Home U.S Malcolm X slapped white girls 'as revenge for discrimination'

Malcolm X slapped white girls 'as revenge for discrimination'


Malcolm X used to slap white girls around to get back at the white race for the discrimination that his father went through, a landmark biography of the civil rights firebrand claims.

In his teens a lawless Malcolm was ‘very, very cruel to white girls’ because of the treatment of his dad Earl Little.

Malcolm watched as racists firebombed his family home and grieved Earl’s death aged six after he was run over by a streetcar in an incident rumored to have been a murder by a group of white supremacists.

Malcolm’s friend John Davis Jr said that he took white girls’ money because they ‘can always go back to daddy to get some more’ – but he never took a dime from a black girl.

The anecdotes, which Malcolm left out of his autobiography, are from new book The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by author Les Payne, the late Pulitzer Prize- winning investigative journalist, who spent nearly 30 years working on it until his death in 2018.

It gives a revealing insight into the early days of the man who later became one of the most controversial figures of the civil rights era.

He was the face of the Nation of Islam and demanded change with his catchphrase ‘by any means necessary’ before leaving the group whose members assassinated him in 1965.

The book claims an undercover New York Police Department detective saw a ‘dress rehearsal’ of the execution a week before it happened. But when he reported it to his supervisors they reduced the number of officers stationed at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan.  

Malcolm X used to slap white girls around to get back at the white race for the discrimination that his father went through, a landmark biography of the civil rights firebrand claims.

Malcolm X used to slap white girls around to get back at the white race for the discrimination that his father went through, a landmark biography of the civil rights firebrand claims.

In his teens a lawless Malcolm was ‘very, very cruel to white girls’ because of the treatment of his dad Earl Little. Pictured: Malcolm , at age 18, at the time of an arrest for larceny in 1944

In his teens a lawless Malcolm was ‘very, very cruel to white girls’ because of the treatment of his dad Earl Little. Pictured: Malcolm , at age 18, at the time of an arrest for larceny in 1944

The book claims an undercover New York Police Department detective saw a ‘dress rehearsal’ of the execution a week before it happened. But when he reported it to his supervisors they reduced the number of officers stationed at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan. Pictured: Two policemen carry stretcher bearing Negro nationalist leader Malcolm X after he was downed by an assassin's bullets at a rally February 21st in 1965

The book claims an undercover New York Police Department detective saw a ‘dress rehearsal’ of the execution a week before it happened. But when he reported it to his supervisors they reduced the number of officers stationed at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan. Pictured: Two policemen carry stretcher bearing Negro nationalist leader Malcolm X after he was downed by an assassin’s bullets at a rally February 21st in 1965

The biography was finished by his daughter and his editors and is out on Tuesday on Liveright.

Malcolm was born in 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska, and his family moved to Lansing, Michigan, after being terrified by the Ku Klux Klan who visited their home and threatened Earl, an outspoken Baptist preacher.

The Littles were forthright in their advocating for equality and Earl founded the first branch of civil rights group the NAACP West of Mississippi.

They strongly believed in the teachings of Marcus Garvey, an early icon of black rights, and instilled in their children the idea that they should not be intimidated by whites.

But they suffered indignities and threats and locals burned one of their homes to the ground because they didn’t want a black family living there.

The anecdotes, which Malcolm left out of his autobiography, are from new book The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by author Les Payne, the late Pulitzer Prize- winning investigative journalist, who spent nearly 30 years working on it until his death in 2018.

The anecdotes, which Malcolm left out of his autobiography, are from new book The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X by author Les Payne, the late Pulitzer Prize- winning investigative journalist, who spent nearly 30 years working on it until his death in 2018.

Payne writes: ‘It was upon this rock that the social perspective of young Malcolm was born.

‘The Garveyite struggle of his parents formed the foundation for what he would manage to fashion into his life’s work and legacy’.

The family was thrown into chaos when Malcolm was six when his father died after being run over by a streetcar.

Though the death was ruled an accident his mother Louise thought he could have been killed by a Ku Klux Klan style group and conspiracy theories ran rampant.

Louise eked out a living for her seven children and Malcolm was ‘deserted and doomed to wander the Earth in search of a substitute anchor’.

Discipline became a ‘thing of the past’ and Malcolm began to cut school and was eventually expelled.

His brother Wilfred used to send money back home to support them but Malcolm and his brother Philbert raced to the mailbox to steal it.

The cash could have paid for food but instead Malcolm played a ‘significant role in the family’s downward spiral’ economically – another anecdote he left out of his memoir.

Worse followed and under the stress his mother was ruled insane by a court and committed to an asylum.

Malcolm fell in with a group of street youths and began selling marijuana and stealing while sleeping in vacant cars.

