From Pine View Farm

Unsaid, Thus Unremembered 0

Jonathan Zimmerman, writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer, asks

So it turns out that Martin Luther King Jr.’s most trusted photographer was actually a paid informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, passing along material about King and other civil rights leaders. Why did he do it?

That’s the wrong question. Nobody will ever know why Ernest C. Withers – who was in King’s motel room on the night of his murder – informed for the FBI, as a Memphis newspaper reported last week. Withers died in 2007, following a brilliant career that earned him the nickname of “Original Civil Rights Photographer.” He had secrets, and he took them to the grave.

Instead, we should be asking why the FBI was paying people to spy on King. And, most of all, we should be asking why our kids don’t know it.

Open up your son’s or daughter’s American history textbook, and try to find any reference to the FBI’s decade-long effort to harass and discredit King. You’ll search in vain. In our official version of history, it never happened.

He concludes, that, you will pardon the expression, it is a collective whitewashing of the history of that period, a way of denying the radical nature of a movement confronting 350 years of institutionalized racism, mixed with retroactive shame at that history. Read the whole thing to follow his reasoning.

I suspect it is for the same reasons that we rarely see more than a mention of the Trail of Tears.


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