By Malik Miah
The FBI asks us to believe the following story: Last [northern] summer Qubilah Bahiyah Shabazz, Malcolm X's second oldest daughter, seeks out an old high school friend she hasn't seen in 16 years to carry out an assassination. Her target? Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam (NOI). Her motive? The Nation was behind the murder of her famous father in 1965. Some 30 years later she was finally getting her revenge.
Who is this former classmate? According to a January 22 report in the New York Times, "Michael Fitzpatrick, it turns out, appears to be a classic informer: Arrested at 18 in the bombing of a Manhattan bookstore that sold Russian books, then turned by the FBI, he helped send two Jewish Defense League members to jail on charges of planning to bomb an Egyptian tourism office. Classmates at the school where he knew Ms. Shabazz in the 1970s remember him bringing in guns and bombs. He was moved to the Minneapolis area under the federal witness protection program; there, local anarchists expelled him for nagging them to throw bombs."
Currently Fitzpatrick faces a five year sentence for a November 23, 1993, cocaine bust.
Yet the words of this lifelong fink are taken for the truth.
Shabazz, 34, if convicted, could be sentenced to 90 years in prison and $2.25 million in fines. Shabazz pleaded not guilty on January 18 and is free on bond.
Shabazz moved to Minneapolis in September with her 10-year-old son, Malcolm. She was broke and jobless. Yet the government claims she somehow raised $1000 to hire Fitzpatrick to kill Farrakhan. The cops claim they have at least 20 taped conversations between Shabazz and Fitzpatrick arranging the hit.
The government's agents admit they knew about the alleged plot for seven months. They even told Farrakhan about a possible assassination attempt.
Yet the "plot" was revealed only in January, one month before the 30th anniversary of Malcolm X's assassination on February 21, 1965. Why? Could it be the FBI and other government cop agencies were trying to set up Farrakhan? What better than an old blood feud between a daughter of Malcolm X and the leader of the Nation of Islam?
But Farrakhan and the NOI refused the bait by immediately blasting the government's indictment. At a January 14 press conference in Chicago, the Nation's chief of staff, Leonard Muhammad, said that larger forces were at work: "Regardless of her motive or what she's doing or what she did, she is the smallest part of any effort to destabilise or injure the Minister Louis Farrakhan. The smallest part."
Farrakhan said Shabazz had been exploited because of her grief over her father's loss, and false stories that he was to blame for Malcolm's death.
In a 1994 interview, Malcolm's widow, Betty Shabazz, said she believed that Farrakhan was involved in her husband's death.
After Malcolm's break with the Nation in 1964, the NOI called Malcolm a traitor. Farrakhan wrote in the NOI's paper that Malcolm X was "worthy of death."
But Farrakhan denies any involvement with Malcolm's murder, although he acknowledges that he was among those who "created an atmosphere that allowed Malcolm to be assassinated".
"What we have here is another classic example of government misconduct", said Ron Daniels, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who is involved in Shabazz's defence.
Malcolm had said that the NOI was not capable of many of the things that were done to him — that a more powerful force was at work. Using informers and agents provocateurs like Fitzpatrick was (and is) common.
On January 26, Jewell Jackson McCabe, the chairwoman and founder of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, organised a press conference in New York City. Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., Rene Evers, daughter of the civil rights leader Medgar Evers, who was slain in Mississippi two years before Malcolm X, Andrea Young, a lawyer and daughter of Andrew Young, former mayor of Atlanta, and Rebecca Walker, daughter of the writer Alice Walker, strongly protested the government's allegations against Qubilah Shabazz.
King summed up their solidarity: "As my sisters here will undoubtedly agree, the families of African-American leaders are often the target of tactics used to divide, conquer, separate, malign, discredit and destroy".
"It happened to my father", she said. "It happened to Qubilah's father. And it is happening to our families as I speak."
[From Independent Politics (US).]