The killing of George Floyd, an African American, on 25 May, the day the African Union was formed 57 years ago, has invoked memories of a speech made by fellow African-American Malcolm X at the AU in 1964.
Malcolm X said apartheid South Africa, as it was then, was worse than the United States. At least South Africa was open about its racism against blacks while the US was cunning, he said.
“America is worse than South Africa, because not only is America racist, but she is also deceitful and hypocritical,” he said.
“South Africa preaches segregation and practices segregation. She, at least, practices what she preaches. America preaches integration and practices segregation. She preaches one thing while deceitfully practicing another.
“South Africa is like a vicious wolf, openly hostile toward black humanity. But America is cunning like a fox, friendly and smiling, but even more vicious and deadly than the wolf.”
Below is the full speech:
The Organization of Afro-American Unity has sent me to attend this historic African Summit Conference as an observer to represent the interests of 22 million African-Americans whose human rights are being violated daily by the racism of American imperialists.
The Organization of Afro-American Unity has been formed by a cross section of America’s African-American community, and is patterned after the letter and spirit of the Organization of African Unity.
Just as the Organization of African Unity has called upon all African leaders to submerge their differences and unite on common objectives for the common good of all Africans, in America the Organization of Afro-American Unity has called upon Afro-American leaders to submerge their differences and find areas of agreement wherein we can work in unity for the good of the entire 22 million African Americans.
Since the 22 million of us were originally Africans, who are now in America, not by choice but only by a cruel accident in our history, we strongly believe that African problems are our problems and our problems are African problems.
We also believe that as heads of the independent African states you are the shepherds of all African peoples everywhere, whether they are still at home here on the mother continent or have been scattered abroad.
Some African leaders at this conference have implied that they have enough problems here on the mother continent without adding the Afro-American problem.
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