Why I Do Not Celebrate “MLK Day”

“If the construction of the future and its completion for all time is not our task, all the more certain is what we must accomplish in the present. I mean, the ruthless criticism of everything that exists; the criticism being ruthless in the sense that it fears neither its own results nor conflict with the powers that be.” Karl Marx, letter to Arnold Ruge, 1843
From “From the Secret Files of J. Edgar Hoover: Edited With Commentary by Athan Theoharis”, Ivan R Dee Publishers, Chicago, 1991 pp. 102-107

“Anonymous letter (drafted by FBI) to Martin Luther King, Jr., undated but [was sent] November 21, 1964

In view of your low grade, I will not dignify your name with either a Mr. or a Reverend or a Dr. And, your last name calls to mind only the type of King such as King Henry the VIII.

King, look into your heart. You know you are a complete fraud and a great liability to all of us Negroes. White people in this country have enough frauds of their own but I am sure that they don’t have one at this time that is anywhere near your equal. You are no clergyman and you know it. I repeat you are a colossal fraud and an evil, vicious one at that. You could not believe in God and act as you do. Clearly you don’t believe in any personal moral principles.

King, like all frauds your end is approaching. You could have been our greatest leader. You, even at an early age have turned out not to be a leader but a dissolute, abnormal moral imbecile. We will not have to depend on our older leaders like [NAACP executive secretary Roy] Wilkins a man of character and thank God we have others like him. But you are done. Your ‘honorary’ degrees, your Nobel Prize (what a grim farce) and other awards will not save you King, I repeat you are done.

No person can overcome facts, not even a fraud like yourself. Lend your ear to the enclosure. [Transcripts of intercepted conversations of King spliced to convey his involvements in illicit sexual activities] exposed on the record for all time. I repeat, No person can argue successfully against facts. You are finished. You will find on the record for all time [line withheld reference to illicit sexual activities] to your hideous abnormalities. [Phrase withheld] to pretend to be ministers of the Gospel. Satan could do no more. What incredible evilness. It is all there on the record, [five lines withheld, again referring to sexual activities]. King, you are done.

The American public, the church organizations that you have been helping—Protestant, Catholic and Jews will know you for what you are—an evil abnormal beast. So will others who have backed you. You are done.

King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. You have just 34 days in which to do (this exact number has been selected for a specific reason, it has definite practical significance) [King was to be formally awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in thirty-four days]. You are done. There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation.”

Memo, FBI Assistant Director Cartha DeLoach to FBI Assistant Director John Mohr, November 27, 1964, FBI 62-78270-16

Roy Wilkins, Executive Secretary, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People…stated that he had to fly down to Washington to see me immediately…

Wilkins arrived at 4:00 pm. He stated to me he was greatly concerned. He made reference to the Director’s Loyola speech last Tuesday, 11/24/64, in which the Director made reference to ‘sexual degenerates’ in pressure groups. Wilkins stated he personally knew about whom the Director was talking, although many other Negroes did not know. [Three and a half paragraphs withheld pertaining to the FBI’s monitoring of King’s political and personal activities.]

Wilkins stressed the fact that he was not seeing me as an emissary. He stated he had some influence on King but not much. He added that there were others within his movement who had greater influence and that perhaps together some pressure could be brought on King. Wilkins then added that he hoped that the FBI would not expose King before something could be done.

I interrupted Wilkins at this point. I told him that the Director, of course, did not have in mind the destruction of the civil rights movement as a whole. I told him the Director sympathized with the civil rights movement…[but] that we deeply and bitterly resented the lies and falsehoods told by King and that if King wanted war we certainly would give it to him. Wilkins shook his head and stated there was no doubt in his mind as to which side would lose if the FBI really came out with all its ammunition against King. I told him the ammunition was plentiful and that while we were not responsible for the many rumors being initiated against King, we had heard of these rumors and were certainly in a position to substantiate them.

