Malcolm X’s Speech, Essay Example

In many ways, Malcolm X’s speech can be seen as a direct response to non-violent activists like Martin Luther King Jr. In this response, consider how the way Martin Luther Jr. makes his argument compares to the way Malcolm X Makes his argument.

Question 1. Kairos for Malcolm X

Identify 3 instances in which Malcolm X responds to the Kairos of the situation. In this case, the Kairos could include the current political climate, the disagreement with Martin Luther King Jr., or the state of the country.

Malcolm X specifically noted that it should not be religion or race that should be used to instantiate peace and a specific sense of equality in America. Relatively, these particular elements are the very ones that have been causing social division in the country for many years. Relatively, he thinks that it is the realization of each individual about the aspect of oppression that should push human individuals in the country to come together and fight for their right to liberty and fair share of what the government provides. Regarding this matter he notes: Whether we are Christians or Muslims or nationalists or agnostics or atheists, we must first learn to forget our differences. If we have differences, let us differ in the closet; when we come out in front, let us not have anything to argue about until we get finished arguing with the man (Malcolm X).

Another matter to consider is the distinctive way by which Malcolm entails the public to take the initiative as he says: If we don’t do something real soon, I think you’ll have to agree that we’re going to be forced either to use the ballot or the bullet. It’s one or the other in 1964. It isn’t that time is running out — time has run out! (Malcolm X). As if saying ‘it’s now or never’, it could be realized that Malcolm tries his best to convince his audience that if the public do not react now, then it would be impossible to hope for any change to happen.

Lastly, he mentions that the choice between the bullet and the ballot is necessary because of the fact that the ballot is already being controlled by the administrators and there might come a time that such aspect of liberty might not be valued anymore. To this he mentions: these senators and congressmen actually violate the constitutional amendments that guarantee the people of that particular state or county the right to vote. Convincingly, an act towards such situation should be given attention to as it involves one of the most important rights of the people which is to vote and put the right people into position.

Question 2. Appeals for Malcolm X

Which of the appeals (logos,ethos,pathos) do you think Malcolm X relies on the most? Give three specific examples of him using this appeal. Include three things in your example: the claim he is trying to prove, the quote itself, an explanation of why this qualifies as the appeal you chose.

  1. logos
    1. Claim: Joining the democratic party or siding their principles should be well guided especially in relation to understanding the political agenda of the said party


  1. Quote: If the black man in these Southern states had his full voting rights, the key Dixiecrats in Washington, D. C., which means the key Democrats in Washington, D.C., would lose their seats. The Democratic Party itself would lose its power. It would cease to be powerful as a party. When you see the amount of power that would be lost by the Democratic Party if it were to lose the Dixiecrat wing, or branch, or element, you can see where it’s against the interests of the Democrats to give voting rights to Negroes in states where the Democrats have been in complete power and authority ever since the Civil War. You just can’t belong to that Party without analyzing it.
  2. Explanation: Here, Malcolm tries to expose the fact about the real agenda behind the separation of parties in the United States. Relatively, such assumption of political agendas should help the American people [both white and colored] to specifically understand what the candidates are aiming to do for the society as a unit and as separate individuals who are willing to provide more for the public than for themselves.
  1. logos
    1. Claim: The power of voting among people has been used by politics in an abusive way
    2. Quote: lt was the black man’s vote that put the present administration in Washington, D.C. Your vote, your dumb vote, your ignorant vote, your wasted vote put in an administration in Washington, D.C., that has seen fit to pass every kind of legislation imaginable, saving you until last, then filibustering on top of that.
    3. Explanation: it is imposed by Malcolm that it was the uncaring vote of the people that has placed the uncaring politicians in position, hence this matter should be reassessed at present to make the initial changes necessary.
  2. logos
    1. Claim: If the stand of the party is against the minorities, then the members of the party would likely have the same agenda.
    2. Quote: I say again, I’m not anti-Democrat, I’m not anti-Republican, I’m not anti-anything. I’m just questioning their sincerity, and some of the strategy that they’ve been using on our people by promising them promises that they don’t intend to keep.
    3. Explanation: Relatively, it is because of the question of sincerity that Malcolm tries to impose that politicians should be asked of their agenda before they are considered for position.