Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Malcolm X Killer Freed On Parole
Thomas Hagan, the man who confessed to being involved in the assassination of Malcolm in Harlem's Audubon Ballroom on February 21, 1965, has been granted parole.
Thomas Hagan confessed to being one of three men who carried out the assassination. He is the only one to do so.
Hagan said he was angry at Malcolm for causing a split in the Nation of Islam but is remorseful now.
He said in a 1977 sworn statement that "I thought I was fighting for truth and right ..."
He added that "I understand a lot better the dynamics of movements and what can happen inside movements, and conflicts that can come up, but I have deep regrets about my participation in that ... "
Hagan remains a Muslim but is not part of the Nation of Islam.
He has not made any comment about his release. For the last 22 years he has been on work release which allows him to work outside prison on selected days.
His release will no doubt raise concerns.
As of this writing the organization founded by Malcolm X's late widow, The Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center, has not issued a position on Hagan's release.
The Malcolm X Commemoration Committee, on the other hand, has condemned the release.
Previous to the granting of parole, Hagan petitioned for parole and was turned down 17 times.
This is a very difficult case. What purpose would it serve to keep Hagan locked up indefinitely?
Still, it does not make it any easier to accept that he was part of those who actually pulled the trigger.
But then there is the bigger story of the US government and other agents who knew about the conspiracy to assassinate Malcolm and did nothing.
And in 1999 the US turned Malcolm X's legacy of protest against them into a 33 cent stamp.
Story and picture credit