Here is an ongoing thing that we are learning more and more as the years go on: The FBI organization has traditionally, really fucking sucked.
Under the guise of national security, they can see or do anything they really felt like, with rarely any oversight from other departments or even the president, to fuck around with people they thought were threats. This year we already have had two different releases that showcase these facts. It was Judas and the Black Messiah and The United States vs. Billie Holiday. Set in different parts of the 1900’s in America, about how popular and/or revolutionary black individuals would get harassed and threatened and even killed thanks to the FBI.
And then we have this documentary, not a film a documentary. MLK/FBI. Either this is a math problem, or the slash is meant to show them as being on opposite sides of one another. And depending on whose point of view, that seems to be correct.
Hey! There is the guy who this movie is about.
The reason this documentary can even exist is because at some point, I don’t know how it works, classified FBI files become unclassified and we can see the fuckery that went down. And they had a whole lot of files on MLK. A lot more than are currently open. I can’t remember the exact date, but it was some time in the late 2020’s when the rest become public technically, and we are gonna probably need a sequel documentary at that point.
And that is one major gripe I do have it. This documentary doesn’t get to tell the full story (Which should be available in a few years) (and that full story should be worse) because it came out too early. It is good to know now, for those who didn’t, some of the tactics the FBI used to try and ruin the credit Martin had been building up through grassroots movements and good oratory skills. They tried to get him to kill himself, and break up his marriage, anything to have him back off his talk of equality.
That really blows.
Obviously in any of the stories of American Civil Rights, a large swath and portion of the American people end up being the bad guys who don’t allow change and don’t get over themselves. That would include the government. But it is still a hard realization to really get and accept. I accept that the US government has sucked in the past and will likely suck in the future and all of that. I acknowledge it and I want all the truths to come out so things can be fixed and healed.
And I am going to be so pissed to find out in 60 years the the FBI is doing shady bad stuff in this decade or last. If that is true, I hope whatever keeps allowing this to happen gets stopped. Because it can be awfully hard to be a “proud American” if your country decides to ruin every chance of progress and togetherness that comes its way.
2 out of 4.