source: Democracy Now!
published: 21 April 2014
Featuring an extended version of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter’s passionate 1994 speech that was featured in Democracy Now!’s look back at his life and legacy.
RUBIN CARTER: Thank you. Thank you for those kind words, Monique. Good evening, everybody. Good evening, every—hello out there!
It’s a pleasure for me to be here at Queen’s University. It truly is. In fact, given my history, as we’ve seen, it’s a pleasure for me to be anywhere.
I’ve been invited here to speak, but I can tell you that speaking has not always been easy for me. For the first 18 years of my life, I had a terrible speech impediment. I couldn’t talk. I stuttered badly. I couldn’t say two clear words that made any sense to anybody else but me. And people laughed at me because of it. I felt stupid. You know, I really, really felt dumb.
And when they laughed, the only sound they’d hear would be my fist whistling through the air. Do I hear laughter out there? My fists did my talking. Now, that stopped the laughter for a while, but it also got me into serious trouble, and it didn’t solve the problem. I still couldn’t talk.