“Not just an American problem, but a world problem” by Malcolm X

“All the nations that signed the charter of the UN came up with the Declaration of Human Rights and anyone who classifies his grievances under the label of “human rights” violations, those grievances can then be brought into the United Nations and be discussed by people all over the world. For as long as you call it “civil rights” your only allies can be the people in the next community, many of whom are responsible for your grievance. But when you call it “human rights” it becomes international. And then you can take your troubles to the World Court. You can take them before the world. And anybody anywhere on this earth can become your ally.

So one of the first steps that we became involved in, those of us who got into the Organization of Afro- American Unity, was to come up with a program that would make our grievances international and make the world see that our problem was no longer a Negro problem or an American problem but a human problem. A problem for humanity. And a problem which should be attacked by all elements of humanity. A problem that was so complex that it was impossible for Uncle Sam to solve it himself and therefore we want to get into a body or conference with people who are in such positions that they can help us get some kind of adjustment for this situation before it gets so explosive that no one can handle it.” (Click to read the full speech.)

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