Why everyone is pissed the FBI is celebrating MLK Day on Twitter

Well, this is awkward.
By Keith Wagstaff  on 
Why everyone is pissed the FBI is celebrating MLK Day on Twitter
Rev. Martin Luther King, left, and Fred Shuttlesworth, integration leaders, tell a news conference, that massive racial demonstrations will continue in Birmingham, Alabama, May 3, 1963. Credit: AP

Plenty of individuals and organizations showed love to Martin Luther King Jr. on social media on Monday, including the FBI.

The problem? Back in 1964, the agency tried to blackmail the Civil Rights icon into killing himself.

Obviously, people on social media roasted the agency for its tweet. For those who don't know about the infamous "suicide letter," it was was unearthed in its uncensored form by Yale historian Beverly Gage and published by the New York Times in 2014.

The FBI was monitoring King, looking for signs of communist sympathies. Instead, the agency learned about his extramarital affairs. So it sent him an anonymous letter, in which it called him a "colossal fraud" and an "evil, abnormal beast."

"No person can overcome facts, not even a fraud like yourself," the letter read. "Lend your sexually psychotic ear to the enclosure. You will find yourself in all your dirt, filth, evil, and moronic talk exposed on the record for all time. I repeat—no person can argue successfully against facts. You are finished."

It ends with an ominous threat:

"King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. You have just 34 days in which to do it (this exact number has been selected for a specific reason, it has definite practical significance). You are done. There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation."

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