There’s a lot of focus on MLK right now, but there was Malcolm X too. “If the white people realize what the alternative is, perhaps they will be more willing to hear Dr. King.” It’s not like the Harlem riots didn’t happen and it’s not like everything stayed peaceful. It’s not like our country came into being from a revolutionary sit in. Or a revolutionary campfire s’mores and kum-bay-ya. The tea party may have been respectful but the war wasn’t pretty. I heard someone say: if you’re not gonna let us be like Martin, you’re gonna get Malcolm.
“He [Malcolm X] spoke at length to my wife, Coretta, about his personal struggles and expressed an interest in working more closely with the nonviolent movement. He thought he could help me more by attacking me than praising me. He thought it would make it easier for me in the long run. He said, ‘If the white people realize what the alternative is, perhaps they will be more willing to hear Dr. King.’ ” this is the MLK quote we need to talk about.