Trending Topics

FBI Seems to Forget Foul History with MLK, Tweets Message Marking His Legacy After Assassination

Martin Luther King’s fatal shooter, James Earl Ray, confessed to his murder but later recanted. (Wikimedia Commons)

The FBI made Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life hell, but the agency conveniently forgot about that when it tweeted a tribute commemorating the civil rights icon’ assassination. The public, however, swiftly reminded it.

The FBI tweeted a quote from King that he uttered during his final sermon, “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,” at the Washington National Cathedral on March 31, 1968. It was one of King’s last speeches before he was fatally shot four days later. 

The tweet marked Tuesday, April 4, as a day the “FBI honors the life, work and commitment of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to justice.”

What the FBI failed to acknowledge was its widespread surveillance of King during his lifetime, including wiretapping his hotel rooms and sending a letter encouraging the reverend to commit suicide, as previously reported.

“There is only one thing left for you to do,” the letter, which also exposed King’s extramarital affairs to his wife, Coretta Scott King, said. “You know what it is.”

J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI at the time, described the civil rights leader as “the most notorious liar in the country” in 1964 and established the COINTELPRO program eight years earlier to “prevent the rise of a Black messiah.” Hoover accomplished his goal by imprisoning and killing Black leaders, leading to the devastation of Black communities and organizations.

In 2016, the book “Killing King: The Multi-Year Effort to Murder MLK” alleged the FBI had a prominent role in King’s assassination and destroyed files to cover its tracks.

After the tweet was posted, the public immediately dug up the FBI’s dirt with King, who was shot and killed by James Earl Ray outside the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where he was organizing a protest for sanitation workers on strike.

Back to top