They Slew a dreamer
Note: this is a revamping of a previous story. All facts of this story are gotten from "Murder in Memphis: The FBI and the Assassination of Martin Luther King" by Mark Lane, Dick Gregory Thunder's Mouth Press;(March 1993), unless otherwise indicated.
Its been decades since the assassination, and the death of the alleged assassin still hasn't brought resolution to the family, friends, and admirers of Rev. Martin Luther King.
Though King is now beloved by many, in his time he was hated by many, some of them were powerful people. In 1960 after moving to Alabama to Georgia King failed to register his car in a timely fashion. For this he was given 1 years probation. King was arrested later that year trespassing during a sit in at an Atlanta department. He was sent immediately to the state penitentiary for violating probation. Robert Kennedy who was then managing his brother's presidential campaign intervened and had King placed on bail until trial. The charges were later dropped. Still some white folks in the South weren't that bad. In May of 1960 in Alabama, King was charged with perjury related to charges of tax evasion. A Jury of 12 white men shocked the King camp, they acquitted Martin of the charges. Coretta Scott King, said about this event, "A southern jury of twelve white men had acquitted Martin. It was a triumph of justice, a miracle that restored your faith in human good.". Justice is best served when its color blind (1 ).
FBI Director J Edgar Hoover alleged that Kings Civil rights organization was infiltrated by communist. This was the pretext for asking US Attorney General Robert Kennedy approve cointelpro operations in 1962 (2 ). AG Kennedy approved cointelpro under "the implicit threat of blackmail by the FBI director".(3).
On March 1968 an FBI internal memo to its agents directed its agents to prevent the rise of a black "messiah". J. Edgar Hoover instructed his agents to "to expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize" black leaders. Hoover wrote about King is this memo "King could be a real contender for this position (black messiah) should he abandon his supposed `obedience' to white, liberal doctrine (nonviolence) and embrace black nationalism. (He) has the necessary charisma to be a real threat in this way." In 1975 a US Senate Intelligence Committee discovered that the FBI had at least 16 electronic listening devices or wire taps in rooms or telephones King used. This same committee also discovered 25 incidents of harassment of King were there was ``no statutory basis or justification.''(4).