We see it every year. Political influencers on both the left and right attempt to use Martin Luther King's words to support whatever their cause may be. Want more Government? Here's your King quote. What less Government? Here's your King quote.
An even newer trend is to post about how your political opponents should not be posting about MLK.
Let's not forget my personal favorite trend on this day which seems to have become a yearly occurrence. The FBI (the agency who spied on, potentially assassinated, and definitely attempted to convince King to commit suicide), gets smacked down by X's Community Note's when they attempt to pay honor to late-great civil rights hero.
Take this 2022 post as an example:
And how about this 2024 post as our newest entry:
This is my favorite function of Elon Musk's twitter. In years past, the FBI would have gone on enjoying a sense of moral superiority and solidarity by invoking the name of a man they at minimum tried to kill, if not being ultimately responsible for his death. Instead, the world (of X) sees the truth.
Here's a brief history just in case you missed the story of Dr. King and the FBI:
The FBI's surveillance and harassment of Martin Luther King Jr. is a dark but common chapter in the history of civil rights. The operation, driven by then-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, was not just an invasion of privacy but also a profound violation of civil liberties, or as the FBI calls it, "just another day at the office."
Background and Motivation:
The FBI's interest in King began around the time he became a prominent figure in the Civil Rights Movement. Hoover was deeply suspicious of the civil rights movement, viewing it as a potential front for Communist infiltration. King, as the movement's most visible leader, naturally became a target of Hoover's scrutiny.
The surveillance of King started with wiretaps and progressed to include bugging hotel rooms and offices. The FBI sought to gather information that could be used to discredit him. The extent of the surveillance was vast and included monitoring his phone conversations, his movements, and his interactions with associates.
The "Suicide Letter":
One of the most egregious acts during this period was the sending of a so-called "suicide letter" to King. The letter, crafted by the FBI and anonymously sent to King, implied that they had collected compromising information about his personal life. The letter concluded with a veiled suggestion that King should avoid embarrassment by taking his own life. It was a direct attempt to intimidate and discredit King, who at the time was a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
Impact on King:
King was well aware of the FBI's actions. The stress and paranoia that resulted from this constant surveillance took a toll on him and his family. Despite this, King continued his work in the civil rights movement, showing remarkable resilience and commitment to his cause.