Interview with Betty Shabazz
QUESTION 12
CARROLL BLUE:

In the last days of his life, when, again, was that change in him as he was moving around hurriedly--

BETTY SHABAZZ:

Ah, well yes there was a change only in developing or ironing out the rough spots of his new methodology. Ah, that you know, number one, a lot of people wanted him to come to their country to help, to advise. I was in Europe, ah, on my way to Hajj and I met a man who said that we have been observing him for the last four years, and quite frankly, we were delighted when he was expelled from the movement, because the religion, ah, Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam was not considered as Orthodox Islam, and, ah, they wanted him to help them, in their country. But, ah, he felt that his responsibility was for Black people because most of the leaders somehow had disappointed Black people, and, ah, he wanted, at least, to see a directional gain. We have dealt in the relationship, you know, how visibility, how relationship, but not, we have not gained on the task level. And he was more interested in the task level, you know. You can like me, but you need to understand that I have certain rights as a human being. So that I think, his goal was to change the thinking and the attitude Just, just very simply, if you change the thinking and the attitude, you know, you're going to have a bloodless revolution, actually. So that, ah, the challenge still face us, all he did was hold up a mirror of what had been going on in this country, and, ah, people really could not take that. So that they said that he was the god of violence, you know, and he did not commit any violence in his lifetime other than his death. And he didn't commit his own death. So that, ah, I, I think about Malcolm sometimes when I see the young men on the corner, or the, all of our young brothers in prison. I'm, of course, there are women too, but- and the lack of grounding of our people, flighting to this or to that, without due course that this is mine, and I do wonder where are we going. And I sometimes observe people, not all of the leaders, but who are more willing to please others than themselves and their people. Please in terms of that internal stability, you know, that this is mine, that, that is necessary. So that, we need perhaps to relook[SIC] at our needs and assess where we're going, and choose people to be our leaders on those bases.



BETTY SHABAZZ:

Well, his love of humanity, his willingness to work, the fact that our young people need to accept the responsibility, all young people, not just Black, and, but all young people need to accept the responsibility to do what is best, ah, to salvage civilization. We talk in terms of nuclear warfare, and we think in terms of drugs, and polluting the sea, and you know, everything is destruction, you know, surely people of good will can come together to salvage the world. I wonder now, though, with Malcolm gone, they don't have anyone to point to, and I, I look at all of the violence, and the discrimination, and all of the people whose- was against Malcolm, somehow they have not gotten together to get rid of, of all of the things that ail us. So that Malcolm is at peace, he did all of the things that he had to do, and, and, and should have done. I would not have had it any different, but I wonder about all of those people who are still involved in a high relationship type of leadership, you know, I wonder where they will lead us. And you look at the world, it is really in torment, and Malcolm's dead 25 years, so that he was totally correct in his assessment. And I think that people need to know that.


BETTY SHABAZZ:

--I think you should ask me that, that question. Yes, because I'm not, ah--