Malcolm X (1992)
Malcolm X: What color were they?
Chaplain Gill: Well, I don't think we know that for certain.
Malcolm X: But they were Hebrews, were they not?
Chaplain Gill: That's right.
Malcolm X: As was Jesus. Jesus was also a Hebrew.
Chaplain Gill: Why don't you just ask your question.
Malcolm X: What color were the original Hebrews?
Chaplain Gill: I have told you that we don't know that for certain.
Malcolm X: Then you can't believe for certain that Jesus was white.
Chaplain Gill: Just... Just a moment. Just a moment. God is white.
[pointing to a painting of a white Jesus hanging on the wall]
Chaplain Gill: Isn't it obvious?
Malcolm X: Well, that
[nodding to the painting]
Malcolm X: is obvious, but we don't know if it's obvious that God is white. The honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that Jesus did not have blond hair and blue eyes. The honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that the images of Jesus that are on prison walls and churches throughout the world are not historically correct because history teaches us that Jesus was born in a region where the people had color.
[Witnessing Malcolm's control over a mob]
Captain Green: That's too much power for one man to have.
Baines: The body of the sacred temple; it must be purified.
Malcolm X: [whispering] I will not touch the white man's poison; his drugs, his liquor, his swine, his women.
Baines: A Muslim must be strikingly upright; an outstanding example so that those in the darkness can see the power of the light.
Malcolm X: [whispering] I will not commit adultery or fornication. I will not lie, cheat or steal.
Malcolm X: Brothers and sisters, I am here to tell you that I charge the white man. I charge the white man with being the greatest murderer on earth. I charge the white man with being the greatest kidnapper on earth. There is no place in this world that this man can go and say he created peace and harmony. Everywhere he's gone, he's created havoc. Everywhere he's gone, he's created destruction. So I charge him. I charge him with being the greates kidnapper on this earth! I charge him with being the greatest murderer on this earth! I charge him with being the greatest robber and enslaver on this earth! I charge the white man with being the greatest swine-eater on this earth. The greatest drunkard on this earth! He can't deny the charges! You can't deny the charges! We're the living proof *of* those charges! You and I are the proof. You're not an American, you are the victim of America. You didn't have a choice coming over here. He didn't say, "Black man, black woman, come on over and help me build America". He said, "Nigger, get down in the bottom of that boat and I'm taking you over there to help me build America". Being born here does not make you an American. I am not an American, you are not an American. You are one of the 22 million black people who are the *victims* of America. You and I, we've never see any democracy. We didn't see any... democracy on the-the cotton fields of Georgia, wasn't no democracy down there. We didn't see any democracy. We didn't see any democracy on the streets of Harlem or on the streets of Brooklyn or on the streets of Detroit or Chicago. Ain't no democracy down there. No, we've never seem democracy! All we've seen is hypocrisy! We don't see any American Dream. We've experienced only the American Nightmare!
Crowd: [shouting] Malcolm! Malcolm! We want Malcolm! We want Malcolm!
Malcolm X: I must emphasize at the outstart that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad is not a politician. So I'm not here this afternoon as a Republican, nor as a Democrat; not as a Mason, nor as an Elk; not as a Protestant, nor a Catholic; not as a Christian, nor a Jew; not as a Baptist, nor a Methodist. In fact, not even as an American, because if I was an American, the problem that confronts our people today wouldn't even exist. So I have to stand here today as what I was when I was born: a black man. Before there was any such thing as a Republican or a Democrat, we were black. Before there was any such thing as a Mason or an Elk, we were black. Before there was any such thing as a Jew or a Christian, we were black people! In fact, before there was any such place as America, we were black! And after America has long passed from the scene, there will still be black people. I'm gonna tell you like it really is. Every election year these politicians are sent up here to pacify us! They're sent here and setup here by the White Man! This is what they do! They send drugs in Harlem down here to pacify us! They send alcohol down here to pacify us! They send prostitution down here to pacify us! Why you can't even get drugs in Harlem without the White Man's permission! You can't get prostitution in Harlem without the White Man's permission! You can't get gambling in Harlem without the White Man's permission! Every time you break the seal on that liquor bottle, that's a Government seal that you're breaking! Oh, I say and I say it again, ya been had! Ya been took! Ya been hoodwinked! Bamboozled! Led astray! Run amok! This is what He does.
Elijah Muhammad: [to Malcolm X] You will be in the public eye. Beware of them cameras. Oh, them cameras are bad as any narcotic.
Malcolm X: [narrating] Like every hustler, I was trapped. Cats that hung out together trying to find a solution found nothing. Cats that might have probed space or cured cancer, West Indian Archie might have been a mathematical genius... but we were all victims of the American social order.
Malcolm X: We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us!
