Cabanes, Bernard-Joseph. "Paris AFP in English." August 31, 1967.
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"Paris AFP in English."
Paris AFP in English 1735 GMT 31 Aug 67 E
(By Bernard-Joseph Cabanes)
(Text) Hanoi, 31 August—Stokely Carmichael, the American black power militant,
told a meeting here that he is a revolutionary who wants to change the American regime,
according to reports in the Hanoi press today. We are not reformers, we are not
proposing reforms, he was quoted as saying. We do not wish to be a part of the government
of the United States or the American regime. We are revolutionaries, he continued,
according to the reports. We want to change the American regime. We will not be satisfied
until we have accomplished this task.
In this sense, Carmichael reportedly told the North Vietnamese, our struggle is a common
struggle and in this sense we are comrades, but we are also comrades in a larger sense,
since we want to stop cold the greatest destroyers of humanity, the American leadership.
The remarks of the former chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
presumably were made in English and translated into Vietnamese, and have since been
translated into French and then into English.
No date was given for the meeting. At which Carmichael also received a long lecture from
a North Vietnamese official on the necessity for perseverance and tenacity in the
revolutionary struggle. In the face of Carmichael's youth, inexperience, and vehemence,
the official adopted a pedagogic tone, declaring:
We believe that the struggle of the black people in America, like so many other revolutionary
struggles, must go through numerous tests and sacrifices, must be long, and must suffer
Significantly, the reports, accompanied by photographs, were given large space in the press.
This was considered a token of the importance the North Vietnamese government attaches to
the struggle of Negroes in the United States. The North Vietnamese view the Negro struggle
in the United States as an important element in their own fight. On the tactical level,
Negro opposition to the war in Vietnam and the Negro revolt increases internal tension in
the United States. On the political level, the struggle helps the diffusion of
revolutionary ideas on the American continent.
The advice to Carmichael was given by Ngang Bag, Assistant Secretary General of the Vietnamese
Committee of Solidarity with Afro-Asian Peoples. He is not a high-level official but the
space given to his remarks shows that they reflect official opinion.
There is, of course, no way of knowing if Carmichael has received other advice from North
Vietnamese leaders, but it is probable. The press indicated only that Carmichael had met
Truong Chinh, who is considered a theoretician and who is President of the Standing Committee
of the National Assembly. The reports said that Truong Chinh assured Carmichael of the firm
support of the Vietnamese people for the just struggle of the blacks in America. Carmichael
reportedly expressed his sincere gratitude for this ardent support.
The meeting Carmichael attended was organized by Hoang Bac's committee, the North Vietnamese
Student Union and the Youth Union. It celebrated the International Day of Solidarity with
the Struggle of American Negroes. (?Designated) as is Eighteen August.
The foreign press was not invited to the meeting. Carmichael was introduced at the meeting as
the flag behind which rally firm and unconquerable Negroes, he was quoted as telling the gathering:
Anyone who does not want to serve in the American Army is punished with five years in prison,
but thousands of our young Negroes have told the imperialists that rather than wear their
shameful imperialist uniform, we prefer five years in prison. Our slogan is very simple: We
don't give a damn, we want to be soldiers despite all.
He said that he and his followers are in the process of setting up a powerful movement in the
United States, a movement of young Negroes like he who did not want to serve in imperialist
armies. 3 35 Allen/DS 31/18592 8 BT