Category: Judgement days

Washington Post Quotes Judgement Days The questions we should be asking about ‘Selma’

imrs.phpBut if Johnson did not order the tapes be sent to Coretta King, Nick Kotz argues in “Judgement Days,” his sharp and illuminating book about the Johnson-King relationship, that Johnson was not ordering Hoover to stand down his long-term campaign against King, either. After President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, “One of Johnson’s first calls after returning from Dallas was to J. Edgar Hoover [his long-time neighbor]. ‘You’re more than the head of the bureau,’ Johnson told Hoover. ‘You’re my brother and personal friend.’” Kotz explains. “Hoover answered Johnson’s flattery with a flurry of activity” focused at furthering his surveillance of King and keeping Johnson apprised of the results.

Johnson brokered a sit-down between King and Hoover after Hoover, incensed by King’s Nobel Peace Prize, started attacking King in the press, and King privately accused Hoover of indifference to crime against Southern African Americans and publicly issued a press release suggesting that Hoover ” apparently has faltered under the awesome burden, complexities and responsibilities of his office,” Kotz explains. But the Hoover-King meeting seemed more aimed at healing a public breach than providing Hoover with real accountability and new orders. And rather than confirming that Johnson would not tolerate attacks on King, King perceived the meeting as proof that President Johnson “had not come to his defense,” Kotz writes.

In fact, Kotz suggests, Deke DeLoach, Hoover’s liaison to the White House, repeatedly interpreted his meetings with Johnson aides and Johnson himself to conclude that Hoover could exercise discretion in planting reports about King. Some of Johnson’s calculation was due to what Kotz describes as a “cautious, tacit accomodation with Hoover: the FBI director would carry out extraordinary assignments for Johnson, including the covert spying campaign at the 1964 Democratic National Convention, and in return Johnson would not interfere with Hoover’s pursuit of his own special interests.” And some of it was due to the fact that “Johnson was also irritated by King’s constant maneuvering to seize the public spotlight and force his hand.”

January 5

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Nick Kotz Judgement Days Quoted in Huffington Post Blog

FILE PHOTO:  David Oyelowo To Play Martin Luther King Jr. In Biopic RoleAside from the actual audio tapes, photos, etc., from the Presidential Library of President Lyndon Johnson, the seminal book on Selma and the respective roles of Dr. King and President Johnson preceding and during the events presumably depicted in the movie is Judgement Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Laws That Changed America by Nick Kotz.

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