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Saturday, February 6, 2021
Malcolm X, Pio Gama Pinto, Dick Gregory, what connects them?
America's Malcolm X, Kenya's Pio Gama Pinto and America's Dick Gregory. What connects the three?
thanks to Michael Mundia Kamau
Who are the three gentlemen in the accompanying collage and how are they connected?
Extreme left is Richard Claxton Gregory (12th October 1932 to 19th August 2017), an American, who simply went by the names Dick Gregory, and who was a Civil Rights Activist.
Centre is Pio Gama Pinto (31st March 1927 to 25th February 1965), a Kenyan, who wore three different hats in his lifetime i.e. freedom fighter, journalist and politician.
Extreme right is Malcolm X, once known as Malcolm Little
(19th May 1925 to 21st February 1965), an American, who also wore different hats in his lifetime, including as a petty thug, for which he was imprisoned, underwent rehabilitation, converted to Islam while in prison, and upon his release from prison, joined America's Nation of Islam, rose to become the Nation of Islam's chief communications officer/spokesperson, fell out with the Nation of Islam, and then later formed his own organisation i.e. the Organisation of Afro-American Unity (OAAU).
During the Civil Rights Movement in America, the two chief organisations that fronted and rallied the African-American cause, were Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's. Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the mentioned Nation of Islam (NOI), led by Elijah Muhammad, the Honourable Elijah Muhammad as was his title.
Malcolm X and Pio Gama Pinto in accompanying collage, were assassinated four days apart in February 1965, Malcolm X on 21st February 1965 in New York City, USA, and Pio Gama Pinto on 25th February 1965 in Nairobi, Kenya.
In a public address he gave in 1992, Dick Gregory, in accompanying collage, held the American Government responsible for the assassinations of both Malcolm X and Pio Gama Pinto, explained as below by Dick Gregory:
"Malcolm X was killed because of a Kenyan Asian called Pio Gama Pinto. It was Pio Gama Pinto that changed Malcolm X's thinking from Black Nationalism to Pan Africanism when Malcolm X spent seven weeks in Africa. It was also Pio Gama Pinto that spoke to Malcolm X about making a formal submission on racism to the United Nations."
In Dick Gregory's view and opinion therefore, Malcolm and Pinto were assassinated by the American Government because the partnership formed between both men, threatened the system and status quo in Kenya, threatened the system and status quo in Africa, and threatened the system and status quo in America and beyond.
Dick Gregory however appears to have been more offtrack in his view and opinion of both assassinations, than he was on track, and for instance, holding the American Government responsible for both assassinations is far fetched. How and why?
In Pinto's case, it is acknowledged that he was one of the key brains, strategists and fund raisers of Kenya's Socialist and Communist movements. He was not the only one though, two others being Oginga Odinga, Independent Kenya's first Vice President, and Richard Ramogi Achieng Oneko, a one time Kenyan Minister for Information and Broadcasting, and both Oginga Odinga and Richard Ramogi Achieng Oneko, were not assassinated, both men lived to old age, with Oginga Odinga passing away in 1994 and Richard Ramogi Achieng Oneko passing away in 2007.
So if the American Government was bent on "wiping out" all Socialists and Communists in Kenya, then Oginga Odinga and Richard Ramogi Achieng Oneko too would have been assassinated.
The legend goes that Pinto once had a heated exchange with Kenya's first President Jomo Kenyatta on the grounds of Parliament, in which Pinto called President Jomo Kenyatta a "bastard."
Asked why he had called President Jomo Kenyatta a "bastard," Pinto responded by saying it was President Jomo Kenyatta who first called him i.e. Pinto, a "bastard" and all that Pinto did was to "return the favour," by equally calling President Jomo Kenyatta a "bastard."
It is unlikely though that "bastards," be they one or two, were the cause of Pinto's assassination on 25th February 1965.
In February 2015 though, 50 years after Pinto's assassination, Kenya's "Sunday Nation" newspaper did a feature in two parts on Pinto's life and legacy. The feature was by Cyprian Fernandes, a one time editor with Nation Newspapers Limited, now based in Australia.
The two part feature had startling revelations.
For example, it mentioned how Joseph Murumbi, then a Minister of State, and Fritz De Souza, then the Deputy Speaker of the Kenya Parliament, were amongst the first people to arrive at Pinto's residence in Westlands on the morning that Pinto was assassinated. Pinto was shot dead while in his car.
