All Day, Martin Luther King Jr. -

FBI facetiously honors MLK assassination anniversary But we all can see right through that attempt to reshape history

All Day, Martin Luther King Jr. -

FBI facetiously honors MLK assassination anniversary But we all can see right through that attempt to reshape history

Excuse me, what?

On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. He was 39 years old. But just because he’s been gone longer than he was alive doesn’t mean that anyone’s forgotten just how harmful a role the FBI played in his life. And not in a positive way. So to see them casually tweeting about his legacy stings because it’s an agency looking to whitewash its past.

A refresher: J. Edgar Hoover himself launched a personal crusade against King, using his position as head of the bureau to follow and harass the civil rights leader and and create a narrative around his life that would make King want to end his cause. There are no small number of people who believe that the FBI effectively harassed King to death. Even for students and the most basic of amateur historians from Twitter to television, this is a known fact.

This was no small campaign. They tried every single thing they could. Sordid details from his personal life were made public in such a way as to discredit his overall operation. Theories about his links to communism were floated. Every official channel at the highest level of the FBI was used against the man at the forefront of the movement trying to make a ripple in society for the better.

You don’t publicly celebrate the anniversary of the death of a man whom your very agency tried to get to commit suicide and for which a civil lawsuit deemed you might actually be responsible. It ain’t all good. Also worth noting: This isn’t the first time they’ve pulled this nonsense. It happened earlier this year on his birthday, a national holiday.

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These tactics make what the New York Police Department was doing to #BlackLivesMatter activists in terms of infiltration look small-time in comparison. But in an era in which the White House is trying to find a way to get everyday visitors to the U.S. to turn over their personal information, something the president won’t do himself, it’s a clear indicator of the historical precedent in the intelligence community and how vicious it can be.

The FBI tried to ruin King’s life. They were watching when he was killed. After he delivered one of the most important speeches in the history of this nation, in an internal memo they labeled him as the “most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country.” Yet, people want to direct others toward him when it comes to lecturing black folks on how to properly act when protesting.

His legacy will be a long one. The memory of those who tried to end it will be longer.


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