Malcolm Gay Rumors Slammed

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Peter Tatchell wrote in an article that Malcolm X had "sexual experiences with men" as a young adult. Tatchell is the same would-be politico who was deftly assisted to the ground by African bodyguards, in 2001, when he tried to make a "citizen’s arrest" of Zimbabwe President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, during a visit to Belgium. He is also the bright spark who went to Memphis to ask boxer Mike Tyson about remarks he decided were offensive. "This rumor is unfounded," Ferguson assured, "and is based on a book that was garbage when it was published in 1991, and is still garbage in 2005."

Black nationalists are outraged by the resurgence of a claim made by an Australian gay advocate that Malcolm-X was gay. "I knew Malcolm X, and I worked with him close enough so that if anything was out of line, I would immediately have picked up on it," said  Herman Ferguson, a founding member Malcolm X’s Organization of Afro-American Unity,. "I’ve seen him around men and women, and always his conduct was principled and focused. He was very social. He liked people, our people. That was his thing." Self-proclaimed homosexual lifestyle proponent,Peter Tatchell wrote in an article that Malcolm X had "sexual experiences with men" as a young adult. Tatchell is the same would-be politico who was deftly assisted to the ground by African bodyguards, in 2001, when he tried to make a "citizen’s arrest" of Zimbabwe President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, during a visit to Belgium. He is also the bright spark who went to Memphis to ask boxer Mike Tyson about remarks he decided were offensive.

"This rumor is unfounded," Ferguson assured, "and is based on a book that was garbage when it was published in 1991, and is still garbage in 2005." Nearly 30 years after the assassination of El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, Tatchell rehashed claims of a 14-year-old Bruce Perry book ‘Malcolm: The Life of a Man Who Changed Black America.’ On Malcolm X’s 80th birthday on May 19th, Tatchell wrote an indignant and graphic article in the London Guardian, declaring, "Now it is time to blow the whistle. There is not a single world-famous Black person who is openly gay. Young Black lesbians and gays need role models. Who better than Malcolm X?" On the same day, once again Ferguson had co-organized the – 39th ----– annual pilgrimage to the upstate gravesite of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz. He like most New Yorkers was unaware of the loaded article circulating across The Pond. Last week, a New York tabloid, printed a piece about it on their gossip page. "Those of us in The Movement, are never totally surprised by physical or personal attacks on our leaders," said Ferguson, who is also co-founder of the Malcolm X Commemoration Committee.

"This latest attack on Malcolm X is a typical act by those who continue to fear his legacy." The Black Star News asked Tatchell if he had any independent and primary sources for his article. He quoted the Perry book and the alleged people he supposedly interviewed who claimed to know of Malcolm’s experiences with men. New York Black nationalist reactions included total rejection; to eye-rolling with a "Here they go again with that discrediting mess;" to others who did not want to give any kind of energy to whatever this is supposed to be. Of course there are many unprintable responses. Quoted in Britain’s Black weekly ‘The Voice,’ the Nation of Islam representative there dismissed Tatchell as a "Godless sodomite’" and thoroughly refuted both "his smear campaign," and the book he references so heavily which said that when he was a young man, Malcolm X was a gay prostitute.

The book has always been slammed by Malcolm X’s family. Standard among grassroots activists and even some lay and academic observers, is that being unable to fight the power, the mainstream has slowly been attempting to co-opt the legacy of the staunch Pan-Africanist, who preached self-determination, self-defense and Black empowerment. So there is a postage stamp and all, and the one time Black power general seen by the government as public enemy number one, has now magically been transformed by the same scheming status quo, into a kinder, gentler civil rights leader. Bad enough, critics charge, that Tatchell wrote an article with an arrogant fervor which seemed to suggest an actual factual basis for any of the charges beyond reported hearsay,  the timing raised cries of "overstepping the line." NOI U.K. representative Hilary Muhammad stated that, "This is part of a plan to deter people’s interests in Minister Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March scheduled for October." Tatchell told Black Star News that, "On the 80th anniversary of Malcolm’s birth I thought it appropriate to expose the 50-year cover-up concerning his sexuality." With regards to the general Black reaction, the gay lifestyle advocate declared that it has been "divided" and the "homophobes regard these revelations as a terrible insult. They have deluged me with hate mail and death threats.

The liberals and progressives are unfazed." In response to the question about critics charging him with trying to tarnish the image of the Black nationalist, Tatchell replied, "Since there is nothing wrong with being gay, there is nothing wrong with saying that Malcolm X had gay relations. He remains a towering figure in the global struggle for Black liberation, and is one of the inspirations of my own human rights campaigns." The New York response has been harsh in some quarters. Min. Farrakhan’s representative in New York Harlem’s Mosque Number 7 head Min. Kevin Muhammad told Black Star News, "Malcolm is dead and we don’t talk down on a dead man’s grave and we don’t speak about anything that we think is negative, and when they are not here to defend themselves. This is of a personal nature, and the only person who can answer this, is Malcolm himself and he’s not here." Old time Muslims, and activists such as Trust Graham, the director of Books and Entertainment at Nubian Heritage laughed off  the claims.

Recalling the limited brouhaha when the Perry book first came out, Graham said, "They’re back with that crap again? I never saw any, any inclination with Brother Malcolm that would suggest he was gay." "I am not convinced that Malcolm X was a homosexual," said Queens orthodox Muslim Abu Mahmoud. "In Islamic
Law a person is guilty of a crime when two or more witnesses have testified that they saw a crime. In the case of a sexual crime it takes four witnesses seeing the same act at the same time. One person seeing a crime is not enough. One person saying he heard a story does not constitute a witness." Solwazi Olusola, academic advisor at Liberty Partnerships Program at Medgar Evers College said, "Malcolm X has major historical significance for Black nationalists.

He was a firebrand Pan-Africanist, and was one of the most impactful figures in the 20th century and continues on to be. He was always fully 100 percent committed to Black people, and we understand that in America, they can do two things to try and destroy revolutionary freedom fighters: one is to paint him as a very vile and evil person, hoping that his own people will be afraid to be with him or second; they simply ignore him – taking the approach that if they say nothing, Black folk will ask nothing, and so they don’t have to explain nothing. If not for the resurgence of the interest in Malcolm, particularly after the 1992 Spike Lee movie, they would have continued to use their second strategy, his energy had laid dormant except for some committed nationalists....They are trying to destroy the whole manhood quality of Malcolm X, because he transformed himself so completely.

They don’t want Black people to be transformed." Tatchell, the London-residing 53-year-old Melbourne native stated, "After the death of his father, when Malcolm was six, he lacked male role models and was  dominated by strong women - in particular, his tyrannical mother. He feared women." Ferguson, the nationalist, told the Black Star News: "This is all baseless, and aside from setting the record straight on some level, it barely warrants a response, because there is a self-serving agenda here.â€? Digging for alleged sexual exploits of Black leaders is what undermining agents do, said Ferguson. Ferguson’s wife, Iyaluua, an MXCC and OAAU member said, "Malcolm did a lot of unsavory things before he joined the Nation of Islam; he was a thief, he took drugs, he went with white women. He did all kinds of things. But, we didn’t know him at that time. We know him after he joined the Nation. He married and he fathered six children…â€?

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