Malcolm X: You may be shocked by these words, but I have eaten from the same plate, drunk from the same glass and prayed to the same God with fellow Muslims whose eyes were blue, whose hair was blond and whose skin was the whitest of whites. And we are brothers, truly; people of all colors and races believing in One God and one humanity. Once before, in prison, the truth came and blinded me. It has happened again... In the past, I have permitted myself to be used to make sweeping indictments of all white people, and these generalizations have caused injuries to some white folks who did not deserve them. Because of the spiritual rebirth which I was blessed to undergo as a result of my pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca, I no longer subscribe to sweeping indictments of one race. I intend to be careful not to sentence anyone who has not been proven guilty. I'm not a racist and do not subscribe to any of the tenets of racism. In all honesty and sincerity it can be stated that I wish nothing but freedom, justice and equality: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all people. My first concern, of course, is with the group to which I belong, the Afro-Americans, for we, more than any other, are deprived of these inalienable rights. I believe the true practice of Islam can remove the cancer of racism from the hearts and souls of white Americans.
Soweto Teacher: As Brother Malcolm said: "We declare our right on this earth to be a man, to be a human being, to be given the rights of a human being, to be respected as a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence."
[cut to archive footage of Malcolm X exclaiming during a speech]
Malcolm X: By any means necessary!
Malcolm X: I ordered a single, Jack.
Bartender: The double's on that man, Jack.
Malcolm X: Who is that?
Bartender: That's West Indian Archie.
Malcolm X: Yeah? What's his angle?
Bartender: Some uh this, some uh that.
Malcolm X: [narrating] I was special. The only colored kid in the class. I became sort of a mascot. Like a pink poodle. I was called a nigger so many times, I didn't think there was anything wrong with it. I thought that was my name. They talked about me like I wasn't there. Like I was a pedigreed dog or a horse. Like I was invisible.
Cholly: [knocks on door] Hey Little! Your man out here waiting on you!
Malcolm X: We had the best organization a black man's ever had. Niggers ruined it.
Malcolm X: To understand this man -
[points at a Negro Panelist]
Malcolm X: you must know that historically there are two kinds of slaves. House Negroes and Field Negroes. The house Negro lived in the big house; he dressed pretty good; he ate pretty good and he loved the master. Yeah, he loved him more than the master loved himself. If the master's house caught fire, he'd be the first to put the blaze out. If the master got sick, he'd say: "What's a matter, boss; we sick?" We sick! If someone said to him, "Let's run away and escape. Let's separate." He'd say, "Man, are you crazy? What's better than what I got here?" That was the House Negro. In those days he was called the House Nigger. Well, that's what we call them today because we still got a lot of House Niggers running around.
Malcolm X: If the so-called Negro were American citizens we wouldn't have a race problem. If the Emancipation Proclamation was authentic, you wouldn't have a race problem. If the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution was authentic, you wouldn't have a race problem. If the Supreme Court desegregation decision was authentic, you wouldn't have a race problem. All of this is hypocrisy. These Negro leaders have been telling the white man everything is all right, everything is under control. And they've been telling the white man that Mr. Muhammad is wrong, don't listen to him. But everything Mr. Muhammad has been saying is going to come to pass is now coming to pass and now the Negro leaders are standing up saying that we are about to have a racial explosion. We're going to have a racial explosion and that's more dangerous than an atomic explosion. It's going to explode because black people are dissatisfied. They're dissatisfied now not only with the white man, but with these Negroes who have been sitting around here posing as leaders and spokesmen for black people. Anytime you put too many sparks around a powder keg, the thing is going to explode and if the thing that explodes is still inside the house, then the house will be destroyed. So the Honorable Elijah Muhammad is telling the white man get this powder keg out of your house, let the black people in this country separate from him while there's still time. And if the black man is allowed to separate and go on onto some land of his own, where he can solve his problems, then there won't be any explosion. Complete separation is the only solution to the black and white problem in this country!
Baines: A man curses because he doesn't have the words to say what's on his mind.
Shorty: [rinsing the lye out of Malcolm's hair] How's it feel?
Malcolm X: It feels like I ain't got no skin on my head!
Malcolm X: [accidentally bumps into a patron, spilling his drink on his shoes, but smiles and acts cool] My man!
Fox: The word is "excuse me," boy.
Malcolm X: [still grinning, staying positive] "Excuse me" don't shine my shoes, my man.
Fox: Then you should've stayed out of my way.
[takes the flaps of his jacket in his hands and releases them roughly]
Fox: Ol' country nigger.
[Malcolm stares at him for a moment and tries to walk away until Fox holds an arm out in front of him to stop him]
Fox: Uh, what you gonna do?
[removes his hat from off his head, mockingly blows on it and tosses it over the bar, staring him down in a confrontational matter]
Fox: Go home to your mama?
