*More information has surfaced regarding the tragic death of Malcolm Shabazz, grandson of civil rights activist and one of American history’s most influential public figures, Malcolm X. The 28-year old victim was pronounced dead after suffering blunt force trauma injuries during a bar fight in Mexico City on Thursday (05-09-13).
Labor activist Miguel Suare, who traveled south of the border with Shabazz, tells The Associated Press that his friend was beaten up at a bar near Plaza Garibaldi, a downtown square that is home to Mexico City’s mariachis.
Suarez said Shabazz had agreed to support him and his movement advocating for more rights for construction workers in Mexico. He crossed the border from San Diego to Tijuana with Suarez’s mother and then the pair took a bus all the way to Mexico City. According to Suarez he and Shabazz were lured into danger by a young woman who made conversation with the American in English.
“We were dancing with the girls and drinking,” said Suarez. “Then the owner of the bar wanted them to pay a $1,200 bar tab, alleging that they should pay for music, drinks and the girls’ companionship. We pretty much got hassled. A short dude came with a gun.”
Suarez recalls being taken into a separate room away from the ensuing confrontation at the bar. Shabazz was ordered not to leave. After hearing a violent commotion in the hall, Suarez escaped from the room and the bar altogether as he saw half-naked girls running away, picking up their skirts from the dance floor.
Minutes later, Suarez returned to look for Shabazz and found him strewn outside the bar, severely injured.
“He was in shock. His face was messed up,” said Suarez, who was recently deported from the United States. “He was alive. I grabbed him, and I called the cops.”
Suarez says that he rushed Malcolm to the hospital but his friend died hours later of severe physical trauma.
Malcolm’s death is the disturbing conclusion to string of crime and violence throughout his life. Much like his grandfather, Shabazz spent his youth in and out of trouble. At 12, he set a fire in his grandmother’s apartment, a blaze that resulted in the death of Malcolm X’s widow, Betty Shabazz. After four years in juvenile detention, Shabazz was later sent back to prison on attempted robbery and assault charges. He later expressed regret for his actions, telling The New York Times in 2003 that he would sit on his jail cot and ask for a sign of forgiveness from his dead grandmother.
“I just wanted her to know I was sorry and I wanted to know she accepted my apology, that I didn’t mean it,” he said. “But I would get no response, and I really wanted that response.”
More recently, Malcolm had taken on public speaking engagements and traveled, describing himself as a human rights activist. On his Facebook profile, he said he was attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
Ruth Clark, Shabazz’s godmother, said that her heart was heavy, but that she believes he is now “among angels.”
“Malcolm is part of a welcoming kingdom, sharing his bright smile, intelligence, and wisdom.”
Shabazz was born on Oct. 8, 1984 to Qubilah Shabazz, one of six daughters of Malcolm X and his wife Betty Shabazz.
He proudly embraced the legacy of his grandfather, one of the most polarizing orators in history.
On his Twitter page, Shabazz posted a picture of himself reenacting the famous photograph of his grandfather, peering out at a window with a rifle in one hand.
“Grandson, name-sake and first male heir of the greatest revolutionary leader of the 20th century,” he wrote.