Robert F. Kennedy Jr. defended his family’s authorization to wiretap Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s. He said that they had no political alternative but were betting on the civil rights movement.
The FBI conducted a sustained campaign of surveillance and harassment against the Civil Rights movement, including mail opening, wiretapping, and bugging of King’s office and hotel rooms.
RFK Jr. said President Kennedy was aware of the eavesdropping and would have fired FBI director J. Edgar Hoover if not assassinated.
Kennedy Jr., now running as an independent to become president, said there was little political alternative then during an interview with Politico published Sunday.
He also said powerful FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover wanted King surveilled in 1963 and that his father and others feared political revenge if they didn’t comply.
Hoover was known for his ability to get even.
RFK Jr. also suggested that wire-tapping King in the early 1960s would prove he wasn’t a communist, as Hoover suspected.
Jackie Kennedy was quoted as saying she thought Dr. King was a communist. MLK had allies who were communists.
The recordings were taken shortly after JFK’s assassination.
“If you asked her what she thought of Martin Luther King overall… she admired him tremendously,” Caroline Kennedy told ABC’s Diane Sawyer.
MLK Jr.’s peaceful and courageous movement for equal rights and freedom is what he is best remembered for accomplishing. He was a blessing at a terrible time for black people. They suffered through slavery, and were building lives for themselves when Democrat Dixiecrats insisted on the disgusting policies of segregation – Jim Crow = which brought them down. Someone had to change the situation and MLK did it peacefully. He was about not seeing race or religion or gender. That was his vision, and if he were alive today, I want to believe it would still be his vision.
Republicans helped get the 1964 Civil Rights passed despite the Dixiecrats. We need to still be those people.