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The Man Who Didn’t Shoot Malcolm X
October 3, 2007 1:28 PM   Subscribe

The Man Who Didn’t Shoot Malcolm X. Khalil Islam, formerly known as Thomas 15X Johnson, was convicted of assassinating Malcolm X and served 22 years in prison. One of the co-defendants later swore Khalil Islam was innocent. "The fact was, I was just the patsy. The perfect patsy."

"He was Thomas 15X because fourteen other Thomases had joined [Temple] No. 7 before him."
posted by kirkaracha (12 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I was just thinking about this today and actually went to some of the links you posted earlier this morning. The pic of Malcolm dead under the smoking gun link messed up my day. He looks like he's smiling.
posted by milarepa at 1:48 PM on October 3, 2007


"He was Thomas 15X because fourteen other Thomases had joined [Temple] No. 7 before him."

"These people look deep within my soul and assign me a number based on the order in which I joined."
posted by sillygwailo at 2:16 PM on October 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Fascinating story. It's good when the truth comes out.

Thanks for the excellent post kirkaracha.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X was one of those really meaningful books of my teen years.

Reading this from your first link was a jolt: Khalil spent the next 22 years in various New York State maximum-security prisons, a good portion of that time way down in the hole where a prisoner sees natural light for an hour a day.

“I was innocent, yet there I was, behind those walls,” says Khalil in his hoarse, quiet voice, adding that he decided to finally tell his story because “it took me until now to really understand it, to think it through, and that’s important because I always felt knowing what happened would be the key to who I really was.”


I'm moved especially by his statement:“it took me until now to really understand it, to think it through, and that’s important because I always felt knowing what happened would be the key to who I really was.”

Why did Betty Shabazz betray him too?

Injustice seems to create a kind of knot for many victims, who, in attempting to comprehend the injustice, seem to have to examine their core identity. I wonder why victims are compelled to examine who they are in light of the injustice?
posted by nickyskye at 2:23 PM on October 3, 2007


I wonder why victims are compelled to examine who they are in light of the injustice?

Is there anything else to do in jail?
posted by Citizen Premier at 2:58 PM on October 3, 2007


That's strange. I was pretty sure that I was the man who didn't shoot Malcolm X.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 3:06 PM on October 3, 2007


Now you know the truth, Parasite Unseen.
posted by Catfry at 4:02 PM on October 3, 2007


I feel certain I saw him interviewed once on, of all places, Firing Line. While still in jail. Mr Buckley averred that he too believed him to be innocent of the crime.

Google find me nothing to back this up, but surely I didn't dream it?
posted by IndigoJones at 5:05 PM on October 3, 2007


Is there anything else to do in jail?

It's usually the perps, not the victims of the crime, in jail. In this case Khalil was the victim of the injustice, jailed when he did not commit the crime.
posted by nickyskye at 5:16 PM on October 3, 2007


What an amazing article. Khalil Islam sounds like a well-centered soul who hasn't let the awfulness of the world get to him. Bless him.

I'm intrigued by his interest in Blavatsky. I once read a book which was all about how Blavatsky's theosophy led right into Nazi mysticism, but it's not like that's Blavatsky's fault, and it's not like Mr. Islam is taking the book as gospel.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:41 PM on October 3, 2007


The Man Who Didn’t Shoot Malcolm X.
He Didn’t Shoot Malcolm
He Was The Greatest Of Them All...

/pitney
posted by jonmc at 6:31 PM on October 3, 2007


It would surprise me if any shooters jailed in the highest profile assasinations throughout history were actually guilty.
posted by derami at 4:52 AM on October 4, 2007


nickyskye- my immediate reaction is to say that victims of injustice have to balance themselves against a ridiculous, non-causal situation. This is in opposition to the expected situation where consequences are related to actions. A person is a combination of Self and Other and when the Other changes...
I am not saying that victims of injustice are the only ones who see the world as it is, just that injustice, and its effect on self-definition, shows our expectations of consistency to be silly.
posted by MNDZ at 8:11 AM on October 4, 2007


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