Malcolm X: [Malcolm is silent for a moment, looking at him, letting his harmful words sink in... then he casually approaches the bar, grabs a glass bottle and violently smashes it against Fox's head, who falls to the floor, holding his bleeding head and wincing in pain] Nigger, don't you ever, in your *life*, say anything against my mother!
Baines: [visiting Malcolm the shower after getting out of Ad-Seg] I know how you feel. Like you wanna lay down and die. I brought you something.
[hands him a cup of water along with a matchbox]
Malcolm X: Yeah, well, I don't need no more favors from you.
Baines: It's nutmeg. Put it in the water. You need something to get the monkey off your back. It's not cocaine but it'll help some.
[Malcolm looks skeptically at him for a moment and then grabs the cup, opens the matchbox and dumps the contents into the water, stirring it]
Baines: Drink it slow. The stuff is strong.
Malcolm X: [takes a drink and finds out that it is] So what's your hype, huh?
Baines: I can show you how to get out of prison. And it's no hype.
Malcolm X: Yeah, well, talk, daddy-o. I'm listening.
[taking another drink]
Malcolm X: Hey, this ain't bad. You got some more?
Baines: That's the last fix I'm giving you.
Malcolm X: So what'd you give it to me for, then, huh?
Baines: Because you needed it. Because you couldn't hear me without it.
Malcolm X: [snorts] Nigger, get on outta my face.
[walks away, back underneath the shower head]
Baines: I think you got more sense than any cat in this prison. Why the hell don't you use it? You can't bust out of here like they do in the movies. Because even if you get out, you're still in prison.
Malcolm X: Yeah, you ain't lying there.
Baines: You'll go busting your fist against a stone wall. You're not using your brain! That's what the white man wants you to do. Look at you, putting all that poison in your hair.
Malcolm X: I think you been in prison too long, my man, because everybody on the outside conks.
Baines: Why? Why does everybody on the outside conk?
Malcolm X: Because they don't want to walk around with a nappy head, looking like...
Baines: Looking like what? Like me? Like a nigger? Why don't you wanna look like what you are? What makes you ashamed of being black?
Malcolm X: Let me tell you something. I'm not ashamed of being anything.
[goes to turn the shower head back on to rinse his hair but Baines grabs him by the wrist]
Malcolm X: You better get your hands off me. I got to wash this out.
Baines: Let it burn!
Malcolm X: Nigger, get your hands off of me!
Baines: [releases him] Go on. Burn yourself. Pain yourself. Put all that poison in your hair, in your body, trying to be white!
Malcolm X: [chuckles] I don't wanna hear all this shit.
[resumes his shower]
Baines: I thought you were smart. But you're just another one of those cats strutting down the avenue in your clown suit with all that mess on you! Looking like a monkey! The white man sees you and laughs. He laughs because he knows you ain't white!
Malcolm X: Man, who are you?
Baines: No, the question is, who are *you?* Well, I'll tell you. You are lost in the darkness. But the Elijah Muhammad has come to bring you into the light.
[Malcolm looks questioningly at him, asking, "Who?"]
Baines: Elijah Muhammad can get you out of prison. Out of the prison of your mind.
[drops his tone in disappointment]
Baines: But maybe all you want is another fix.
[gives Malcolm one final look before walking out]
Rudy: I'm half wop, I'm half nigger. I'm not afraid of nobody.
Announcer: In the name of Allah the merciful, all praises due to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. The one God to whom praise is due forever. The one who came to us in the person of Master Fard Muhammad and raised up the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Amen.
Announcer: How do you feel?
Announcer: Who do we want to hear?
Crowd: Malcolm X!
Announcer: Are we gonna bring him on? Yes, we gonna bring him on. Well let us hear from our minister, Minister Malcolm X. Let us bring him on with a round of applause!
[West Indian Archie gives Malcolm his first gun]
West Indian Archie: Now you're outfitted. You ready to tackle the streets?
Malcolm X: Yeah, I'm ready. Let them come.
Shorty: See that spot? Get it! The spot... All right, that's it.
[playing "Cops and Robbers"]
Shorty: Yeah, Red!
Malcolm X: Come on, you missed me!
Shorty: Try this on for size!
[makes Tommy-gun noises]
Malcolm X: I ducked.
Shorty: [laughing] You ducked?
Eulogy Performer: Here - at this final hour, in this quiet place - Harlem has come to bid farewell to one of its brightest hopes - extinguished now, and gone from us forever. For Harlem is where he worked and where he struggled and fought - his home of homes, where his heart was, and where his people are - and it is, therefore, most fitting that we meet once again - in Harlem - to share these last moments with him. For Harlem has ever been gracious to those who have loved her, have fought her, and have defended her honor even to the death.