Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Initially, I was so devastated by the death of Betty Shabazz, I wanted nothing to do with Malcolm Shabazz. I am one who loved his grandmother, sometimes more than I loved my mother, so I could not fathom the idea of someone setting their grandmother's house on fire. Of course there are those who believe a more sinister force was at play, not the then 12 year old boy who was sent to his grandmother by his mother because she was allegedly out of control, suffering mental challenges and drug abuse, i.e., the dual diagnosed.
And then I heard he had come to Oakland under the guidance of a snake oil journalist named JR Valrey, sometimes known as a snitch but more often an opportunist and agent provocateur. JR had been a student of mine along with rapper Askari X, Ramal Lamar, Ptah Allah El and a few other young men I treated as my sons, especially since I'd lost one of my sons who took his life at 39 due to mental illness. I treated JR as my son and after he edited my video The Kings and Queens of Black Consciousness, rewarded him with a trip back east to a screening of the video documentary at the New York Independent Film Festival, September 8, 2001. Yes, from our hotel room in Newark, NJ, we saw the twin towers fall. On September 12, we attended the screening of my daughter's (Muhammida El Muhajir) film Hip Hop, The New World Order. And then after filming interviews on 9/11 with people
we questioned for their view of 9/11, JR got the bright idea to keep the tapes as his personal property.
After repeated attempts to receive a copy of the tapes was to no avail, I cut off my relationship with JR.
People suggested I just take him out, but my feeling was that I am here to save youth, not kill them, so I stopped speaking to JR.
Soon I saw him traveling with Fred Hampton, Jr. I had a feeling the Chairman of POCC (Prisoners of Conscious Committee) was in trouble. JR became the Minister of Information. As Chairman Fred and I had a cordial relationship, I never said one negative word to him about JR, though I prayed he would not suffer the same fate of his father, Fred Hampton, Sr., i.e., set up by a snitch and killed by the Chicago police as part of Cointelpro.
After some time, a year or more, Fred Hampton called me, saying he needed to talk with me. By this time JR had ingratiated himself with Malcolm Shabazz and they, Fred Hampton, Jr. included, had embarked on a national and international tour. When I met with Fred at the Berkeley Flea Market, he began telling me things about JR--things that I already knew or suspected, i.e., that he was a rat and had been taking advantage of Fred and Malcolm. (See my interview with Fred Hampton, Jr. on this blog.) Fred said JR was no longer a member of POCC but continued calling himself the Minister of Information of POCC. After my interview with Fred, JR stopped calling himself Minister of Information of POCC.
My ultimate concern with JR was his association with the CEO of Your Black Muslim Bakery, Yusef Bey IV. JR called himself a friend of assassinated Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey. But the night before Bailey was assassinated, the Oakland police recorded three phone conversations between JR and Bey IV while the latter was parked in front of Bailey's house near Lake Merritt. I could not understand why a fellow journalist would not call his colleague to tell him a hit squad was outside his house, rather JR was talking with the killers who were untimely convicted of Bailey's murder.
And so my concern heightened about JR's association with "Little Malcolm". I still did not want to meet with him due to my own trauma over his grandparents. When the Fred Hampton, Jr. interview hit the internet, Malcolm wrote me on Facebook, asking why I said those things about him. I replied that I didn't say anything about him, I only repeated what Fred had said. This was the only time Malcolm and I communicated.
By the time his young life was ended in Mexico City, only then did I realize how much he was like my own son who had taken his life at 39. Abdul El Muhajir (Darrel P. Jackmon) graduated in Arabic and Middle Eastern Literature from University of California, Berkeley. (We learned "Little Malcolm" wanted to attend UCB.) My son had studied at the American University in Egypt and attended the University of Damascus, Syria on a Fulbright fellowship. He had traveled to Brazil, Japan, Africa and Europe, and did graduate work at Harvard. "Little Malcolm" had attempted to visit Iran, but the FBI stopped him as he boarded the plane. My son had studied and fallen in love with Persian literature and Farsi.
