It is important to remember that, while universally praised
and honored in America
today, during his lifetime, Martin Luther King, Jr. was a deeply controversial
and divisive figure.
Fringe views that still exist today (which I won't dignify
with links) condemning King as a dangerous radical, a socialist, and a
communist, were the views of much of the mainstream press during the 1960s. King was viewed as such a disruptive force
by the U.S.
government that Attorney General Bobby Kennedy disgracefully authorized J.
Edgar Hoover's FBI to wiretap King's phone. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Hoover's FBI worked to
undermine and destabilize civil rights groups like King's SCLC, all in the name
of national security and American unity.