Malcolm applies the parable of the house vs. field Negro to the civil rights movement.
King Solomon Baptist Church, Detroit. 10 November 1963.
Transcribed text from audio excerpt.
You've got field Negroes in America today. I'm a field Negro. The masses are the field Negroes. When they see this man's house on fire, you don't hear the little Negroes talking about "our government is in trouble." They say, "The government is in trouble." Imagine a Negro: "Our government"! I even heard on say "our Navy"--that's a Negro that is out of his mind, a Negro that is out of his mind.
Just as the slavemaster of that day used Tom, the house Negro, to keep the field Negroes in check, the same old slavemaster today has Negroes who are nothing but modern Uncle Toms, twentieth-century Uncle Toms, to keep you and me in check, to keep us in control, keep us passive and peaceful and nonviolent. That's Tom making you nonviolent.
SOURCE: X, Malcolm. "Message to the Grass Roots." Northern Negro Grass Roots Leadership Conference. Group on Advanced Leadership. King Solomon Baptist Church, Detroit. 10 November 1963.