The Impact of a Great Comrade: A Eulogy of Thanks for Mark Thiel

Khalfani Malik Khaldun

Summary: The recent death of Mark Thiel, a fighter for prisoner rights, racial justice, and an end to class society, calls us on to commemorate the work to which he dedicated his life. This is written by a New Afrikan political prisoner in Indiana whom we have supported for many years — Editors

On December 13, 1994, I was removed completely from General Population in the State of Indiana’s Department of Corrections, because I was placed under investigation following the fatal stabbing of a prison guard. The publicity that surrounded me being charged, indicted, and convicted for this murder, would generate support from every walk of life and many shades and stripes, til a man who once was engaged in the activism of the 60’s and 70’s, opposing the white racist terror in the South at the time, left Louisiana to reside in South Bend, Indiana.

Comrade Mark A. Thiel came in contact with me and my case after reading an interview I had given to a reporter in one of Mark’s local newspapers. Moved by the interview, Mark wrote a letter to me; this was (20) years ago. Mark became a vocal advocate on my behalf by exposing the prison corruption that, in his opinion, was behind the State of Indiana and their Indiana Department of Corruptions, manufacturing this murder case against me, Bro. Khalfani Malik Khaldun. Mark then requested to be put on my Visitor’s List. He was intent on using as many or all of his contacts to ensure that my case was effectively publicized anywhere and everywhere.

From 1995 through 2015, Comrade Mark Thiel sacrificed his time, money, and resources, traveling to every prison I have been housed at. Faithfully showing up so these prisoncrats could see and know that someone cared about me, while my own flesh and blood would be missing in action sometimes. He was always there to step up and act as my hands, feet, eyes and ears on the outside. This Comrade was like a Souljah ready to do battle with his back to mine against anything and anyone. His consistent commitment to my fight bore many fruits, and for that I will be forever grateful for his service.

Comrade Mark Thiel and his family became my family, and mine his. Our comradeship transitioned from friend, to comrade, to brother, and then to stepfather, because he earned it, together, along with other comrades, has enabled me to navigate through (20) years being held in solitary confinement. The death of my Queen mother, two brothers, all in 1977, the loss of my only son King Dion “Lil Khal” Toney on September 21, 2014, and my Bro. Romingo McQuay in early 2015, plus the passing of my sister Janet Mereed on December 24, 2015; all this has compounded my loneness and isolation.

Mark Thiel served as lead coordinator for my “Family and Friends Campaign to Free Khalfani Malik Khaldun,” doing what he could do to liberate me from prison. In 2013, he was diagnosed as being in Stage (4) Kidney Failure. He would ultimately go on dialysis, and it would be cool and he was functioning well until about (4) weeks ago, That’s when I called to check in on him to find out he had been rushed to the hospital with water in his lungs, where he stayed for 2 ½ weeks before being released to return home.

On March 8, 2016, he wrote me his final letter conveying the following:

“Dear Stepson Khalfani,

Well, yes this is the end. I am tired son; I will be stopping my dialysis and letting nature take its course. I want you to know I never stopped fighting for your freedom. Your strength and maintaining have been an inspiration to me for 20 years. I am proud you chose to call me your Stepfather.

God (Allah) or whoever is in charge of the Universe will account it to your credit. I don’t know if I can express this any better. I love you as family and so it will always be you and all your family, Janae, Penny, Kamira, and all the rest Roots and Branches. 

Somehow the world is a better place because you were in it. Keep on keeping on. Son, I am a bit tired. Love you always.”

On March 15, 2016, I was approved a special outside call to speak to Mark Thiel, we only spoke for maybe 10 minutes, he was coughing badly, I told him I understood his decision and prayed for his deliverance to Paradise, and we exchanged tear-filled goodbyes. That would be the last time I spoke to my Stepfather Mark.

Mark Thiel courageously disconnected his dialysis machine on March 23, 2016, and on March 25, he transitioned and entered into Paradise. This comrade never disappointed me nor did he ever lie to me about anything. He will never be forgotten, and will always be amongst the ranks of our Fallen Champions of the Revolution for Change. Rest in Paradise Good Faithful Comrade and Stepfather. This is the last visit/picture we took.

Picture1Playing it forward, A Luta Continua!

Bro. Khalfani Malik Khaldun,
(Leonard McQuay) # 874304, (Q-511),
W.V.C.F. P.O. Box 1111,
Carlisle, IN. 47838

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