While the FBI now whitewashes Martin Luther King Jr. for PR, it previously plotted to “neutralize” him, blackmailing the civil rights leader, attacking MLK as a “filthy, abnormal animal.”
By Ben Norton / AlterNet
“First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you,” declared socialist leader and union organizer Nicholas Klein in 1914 (in a quote often misattributed to Mahatma Gandhi). Klein added, “In this story you have a history of this entire movement.”
Nearly 50 years after his murder, Martin Luther King Jr. is lionized by the very forces that ridiculed, attacked, and wanted to burn him. The same government institutions that threatened King’s life and called him the “most notorious liar in the country” and a “filthy, abnormal animal” are applauding him today.
The radical legacy of the civil rights icon — who not only valiantly fought Jim Crow, but also harshly condemned capitalism and spoke out bravely against the US war in Vietnam, alienating the vast majority of the liberal establishment — has been so thoroughly whitewashed that the very same government institutions that wished death on King are now heaping praise on his memory.