Malcolm describes how the "divide and conquer" strategy of colonialism is used against black people in America.
Palm Gardens, New York. 8 April 1964.
Transcribed text from audio excerpt. [read entire speech]
The greatest weapon that the colonial powers have used in the past against our people has always been divide-and-conquer. America is a colonial power. She has colonized 22 million Afro-Americans by depriving us of first-class citizenship, by depriving us of civil rights, actually by depriving us of human rights. She has not only deprived us of the right to be a citizen, she has deprived us of the right to be a human being, the right to be recognized and respected as men and women. In this country the black can be fifty years old and he is still a "boy." I grew up with white people. I was integrated before they even invented the word and I have never met white people yet--if you are around them long enough--who won't refer to you as a "boy" or a "gal," no matter how old you are or what school you came out of, no matter what your intellectual or professional level is. In this society we remain "boys."
So America's strategy is the same strategy as that which was used in the past by the colonial powers: divide and conquer. She plays one Negro leader against the other. She plays one Negro organization against the other. She makes us think we have different objectives, different goals. As soon as one Negro says something, she runs to this Negro and asks him, "What do you think about what he said?" Why, anybody can see through that today--except some of the Negro leaders.
SOURCE: X, Malcolm. "The Black Revolution." Militant Labor Forum. Palm Gardens, New York. 8 April 1964.