Talking Points Memo has an item on civil rights activist and former NAACP president Benjamin Hooks’ FBI file. It’s not surprising that Hooks, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom before passing away in 2010, was a complicated target of the agency. He was both watched and protected, and his FBI file details the numerous threats made against him over the span of several decades. Some of the most poignant threats came years after the formal movement had ended, and railed against the country ever having a black president:
In one Sept. 15, 1987 letter to Hooks, typical of the type of letter Hooks’ FBI file reveals, the letter writer says that “the white majority will stop at nothing to force you from ruining our country telling our Govt. how it should be run, running p to the Hill = long with Crazy man [redacted] forcing it to become a Black Nigger run Govt.”
“Illigitemate [sic] Nigger will never run or walk up those steps to the White House, as a president,” the author of the letter writes.
“We will have your car wire bombed blowing you to bits,” the letter continued. “We will fight to the hell against you. Get lost you nigger (REDACTED) we will fight you tooth and naill. Go back to Brooklyn, we want more teenagers bashing and beating niggers, there is a back lash all over the country, the younger generation just won’t let you niggers push Civil Rts. down their throats.”
Read more at Talking Points Memo.
Earlier this month, Benjamin Greenberg reported for Colorlines from the Civil Rights Cold Case Project about the lesser known victims of the civil rights era, and how it’s taken over forty years and lots of digging by muckracking journalists to finally force the FBI’s hand to investigate the cases.