I told Wilkins that…he should know a few positive facts of life…[that] certain highly-placed informants of ours had tipped us off to absolutely reliable information that King had organized a bitter crusade against the Director and the FBI. I told Wilkins that these long-standing and well placed informants had advised us that King had contacted people in various parts of the United States to get them to send telegrams to the President, the Attorney General, and the FBI asking for Mr. Hoover’s retirement or resignation. I told Wilkins that King had also encouraged telegrams to be sent advising the FBI or laxness in the investigation of civil rights matters. I asked Wilkins how in the hell could he expect the FBI to believe his offers of friendship as a request for peace when King was at this time attempting to ruin us…

Wilkins stated [King] was wrong in his criticism of the Director. He added that he was attempting to accomplish, in a mild manner, a division between the battle of the Director and King and any phases of the battle which would reflect upon the civil rights movement…

Wilkins…will attempt to see King, along with other Negro leaders, and tell King he can’t possibly win any battle with FBI…He stated he may not have any success in this regard, however he is convinced that FBI can easily ruin King overnight. [Two lines withheld referring to the FBI’s derogatory personal information about King’s sexual activities.] I told Wilkins this, of course, was up to him; however, I wanted to reiterate once again most strongly, that if King wanted war we were prepared to give it to him and let the chips fall where they may. Wilkins stated this would be more disastereous[sic], particularly to the Negro movement and that he hoped this would never come about. I told him that the monkey was on his back and that of the other Negro leaders. He stated he realized this…

[Hoover’s tough stand stemmed from a concern for his job. He was to reach the mandatory retirement age of seventy on January 1, 1965, and his continued tenure as director was assured only because of an executive order issued by President Johnson in May 1964. King’s criticisms had precipitated demands that Johnson rescind his order and effect Hoover’s retirement the next month].

Memo, FBI Assistant Director Cartha DeLoach to FBI Assistant Director John Mohr, December 2, 1964, FBI 100-1066770-634

At Reverend King’s request, the Director met with King; Reverend Ralph Abernathy, Secretary of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC); Dr. Andrew Young, Executive Assistant to King; and Walter Fauntroy, SCLC representative here in Washington, at 3:35 p.m., 12-1-64, in the Director’s Office…

Reverend King spoke up. He stated that it was vitally necessary to keep a working relationship with the FBI. He wanted to clear up any misunderstanding which might have occurred. He stated that some Negroes had told him that the FBI had been ineffective, however, he was inclined to discount such criticism. Reverend King asked that the Director please understand that any criticism of the Director and the FBI which had been attributed to King was either a misquote or an outright misrepresentation…He stated that the only time he had ever criticized the FBI was because of instances in which Special Agents who had been given complaints in civil rights cases regarding brutality by police officers were seen the following day being friendly with those same police officers…

Reverend King said he personally appreciated the great work of the FBI which had been done in so many instances. He stated this was particularly true in Mississippi…Reverend King denied that he had ever stated that Negroes should not report information to the FBI. He said he had actually encouraged such reporting…[and] would continue to strongly urge all of his people to work closely with the FBI.

Reverend King stated he has never made any personal attack upon Mr. Hoover. He stated he mad merely tried to articulate the feelings of the Negroes in the South in order to keep a tradition of nonviolence rather than violence…

Reverend King stated he has been, and still is, very concerned regarding the matter of communism in the civil rights movement. He stated he knew that the Director was very concerned because he bore the responsibility of security in the Nation…He claims that when he learns the identity of a communist in his midst he immediately deals with the problem by removing this man…

The Director interrupted King to state that the FBI had learned from long experience that the communists move in when trouble starts. The Director explained that communists thrive on chaos. The Director mentioned that his riot report [of 1964] to the President reflected the opportunistic efforts of communists. He then stated that communists have no interest in the future of the Negro race and that King, of all people, should be aware of this fact. The Director spoke briefly about communist attempts to infiltrate the labor movement.

The Director told King and his associates that the FBI shares the same despair which the Negroes suffer when Negro leaders refused to accept the deep responsibility they have in the civil rights movement. He stated when Negroes are encouraged not to cooperate with the FBI this sometimes frustrates or delays successful solution of investigations…

The Director told Reverend King that the FBI had put ‘the fear of God’ in the Ku Klux Klan (KKK)…The Director then spoke of the terror in Mississippi backwoods and of the fact that sheriffs and deputy sheriffs participate in crimes of violence…The Director added that the KKK constantly damns the FBI and that we have currently been classified as the ‘Federal Bureau of Integration’ in Mississippi.

The Director told King that many cases, which have been brought about as a result of FBI investigation, must be tried in State Court. He spoke of the difficulty of obtaining a verdict of guilty in instances in which white juries were impaneled in cases involving white men.