Malcolm (pictured as a child) was born in 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska, and his family moved to Lansing, Michigan, after being terrified by the Ku Klux Klan who visited their home and threatened Earl, an outspoken Baptist preacher

Malcolm (pictured as a child) was born in 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska, and his family moved to Lansing, Michigan, after being terrified by the Ku Klux Klan who visited their home and threatened Earl, an outspoken Baptist preacher

The family was thrown into chaos when Malcolm was six when his father died after being run over by a streetcar. Though the death was ruled an accident his mother Louise thought he could have been killed by a Ku Klux Klan style group and conspiracy theories ran rampant. Worse followed and under the stress his mother was ruled insane by a court and committed to an asylum. Pictured: Malcolm's parents Louise and Earl Little

The family was thrown into chaos when Malcolm was six when his father died after being run over by a streetcar. Though the death was ruled an accident his mother Louise thought he could have been killed by a Ku Klux Klan style group and conspiracy theories ran rampant. Worse followed and under the stress his mother was ruled insane by a court and committed to an asylum. Pictured: Malcolm’s parents Louise and Earl Little 

He got to know John Davis Jr, who was three years his senior and had just moved to Lansing from Mississippi.

Davis was struck with how Malcolm showed ‘none of the self-doubt of fears Negroes commonly displayed during encounters with members of a group dominating American society’.

But he could be reckless and when two cops stopped him and a friend for talking to white girls Malcolm stood up to them.

When one cop put his gun inches from his head Malcolm said: ‘Go ahead, pull the trigger, whitey’ – the officer backed down.

Les Payne, the late Pulitzer Prize- winning investigative journalist, spent nearly 30 years working on it until his death in 2018

Les Payne, the late Pulitzer Prize- winning investigative journalist, spent nearly 30 years working on it until his death in 2018

Davis says in the book that he and Malcolm had one thing in common – they hated white people – but they still chased white girls.

Davis says: ‘He’d always say that black women don’t have anything; they’re struggling too.

‘But he said that the white girls, even if she gives you all of her money, can always go back to daddy to get some more.

‘He was more or less trying to (hit) back after what (whites) had done to his dad. He took it out on the girls. Malcolm was mean to the white girls.

‘He would actually slap ‘em. He would take their money. He would curse. I never knew him to hit a black woman. He never took a dime from black women. But he was cruel, very, very cruel to white girls’.

At the age of 15 Malcolm moved to Boston to live with his half sister Ella and worked with pimps to fix up white men with black prostitutes through his gig as a shoeshine boy at fancy events.

Malcolm X, Militant Black Nationalist movement leader, carries his daughter, Ilyasah in 1964, as he enters car at John F. Kennedy International Airport, following his tour of the Middle East

Malcolm X, Militant Black Nationalist movement leader, carries his daughter, Ilyasah in 1964, as he enters car at John F. Kennedy International Airport, following his tour of the Middle East

American boxer Muhammad Ali with Malcolm X after Ali beat Sonny Liston at world  . (Photo by Bob Gomel/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images)

American boxer Muhammad Ali with Malcolm X after Ali beat Sonny Liston at the world heavyweight championship

Malcolm began to call himself ‘East Lansing Red’ and got a job working on the railways where he visited New York for the first time and fell in love with the city.

He moved to Harlem and set about becoming what he called ‘one of the most depraved, parasitical hustlers among New York’s eight million people’.

His attitude toward women did not improve and became involved with a wealthy married woman called Beatrice Bazarian, a relationship Payne calls ‘largely exploitative’.

Malcolm would beat her and claim that it was something that ‘women need, in fact want’, adding: ’When they are not exploited, they exploit the man’

After carrying out a string of burglaries Malcolm’s luck ran out and he was jailed for eight to 10 years for burglary at the age of just 20 years.

But life on the inside changed him and Malcom found Islam, reeducated himself and sharpened his debating skills on the prison debate team.

Payne writes that Malcolm felt that ‘the very enormity of my previous life’s guilty prepared me to accept the truth’.

He was introduced to the Nation of Islam through his brothers who knew its leader Elijah Muhammad, who was based in Chicago.

The black nationalist group believed that white people are the ‘devil’ and that black people are inherently superior.

The Southern Poverty Law Center calls The Nation of Islam a ‘hate group’ due to its stance on race and its anti-Jewish and homophobic views.

Malcolm was paroled in August 1952 and got a job as salesman in Detroit store but quickly rose up the ranks in the Nation of Islam thanks to his energetic organizing which helped expand its network of temples and rake in vast sums of money.

During the 1950s and 1960s Malcolm channeled the rage of blacks at Jim Crow restrictions on their lives into demands for reform.

After carrying out a string of burglaries Malcolm’s luck ran out and he was jailed for eight to 10 years for burglary at the age of just 20 years. But life on the inside changed him and Malcom found Islam, reeducated himself and sharpened his debating skills on the prison debate team

After carrying out a string of burglaries Malcolm’s luck ran out and he was jailed for eight to 10 years for burglary at the age of just 20 years. But life on the inside changed him and Malcom found Islam, reeducated himself and sharpened his debating skills on the prison debate team

Unlike Martin Luther King’s advocacy for non violence, Malcolm said that blacks had to take equality ‘by any means necessary’ which chimed with the Black Panthers.

When John F Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 Malcolm said it was ‘chickens coming home to roost’ and that he felt ‘glad’.

An appearance in a documentary called The Hate that Hate Produce earned Malcolm national prominence and he was soon seen as No. 2 in the organization after Muhammad.

