be strong but is now getting weak, who used to be in a position to retaliate against you but now is not in that position anymore.