Martin Luther King Jr. and J. Edgar Hoover might be sharing a good laugh over this one.
Because the idea of Hoover’s FBI paying tribute to King — on the anniversary of his death — could actually be kind of funny, if it weren't so insulting.
Shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday, 49 years to the day that King was assassinated on a Memphis motel balcony, and 50 years to the day that King came to New York’s Riverside Church to denounce the war in Vietnam, the FBI did the unthinkable.
The Federal Bureau of Insensitivity tweeted a tribute to the slain civil rights leader despite a generation of conspiracy theories that put the domestic spy agency in league with the convicted assassin, James Earl Ray.
Irony and audacity have both been redefined.
“Today, on the anniversary of his assassination, the FBI honors the life, work, & commitment of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to justice.” the FBI tweeted from its official account.
The post included one of King’s favorite quotes about morality and justice.
“We shall overcome,” King said in the tweeted quote, “because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
Both quotes are light years from what Hoover, the FBI director during the height of the civil rights movement, said about the man he dedicated his life to trying to discredit.
"Dr. Martin Luther King is the most notorious liar in the country," Hoover said ahead of King’s 1964 trip to Oslo, Norway to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
A year earlier, after King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech at the historic March on Washington, the FBI put King on its radar.
"We must mark him now, if we have not done so before, as the most dangerous Negro of the future in this Nation from the standpoint of communism, the Negro and national security," FBI Domestic Intelligence Chief William Sullivan wrote in a memo two days later.
A massive surveillance operation on King was quickly approved, and Hoover made it his life’s mission to tear King down.
That campaign included a blackmail letter sent to King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, in 1964.
“You are a colossal fraud and an evil, vicious one at that.” said the typewritten letter, which was reportedly accompanied by tapes of King’s alleged extramarital affairs.
“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.”
And, now they want to honor King?
The FBI made the same mistake this year on King’s birthday, tweeting about King’s “incredible career fighting for civil rights.”
Here’s a piece of advice for the Federal Bureau of Incongruity: Stick to investigating the White House and Russia. That way no one gets insulted.