After learning that "Little Malcolm" was on journey similar to my son's (RIP), I changed my attitude toward him and realized he was a young man on a mission, trying to overcome many challenges. All this was brought out at his funeral in Oakland. The Imam's question at the funeral was thematic, Why are we here? Indeed, why had Malcolm come to live in Oakland. Of course Oakland is known throughout the world as a radical city. I put Oakland in the tradition of Fallujah, Iraq, a city of resistance that the USA leveled, just as the USA leveled the fighting spirit of Oakland, especially after the birth of the Black Panther Party. So Malcolm had come to join in that tradition, politically and spiritually (he studied under an Imam in Oakland, I think the one who preached his funeral).
Today he shall be buried in New York, near his grandparents. We still don't know all the facts about his murder in Mexico City. Was he lured there by a so called friend? Why would a friend take him to a known din of iniquity? During my second exile from America for refusing to fight in her imperialist war in Vietnam, I lived in Mexico City but never attended such low life bars, though I did visit the poor living in their mud floor homes.
We have yet to hear from the friend, so again, we only know that another young Black man has departed. As Dr. Nathan Hare said on the suicide of my son, "Homicide and suicide are two sides of the same coin." And mental illness, especially manic depression, originates in social oppression. At 29 and 39, "Little Malcolm" and Abdul accomplished a lot, both had done more traveling and study than most young Black men will ever do, so we thank Allah for the time we shared with them. And we pray "Little Malcolm" has found his way to Paradise.
--Marvin X (El Muhajir)
Marvin X speaks tonight on "Little Malcolm". Terry Collins (his stepmother was Ella Collins, sister of Malik El Hajj Shabazz) will interview Marvin X on KPOO-FM, 89.5, www.kpoo.com, 10PM.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Malcolm X’s Grandson Describes Inhumane FBI Arrest
*While the world was watching the halftime show during the Super Bowl, Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of iconic civil rights activist Malcolm X, was getting arrested by the FBI.
En route to Iran for a Hollywoodism conference, the man was stopped before boarding the plane. And according to reports, he’s unharmed, but he’s not very happy.
Press TV published a statement he posted on former U.S. representative and activist Cynthia McKinney’s FB page, describing the way he was treated at the time of his arrest.
Read the full statement below:
“I sincerely appreciate the care & concern of the People over my well-being after Press TV’s report of the most recent events which have transpired regarding the F.B.I.’s harassment of me.Given the storm of lies, and half-truths that come with being associated with being the descendant of El Hajj Malik el Shabazz, also known as Minister Malcolm X, any and everything that I do; great or small, good or not so good, real or imagined is subject to controversy. However, in this missive I will take this opportunity to properly & fully disclose what transpired.In the beginning of 2012 I had been informed that I was under investigation by the F.B.I.’s Counter Terrorism Task Force Unit located in Goshen, N.Y.The agents of this division-and in collaboration with others-have visited several residences of which I was known by them to frequent. However, they would never come when they knew me to actually be there. They would leave their cards with the residents asking them to tell me to call them, and then would tell surrounding residents to observe the house and to notify them if they saw me.These are the homes of long-time friends, and very close supporters. Yet, when federal agents begin knocking on someone’s door on multiple occasions to snoop, and ask questions, whether one is guilty of an offense or not, it’s enough to coerce people into distancing themselves from you. This cheap tactic employed by the F.B.I. is a means of agitation & harassment. They seek to neutralize my networking abilities.They have visited locations in California, Chicago, Miami and most aggressively in New York.People were advising me that if I had nothing to hide, then I should just contact them as requested and cooperate. Though I must say that in these kind of matters I am of a particular ethic. For one, I have been engaged in no criminal activity of their concern, and they could have located me if they so chose. Secondly, I don’t recognize the authority in them beckoning me.It wasn’t even until my mother informed me that they had been contacting her that I truly became agitated. She advised me to see what they had to say, and so I obliged the next time they came around looking for me. My encounter was with 2 federal agents of Goshen, N.Y.’s Counter Terrorism Task Foci Unit. The primary agent identified himself as Special Agent Tom Brozicky.They expressed concern over-as they put it-my “international travels”; I have lived & studied in Damascus, Syria for over a year, and now the U.S. is instigating conflict within the very same region; I went on ex-congresswoman/former presidential candidate Cynthia Mckinney’s delegation along with Dr. Randy Short to Libya, and met with Leader Muammar Gadhafi one week prior to N.A.T.O. intervention and I was most recently getting ready to travel to Tehran, Iran to be a participant of the International Fajr Film Festival and give a lecture addressing the issues of Hollywood and violence:- Modern Violence & Terrorism,
