June 8, 2019
MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey
Those Martin Luther King Sex Abuse Tapes: Will Anything Happen?
The news broke (in England) at the beginning of last week that Pulitzer Prize winning biographer of the late Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. David Garrow, had unearthed a cache of new documents, many supposedly under strict lock-and-key at least until 2027, detailing some horrific cases of sexual activity by King, as many as forty such incidents, and one in which King stood by and watched and egged on a fellow black Baptist minister.
Here is the background of what happened: On January 31, 1977, Federal District Judge John Lewis Smith signed a court order that instructed the FBI to deposit all of its extensive electronic surveillance material—audio tapes, notes accompanying, etc.—with the National Archives, and sealing them for fifty years. However, as Garrow relates in a blockbuster article (nearly 8,000 words, with documentation) in the English journal, Standpoint:
…in recent months, hundreds of never-before-seen FBI reports and surveillance summaries concerning King have silently slipped into public view on the Archives’ lightly-annotated and difficult-to-explore web site. This has occurred thanks to the provisions of The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act, which mandated the public release of tens of thousands of government documents, many of which got swept up into congressional investigations of US intelligence agencies predating Judge Smith’s order. Winnowing the new King items from amidst the Archive’s 54,602 web-links, many of which lead to multi-document PDFs that are hundreds of pages long, entailed weeks of painstaking work. [
Wiretap summaries…were supposed to be sealed pursuant to Judge Smith’s 1977 order, but by then the Department of Justice had forced the FBI to share many of its King records with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities, often called the Church Committee after the name of its chairman, Idaho Democrat Frank Church. In turn, all of the FBI’s documents relating to the Church Committee and the subsequent House Select Committee on Assassinations came to be covered by the 1992 Kennedy assassination records act.
Now, Garrow is not a conservative, no right wing fanatic out to “besmirch” the reputation of the late civil rights icon. Not at all.
He was—at least until this article and its implications—a highly respected, liberal author and academic, whose biography of King, Bearing the Cross (1986), won him praise and a Pulitzer, and has been used as the basis of film and screen adaptations.
But after his Standpoint essay, The Washington Post dropped the guillotine’s blade on him: he had said and written too much, he was no longer a “respectable” (that is, establishment liberal) historian, his findings were pronounced to be “dubious” and “of little value.” Indeed, the Post found a whole slew of its favored leftwing “historians” to literally denounce Garrow for his transgressions, even though he had written that he believed these new revelations would not damage King’s reputation [“No. Not at all. I don’t think that’s possible”]. [
Kearse ‘had brought to Washington several women ‘parishioners’ of his church”, a newly-released summary document from [FBI Assistant Director William C.] Sullivan’s personal file on King relates, and Kearse invited King and his friends to come and meet the women. the typed summary states, parenthetically citing a specific FBI document (100-3-116-762) as its source. Sullivan or one of his deputies then added in handwriting.
Professor David Greenberg of Rutgers University, writing in the highly-respected Politico, June 4 [
and “[When I think of] The great black Americans of our history I think of Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, Harriet Tubman and Booker T. Washington," he said during an interview with Laura Ingraham on Fox News. “All of these were Republicans, they were conservatives….” [ ] And Martin Luther King was just the latest in that line: he had his faults, yes, but his “message of equality” was far greater and simply must be celebrated by all, including conservatives. He was, in short, an epochal giant who ushered in the final stage of completing that revolutionary message.
And in this sense, D’Souza like the dominant Neoconservative narrative, echoed another vaunted exponent of the King mythology, Jonah Goldberg (August 28, 2013):
“…the genius of King’s appeal to an ideal of colorblindness was deeply patriotic, rooted in the foundational principles of the republic….When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In the American context, these are universal appeals. King pleaded for the fulfillment of America’s classically liberal revolution.” [Italics mine][http://www.nationalreview.com/article/356887/martin-luther-king-jrs-real-message-jonah-goldberg]
Which is a complete inversion of the American Founding and a more-or-less misreading, purposeful or not, of American history.
The symbolic canonization of Martin Luther King and the obligatory imposition of his cult on the nation was and is an action, collaborated in by both the zealous progressivist Left and the slightly less-Leftist Establishment conservative movement, with more dogmatic power and enforcement than any hierarch in Rome or any despot in Soviet Russia ever dreamed of, because it is more pervasive, far more than skin deep or simply a prophylactic, as the old Soviet power over Eastern Europe was for forty-five years. It is emblematic of not only the insistence on external assent in actions and words, but of a steady internalization which is equally monitored, the slightest variance from which brings excommunication, denunciation, loss of reputation and position, shunning, shaming, and even imprisonment.
This, then, is the legacy of King and those like him, those who protected him and glorified him, and the so-called civil rights transformation which opened the door wide for the aberrations and hideous results in racial and sexual questions we see and experience around us today.