David Garrow, the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of Martin Luther King Jr., will drop a bombshell tomorrow (Thursday) when Standpoint magazine will publish an article, based on memos that discuss FBI tapes, that paints the Civil Rights icon in a very unflattering light. Here is what Garrow claims:
- FBI documents from the 1960s allege Martin Luther King Jr. had affairs with 40 women and stood by as a friend raped a woman, a new report said.
- An article by the King biographer David Garrow set to be released on Thursday in Standpoint magazine will detail the FBI memos, London’s The Times reported.
- Garrow said the memos say King engaged in orgies, solicited prostitutes, and “looked on and laughed” as a pastor he knew raped a woman.
- The memos were part of a huge US National Archives data dump in early 2019.
- The FBI secretly recorded King in a years long effort to discredit him. The tapes themselves remain under seal in the US National Archives. And Garrow’s article was rejected by more prominent news outlets. So the story carries many unanswered questions about the accuracy of the FBI material.
- The King Center, which chronicles King’s life, has not yet commented on the allegations.
Learn more here. Let’s see how this unfolds tomorrow as Civil Rights historians respond to Garrow’s article.
In the meantime, Laura Ingraham and the Fox News crowd are all over this story. I am guessing they could not find a legitimate historian of King or the Civil Rights movement to comment on Garrow’s article so, as Fox News is prone to do, they turned to conservative pundit Dinesh D’Souza. Watch:
D’Souza seems to be basking in all of this. By the way, who are all of these progressive historians who “hate” and “do not want to teach” Frederick Douglass, Ida Wells, and Harriett Tubman? I don’t consider myself a “progressive historian,” but I certainly consider myself a critic of D’Souza. I have been teaching Douglass every semester for two decades. David Blight of Yale just won the Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Douglass. Douglass’s Narrative remains a fixture on history syllabi across the country. I am sure scholars of Wells and Tubman can weigh-in as well.
And D’Souza continues to think the Republican Party has not changed on issues related to the plight of African Americans and race since the Civil War. I wrote about this here, but I will defer to Princeton’s Kevin Kruse.