The Director made reference to Reverend King’s allegation that the FBI deals or associates with law enforcement officers who have been involved in civil rights violations. He stated emphatically that ‘I’ll be damned if the FBI has associated with any of these people nor will be associated with them in the future’…He added that he made it a point, several years ago, to transfer northern Special Agents to southern offices. He stressed that, for the most part, northern-born Agents are assigned civil rights cases in the South. The Director added that he feels that our Special Agents, regardless of where they were born, will investigate a case impartially and thoroughly…

The Director explained that there is a great misunderstanding today among the general public and particularly the Negro race as to what the FBI can and cannot do in the way of investigations. The Director emphasized that the FBI cannot recommend prosecution…[but] merely investigates and then the Department of Justice determines whether prosecution be entertained or not…

The Director told Reverend King and his associates that FBI representatives have held several thousand law enforcement conferences in which southern police officers have been educated as to civil rights legislation…He added that this educational campaign will be continued and that it will eventually take hold…

The Director told King he desired to give him some advice. He stated that one of the greatest things the Negro leaders could accomplish would be to encourage voting registration among their people. Another thing would be to educate their people in the skills so that they could compete in the open market. The Director mentioned several professions in which Negroes could easily learn skills. The Director also told King he wanted him to know that the registrars in the South were now more careful in their actions. He stated that there were less attempts now to prevent Negroes from registering inasmuch as the FBI is watching such actions very carefully. The Director told Reverend King that the FBI was making progress in violations regarding discrimination in eating places…The Director stated he personally was in favor of equality in eating places and in schools. He stated emphatically, however, he was not in favor of taking Negro children 10 or 12 miles across town simply because their parents wanted them to go to a school other than those in their specific neighborhood…

The Director told King that he wanted to make it clear that the question is often raised as to whether the FBI will protect civil rights workers or Negroes. He stated that…the FBI does not have the authority nor the jurisdiction to protect anyone. He stated that when the Department of Justice desires that Negroes be protected this is the responsibility of U.S. Marshalls…

About jimcraven10

About jimcraven10 1. Citizenship: Blackfoot, U.S. and Canadian; 2. Position: tenured Professor of Economics and Geography; Dept. Head, Economics; 3. Teaching, Consulting and Research experience: approx 40 + years all levels high school to post-doctoral U.S. Canada, Europe, China, India, Puerto Rico and parts of E. Asia; 4. Work past and present: U.S. Army 1963-66; Member: Veterans for Peace; former VVAW; Veterans for 9-11 Truth; Scholars for 9-11 Truth; Pilots for 9-11 Truth; World Association for Political Economy; Editorial Board International Critical Thought; 4.. U.S. Commercial-Instrument Pilot ; FAA Licensed Ground Instructor (Basic, Advanced, Instrument and Simulators); 5. Research Areas and Publications: International law (on genocide, rights of nations, war and war crimes); Imperialism (nature, history, logic, trajectories, mechanisms and effects); Economic Geography (time and space modeling in political economy; globalization--logic and effects; Political Economy and Geography of Imperialism); Indigenous versus non-Indigenous Law; Political Economy of Socialism and Socialist Construction; 6. Member, Editorial Board, "International Critical Thought" published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; International Advisory Board and Columnist 4th Media Group, http://www.4thMedia.org (Beijing); 7. Other Websites publications at http://www.aradicalblackfoot.blogspot.com; wwwthesixthestate.blogspot.com;https://jimcraven10.wordpress.com; 8.Biography available in: Marquis Who’s Who: in the World (16th-18th; 20th; 22nd -31st (2014) Editions); Who’s Who in America (51st-61st;63rd-68th(2014) Editions); Who’s Who in the West (24th- 27th Editions);Who’s Who in Science and Engineering (3rd to 6th, 8th, 11th (2011-2012) Editions); Who’s Who in Finance and Industry (29th to 37th Editions); Who’s Who in American Education (6th Edition). ------------------- There are times when you have to obey a call which is the highest of all, i.e. the voice of conscience even though such obedience may cost many a bitter tear, and even more, separation from friends, from family, from the state, to which you may belong, from all that you have held as dear as life itself. For this obedience is the law of our being. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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One Response to Why I Do Not Celebrate “MLK Day”

  1. Pingback: M.L.K. AND THE F.B.I. |

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