- Provoking clashes between religions & populationsI was picked up by authorities after I filed for a visa to Iran, and 2 days prior to my departure. A detective squad from the City of Middletown Police Department surrounded me in the street about 2 blocks from where I was residing. They asked me my name, and I gave them an alias, but they were already well aware of who I actually was. I didn’t tell them my real name because I didn’t know what was going on. When I was brought before a Judge of City of Middletown court I was surprised to be informed that I was being charged with Grand Larceny, and False Impersonation charge. Then I was sent to jail, and told to appear again 7 days later. Then following court date the bogus charge of Grand Larceny, which they only put to justify stopping me in first place, was dropped. And they left me to face the False Impersonation. I was offered 90 days for the offense of giving the authorities the wrong name which I declined before bailing out after 2 weeks.When I was being held within the belly of the beast on trumped up charges, to my rescue came the journalist at Press TV based in Iran. My relationship with powerful & progressive news outfit began in April of 2012, and prior to that I had discussions with their journalist regarding current events internationally. I developed a positive rapport with some of them, and as a result was invited to travel to Iran to discuss the impact of Hollywood in stereotyping Muslims, Iranians and African people. From January 15th through 18th, 2013, I was a featured interviewee for the Press TV documentary “The Façade of the American Dream”. And prior to my date of departure to Iran, Lifetime television released a television bio-picture called “Betty & Coretta” which was a sensationalistic misrepresentation of my grandparents, my mother and me. This film aside from being poorly acted, and shallow in depth also threatened to inflame old controversies, and open unhealed wounds and to remind the public of sad outcomes without ever identifying B.O.S.S.I., the C.I.A., F.B.I. and other forces that set the climate for my grandfather’s assassination, and made my family a long-suffering casualty of COINTELPRO, and other anti-Black repression programs. Naturally, anything done to stir up old hatred of The Shabazz Family will impact me as the name-sake, and first male heir of Malcolm X, and whether I am high or low in fortunes does not exempt me from this reality.The formula for a public assassination is: the character assassination before the physical assassination; so one has to be made killable before the eyes of the public in order for their eventual murder to then deemed justifiable. And when the time arrives for these hits to be carried out you’re not going to see a C.I.A. agent with a suit & tie, and a badge that says “C.I.A.” walk up to someone, and pull the trigger. What they will do is to out-source to local police departments in the region of their target, and to employ those that look like the target of interest to infiltrate the workings in order to set up the environment for the eventual assassination (character, physical/incarceration, exile) to take place.For several months prior to my arrest in late January, 2013 I faced a pattern of harassment from law enforcement which is usually reserved for important figures. On Thursday, November 1, 2012 @ 11:53pm in the park circle area of Middletown, N.Y. I was stopped by officers of the Middletown Police Department, and given a ticket for “J-Walking” (crossing in the middle of the street), which then escalated into a “Disorderly Conduct” supposedly because of the exchange of words that I had with the officers. I told them that they couldn’t possibly be serious for writing me a “J-Walking ticket”, that I didn’t appreciate how they were treating me and that theyshouldn’t be looking at me as less of a man because they were in police uniform. For this I was arrested, the officers stole the little amount of money that I had on me, they then stripped me and threw me in a freezing precinct cell for the remainder of that early morning. I was finally taken before the “Judge Steven Brockett” around 1:30pm. He gave me an unreasonable bail, and then ordered that I be remanded to the Orange county Jail.This penalty may seem a bit extreme or harsh to most of you, but here is where it gets worse: On Tuesday, October 30th, exactly 2 nights prior to this incident, the same officer “J Berman” who wrote me the ticket for “J-Walking” & “Disorderly