In 1961 Muhammad asked Malcolm to attend a meeting with a leader of the Ku Klux Klan who had reached out to the Nation of Islam asking to work together.

It led to the most bizarre passage of the book and arguably the strangest moment of Malcolm’s life.

The meeting took place in Atlanta and a Klansman identified as WS Fellows told Malcolm that they both appeared to want segregation.

As Malcolm talked about helping black people to buy land and that he wanted a ‘separation of the races’, Fellows said: ‘Call it whatever you like. As long as you stay over there and you’re glad to be black, good’.

As Payne describes it, Malcolm had to keep himself in check from ridiculing Fellows but he couldn’t restrain himself entirely.

At one point Malcolm said: ‘What do you mean, we can’t join the Klan?’

Fellows replied: ‘We’ll make y’all like a partner’.

Malcolm replied in a deadpan voice: ‘Are you going to get us some robes?’ referring to the white garments worn by Klansmen.

Fellows said: ‘Well no, we can’t let no n***** wear a white robe’. After considering his options for a moment, he said: ‘I’ll tell you what, Malcolm, we can get y’all some purple robes’.

In 1961 Muhammad asked Malcolm to attend a meeting with a leader of the Ku Klux Klan who had reached out to the Nation of Islam asking to work together. It led to the most bizarre passage of the book and arguably the strangest moment of Malcolm’s life. The meeting took place in Atlanta and a Klansman identified as WS Fellows told Malcolm that they both appeared to want segregation. Pictured: A Klu Klux Klan celebration in 1941

In 1961 Muhammad asked Malcolm to attend a meeting with a leader of the Ku Klux Klan who had reached out to the Nation of Islam asking to work together. It led to the most bizarre passage of the book and arguably the strangest moment of Malcolm’s life. The meeting took place in Atlanta and a Klansman identified as WS Fellows told Malcolm that they both appeared to want segregation. Pictured: A Klu Klux Klan celebration in 1941

Malcolm replied: ‘Oh, no, no, no. We want white robes. If we are going to be partners in this thing then give us a white robe like what you have’

They eventually settled on purple robes as a compromise.

Later on during the two hour meeting Fellows asked Malcolm to reveal details about a visit by King so they could attack him.

Malcolm refused and said he would not be involved in ‘hurting our own kind’

Fellows replied: ‘You don’t have to kill him. We’ll take care of the violence’

The meeting would mark the start of Malcolm’s disillusionment with the Nation of Islam because he thought that white supremacists were the enemy.

Muhammad’s insistence on further talks – and even invited the head of the American Nazi Party to a Nation of Islam conference – triggered a ‘primal revulsion’ in Malcolm.

The final straw was when Malcolm learned that Muhammad had fathered children by several of his young secretaries, a sign he was not living by the principles he espoused.

Malcolm left the Nation of Islam in 1964 and toured the world, giving speeches in the UK, France and Canada.

He spent months in Africa trying to mobilize Africans against America which he saw as a bastion of Muslim oppression.

But when he returned to the US the Nation of Islam harassed him with Muhammad saying he should be ‘made to go away’.

There were threatening episodes like a car tailing Malcolm at high speeds and gunmen turning up at his speeches.

A week before his death arsonists threw molotov cocktails into his family home in New York, forcing him to evacuate with his pregnant wife and four daughters.

On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X was assassinated in New York while giving a speech at the Audubon Ballroom

On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X was assassinated in New York while giving a speech at the Audubon Ballroom

Among those who were guarding Malcolm that night was Gene Roberts, an undercover NYPD detective working as a security guard. A week before Malcolm had been giving a speech at the same venue, Roberts had seen a lone man walk down the aisle as if heading for the stage

Among those who were guarding Malcolm that night was Gene Roberts, an undercover NYPD detective working as a security guard. A week before Malcolm had been giving a speech at the same venue, Roberts had seen a lone man walk down the aisle as if heading for the stage

On February 21, 1965, Malcolm X was assassinated in New York while giving a speech at the Audubon Ballroom.

Three Nation of Islam members were charged with the murder and given indeterminate life sentences, although questions remain to this day as to who was behind the murder.

Among those who were guarding Malcolm that night was Gene Roberts, an undercover NYPD detective working as a security guard.

A week before Malcolm had been giving a speech at the same venue, Roberts had seen a lone man walk down the aisle as if heading for the stage.

At the same time there was some heckling off to one side and the disturbance caused the guards on the rostrum to look over at him.

Roberts checked out the man who had walked down the aisle and figured he was a Muslim thanks to his bow tie.

Later when he called his bosses at the police department he said: ‘I just think I saw a dress rehearsal for this man’s assassination. I told them I think it’s going to go down’.

They did nothing, a missed opportunity that could have saved Malcolm’s life.

Tears later the ‘rehearsal’ still sends shivers down Roberts’ spine.

But what horrified him more was that after he made the call the police sharply reduced the uniformed presence outside the ballroom rather than bolstering it.

Roberts would be further troubled by the ‘inordinately long’ time it took his colleagues at the precinct to respond to the emergency call to take Malcolm to hospital after he had been shot.

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