Fall From Grace

 

            Towards the end of Martin Luther King’s life he went through things that we would not think a man who has a national holiday named for him would experience.  Martin Luther King became involved in more issues than simply civil rights in America, which is enough to become unpopular itself.[1]  J. Edgar Hoover, chief of the FBI, became involved in a plot to defame the famous civil rights leader.  Martin believed that his religious convictions called him to persevere through this trial and continue to free people through non-violent measures. 

            The Vietnam war was tough on King.  “Beginning in 1965, King’s popularity waned as his dream grew to include peace in Vietnam.  With this, most of white America, as well as many African Americans, distanced themselves from King.”[2]  With the loss of some of his mainline constituency it left King without some of the centrist influence that had made him so popular. 

            During this time, the Hoover investigation brought to the surface to damaging stories about Martin Luther King.  Among the accusations brought up were that King was a womanizer and a communist.[3]  The only problem with this was that there was some substance to support the womanizing claim.  This did nothing to help his reputation.  From this point to his assassination in 1968 in Memphis, King had declining influence. 

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[1] Russel Moldovan, “Martin Luther King Jr., “ Christian History,  Issue 65, volume XIX, 39.

[2] Ibid. 40.

[3] Ibid. 39.