Salacious FBI information again attacks character of MLK
BARBARA ANN REYNOLDS | 7/3/2019, 10:42 a.m.
Although she and other aides dismissed the tape, she could not dismiss the poorly typed letter in the package, suggesting the information to be released to the press was so damaging King should commit suicide. It read: “King we’ve found you out... You are done for there is only one way out.. You have 34 days before you are exposed and publicly defamed.”
What should be made clear is the letter was sent 34 days before Martin was to receive the Nobel Peace Prize but was not opened until the couple returned from the Nobel ceremonies in Norway. Mrs. King said that Hoover hated Dr. King and was outraged that King was receiving the honor he felt he deserved. “Our source told us Hoover had ordered the doctored tape to be sent to me in the hopes I would divorce Martin, which would bring him down. Despite all the rumors, Martin and I did not take the bait.”
Believing the FBI is a friend of Black people would require amnesia as the agency has historically worked to nullify and destroy Black leaders, author Anthony Summers says in his Hoover biography entitled “Official and Confidential.”
The long list includes orchestrating the jailing and deportation of the fiery Jamaican leader Marcus Garvey, bugging and blackballing the great singer/activist Paul Robeson, the ruthless assault on the Black Panthers and the well-documented COINTELPRO, the FBI program waged in the 1960s to prevent the rise of a Black messiah, generally thought to be Dr. King.
Over the years, Mrs. King has defended her husband’s reputation attesting he was faithful to his marriage. Others, however, such as Carson, a historian, do not put King in a category of perfection. “There are no perfect men, but it is still wrong to use undocumented, tainted evidence to smear a man when history shows that many men with documented sordid private lives, still remain heroes.”
While the scandal is brewing, the words of Mrs. King are worth remembering: They may kill the dreamer, but Dr. King’s dream of diversity and justice will outlive his enemies.
Dr. Barbara Ann Reynolds, a former editorial writer and columnist for USA Today, has written for numerous publications, such as The Washington Post, ESSENCE magazine, PLAYBOY magazine, and the Trice Edney News Wire. She is an author of seven books. The latest is “Coretta Scott King, My Life, My Love, My Legacy.”