Conduct” stopped me coming from out of a store in the same area, and questioned me as to what I was doing.I told him that I was coming out of the store. He asked to see what I bought which was a pack of sun flower seeds. I had actually just so happened to be eating a few while he was talking to me, and I spit one of the shells on the ground. At this point officer “J Berman” threatened to write me a ticket for littering. Needless to say, I was dumbfounded, but I went home that night.Yet, it still doesn’t even begin there. I had an encounter with other officers of the Midletown Police Department one week prior to officer “J Berman’s” threats to write me a ticket for spitting a sun flower seed on the ground: I was coming out of a restaurant with my mother, and her friend. As the 3 of us entered the car to leave 2 police cars converged on our vehicle, and boxed us in. My mother was petrified. With guns drawn I was then ordered to step out of the back seat. I asked them why to which they replied that I had several warrants for my arrest. I told them that they were mistaken, but I still complied with their request. Humiliated in front of all on-lookers I was then thrown on the car while the officers ripped through my pockets. After they were done they said that it was my lucky day because I actually didn’t have any warrants at all, and so I was free to go! One of these officer’s name was “R. Ribeiro”…You may wonder if it could possibly get any worse than this. Well, it does! Approximately 3 weeks prior to the public humiliation of my mother, and me by “R Ribeiro” and another officer of the Middletown Police Department I found myself subject to the discrimination & prejudice of Mayor Joseph M. Destefano of Middletown, N.Y. himself. A friend, and I went out to eat at a restaurant in Middletown, N.Y. which is owned by the Mayor, and to our surprise he appeared from nowhere and asked us to leave. When we inquired as to why he stated that officials of the Middletown Police Department told him not to let us patronize his establishment. Mind you that this goes without incident.As I stand for the people, God-Willing, I would pray that the same people wouldn’t hesitate to stand for me. If these unjust & heinous actions are tolerated & allowed to be done to me without recourse, then no one is safe. Just as Huewy P Newton of the Black Panther Party stated that police are in the white community to protect & serve, yet occupy ours like a foreign troop… I tell you that we shouldn’t fall victim to the conditioning of feeling inferior or fearful at the presence of law enforcement for no apparent reason.With that being said, I was not arrested by federal agents. I was taken in by a squad from the City of Middletown, N.Y.’s Police Department. I was not being held in an “undisclosed location” so to speak. I was actually being held in the Orange County Jail in Goshen, N.Y. However, from the time that I was booked at the precinct, to standing before a Judge the next day who told me to come back in 7 more, to being processed at the Orange County Jail and up until 7 days later I was not permitted to make any calls to notify anyone of my status; as though I had just been kidnapped from of the street.Unfortunately, until this day my family hasn’t been fully abreast of my situation as I haven’t had the opportunity to properly consult with any of them. Dr. Randy Short who notified Press TV of my situation is a close comrade of mine who was on our delegation in Libya. Media reports from Press TV about my situation were not intended to create controversy. In reality, I have a few associates that are affiliated with this reputable International media outlet, and they had expected to meet with me in Iran. So when I disappeared, and rumors spread, the inability to get concise information from a credible source prompted them to rouse public attention on my behalf, for which I am grateful. In April of 2012 I had the opportunity to be a guest analyst/contributor on Press TV. This network has a large following all over the world, and millions find it’s news, documentaries and programming to be both an educational, and insightful alternative to the conglomerated, and highly biased mainstream American & British news media. Regarding the Source magazine, nothing that they published was vetted by me, and was made by persons, at best, vaguely familiar with my situation. Further, I have never had an affiliation or relationship with The Source, nor have they ever directly consulted with me about anything.”
Three daughters of Malcolm X attend funeral of Malcolm Shabazz in Oakland
Three daughters of Malcolm X
Oakland Mourners remember Malcolm Shabazz at California funeral
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Hundreds of mourners gathered Friday at the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California in Oakland for a traditional Islamic funeral service for 28-year-old Malcolm Shabazz, the grandson of slain civil rights leader Malcolm X, eight days after Shabazz was beaten to death in Mexico over a $1,200 bar tab.
