The ballot or the bullet, some freedom or some bullshit
“The Ballot or the Bullet” is perhaps Malcolm X’s most well-known speech, in which he confronts the prospect of meeting the violence against Black Americans with defensive violence, presaging the emergence of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. The speech did not advocate for reckless violence for its own sake, but as a potentially necessary piece of the larger struggle which X lays out in the address:
We will work with anybody, anywhere, at any time, who is genuinely interested in tackling the problem head-on, nonviolently as long as the enemy is nonviolent, but violent when the enemy gets violent.
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