Remembering Young Malcolm – with Love

Mary Ratcliff

In his eulogy to Malcolm X delivered Feb. 27, 1965, in Harlem, Ossie Davis asked: “Did you ever talk to Brother Malcolm? Did you ever touch him, or have him smile at you?”

Like his grandfather’s, the smile of young Malcolm Shabazz not only lit up the room but set a fire of fervent hope in your heart and soul. When he met you, he gave you his undivided attention, no matter how much or how little you had to say, and made you feel part of the legacy he bore proudly but painfully as the first male heir of the great El Hajj Malik El Shabazz.

Malcolm Shabazz, 28, died tragically in Mexico on Thursday. His funeral will be held in Oakland later this coming week. The Bay Area has much love for young Malcolm, as this is where he began to become an outstanding speaker, known as El Hajj Malcolm El Shabazz for his stirring accounts of his pilgrimage to Mecca. The Bay View was honored to sponsor him on speaking tours arranged by Bay View associate editor and the People’s Minister of Information JR, his close comrade over the past several years.

Malcolm Shabazz with Malcolm X portrait at LA Sentinel 0710 by LA Sentinel, web

During a visit to the offices of the historic Black newspaper the Los Angeles Sentinel, Malcolm Shabazz paused to contemplate a portrait of his grandfather, Malcolm X. – Photo: LA Sentinel

Malcolm traveled to Mexico on a humanitarian mission. In the Bay View, he read “Deportation of a labor movement leader,” reposted it to his website and went to provide whatever aid and comfort he could to a friend who shared his passion for Black-Brown solidarity.

That mission should not have led to his death, and I can’t help but wonder whether the fear of a “Black messiah” by the powers that be in the U.S., which put young Malcolm, like his grandfather, in their crosshairs, could have been involved. The five goals of Cointelpro issued March 4, 1968, by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI, labeled “COUNTERINTELLIGENCE PROGRAM: BLACK NATIONALIST – HATE GROUPS, RACIAL INTELLIGENCE,” are:

Malcolm speaks at African Migrants Conf 011711 by JR

Young Malcolm not only attended the African Migrants Conference in Tripoli, Libya, in January 2011 with Minister of Information JR with Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney’s delegation but was invited to address a plenary session. He was the only speaker besides Qaddafi who was given a standing ovation. – Photo: Minister of Information JR

“1. Prevent the COALITION of militant black nationalist groups. In unity there is strength …

“2. Prevent the RISE OF A ‘MESSIAH’ who could unify, and electrify, the militant black nationalist movement. Malcolm X might have been such a ‘messiah;’ he is the martyr of the movement today. …

“3. Prevent VIOLENCE on the part of black nationalist groups. …

“4. Prevent militant black nationalist groups and leaders from gaining RESPECTABILITY, by discrediting them …

“5. A final goal should be to prevent the long-range GROWTH of militant black organizations, especially among youth. …”

Could young Malcolm now be a “martyr of the movement”? With Assata Shakur placed on the Most Wanted Terrorists list and the doubling to $2 million of the bounty on her head, this has been a tough week for Black revolutionaries.

Malcolm Shabazz “once said he and his family were persecuted ‘by select businessmen and government officials. I’ve been a target my entire life. My family is targeted,’” reported Stephen Lendman on Daily Censored yesterday. Lendman writes: “Press TV published a statement Shabazz posted on Cynthia McKinney’s Facebook page. In part it said:

Malcolm, Muammar Qaddafi at African Migrants Conf 011711 by JR, web

Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi warmly welcomed Malcolm to the conference. – Photo: Minister of Information JR

“‘I sincerely appreciate the care and concern of the People over my well-being after Press TV’s report of the most recent events which have transpired regarding the FBI’s harassment of me.’ …

“‘The agents of this division – and in collaboration with others – have visited several residences of which I was known by them to frequent.’

“They told ‘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.’

