And lets also remember how much abundant hypocrisy is evident when we look at past actions of public figures. Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) was once a member of the KKK. But when his vote was desperately needed to pass President Barack H. Obama’s Affordable Care Act, well, hush yo’ mouth, child, the past is the past. This man has found Jesus and has been wholly reformed! So funny to see the internet photos of Obama and Hillary Clinton in warm embraces with the former professed segregationist and racist. Politics, it has been said, makes for some pretty damn strange bedfellows indeed.
And yet, we forgive Byrd, the Democrat, and former klavern inhabitant. And we forgive Jesse Jackson for “Hymietown,” and Al Sharpton — President Obama’s “go-to guy” on race matters — for his slurs of “kikes,” “crackers,” and “Greek homos.” We forgive the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for his multitudinous indiscretions of the flesh and his associations with communist agitators and anarchists who advocated the violent overthrow of the United States government.
We forgive Muhammad Ali for appearing on BBC television with host Sir Michael Parkinson in 1971 and stating, unequivocally, that he was against interracial dating, openly opposed miscegenation, and gave his support for noted racist and segregation proponent, George Wallace. We forgive and dismiss Barack Obama’s association with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and his flirtations with the teachings of radical Saul Alinsky.
We forgive Obama’s VP, Joe Biden, for his comments about “7-11 Indian accents,” and his insight into why presidential candidate Barack Obama was viable: “I mean you’ve got the first sort of mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and nice-looking guy.” We forgive former Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for this attribution in the 2010 book about the 2008 presidential campaign, Game Change: “[Harry Reid] was wowed by Obama’s oratorical gifts and believed the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as a Obama — a ‘light-skinned’ African American with ‘no Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one.’”
Let those greatest hits just hang there for but a moment, the insufferable stench of those horrid comments and thoughts clogging our nostrils. Double standards, oh, but they surely do abound, ladies and gentlemen…
And yet J. Edgar Hoover, who created and built the modern FBI, in the process turning it into, inarguably, the premier law enforcement agency in the world, is to be pilloried some forty-five years following his death for a spat with MLK and for his position that women didn’t possess the aptitude to be special agents during the mid-twentieth century? What a Neanderthal, what a barbarian and a brute and a bastard he was. But how many other Americans — both male and female — of Hoover’s generation felt the exact same way. Were they wrong? Yup. But they were ALL a product of their time. Historical context…
Um, yeah, I’m also guessing that you, the informed reader of my words, probably have heard current FBI Director James B. Comey speak to the mistakes and missteps attendant to the wiretapping authorizations targeting MLK. Yes, the current director keeps the affidavit — incredibly composed of a single page — on his desk as a reminder to always do the right thing. He also has made it mandatory that all new FBI Agent trainees visit the Holocaust Museum and the MLK Memorial in D.C. as part of their training.
Yes, Director Comey has the right things at heart as he leads the FBI into the 21st century. But I fear that these acknowledgements lend themselves to an assumed admission of wholesale guilt for the FBI and its long-dead first director. They provide fuel to the Left’s fire and are the impetus behind the Hoover-is-evil movement sweeping an American college or university campus near you! Those campuses house the same classrooms that are tending to our next generations of FBI special agents.
One of my last related acts as my quarter-century career in the Federal Bureau of Investigation wound down in the Fall of 2015 was to grapple with and confront, head-on, the Hoover legacy.
I was the FBI New York Office’s special assistant and chief-of-staff to the Assistant-Director-in-Charge. As such, I had oversight of the New York Division’s Public Affairs Office for a brief period of time. When one of my agents approached me with a proposition to upgrade the division’s mini-museum that confronted guests entering the New York City FBI space, I agreed to listen.
The proposal involved loaning to FBI headquarters a miniature version of the iconic Wall Street “charging bull,’ designed by Italian artist Arturo Di Modica, and seized during a raid. The New York Office (NYO) maintained possession of the bull as a reflection of the innumerable Wall Street white-collar criminal cases that had been investigated by agents of the NYO over the years.
FBI headquarters, as was explained to me, needed the bull for an exhibit in D.C., and was willing to part with an item it had in duplicate — a life-size wax figure replica of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. I gave it a moment of thought and responded in the affirmative. Why not? Hell, the museum had a vast array of evidence from historic New York FBI investigations, including parts from one of the 9/11 planes used as a missile by terrorists, an original blue FBI raid jacket, replete with the stenciled gold lettering, and a National Archives-worthy collection of black and white photographs of New York agents firing Thompson Submachine guns on a range in Peekskill, New York during the early 1930s.
The Hoover statue, I felt, would be a welcome addition to the collection. I briefed the boss on the effort, and he heartily concurred. The Assistant-Director-in-Charge and I went way back. I knew he trusted my judgment. We’d both served on an FBI-NYPD counter-narcotics task force in Queens, New York, back during the early 1990’s. He headed out for a meeting with then New York City Police Commissioner, Bill Bratton at 1 Police Plaza across the street from our offices, and I picked up a phone to call the agent in our Public Affairs Office and green-lighted the plan.
When the statue arrived, bound inside a wooden crate reminiscent of a coffin, we put aside the easy attempts at macabre humor, and I watched two agents station the director in the center of the museum on a supplied display pedestal. I cocked my head and soaked in his costume — dark, wide-lapeled double-breasted suit, slicked-back jet-black hair, the omnipresent scowl, black leather shoes, and a copy of his favorite pinkie ring. If you stood back a few feet from it, the replica looked damn close to what one would have envisioned the director would have looked like back in his heyday. I thanked the agents for their efforts, advised them I’d bring the boss by to view the addition later in the afternoon, and returned to my office and its overflowing in-box.
A week passed.
And then the tsunami hit our shores…
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