Yesterday, April 22, 2011. marked the one year anniversary of the world first learning of the true identity of the murderer of Malcolm X, a man whose name has now gone down in infamy, that of William Bradley (aka Al-Mustafa Shabazz) of Newark, New Jersey. This is very significant because the statute of limitations on libel in New Jersey is one year, which expired yesterday, making it impossible for Bradley to ever sue me for exposing him to the world. He can never legally say I lied about him or that he is not who I said he is. His dastardly act is now part of the public record and infamy is stamped upon him wherever he goes.
Truth be told, Bradley had no grounds to sue anyone anyway because his name has been part of the public record for decades. If he was going to sue anyone for libel, he would have had to have done it when his name first appeared in the scholarly literature, which of course he never did. That is why despite all the huffing and puffing from his wife about “not taking this sitting done”; that is precisely what they are doing, sitting down and hoping this goes away. But that’s impossible now because Bradley’s camouflage has been completely blown off, and his every waking hour is lived with the knowledge that we all know who he is. Bradley is a pariah in decent society and an offense in the African-American community. If it is true that he’s repented of this fiendish act in accordance with the Islamic faith (as some have tried to argue), then let him seek the forgiveness of Malcolm’s family, which has experienced a long trail of misery as the result of his demise. Let Bradley come out from behind his wife and own up to what he has done by turning himself in. Of course no one expects this will happen.
And finally, let me say it has been quite a struggle this past year getting the mainstream media to pick up on the story. They were afraid of being sued or just not interested. But with the passing of Dr. Marable they understood that history was being made and went into a frenzy to be a part of it. This then is the tremendous legacy of Manning Marable, that by being a Columbia professor he elevated the story in a way that I simply could not. I recognized that fact early on and so disclosed to him Bradley’s identity without reservation or regret. It is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. Dr. Marable and myself understood the huge historical significance of this explosive material and weren’t about to let jealousy or envy get in the way of sharing it with our people. I only wish some of the other scholars out there, the haters, felt the same way.