Robert F. Williams believed the Civil Rights Movement’s primary goal should be expanding economic opportunity. The equality he sought involved Black people not being hindered in economic advancement. Access to public accommodations was important but only as a preliminary step. His ten-point plan issued to Monroe County Government in 1961 best details his beliefs.

  1. Induce factories in this county to hire without discrimination.
  2. Induce the local employment agency to grant Non-Whites the same privileges given to Whites
  3. Instruct the Welfare Agency that Non-Whites are entitled to the same privileges, courtesies and consideration given to Whites.
  4. Construct a swimming pool in the Winchester Ave Area of Monroe
  5. Remove all signs in the city of Monroe designating one area from Colored and another for Whites.
  6. Desegregate the schools within one year.
  7. Provide adequate transportation for all school children.
  8. Formally request the Dr. Perry be reinstated to the state medical boards. His license was stripped for political reasons
  9. Employ Negros as supervisors in city government
  10. Act immediately on all these proposals

Other than the reinstatement of Dr. Perry and building a separate swimming pool, all the demands center on economic justice. Not only training through schools but access to jobs and government assistance programs.

Dr. King’s movement before 1961 focused on desegregating one local institution at a time. Mr. Williams applauds King’s efforts in the Montgomery Bus Boycott but realizes it was a small local victory. It did nothing to change Blacks’ plight in the rest of the country or the financial stability of Blacks in Montgomery. Ultimately, most Whites were wealthy enough to afford a car, so they didn’t care if blacks rode on the front of the bus.

What would it matter if a person is banned from going to restaurants if they never had enough money to go out. Economic justice made expanded accommodations matter. That is why those that push for economic justice will have far more resistance from the establishment. When the government turns on those advocating for progress, the only recourse is self-defense.

To be clear, Robert Williams did support and use non-violent direct action. He used a picket line to shut down the Monroe pool in 1957 and 1961. However, once counter-protesters began using violence, and the police refused to stop them, Williams saw he had to modify his tactics. The arming of the picketers forced the police to re-establish law and order. It reduced the violence an accelerated resolution. Once the establishment realized the continued conflict could result in the death of Whites. They found to compromise a suitable means of resolution.

Essentially, Williams differed from King because he saw non-violent direct action as a tactic not a way of life. The movement had to be flexible to be effective. If a situation arises when only a peaceful protest is needed, great. However, when the lives of friends and family are in danger, black people have just as much of a right as our colonial predecessors for self-defense. It is only when blacks decide to defend themselves are people upset.

Two weeks after Monroe’s Blacks defended the home of Dr. Perry, the Klan attacked a town of Native Americans. The press praised the natives’ ability to fight off the Kluxers but were silent on Monroe’s defense. The press understands if Blacks across the nation realize their power, they could shut the country down. There are not enough Natives to cripple the nation.

Blacks must overcome the fear that resistance would lead to annihilation. We are a strong and savvy people just as capable of defense as any other. Even when Blacks rebel on a small scale as they did in Detroit, the local economy was brought to its knees. If a large scale rebellion happened all over the country, American production would be brought to a standstill. The world would take notice, and many would aid Blacks in their struggle.

Violence for revenge is never condoned by Mr. Williams. He supported violence in self-defense. In a civilized society, where law and order existed for all citizens, passive resistance will be enough for change. However, the South was far from civilized. The idea that moral suasion could influence southern Whites was not realistic. These Whites didn’t feel shame for how they treated Blacks.

In summary, self-defense does these four things. First, it weakens the enemy and incentivizes granting concessions because they understand White life will be lost. Second, it reduces violence from racists. Lastly, it draws world attention to the atrocities of the South. Once the world sees that Blacks are strong people willing to defend themselves, they will win the respect of people worldwide.

Violence is deeply ingrained in racism. Without violence, there would be no reason for anyone to adhere to the system. Racism permeates every area of American life. In Monroe, blacks had a separate pet cemetery. Even in the death of pets, the races had to be pure. Violence will be needed to rid America of racism.

The current push for black militancy is being subverted by the Black elite and White liberals. White liberals fund mainstream black liberation organizations such as the NAACP and SCLC. They do not want Blacks to understand their power. White liberals are paying for Black pacifism. They are paying to keep us weak.

The Black Elite go along with the plan to live a luxurious life and garner fame. Most mainstream Civil Rights leaders are sell-outs no different from the blacks that drive Cadillacs with anti-integration slogans painted on the side. They also worry that Blacks would lose their jobs. More precisely, they are worried they will lose their job of corralling Blacks.

If the elitist supported pacifism, they would criticize America’s use of war in foreign policy. They would speak out against the use of the atomic bomb and police brutality. If you only want Blacks to be pacifists, you are only sending them off to slaughter.

Luckily there are many beside Robert Williams working to awaken Blacks. Elijah Muhammad was called out by name as a man encouraging Blacks to fight back. These new leaders build coalitions with working-class Black people. These true grassroots movements are more representative of our struggle. These movements bring in the youth and divert their attention away from gang activities and other immoral behaviors.

Ultimately, the new phase of the Civil Rights Movement will be self-defense. The awakening movement includes blacks from all walks of life. Down with the old and impotent elite. Williams will usher in a new day.