Scandalous accusations against the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are drawing disbelief and sorrow from leaders of the conservative black community. (Caution: Links to outside articles contain explicit descriptions that some may find offensive.)
Pulitzer Prize-winning King biographer David Garrow unearthed a trove of FBI documents that claim – based on electronic and other surveillance – that King was a much more prolific adulterer than once thought, and was engaged in a variety of sexual indiscretions, including witnessing and encouraging criminal sexual assault. Garrow released copies of the FBI documents to bolster his claims.
"Biographer Garrow pens explosive report on Martin Luther King Jr."
Related article by The Atlanta Journal Constitution
For the most part, the mainstream media has been silent on the matter, save for The Washington Post, which dismissed the claims as "irresponsible." Dr. Charles Steele of the King-founded Southern Christian Leadership Conference agrees.
"They conspired to kill Dr. King – to assassinate him – and they're also conspiring to discredit his legacy," Steele tells OneNewsNow.
Conservative African-American leaders are expressing some doubt as well. Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland, is among them.
"I think it's a meanspirited, almost cowardly way of attacking an American legacy," says Jackson. "We all know that humans have weaknesses and sin in some cases."
Radio talk-show host Stacy Washington of American Family Radio ("Stacy on the Right") is devastated by the revelations – but she's unable to discount the historic and life-changing accomplishments of the civil rights icon. It's a lesson she wishes liberal social justice warriors would take to heart about the targets of their wrath.
"How about looking at exactly what happened here and condemning it regardless of where Martin Luther King fell on the political spectrum? That shouldn't even be a part of the conversation," she argues.
"His legacy stands as a civil rights hero, [an] icon, but these actions have to be condemned," she concludes.
In his article, biographer Garrow notes that the complete transcripts and surviving recordings are not due to be released until 2027. "But when they are made fully available," he writes, "a painful historical reckoning concerning King's personal conduct seems inevitable."
In the Jan. 18, 1964 photo above, President Lyndon B. Johnson, right, talks with civil rights leaders in the White House in Washington. From left, are, Roy Wilkins, executive secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; James Farmer, national director of the Committee on Racial Equality; the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Whitney Young, executive director of the Urban League. (AP Photo, File)