A CNN special report on the FBI’s conspiracy against Martin Luther King, Jr. will air this Thursday, April 3rd, at 9pm. Initially the FBI was concerned with Kings possible associations with the Communist party, but eventually the investigation turned personal. Several official memos from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover have been uncovered, revealing his disgust for King. On a story about King receiving the St. Francis peace medal from the Catholic Church, Hoover wrote, “this is disgusting.” Other memos include Hoover referring to King as a “degenerate” and more deserving of the “top alley cat prize,” than the Nobel Peace Prize. Hoover’s obsession with King increased after the March on Washington in 1963, where King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. After the speech, an FBI memo referred to King as the “most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country.” Shortly thereafter, the Bureau initiated “a complete analysis of the avenues of approach aimed at neutralizing King as an effective Negro leader.”
While the US government was publicly endorsing King and his message, they were privately attempting to sabotage his character and life’s work. Robert Kennedy approved Hoover’s proposal to tap King’s phones, bug his offices and break into his home. While these unconstitutional intrusions on Kings personal and professional life did not reveal any connection to the Communist party, they did reveal King’s infidelity – a discovery which Hoover attempted to exploit by blackmailing King. Drafts of a letter referring to Martin Luther King, Jr. as “Satan” and demanding that he commit suicide to prevent exposure of his adulterous encounters were found among his FBI files. The FBI’s unrelenting harassment continued until King’s assassination in 1968, resolving the United States “most dangerous” Negro conflict.
Today, Martin Luther King, Jr. is an icon of American progress and his “I Have a Dream” speech is one of most quoted and treasured relics in world history. The same speech that put him on the FBI’s most wanted list is now used in classrooms exemplifying United States’ values of freedom and advancement. Is this not a distortion of history? These declassified FBI files reveal that our Federal Bureau of Investigation was spending tax dollars attempting “neutralize” the messages expressed in King’s speech. His harassment and defamation were sanctioned at our highest levels of government. How can we say (with a strait face) that King was representing American values when our government was working 24/7 to silence him? This is but one of the questions that comes to my mind when I read over the fascinating declassified FBI files on King. Don’t forget to check out CNN this Thursday to learn more. Special Thanks to Ms. Britney McCoy for putting us on to the program.