Stokely Carmichael speaks against capitalism at AIM Headquarters in St. Paul

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MPR’s Sam Ford reports on Stokely Carmichael speech at the AIM Headquarters in St. Paul. Carmichael states capitalism is major oppressor of people of color in this country and has decimated Indian land. Carmichael concludes it can only be changed through a revolutionary struggle with bloodshed.

[NOTE: audio contains offensive language]


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SAM FORD: Carmichael, who in recent years has traveled extensively in socialist and communist countries, called for the destruction of capitalism. He said capitalism was the major oppressor of people of color in this country.

STOKELY CHARMICHAEL: The viciousness of a capitalist system is to be found in the fact that those who labor do not enjoy the fruits of their labor. So vicious.


It's a vicious system. I tell you, under this system, those who labor do not enjoy the fruits of their labor. In America, we can say the opposite and be correct. We can say, those who do not labor enjoy the profits of the laboring masses.


Capitalism is a backward system now, backwards. The backwardness of a capitalist system is to be found in the fact that its primary motivating force is profit, money. Just get money. Just get it. Don't care what you do, just get some money. Get it. Get it.


If we were to define capitalism and use a phrase from Malcolm X, which upsets a lot of people, we'd say under capitalism, the philosophy is get money. Get it. Get as much as you can. Just get it. Get it by any means necessary. Just get it. Look at the system is so backward. The more money you get, the less people are going to ask you how you got it. Backwards system. Backwards system. Backwards system.


It is this system that is responsible for the condition of the red man in this country today. It is this vicious primary motivating force of getting money by any means necessary that allowed the Europeans to decimate the red man and take his land. Just get money by any means necessary. Backwards. Backward.

It has to be changed. It can only be changed through revolutionary struggle. Only through revolutionary struggle. It cannot come without bloodshed. It must only come with bloodshed. Now, I'm not saying that because I want bloodshed. Revolution ain't based on sentimentality. What it is, is what it is.

SAM FORD: Carmichael said other oppressed peoples of America can and should support the Indian in his struggle to get his land back. The other oppressed peoples were defined as Blacks, yellows, browns and poor whites. But, said Carmichael, only the red man should lead his struggle.

STOKELY CHARMICHAEL: When you fight for revolution, you must fight for land. The land of the Black man is Africa. That's his land. That's what he's struggling for, even though he's struggling in America. The land in America belongs to the red man. It's his land. No one can deny that. His struggle is for his land. His struggle can only be for his land.

Certainly, European imperialism has affected many people. It has spread the Black man all over the world. It has built itself on the wealth and labor of the Black man, but it has decimated the red man. But truth crushed, the earth shall rise again.

The land belongs to the red man. Anybody who thinks seriously about working on behalf of the red man must come to deals with this truth, the land on which we inhabit, the land on which we live, the land which is so exploited, belongs to the red man. He must come first in any dealings with the land.

SAM FORD: Former leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Stokely Carmichael, speaking last night at the American Indian Movement headquarters in Saint Paul. This is Sam Ford.



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