Text: H.Res.863 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (02/25/2020)

[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H. Res. 863 Introduced in House (IH)]


  2d Session
H. RES. 863

Reaffirming the importance of ensuring justice is provided to Malcolm X 
and the need to reopen the investigation into the assassination of this 
               profound and fearless civil rights leader.



                           February 25, 2020

Mr. Espaillat (for himself, Ms. Lee of California, Ms. Omar, Mr. Carson 
 of Indiana, and Ms. Tlaib) submitted the following resolution; which 
             was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary



Reaffirming the importance of ensuring justice is provided to Malcolm X 
and the need to reopen the investigation into the assassination of this 
               profound and fearless civil rights leader.

Whereas Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little in 1925 and was a leading steward and 
        voice of inspiration for the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 
Whereas Malcolm grew up in poor urban neighborhoods, spent the remainder of his 
        childhood in a series of foster homes after the death of his father and 
        institutionalization of his mother, and despite being an extremely 
        intelligent and ardent student at the top of his class, dropped out of 
        school after being told by his teacher that he could never fulfill his 
        dream of becoming a lawyer because he was Black;
Whereas after dropping out of school, Malcolm eventually turned to drugs and 
        crime and spent years in prison, but fortunately used that time as a 
        period of self-enlightenment and reform;
Whereas by the time Malcolm was released from prison, he was a changed man and a 
        devout follower of Islam, who changed his surname to ``X'' in order to 
        signify his family's unknown African tribal name that had been lost when 
        they were given their slave master's name ``Little'', before he 
        eventually adopted the Muslim name El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz;
Whereas Malcolm X dedicated his newfound freedom to advocating for African 
        Americans and to sharing his faith, quickly becoming a national 
        spokesman for the Nation of Islam, and was later appointed as a 
Whereas Malcolm X was a skillful orator whose beliefs as a Black Muslim made him 
        a controversial figure who was more radical than the mainstream civil 
        rights movement, but his ability to continue learning and evolving led 
        to changing his views on Black nationalism and becoming a proponent of 
        international Black consciousness and integration;
Whereas despite constantly receiving death threats, being a target for 
        assassination, and barely escaping his home that was firebombed while 
        his wife and children were inside, Malcolm X continued to fearlessly 
        dismiss the ongoing dangers to his family and himself;
Whereas, on February 21, 1965, Malcolm X was assassinated while delivering a 
        speech at the Audubon Ballroom, which was located in the Washington 
        Heights neighborhood in Manhattan;
Whereas Talmadge Hayer, also known as Thomas Hagan, is one of three individuals 
        charged with the assassination of Malcolm X, along with Norman ``3X'' 
        Butler and Thomas ``15X'' Johnson;
Whereas even at the time of their initial arrest, there was widespread belief 
        that Mr. Johnson and Mr. Butler were not involved with Malcolm X's 
        assassination and had been erroneously convicted at trial;
Whereas such sentiments deepened following Mr. Hayer's sworn testimony, which 
        was conspicuously disregarded, during trial in which he stated that he 
        and four other assailants carried out the assassination of which Butler 
        and Johnson were not involved, an assertion that Hayer subsequently 
        reaffirmed in two affidavits;
Whereas because Hayer's testimony went unheeded, criminal justice activists such 
        as the Innocence Project have determined that the initial trial 
        proceedings presumably led to the unjust detention of two young men for 
        two decades; and
Whereas the recently released Netflix docuseries titled ``Who Killed Malcolm 
        X?'' serves as a serendipitous reminder of the injustices surrounding 
        this case by demonstrating the gaps in prosecutorial and investigative 
        processes and the attestations against the four coconspirators named in 
        Hayer's affidavit, further compelling the need for the Department of 
        Justice to assist the New York County District Attorney's Office, which 
        has publicly committed to revisiting the case: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
            (1) recognizes that Malcolm X will forever be remembered 
        for preaching an unvarnished assessment of the injustices and 
        punitive treatment that African Americans have endured at the 
        hand of systemic racism for centuries and effortlessly fusing 
        together elements of both moral clarity and oratorical 
        articulation in his advocacy for racial equality, mobilizing 
        tens of thousands of activists and inspiring a broader cultural 
            (2) recognizes that Malcolm X was a leading figure in a 
        movement that fundamentally changed our country, who historians 
        and scholars consider to be one of the most influential leaders 
        of the civil rights movement and who was a true voice of the 
        community's pent-up frustrations and anger, inspiring and 
        motivating the African-American community to be courageous and 
        challenge White authority, no longer allowing themselves to be 
        defined in inferior or derogatory terms;
            (3) expresses that it is in the best interest of Malcolm 
        X's family, Mr. Butler, the Johnson family, historians, the 
        broader African-American community, and the entire country to 
        reinvestigate the assassination of Malcolm X; and
            (4) urges that the Department of Justice and local law 
        enforcement dedicate the resources this matter demands in the 
        pursuit of clarity, justice, and resolution.

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