Setting the record straight on the Malcolm X Assassination
-By Brother Demetric Muhammad
Only one movement [The Black Muslims], though looked upon by disfavor by the major black civil rights groups, remains consequential—strong, cohesive, influential….
—Philip E. Hoffman, American Jewish Committee, 1972
For years the Bureau has operated a counterintelligence program against the NOI and [Elijah] Muhammad…despite these efforts, he continues unchallenged in the leadership of the NOI and the organization itself, in terms of membership and finances, has been unaffected.
—Special Agent in Charge in Chicago, FBI Memo, April 22, 1968
There is no doubt that the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been an enemy of Black America. The crowning achievements of the FBI’s COINTELPRO (counter-intelligence) program, during the 1960s, were the assassinations of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
A new film called “Betty and Coretta,” airing on the Lifetime cable network, is a diabolical effort to deceive the public. This significantly timed film features the wonderful R&B singer Mary J. Blige portraying Mrs. Betty Shabazz. Ms. Blige, Larry Sanitsky, Kendu Isaacs, Jaha Johnson and Polly Anthony are its executive producers. The writers of this film, Shem Bitterman and Ron Hutchinson, include in their script accusatory words spoken by Mrs. Shabazz that claim Minister Farrakhan was responsible for the death of her husband, Malcolm X.
The desire of some of the writers and producers is to destroy the magnetism of Minister Farrakhan among a new generation of Black youth that are discovering the living legend for the first time for themselves on college campuses and in the streets of the hood throughout America. This film is a weak and transparent attempt to derail Minister Farrakhan’s momentum.
What do they want to derail, you might ask? Minister Louis Farrakhan, at nearly 80 years of age, is more prolific than ever. He has recently toured the Caribbean nations addressing governments, professional organizations, and youth groups. In 2012 Minister Farrakhan visited major historically Black college campuses and even delivered a major address at the University of California-Berkeley. During the heat of the summer, Minister Farrakhan mobilized the Nation of Islam’s men’s class, known as the Fruit of Islam, and embarked on a mission to return peace to the streets of Chicago and America’s major cities. And in January of this year Minister Farrakhan began a 52-week webcast lecture series titled “The Time and What Must Be Done.”
These are all activities that have historically been fought by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The director of the FBI (1924–1972), J. Edgar Hoover, used untold sums of taxpayer dollars to wage a war against all Black Nationalist Groups. His stated goal was to prevent the rise of a “messiah” who could unite Black America in a bond of brotherhood and strength. Minister Farrakhan is the modern equivalent of what Hoover feared 40 plus years ago.
This movie fits right in the category of what Hoover described in his COINTELPRO memos as “friendly media.” Consider the following quoted from the famous Church Committee Report III:
“Much of the Bureau’s propaganda efforts involved giving information or articles to ‘friendly’ media sources who could be relied upon not to reveal the Bureau’s interests….[T]he Bureau…assembled a list of ‘friendly’ news media sources — those who wrote pro-Bureau stories. Field offices also had ‘confidential sources’ (unpaid Bureau informants) in the media, and were able to ensure their cooperation. The Bureau’s use of the news media took two different forms: placing unfavorable articles and documentaries about targeted groups, and leaking derogatory information intended to discredit individuals.”
In his very important book Racial Matters: The FBI’s Secret File on Black America, 1960–1972, Kenneth O’Reilly writes:
“In 1968 [the Miami field office of the FBI] and its ‘friendly and reliable’ media contacts began work on a far more ambitious series of documentaries on the Nation of Islam and other black groups.”
This film “Betty and Coretta,” which disrespects and mocks the great legends of Black History—Martin Luther King, Ralph Abernathy, Louis Farrakhan, and even Malcolm X himself—is straight out of the FBI playbook. It is a “friendly media” documentary that aims to ruin the Nation of Islam. But this isn’t the first time that the NOI has been under attack.
It is a well-known fact that the long-time leader of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, was a member of the Masonic Shrine. The Masonic Shriners are Christian and Jewish white men who occupy powerful and influential positions within business, government and academia. They are students of the Bible, Holy Qur’an, World History and Prophecy. They are particularly known for their private veneration of Prophet Muhammad and the early history of Islam as a world conqueror.
Hoover’s Shriner membership sheds light on his use of the word “messiah” in his infamous COINTELPRO memo. For in both Bible and Quranic prophecy, the Messiah is born from and is a blessing to the Children of Israel. The Messiah is to be a man like Moses. Moses liberated the enslaved Hebrews from Egypt in the Biblical narrative. This led to the destruction of the Egyptian way of life and economy and produced the end of the rule of the wicked Pharaoh.
Hoover’s Shriner membership also helps us to understand why he interpreted his position atop the FBI in the way that he did. For it is not a logical deduction that one entrusted with the United States national security would devote so much of America’s resources to destroying Black groups, especially during what is to be considered the height of the Cold War against Russia. Hoover’s Shriner knowledge would have made him acquainted with the Bible’s Exodus 1:10, which reads: “Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and, if war breaks out, they join our enemies and fight against us and escape from the land.” To be shrewd means to be artful, crafty and sly. It derives from Old English shrewd, meaning “wicked, evil,” and from shrewe, which means “wicked man.” This is the perfect description of Hoover’s actions under the COINTELPRO strategy.
The FBI therefore understood the natural affinity among Blacks in America with peoples of color throughout the world. It believed that the unjust treatment of Blacks coupled with the colonization and exploitation of Africa, Asia and the Americas would make Blacks in America an internal enemy force during times of war.
Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall write in their excellent exposé The COINTELPRO Papers the following conclusion about the assassination of Malcolm X, a conclusion informed by their meticulous research of the available documents on the nefarious government sabotage of Black movements.
“By the point of Malcolm’s assassination during a speech in Harlem on the night of February 14, 1965, the FBI had compiled at least 2,300 pages of material on the victim in just one of its files on him, the NOI and the OAAU [Organization of Afro-American Unity]. Malcolm X was supposedly murdered by former colleagues in the NOI as a result of the faction-fighting which had led to his splitting away from that movement, and their ‘natural wrath’ at his establishment of a competing entity. However, as the accompanying January 22, 1969 memo from the SAC, Chicago, to the Director makes clear, the NOI factionalism at issue didn’t ‘just happen.’ Rather, it had ‘been developed’ by deliberate Bureau actions — through infiltration and the ‘sparking of acrimonious debates within the organization,’ rumor-mongering, and other tactics designed to foster internal disputes — which were always the standard fare of COINTELPRO. The Chicago SAC [Special Agent in Charge], Marlin Johnson, who would shortly oversee the assassinations of Illinois Black Panther Party leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, makes it quite obvious that he views the murder of Malcolm X as something of a model for ‘successful’ counterintelligence operations.”
This may be a shocking conclusion, but it is the right conclusion. The FBI considered the assassination of Malcolm X a model for “successful” counterintelligence operations. And using Malcolm’s assassination as a model, they proceeded to work to assassinate Fred Hampton and Mark Clark of the Black Panther Party!
They hope that they can assassinate Minister Louis Farrakhan. But Minister Farrakhan is a divinely guided man and a divinely protected man. He is completely innocent of Malcolm X’s assassination. The FBI infiltrated and produced division within the Nation of Islam and worked diligently until the government’s intended goal was achieved.
Black America must not allow itself to be deceived today, for this indeed is the day where the truth (the facts) shall make all free.