There were plenty of quotes, tributes, speeches, and remembrances shared on Monday (January 20) to celebrate the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. All across America, millions of people enjoyed a day off from work as some attended parades and special events dedicated to the assassinated Civil Rights leader, but when the Federal Bureau of Investigation honored Dr. King on social media, the internet was quick to call out the organization’s hypocrisy.
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“Today, the FBI honors the life and work of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” the institution tweeted. “A quote from Dr. King is etched in stone at the FBI Academy’s reflection garden in Quantico as a reminder to all students and FBI employees: ‘The time is always right to do what is right.’ #MLKDay.”
Ironically, when Dr. King was fighting for equity and equality, the FBI targeted him and his family, harassing and threatening them for years. There was a special team that focused on Dr. King that reportedly bugged his home, sent him threatening letters, and exposed his alleged infidelities to discredit his movement. The National Archives holds the “FBI-King Suicide Letter,” a note sent to Dr. King from the bureau encouraging him to take his own life under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover. The letter called the Civil Rights leader “an evil, abnormal beast.” The FBI’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. is named the J. Edgar Hoover Building.
“Your headquarters is named after J. Edgar Hoover, who used all of his resources to not only destroy King’s reputation, but to get him to kill himself,” Marc Lamont Hill tweeted to the FBI. “If you want to ‘do what is right,’ you should denounce Hoover’s attacks on The Black Freedom Movement and rename the building.” Check out a few more responses below and let us know if you think people are overreacting.