Askia MuhammadColumnistsOp-EdOpinion

MUHAMMAD: Who Killed Brother Malcolm X?

The assassination of Brother Malcolm X is a subject which, for the most part, I have avoided commenting on because it is wrought with passionate, passionate emotions.

There’s hardly a facet of life in the United States — from the White House to your house — which has not been touched by the Brother, first by his 13 years as a strong witness of the benefits of following the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam’s unity lifestyle, and then for the 11 months he spent repudiating Mr. Muhammad, his teacher.

To the question: who killed Brother Malcolm, this much is for sure. Talmadge Hayer, also known as Thomas Hagan, later known as Mujahid Halim, was captured at the Audubon Ballroom. He confessed to being a part of the assassination plot. Norman 3X Butler, later known as Muhammad Abdul Aziz, and Thomas 15X Johnson, later known as Khalil Islam, are both innocent men who were framed by the New York City cops, and whose innocence was asserted by the confessed killer from Day One.

The two innocent men were framed so that the Nation of Islam — the Black Muslims, Mr. Elijah Muhammad, et al. — could be tarred with the murder. And sure enough, many people steadfastly believe to this very hour that the Nation of Islam killed Malcolm, because “Elijah Muhammad was jealous” of Malcolm’s popularity and because Malcolm was revealing “secrets” about Mr. Muhammad’s relationships with young women he employed on his office staff. Not true.

Many people, most of whom reject Mr. Muhammad, see Brother Malcolm as a swashbuckling hero who verbally slew the enemies of Black people, after picking himself up, and reforming himself after a youth of petty crime. He was that.

But because folks have wanted to lionize Brother Malcolm at the expense of his mentor, Mr. Muhammad is blamed for what J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI admitted — wanting to prevent the rise of any “Black messiah” who would galvanize the Black Masses in this country and turn them away from their worship of the White Americans who kidnapped them from Africa, enslaved them, bought and sold them like chattel for 310 years, beat and lynched them for another 100 years, and then Jim Crowed them for 50 years after that. The wicked scheme was called “COINTELPRO,” the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program.

So, the wicked rumor persists: The Black Muslims killed Malcolm X.

Every popular depiction of Brother Malcolm or Muhammad Ali, in book form or on the screen, fiction or documentary, has the same goal: besmirch Elijah Muhammad. From tawdry story lines with flimsy evidence and witnesses, to cheap movie tricks like dark camera shots and dark, foreboding music whenever a Nation of Islam character engages the hero. It happens every time, and the public goes for it like that’s the way it’s supposed to be: Spike Lee, Regina King, Les Payne, you name it, all the authors, all the movies, the depiction is the same: Malcolm X, Black Nationalist Muslim=good; Black Muslims=bad.

But the fact of the matter is, The Black Muslims did not murder Malcolm. Evidence has been revealed that maybe a bowtie-wearing dude out of the Newark area, maybe even affiliated with the NOI mosque there, may have been one of the triggermen, along with Talmadge Hayer. But there was no plot!

The latest revelation is a deathbed confession letter by Ray Wood, an undercover New York cop who says that he made mischief that enabled the assassination of Malcolm X. He setup Brother Malcolm’s main security so they would be arrested days before the Audubon Ballroom speech in a trumped-up plot to bomb the Statue of Liberty. This was all revealed Feb. 20 in a press conference by attorney Benjamin Crump.

So, now we know two triggermen and two undercover cops were in on it. Who else? The biggest fink of all, that’s who! The still-unknown person on Brother Malcolm’s “team” who gave instructions that the customary security check would not be enforced on Feb. 21, the very day assassins entered the ballroom with guns!

In Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X” movie, there is a scene where Malcolm talks on the telephone with “someone” telling him to drop the search. That person is not identified.

That’s because Malcolm X would never have eliminated the search. His house had just been firebombed that week! He was not suicidal! He certainly would not have wanted less security at a public meeting than at his home!

Who murdered Brother Malcolm X? We know a few names, none of which are associated officially with the Nation of Islam. Still unknown to us though, is the snitch, on the inside at the highest level of Malcolm’s Organization of Afro-American Unity, who told the security team to stand down that day, permitting the assassins to walk right in with their hidden guns. That’s who!

Justice demands that the FBI and New York Police Department release all their Malcolm X files.

Askia Muhammad

WPFW News Director Askia Muhammad is also a poet, and a photojournalist. He is Senior Editor for The Final Call newspaper and he writes a weekly column in The Washington Informer.

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