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Ku Klux Klan And The Black Panther Party

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Created by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), COINTELPRO, a secret program to undermine the popular increase which swept the country during the 1960s. Though the name stands for "Counterintelligence Program," the targets were not enemy spies but political groups. The FBI’s main objective was to eliminate "radical" political opposition inside the US such as the Ku Klux Klan(KKK) and The Black Panther Party(BPP). When they failed at repressing these groups using traditional modes such as exposure, blatant harassment, and prosecution for political crimes, the Bureau took the law into its own hands and secretly used fraud and force to sabotage legal political activity. Its methods ranged far beyond just surveillance, and amounted to a…show more content…
Though the KKK was targeted, the FBI “was less enthusiastic about pursuing [the KKK] and did so chiefly because of political pressure resulting from the Klan's highly publicized murders of civil rights workers”. If the KKK was not targeted then it would look like the American government was condoning the murder of Civil Rights workers and activists. This would have had a greater impact on the people because it would have led them to believe that vigilante violence would be tolerated. Also when the former head of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, was challenged by the President Johnson to prevent terror by suppressing Klan activity he responded by “launch[ing] an aggressive campaign of surveillance, harassment, infiltration, and intelligence collection”. In the wake of the Mississippi murders, FBI agents not only solved bombings, murders, and other acts of Klan vigilance, but also began to anticipate and prevent such acts through the use of informants, surveillance, and other counterintelligence techniques. Though the FBI was protecting many innocent lives, they broke many laws and performed many illegal actions during the time of…show more content…
Any evidence that was found on any party would not have been permissible in court and would have been thrown out for illegally obtaining the evidence. And even though its violent assaults and covert manipulation tactics eventually helped to push some of the most committed and experienced groups to withdraw themselves the damage that it did to groups that just protested for their constitutional rights is not something that can be overlooked. The fact that The Black Panthers came under fire at a time when their work featured free food and health care and community control of schools and police, and when they carried guns only for symbolic purposes. It was the actions of the FBI and police that eventually provoked the Panthers to retaliate with the armed actions that later were cited to justify their militant ways. Though the FBI denies it there is some circumstantial evidence that suggest that they helped militant groups such as the KKK to target political parties, but only the ones on their agenda. Today many articles and correspondence by the FBI pertaining to COINTELPRO have surfaced but there is still much that we do not know and for that reason it is hard to assess how much of an impact COINTELPRO had on the events of that time. Needless to say it played a major role in the Civil Rights Movement and all the parties involved including The Ku Klux Klan and The Black Panther
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