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Tommy Carey
Professor Lo
Race and Social Justice
26 April 2016
Divided We Fall
Unlike Dr. King, throughout the course of Malcolm Little aka Malcolm Xs life, hes
fought for African Americans not to bring them together, but to establish separation from the
other races entirely. He felt that the African American race should be separated only because of
how long the white man has oppressed their race and felt it unnecessary to try and become united
with the white man and focus more on their own people and stay pure. Malcolm X makes it well
known that he disagrees with the concept of integration mostly because he feels its fraud to his
people. These topics that he preaches about are largely controversial thus making him the
controversial activist as he is, far less celebrated than Martin Luther King. Although Malcolm X
does have some valid points about how African Americans should be separated and how it would
better their race, I do have to disagree with this claim because we are stronger together as a
nation, divided we fall.
What I am trying to say is that it just never dawned upon them that I could understand,
that I wasn't a pet, but a human being. They didn't give me credit for having the same sensitivity,
intellect, and understanding that they would have been ready and willing to recognize in a white
boy in my position. But it has historically been the case with white people, in their regard for
black people, that even though we might be with them, we weren't considered of them. This
quote comes from chapter two, page 29 where Malcolm feels a strong distrust with whites and
these feelings he has towards them make it sound like the white people treat as if hes some sort

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of animal, making him feel lesser than the white man. This contributes to the idea that he is
against integration and that the white man will always hold him and his brothers back in society.
This is true in some ways during this time but to me, I feel that hes generalizing with these
statements because yes there were people in our country who were ignorant to race and color but
there were also a lot of people who supported the black community and wanted them to be equal
to the white race. Its understandable that he is frustrated with the hatred and the unequal
opportunities he had that that era so it makes sense that he would argue for the separation of
races and let the African American people only be with each other.
If you look at the foster family, the Swerlins, a family that was devoted to help Malcolm
X out despite them being white, I think this is important to note because they felt that Malcolm
was part of the family and that they decided to help this young African American boy with all the
controversy surrounding it. So it brings the question that why would Malcolm want separation
from whites despite a white family helping him out in his early childhood years? If you look
specifically on chapter 2 with his first encounter with them, they were very welcoming; They
liked me right away, too. Mrs. Swerlin showed me to my room, my own room-the first in my
life. It was in one of those huge dormitory-like buildings where kids in detention were kept in
those days-and still are in most places. I couldnt imagine how eye opening this must of been
for Malcolm especially with all the controversy hes faced in his early years but this is a strong
example of people coexisting in society and makes me question why Malcolm would want to be
separated from people that can be an asset for him, build more connections. Yes, at this time in
history there was a lot of hate and a lot of ignorance surrounding Malcolm and African
Americans all over, but this example shows that not everyone falls victims to this sort of
behavior and that there was and still is a large amount of people doing the right things and trying

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to get along with everyone despite race or gender or anything of that nature. The Swerlin family
is without a doubt the biggest counter example for Malcolm putting in the notion of people being
divided up and separated from each other mostly because this a white family that helped raise
him and to go out and say that whites and blacks should be separated makes no sense when you
look at the people that helped shape the man he was.
Looking back at the autobiography, it becomes very clear that Malcolm X had a strong
spiritual connection with Elijah Muhammad. I think the reason for Malcolm being for separation
came from the idea of Elijah Muhammad's idea of Christians and Muslims being separated. They
both saw eye to eye on a lot of ideas pertaining to the Muslim faith and with Elijah being
Malcolm's mentor, Malcolm felt obligated to spread the teachings of the prophet Muhammad
throughout the United States. Unfortunately, Elijah denounced Malcolm because of his
controversial comments pertaining to the assassination of JFK. It's important to note that
Malcolm wasnt applauding the fact that our president was murdered rather that there are people
that voted for him to put an end to racism in America and how that hasnt happened yet leading
to more and more racial disputes everyday. I took it as if he was pointing out some sort of wake
up call and saying what goes around comes around essentially. But thats not what the American
people want to hear, the fact that someone would say it in that matter makes us even more
divided, picking sides as if its some sort of game rather than our president being assassinated. It
contributes to why he took so much heat along with Elijah Muhammad denouncing him. During
hard times like this was back in 1963, we should be coming together as a nation, not picking
sides in hope that we can blame one group or another what transpired.
An important thing to note is that the idea that people should be separated based on their
religion has been brought up multiple times between Muhammad and Malcolm X. The only

