I’m sure all of you have heard that legendary CBS News journalist Mike Wallace, known for his probing, brazen, tough interview style, died last night, at 93 years old – a long full life if there ever was one.
I spent part of my day today revisiting some of his most riveting interviews with the likes of Ayn Rand, Louis Farrakhan, Malcolm X, Aldous Huxley, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and others. And in doing so, I was reminded of this 1959 TV documentary he produced (along with African American journalist Louis E. Lomax who handled most of the interviewing) titled The Hate That Hate Produced.
For those unfamiliar, Lomax and Wallace produced a five-part documentary on what they termed “the rise of Black supremacist groups” like the Nation of Islam (NOI) – at the time, a relatively unknown organization, especially to most white Americans, who were, for the first time, learning about the NOI, its leader, Elijah Muhammad, and its young, charismatic spokesman, Malcolm X (it helped raise his public profile) – and the United African Nationalist Movement (UANM).
It aired during the week of July 13, 1959, and was said to be a shock to most white Americans, even causing fear amongst them, given the radical nature of NOI speak, especially in comparison to the less incendiary *character* of the then Civil Rights Movement.
Later criticism of The Hate That Hate Produced aside (notably that it was one-sided, and essentially a hatchet job against the NOI, UANM and other groups, meant to frighten white America, opening by calling it “a disturbing story” and more), it’s a documentary I still recommend watching, if you haven’t seen it already. It’s a piece of history that I think gave America (the world, really) a glance at important developments that were still to come over the next decade or so.
The full doc is about 2 hours long; but I embedded the 94-minute version below (for some reason, Google won’t let me embed the full 120-minute version, but you can find it online):