“The Ballot or The Bullet” Should Lead Us To Building

Jordan McGowan
5 min readMay 21, 2022
art by Shawntay Gorman

In 1964 Malcolm X delivered his famous “The Ballot or the Bullet” speech urging Afrikans to be prepared to use “any means necessary” to ensure their universal human rights were protected. Here we are nearly 60 years later, arguably in no better of a condition and my only plea to Afrikans today is a urgent repackaging of Our Shining Black Prince’s words. As we see coordinated euro-kkkolonizer terrorist attacks throughout the empire ranging from mass shooting to planned kkklan rallies and legislation to wage war against Afrikans on The Continent and throughout the Diaspora; we must develop and mature politically. Our People must resist the urge to believe the ballot could ever solve these issues euro-kkkolonization has imposed upon us, truthfully our ONLY solution for collective liberation is rooted in escaping the plantation and building our communities of our own.

Recently, the amerikkkan house of representatives passed HR 7311, which is reminiscent of the McCarthyism/Cold-War legislation that launched attacks against Black leftists throughout the Diaspora that led to the exile of Paul Robeson, W.E.B DuBois and the criminalization and blacklisting of artists like Billie Holiday and the like. We must come to a dialectical analysis of the language of this bill, specifically around how this bill will be used to further escalate violence upon Afrikans globally. The impedance to study and willingness of the amerikkkan government to fight to keep “public opinions and voting preferences of African populations and diaspora groups, including those in the United States” propagandized should be concerning and alarming to us all. This legislation is written, passed, and put into law by the same politicians who will come and ask our People to save their “democracy”; who will tell you that this election is the most important one. But as we study we should be reminded of these words from Malcolm, “it’s also a political year. It’s the year when all of the white politicians will be back in the so-called Negro community jiving you and me for some votes. The year when all of the white political crooks will be right back in your and my community with their false promises, building up our hopes for a letdown, with their trickery and their treachery, with their false promises which they don’t intend to keep.”

Jordan McGowan

Afrikan Griot — Music Lover — Former Athlete Turned Coach — Unapologetic — Political Scientist — Afrikan