Secret Recording Reveals How Malcolm X Reacted When FBI Attempted to Recruit Him

Activism, FBI

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It is well known and widely-documented that Malcolm X was under heavy FBI surveillance. But did you know that the FBI had approached him, hoping that he would turn on his former allies in the Nation of Islam?

Listen to the audio – kept secret until recently – of his meeting with FBI agents, and his response to their proposition.

Read some of the transcripts below where Malcolm explains that the “law applies to the law enforcer” too. When they ask him to help them out, his response is epic: “We’re always helping out the government. We’ve been cleaning up all the crime. We help it out more than it helps itself… any way to help it out other than that, I wouldn’t even know where to begin.”

FBI Agent: Well, what we are interested in, basically, are the people who belong. The names of the members.

Malcolm X: From what I understand, you have all of that.

FBI Agent: No comment. The teachings, plans, the programs.

Malcolm X: No teaching is more public than ours and I don’t think you will find anybody more blunt in stating it publicly than we do. I don’t think you can go anywhere on this earth and find anybody who expresses their views on matters more candidly than we do.

FBI Agent: I can only agree with you. That’s right. You’re right. The main thing is there is a certain area of responsibility this is getting into our angle of it. What we really want are the names of all those who belong, who they are, identification.

Malcolm X: I don’t even know them.

FBI Agent: You keep no records?

Malcolm X: That’s not my job. I am just a preacher.

FBI Agent: But somebody up there keeps the records.

Malcolm X: I don’t know who. I don’t have any knowledge of those kinds of things. With all these other responsibilities that I have had, it is difficult for me to worry about names. Plus you would insult my intelligence asking me for them. In fact, no, you would insult your own because it would mean that your own intelligence isn’t heavy enough to weigh me and know in advance what I am going to say when you ask that question.

FBI Agent: Well, without getting into an argument on semantics, you don’t know until you ask.

Malcolm X: That’s no semantics. That again goes into your psychology.

FBI Agent: We have had people that, not this group in particular, other groups…

Malcolm X: Oh yes.

FBI Agent: …who have been just as vociferous against whatever we are investigating. The Communists make a good case out of it. Communists for twenty years, you know, they hate everything. We’ve been told to investigate. You don’t want to, you go anyway. You knock on the door. “Where have you been? I want to tell you something…” You never know until you ask. That’s happened so many times. Sometimes, the word isn’t convince, but sometimes…money brings out the information. I’ve no intent to insult you here.

Malcolm X: According to Dylan…what’s his name, the Secretary of the Treasury…this government’s money is in such trouble…

FBI Agent: You can still spend it.

Malcolm X: Still, according to your government economists, the dollar itself is in such trouble a person would be a fool to sell his soul for one of these decreasing dollars.

FBI Agent: I couldn’t agree with you more. You would be a fool to sell your soul if the dollar were increasing. But this has nothing to do with selling your soul. If you’re gonna look at it that way, okay.

Malcolm X: Depends on how you look at it.

FBI Agent: Sure.

Malcolm X: They insult my intelligence. Not only…they insult me period, if they think I would tell them anything.

FBI Agent: But, uh, it would be good and I think in many ways, it might be of some benefit to your organization, you know, if in fact we can eliminate people.

Malcolm X: I frankly believe that what Mr. Muhammad teaches is 100 per cent true. Secondly, I believe that everything he has said will come to pass. I believe it. I believe it more strongly today than I did ten years ago because I have seen too much evidence. But, today, all of your world events that are shaping up, total up to too much evidence toward what he said is coming to pass. World events today would make me stronger in my convictions than they would have made me ten years ago.

FBI Agent: But that is beside the point of what I am trying to get out of you. Fine if that all comes to pass. I have no control of it. All we want to know is the names of the people that are in the organization, and if it is so public and so forth, by your own logic there would seem to be no objection to your saying “I am a Muslim.”

Malcolm X: That part of the tree is the root; I mean, the root is always beneath the ground.

FBI Agent: You don’t have to explain that but I don’t know what you are talking about…Well, would it be fair to say then in answer to a question whether or not you would cooperate with the government in furnishing pertinent information as I have described?

Malcolm X: I say we have always cooperated with them. The Muslims are the most cooperative group in this country with the government in that the Muslims are doing work that the government itself is incapable of doing.

(Article by S. Wooten; video via Malcolm X Network)

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