JR, Samia Nkrumah, Ra'Shida, Malcolm at Tripoli Libya conf 0111 by JR, web

Malcolm, JR and Ra’shida met many African leaders at the conference, including Samia Nkrumah, daughter of Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah, a member of Parliament, the first woman to chair a major political party and one of the most popular African women leaders. – Photo: Minister of Information JR

“‘This cheap tactic employed by the FBI is a means of agitation and harassment. They seek to neutralize my networking abilities.

“‘They have visited locations in California, Chicago, Miami and most aggressively in New York.’ …

“‘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 two federal agents of Goshen, NY’s Counter Terrorism Task Force Unit. The primary agent identified himself as Special Agent Tom Brozicky.’

“‘They expressed concern’ in his ‘international travels.’

Malcolm Shabazz on Hajj, Sheikh Faisal Ghazawi, middle, Imam, Mosque Haramain; Holy Kabaa, Makkah, in background 1110

On Hajj in Mecca, the grandson of Malcolm X was welcomed with open arms and given a tour of the city and access to official people and places. Here he is with Sheikh Faisal Ghazawi, Imam of the Mosque Haramain (center). The Holy Kabaa in Makkah (Mecca) is in the background.

“‘I have lived and 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 and former presidential candidate Cynthia Mckinney’s delegation along with Dr. Randy Short to Libya and met with Leader Muammar Qaddafi one week prior to NATO 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.

“‘I was picked up by authorities after I filed for a visa to Iran, and two days prior to my departure. A detective squad from the City of Middletown Police Department surrounded me in the street about two blocks from where I was residing.’”

Yuri Kochiyama, Malcolm, JR 1110 by JR

In November 2010, JR brought together Yuri Kochiyama, long a renowned leader in the Bay Area’s Asian community, and Malcolm to their great mutual joy. Yuri had been a very strong supporter of Malcolm X in Harlem and was the first to reach him on stage the night he was shot, cradling his head in her lap until medical help arrived. – Photo: Minister of Information JR

Though Cointelpro no longer officially exists, heavy investment of taxpayer resources into preventing the rise of a Black Messiah continues. Did government agents know young Malcolm was in Mexico? You decide.

It’s your decision too whether to swallow all the garbage in the mainstream media right now in a Cointelpro-style effort to discredit and demonize Malcolm. Yes, he had a lot of trouble with “the law” in his short life, but that does not define him as a man and that’s not why the FBI watched and harassed him.

Did CIA kill Malcolm X’s grandson?“ asks Dr. Kevin Barrett today on Press TV. “Make no mistake,” he writes, “Malcolm Shabazz, like his grandfather, posed a serious, ‘actionable’ long-term threat to the powers-that-be.

M1, Malcolm, film director Samm Styles, JR at People's Human Rights and Hip Hop Film Fest 021211 by JR

M1 of the rap group dead prez, Hajj Malcolm Shabazz, film director Samm Styles, and the host, Minister of Information JR, spoke on a panel at the People’s Human Rights and Hip Hop Film Fest in San Francisco on Feb. 12, 2011. – Photo: Minister of Information JR

“Malcolm had converted to Shi’a Islam and become a spokesman for the ‘axis of resistance’ – not just anti-Zionist forces in the Middle East, but anti-empire forces around the world. Like his grandfather, he had had some brushes with the law when he was young. And like his grandfather, he was on the road to putting his past behind him and becoming a charismatic spokesman for the world’s dispossessed.

“I do not know whether the usual suspects – the ‘asteroids’ who assassinate the enemies of empire on behalf of the CIA, the World Bank and related entities, according to author John Perkins – killed Malcolm Shabazz. But I am 100 percent certain that they were thinking about it. …

Malcolm, children at Masjid Al-Islam School in Washington D.C. 0611 by brr

Hajj Malcolm Shabazz, a loving father, spoke often to school children. Here he is at Masjid Al-Islam School in Washington, D.C.

