The occasion for Malcolm's silencing came on December 1, 1963, when he described the assassination of President Kennedy as a case of "chickens coming home to roost." By this, he meant that the climate of violence in America had begun to claim the nation's leaders. But, out of context, it was taken by the press as a statement of Malcolm's personal hatred for all whites and his satisfaction with Kennedy's murder. Because of the publicity, Elijah Muhammad had him silenced. Malcolm's period of silence was to last ninety days, but it soon became apparent that he was ready to be ousted. Rumors were circulating that he would be permitted to speak again, "if he submitted." But he had already submitted and had agreed to the terms of his silence. The impression was being given that he was denying Elijah Muhammad's authority. His physical divorce from the Nation of
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