When discussing the 635 assassination attempts on his life Commandante Fidel Castro stated eloquently “ If surviving assassination attempts were an Olympic event then I would win the gold medal”.
The main reason that powerful statement resonates with African people is because we have been forced to digest an extremely harsh dose of reality that we are guaranteed to lose a countless number of invaluable comrades on the battlefield as a result of US-EU Imperialism’s bullets and bombs.
What historical annals have also revealed is the more valuable the fighter the greater the loss on the leadership level we have gained greater understanding from rather astute reflections. During his speech commemorating National Hero Comrade Herbert Wiltshire Chitepo on March 18th 1978, President Mugabe said
“Without political power firmly in the hands of the people, without jobs and food and other necessities of life, there can be pretty little anyone can do to help the oppressed who are being terrorized by imperialism in its courts and before its judges. This naturally led him to leading the armed struggle”.
As this numerical year the 50th anniversary of Malcolm X’s assassination on February 21st at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem which ironically is President Mugabe’s birthday those in attendance at the Justice or Else rally commemorating the Million Man March’s 20th anniversary, were thrilled to hear the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan leader of the Nation of Islam call on the US Government in particular the FBI-CIA to make the files concerning Brother Malcolm’s demise available to the public.
For those amongst our people who remember that this year also marked the 20th anniversary of the public joint appearance and reconciliation between Minister Farrakhan and Brother Malcolm’s widow the late Betty Shabazz. This historic event at the Apollo Theater in Harlem raised approximately 250,000 dollars which went towards the legal defense of Brother Malcolm’s oldest daughter Quibilah Shabazz who was arrested earlier that year by the FBI due to her alleged involvement in plotting the assassination of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. Because of the established protocol of the Military Industrial Intelligence Police Complex this would require that the New York Police Department also submit the files in their possession, that expose how they not only documented and chronicled Brother Malcolm’s activity in New York City, but formed a division called the Bureau of Special Services to carry out this fascist and repressive mission.
The state of mind of Brother Malcolm’s daughter during this period speaks to another painful aspect of these type of tragedies when relatives of our deceased comrades are coerced by our enemies to either make reckless public statements or attempt to carry out dangerous activity while grieving and under duress. Zimbabwe’s leadership and people more than anyone can relate to the anguish of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan individually and the NOI collectively, as they have been subjected to attacks from every sector of our community, in what they deem to be failure to accept responsibility in Brother Malcolm’s Assassination. When the leader of ZANU’s Guerilla forces the late National Hero Comrade Josiah Magama Tongogara was falsely accused and imprisoned during the 2nd Chimurenga for the assassination of Comrade Herbert Chitepo in Lusaka, the aim of British Colonialism and Imperialism was not only to sabotage ZANU by derailing the 2nd Chimurenga, but in the long term create the atmosphere for a genocidal civil war between Zimbabwe and Zambia. This teaches Mother Africa’s Daughters and Sons that in the event of a high profiled political assassination, our former colonial and slave masters are equally invested in the character assassinations, of those comrades they have failed to eliminate with guns or explosives.
Because of the manner in which Africans at home and abroad revere our matriarchs, it is also problematic when the widows of male freedom fighters concerning their husbands, directly or indirectly point fingers at the leadership of any organizations their spouses had been involved in at any phase of their service to our people.
If Sister Betty Shabazz had taken the approach that Myrlie Evers-Williams the widow of Civil Rights icon Medgar Evers widow had chosen when her husband was gunned down in Mississippi by the White Supremacist Byron DeLa Beckwith , perhaps US-EU Imperialism would have been forced to publicly acknowledge their role not only in Malcolm’s assassination in Harlem but their attempt to poison him to death in Egypt during his historic visit in 1964.