O most pernicious woman!
O villain, villain, smiling, damnèd villain!
My tables—meet it is I set it down
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain—
At least I am sure it may be so in Denmark.
Hamlet Act 1, scene 5, 105–109
In this rare 2019 home movie secretly filmed at the New Jersey hideout of suspected Malcolm X assassin Linward X Cathcart (aka Abdul Karriem Muhammad aka 'The General'), members of Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam (NOI) gather to pay tribute to a man whom most of them know to have been a key participant in the 21st February 1965 assassination of Malcolm X. Indeed, the very title ‘The General’ by which Cathcart has come to be known in NOI circles is a taunting ‘nod-and-wink’ allusion to the perceived leadership role which Cathcart reportedly played in Malcolm’s killing.
Over the years Linward X - through his community works and ‘good deeds’ - has become a beloved figure in New Jersey. And like an old Nazi thug hiding out in Argentina, most people who know Cathcart today have only ever known the ‘good Linward’ seen in this video: a gregarious and grandfatherly patriarch full of charm, wit and seeming compassion, who mentored many wayward young black males into their manhood. Such persons cannot imagine and simply refuse to believe that ‘their Linward’ could possibly be guilty of having enabled the murder of Malcolm X. But as Cathcart brandishes an infamous portrait-sized cartoon of Farrakhan while exhorting his NOI groupies to ‘kill’ those ostensibly seeking to harm the NOI leader, the mask slips and the ‘old Linward’ briefly flashes into view...
The Manhattan District Attorney’s 20th February 2021 announcement that the Malcolm X murder investigation is "active and ongoing" is generating excitement over the imminent arrest of this cold-blooded killer whose despicable actions 56 years ago altered history's course and derailed the full emancipation of Black America that Malcolm was poised to effectuate.
Paul Bitakaramire is a freelance writer based in England who has previously been published in Britain’s Spectator magazine and has launched a petition to reopen the investigation into the Malcolm X assassination. That petition can be found here.