"Traditional Islamic prayers will be offered over his remains," Imam Al-Hajj Talib Abdur-Rashid of the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood in Harlem said before the service, which drew more than 200 people
A private burial service, led by Abdur-Rashid, is planned by Tuesday at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, N.Y., where his grandparents are buried. A memorial service is being planned for sometime next week in New York City.
"Malcolm Shabazz was very popular among the young people of his generation," Abdur-Rashid told The Journal News.
The service, which lasted more than two hours, featured plenty of prayer, songs, spoken word and tears. Many among the procession of speakers said while they initially connected with Shabazz because of his famous grandfather, they learned to appreciate a man they called "Young Malcolm" as a leader in his own right.
"If I could put into one word how I feel about Malcolm, it would be, 'inspiration,'" Hussein Mekki, 32, told fellow mourners. "Hopefully that will continue, and he can inspire us for the rest of our lives."
Abdel Malik Ali, 55, a community activist from Oakland, said "Young Malcolm" appeared ready to fuse the history of Malcolm X along with his own experiences he described as "Generation Next."
"He was looking for his own voice, his own place in this world," Ali said. "He had his struggles just like everybody else, but he eventually took on a huge responsibility in embracing his family's legacy that's harder than anybody could ever imagine."
While Shabazz, a former New York resident, settled in the Bay Area about four years ago on the advice of friends and local political activist Yuri Kochiyama, who knew his grandfather and wrote to Shabazz while he was incarcerated.
Close friend Hashim Ali Alauddeen said Shabazz planned to attend community college in the area and eventually seek a bachelor's degree in African-American studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
"His heart was sincere. He strived to do what's right," Alauddeen said tearfully as he stood over Shabazz's casket while delivering his friend's eulogy. "He did his best to purify his soul. His intention and his sincerity was to serve God."
Mexico City's top prosecutor said two waiters arrested in the May 9 death had served Shabazz at the Palace bar near Plaza Garibaldi. An autopsy found Shabazz died of blows to the head, face and torso.
Malcolm X, then Malcolm Little, became a follower of the Nation of Islam while in prison during the early 1950s for burglary. After being paroled, he became the well-known national spokesman for the Nation of Islam, which combined Islamic beliefs with a black nationalist ideology.
He had a falling out with Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad and left in 1964 to form his own Harlem-based group, Muslim Mosque Inc. Malcolm X went on a pilgrimage to Mecca that same year and returned to embrace mainstream Islam.
(Contributing: The Associated Press)
Not since reading with Sun Ra's Arkestra have I enjoyed working with musicians. Most recently, I read with AfroHorn at the Schomburg Library's tribute to revolutionary painter/sculptor Elizabeth Cattlett Mora. Francisco Mora's AfroHORN is the continuation of Sun Ra's musical vision. Of course Francisco was a member of Sun Ra's Arkestra so he is an extension of Sun Ra's world of infinite sound vibrations. I cannot wait to perform again with this group of avant-garde musicians.
Subject: WED, MAY 22nd - AFRO HORN BACK @ ZINC BAR
"AfroHORN” THE III INCARNATION
BACK AT THE ZINC BAR_ / MAY 22nd
SHOWS @ 9 & 11 / $10NEW DIMENTIONS IN LATIN JAZZ PRESENTS A MONTHLY RESIDENCE
The ensemble consists of acclaimed musicians in avant-garde and folklore, including the pianist from Santiago de Cuba, Aruán Ortiz, and percussionist from Havana, Roman Diaz
SAM NESOME SOPRANO SAX
ALEX HARDING: BARITONE SAX & BASS CLARINET
ARUAN ORTIZ: PIANO
RAHSAAN CARTER: BASS
ROMAN DIAZ: PERCUSSION
FRANCISCO MORA-CATLETT: DRUMS
SAM NESOME SOPRANO SAX
ALEX HARDING: BARITONE SAX & BASS CLARINET
ARUAN ORTIZ: PIANO
RAHSAAN CARTER: BASS
ROMAN DIAZ: PERCUSSION
FRANCISCO MORA-CATLETT: DRUMS