The FBI paid tribute to Martin Luther King Jr and people pointed out the agency's dark history

Narjas Zatat@Narjas_Zatat
Tuesday 22 January 2019 09:30
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Picture:(Keystone/Getty Images and Twitter)

Martin Luther King Jr Day is an opportunity for people all over the world to celebrate a man who played an integral part in bringing legal rights to African Americans.

However, when the FBI posted a tribute, it went down like a lead balloon for, well, obvious reasons.

King was the arbiter for nonviolent activism, and he - along with civil rights activists with slightly different approaches, including Malcom X, Dorothy Height and many others - pushed for the rights of black people in America in the wake of discriminatory Jim Crow laws.

Through his tireless activism, he was able to successfully protest racial discrimination in federal and state law, and his contributions led him to be immortalised after his assassination in 1968 with a national holiday.

Martin Luther King Jr Day was created to remember the man behind the famous 'I Have a Dream' speech.

Events were organised across America, and people and organisations took to social media to remember him.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) posted a message about the King:

Today, the FBI honors the Rev. Martin L. King Jr. and his incredible career fighting for civil rights. #MLKDAY.

Accompanying the tweet is a well-known quote from the reverend about justice.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.

There’s just one problem with this tribute.

Throughout the 1960s, the FBI didn’t treat Martin Luther King well. In fact, the agency engaged in a systematic and targeted harassment campaign against the activist.

FBI director J Edgar Hoover was particularly hostile towards him. Convinced he had communist ties (without any proof), King was the subject of intense surveillance operations, the FBI taped his extramarital sexual liaisons, and reportedly sent him a letter King interpreted as a suggestion to kill himself.

People took to Twitter to point out the FBI's dark history with King.

Some people pointed out that the staff are 'different' now.

It was a hot mess, but it wasn't limited to just one government organisation: a few government agencies developed selective memory.

Like the CIA...

...while the National Rifle Association (NRA) used him to try and push their pro-gun agenda.

King did apply for a concealed carry permit, but after it was denied he later wrote he was "much more afraid in Montgomery when I had a gun in my house".

Some alternative facts there, NRA. Right?

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