At “The Enemy Within” presentation, I was especially drawn toward studies of the KKK, being from the South and having endured plenty of conversations as a kid, from relatives who were definitely racist while they denied this fact. Though, fortunately, none of them were in the KKK nor seemed to think this to be a fine organization.
Then, there was the section showing the most dramatic events in the 60’s and 70’s. Not long before that era, the KKK had revived itself in full force. Yet the FBI, under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover, had sort of ignored this threat to human rights within our borders. The KKK was given much power because it wasn’t perceived to be a threat to the nation. Plus it would be impossible to get involved without destroying the right of free speech, our nation’s leaders told one another as the KKK was methodically preparing for some of the most violent days in it’s history.
The FBI chose instead to concentrate on what the FBI called the “New Left” groups, using counterintelligence activities. That included the Black Panthers and People's Liberation Army, people with beliefs diametrically opposed to those of the KKK, yet with tactics just as violent.
Hoover left a legacy of power and abuse of power. Some considered him to be the hero during those days. Others considered him to be the enemy.