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problem with this though was that in my opinion, Malcolm took this to the level of people of
different races should be separated and thats not the message that Elijah Muhammad was trying
to get out. And the only way the black people caught up in this society can be saved is not to
integrate into this corrupt society, but to separate from it, to a land of our own, where we can
reform ourselves, lift up our moral standards, and try to be godly(page 156). In the paragraph
Malcolm is referring to all the mishaps society has had and how instead of trying to fix any of it
and come together, just to separate and essentially start over is what hes saying. Yes people
arent perfect and society will have its ups and downs, but its important to have faith and trust
those around you and know that all the pain you and your people have been suffering will come
to an end or at least be lightened up to an extent.
"The guilty, two-faced white man can't decide what he wants. Our slave fore parents
would have been put to death for advocating so-called 'integration with the white man. Now
when Mr. Muhammad speaks of 'separation,' the white man calls us 'hate-teachers' and
'fascists'!(Page 153). I wouldnt necessarily say that this a politically correct statement, Its as if
Malcolm is just generalizing all white men by saying that black people's idea of separation is
fascist. At the time, yes there were white people disagreeing with the notion of separation but I
dont think that made it sound like you were a hate teacher or a fascist of some sort. If
anything, they were trying to help Malcolm. This is the sort of kindly condescension which I try
to clarify today, to these integration-hungry Negroes, about their "liberal" white friends, these socalled "good white people"-most of them anyway(page 29). In this line he even says that whites
would like to see integration and want to help out the African American people. He also
mentions how these people are good people. I think Malcolm has a lot of trust issues with the
whites and he has every right to, but at the same time there are people out there that were ready

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for change and I think if he put himself out there to listen to what these people had to say
pertaining to integration and how to come together as a nation, maybe he would have a different
outlook on the issue.
When I am dead, I say it that way because from the things I know, I do not expect to live
long enough to read this book in its finished form I want you to just watch and see if I'm not right
in what I say: that the white man, in his press, is going to identify me with "hate(page 236).
Everyone has a right to their own opinion, and yes Malcolm X is right when he says that people
will hate him but that isnt the case for every single individual that comes across who he is and
what he stands for. Controversial figure? Yes, but he stood up for what he believed in and said
things the way he felt they were. If he hadnt said the things he said, then we wouldnt be talking
about him today. I personally believe that he believed there is hope for our Country deep down
inside him. Even today there is still a large amount of racism that surrounds our country but
because of figures like him and Dr. King, oppression in society is becoming extinct for the most
part and a large part of this comes from people rallying around each other for change and justice
for all minorities in America.
But as racism leads America up the suicide path, I do believe, from the experiences that
I have had with them, that the whites of the younger generation, in the colleges and universities,
will see the handwriting on the wall and many of them will turn to the spiritual path of truth the
only way left to America to ward off the disaster that racism inevitably must lead to(page 213).
I find this quote to be the most powerful for my argument because in this quote hes saying how
he believes the younger generation will see what is going on around them and try to do
something about it pertaining to race and social justice and he was in fact right about this. Who
wouldve thought that sixty years later a white male like me would be interested in the war on

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racism in America and help stop the ignorance that is still alive today? Malcolm X may have felt
that we should divide our country by race but even in his mind, he knew that the younger
generation of kids would learn from the mistakes of the past and be more open and honest with
each other, coming together regardless of race and finding a way to put an end to oppression.
In conclusion, Malcolm X against integration because he believes that in order for his
race to stay pure, that they need to stay away from the evils of the white man. Hes for separation
also because of what his mentor Elijah Muhammad stood for which was the separation of
Muslims and Christians and seeing that most white Americans are Christian, Malcolm felt that
the Muslim faith wouldnt be able to coexist with white people and that they should practice their
religion somewhere private and only with their people. His ideas evolve over time with all of the
experiences hes faced in his life and all the racial hate and oppression makes it well known that
he isnt for being around the white man in America. I have to disagree with this statement though
because based on our history, its been well known that when you can come together as a nation
regardless of race and educate Americans on the idea of including everyone and having equal
opportunities, that you can defeat any sort of evil in your way because if we are divided, we'll
fall.