“Malcolm Shabazz’s grandfather, Malcolm X, was also an “actionable threat’ when the CIA orchestrated his assassination in 1965. Malcolm X was forging an anti-empire alliance consisting of Muslims and other non-Western victims of imperialism, along with poor and middle-class American whites and Blacks … the same alliance Dr. King was assembling when he was killed three years later.

“And now, Malcolm Shabazz – who was forging an updated version of the same anti-empire alliance – is murdered in Mexico. Coincidence? Maybe. …

“Whatever happened to Malcolm Shabazz, it is abundantly obvious that the intelligence agency assets infiltrating US mainstream media are conducting a scripted posthumous character assassination designed to obscure Malcolm’s role as an up-and-coming activist and long-term threat to the Empire.”

Malcolm, JR broadcasting Block Report-Friday Night Vibe KPFA 120311, web

JR interviews Malcolm for the Block Report on KPFA Dec. 3, 2011.

Responding to the Huffington Post’s statement that “Shabazz continued to have trouble with the law throughout his life,” Dr. Barrett writes: “(P)ractically all young Black men have ‘trouble with the law.’ Actually, it isn’t that they have trouble with the law. It’s that the law has trouble with them. Being young, Black and male means being guilty until proven innocent.

“The imperial propagandists at the New York Times, Huffington Post and similar outlets are working overtime smearing Malcolm Shabazz. This apparently pre-orchestrated smear smells like an intelligence operation. It is strong circumstantial evidence that Malcolm Shabazz was yet another political assassination victim.

Malcolm, Ondrell Harding, Denika Chatman, JR at Denika's house Seattle 081411 by JR

Less than a month after the police murder of 19-year-old Kenneth Harding in July 2011 a block from the Bay View office, JR and Malcolm traveled to visit and interview his mother, Denika Chatman, and brother, Ondrell Harding, in Seattle. – Photo: Minister of Information JR

“Malcolm Shabazz’s real ‘crime,’ like that of his famous grandfather, was joining the axis of resistance, standing up to Zionism and the U.S. empire, and speaking the truth,” Dr. Barrett concludes.

The Shabazz family issued this official statement today: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved El Hajj Malcolm El Shabazz. To all who knew him, he offered kindness, encouragement and hope for a better tomorrow. Although his bright light and boundless potential are gone from this life, we are grateful that he now rests in peace in the arms of his grandparents and the safety of God. We will miss him.

Malcolm Shabazz in replica of Malcolm X at window with rifle, pic posted to Malcolm's Twitter page

On his Twitter page, Malcolm posted this photo replicating a famous picture of his grandfather. He described himself there as “Grandson, name-sake and first male heir of the greatest revolutionary leader of the 20th century.”

“With grateful hearts, we send sincerest appreciation to our supporters around the world for your tremendous outpouring of love and respect during our time of grief.”

My own comfort comes from imagining the meeting between Malcolm and his grandfather.

Bay View editor Mary Ratcliff can be reached at or (415) 671-0789.

Read the words of Malcolm Shabazz

So that you may come to know him for yourself, following are a few of the stories we’ve posted at by and about Hajj Malcolm El Shabazz:

Cynthia McKinney's Bike4Peace potluck Malcolm Shabazz 072310 by Kamau

This portrait of a thoughtful Malcolm Shabazz was taken at the potluck in Oakland to kick off Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney’s Bike4Peace cross-country bicycle ride, on July 23, 2010. – Photo: Kamau Amen-Ra

Notes from Tripoli, Libya, Africa

Live from Saudi Arabia: an interview with El Hajj Malcolm Shabazz

Mumia, the media and more: Davey D, MOI JR and Malcolm Shabazz on Hard Knock Radio

Malcolm Shabazz on the three chapters missing from ‘The Autobiography of Malcolm X’

The legacy of El Hajj Malik El Shabazz lives! an interview wit’ his grandson Malcolm Shabazz

In this extremely revealing interview, Malcolm addresses such difficult topics as the fire that killed his grandmother, his time in prison and who killed his grandfather.