Why Are New Jersey Politicians Protecting the Killers of Malcolm X?

Three of New Jersey’s leading Black politicians – Senator Cory Booker, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver – were interviewed in the Netflix docuseries ‘Who Killed Malcolm X?’ about their relationship with Malcolm X assassination suspect William Bradley (aka Al-Mustafa Shabazz). And while acknowledging that they all knew Bradley very well they each became evasive when questioned about their awareness of his role in Malcolm's 1965 murder.

Senator Booker in particular appeared visibly uncomfortable in his Netflix interview and exhibited behaviour that strongly suggested that he was lying about his awareness of Bradley’s connection to the Malcolm X killing. Bradley, after all, had made a widely-publicized appearance in a TV commercial for Booker’s 2010 mayoral re-election bid – a fact that had been repeatedly brought to Booker’s attention by numerous Malcolm X campaigners.

What was especially unsettling about the behaviour of Booker, Baraka and Oliver was the cavalier attitude they each displayed when questioned about any efforts they had made to bring Bradley to justice. Had Malcolm X been murdered by a white supremacist (like Martin Luther King assassin James Earl Ray) there is little doubt that each of these politicians would have put forth greater efforts to hold Malcolm’s assassin(s) accountable. But since Malcolm’s killers were African-Americans like themselves, each of these politicians appeared supremely sanguine and unconcerned about the need for justice and accountability.

This blind-eye-turning, see-no-evil, head-in-the-sand attitude on the part of these New Jersey politicians may account for the astronomic rate of unsolved ‘black-on-black’ homicides in the city and is especially concerning in the light of the recent identification of yet another New Jersey resident who has long been suspected of supervising the team of Newark assassins who murdered Malcolm.

Linward X Cathcart (aka Abdul Karriem Muhammad) is the leading unindicted co-conspirator in Malcolm’s killing and is suspected of having acted in league with the five assassins from Newark’s Mosque #25 who were named in the 1977-78 affidavits sworn by convicted assassin Thomas Hagan (aka Talmadge Hayer). But as of April 2020, Cathcart remains at large and is known to reside in Plainfield, New Jersey – right under the corrupt noses of Booker, Baraka and Oliver. And like Bradley before him, Cathcart has successfully reinvented himself as a pillar of New Jersey’s black community and one who appears to enjoy the same relationship of respectability and patronage with the state’s black political elite that Bradley once did.


Paul Bitakaramire is a freelance writer based in Manchester who has previously been published in Britain’s Spectator magazine and has launched a petition to secure the declassification of the FBI and CIA files on the Malcolm X assassination. That petition can be found here.

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