Rather than wait for police officers and detectives to arrive, Joseph Murumbi and Fritz De Souza, arranged for Pinto's body to be moved from his car to the sofa set in the sitting room of Pinto's house. Pinto's wife Emma also rendered assistance.
This should not have happened, this was tampering with a crime scene, which is a crime in itself i.e. tampering with a crime scene. Joseph Murumbi, Fritz De Souza and Emma Pinto were never charged with tampering with a crime scene or being accessories to a crime, because tampering with a crime scene is usually the deed of accessories to a crime.
Later that evening, according to the same "Sunday Nation" feature of February 2015, two close associates of Pinto burnt many of his personal items at his Westlands residence, including correspondence between Pinto and his Socialist and Communist associates then in countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia, the rationale being that Pinto's associates did not want Pinto's links with Socialism and Communism falling into the hands of the Kenya Government. More tampering of and with a crime scene that has never been brought to book.
Kisilu Mutua was charged with Pinto's murder, tried, found guilty and imprisoned, and released 36 years later in 2001 by presidential decree, presidential clemency. Kisilu Mutua has since taken the Kenya Government to court over wrongful imprisonment and torture.
Dick Gregory should have factored in the above before rushing to blame the US Government for Pinto's assassination. From the "Sunday Nation" feature of February 2015, Pinto's murder was clearly more of a Kenyan affair than it was an American affair.
On the part of Malcolm X, the beginning of his fall began after the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy on 22nd November 1963, with Malcolm X making a statement that Kennedy's death was a case of the "chickens coming home to roost" i.e. that Kennedy's death was justified, that Kennedy's death was "poetic justice."
This angered and infuriated many Americans, including White-Americans and African-Americans, many of whom regarded Malcolm's statement as out of line and maladjusted, and many of whom had benefited from programs and initiatives of the short Kennedy presidency in America. Malcolm X made more enemies than he did friends amongst the general American public, with his statement glorifying President Kennedy's murder.
Malcolm was the spokesperson for the Nation of Islam at the time, and it did not help either that the leader of the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad, had specified that no unsavoury or unpleasant remarks be made by anyone in the Nation of Islam regarding President Kennedy's assassination.
Malcolm's remarks glorifying President Kennedy's death therefore led to his suspension as the the spokesperson of the Nation of Islam. The Nation of Islam further distanced itself from Malcolm's statement, saying that Malcolm spoke on his own behalf and not on behalf of the Nation of Islam.
It got progressively uglier after this.
The Nation of Islam recalled a loan/mortgage they had underwritten for Malcolm X, a loan/mortgage Malcolm had used to purchase his house in the Queens neighbourhood of New York City.
Malcolm X, unwisely and tactlessly, responded by publicly revealing details of Elijah Muhammad's private life as below:
"Elijah Muhammad is the father of eight children from six different teenage girls who were his personal private secretaries."
Soon thereafter, Malcolm X, in public, referred to Elijah Muhammad as "an insane 70 year old man who surrounded himself with 16 and 17 year old girls." At this point Malcolm had broken off from the Nation of Islam and formed the said Organisation of Afro-American Unity (OAAU).
Malcolm X went too far in the juvenile manner that he confronted Elijah Muhammad, crossed too many red lines. Elijah Muhammad was a powerful man, surrounded by other powerful men in the Nation of Islam, and with powerful contacts too in the US Government.
Malcolm's house in Queens was firebombed, and Malcolm was soon thereafter shot dead, as mentioned, on 21st February 1965.
Louis Farrakhan (once known as Louis X), succeeded Malcolm X as spokesperson of the Nation of the Islam, and also succeeded Elijah Muhammad as the leader of the Nation of Islam. Farrakhan is still the leader of the Nation of Islam.
At a public gathering in 1993, an emotional and fired up Farrakhan, in reference to Malcolm X, said as follows at the top of his voice:
"He was a traitor that we taught a lesson, and if need be we shall teach other traitors lessons too."
Louis Farrakhan has since then unsuccessfully tried to distance himself from his 1993 remarks made in public, has since unsuccessfully pleaded being "misquoted," but he hasn't been questioned, arrested or charged in connection with Malcolm X's murder of 21st February 1965. Elijah Muhammad, as mentioned, was a powerful man.
Dick Gregory therefore made unresearched remarks directly linking the US Government to the murders of both Pio Gama Pinto and Malcolm X.
Listen to Dick Gregory make his claim in the five minute video clip posted at YouTube at the following link i.e. https://youtu.be/5OOEnS4ADOg