Sunday, September 19, 2010
Post No. 148b: As Is the Case with the Truth, Personal Responsibility is Rarely Plain, and It’s Never Simple
There has been a news story floating around for the past couple of weeks, which is so troubling that, although covered in various media vehicles, few have had anything of real substance to say about it, apparently needing additional time to digest it.
It is the story of a highly-regarded photographer who covered the civil rights movement during the 1960s. In fact, he was with Martin Luther King and his entourage on the day that Dr. King was shot in Memphis.
When we first encountered the story, it seemed so… let us say, implausible, that we questioned its authenticity.
And then we noticed that it was a Yahoo! News Blog article, which provided some credibility.
It told the story of how famed photographer Ernest Withers had another profession, namely that of FBI informant, advising the FBI of the activities and tactics of many of those in the civil rights movement, including Dr. King.
After reading the story, we were so… stunned, that we could do little other than simply pass it on to some friends of the Institute, without comment.
One of them noted that the story originally appeared in a Memphis area newspaper, the Commercial Appeal.
Upon reading the original piece, we were even more stunned. Maybe you will, like one of our readers, think that it was no big deal and not find it surprising that someone would rat out Dr. King to J. Edgar Hoover.
But something still bothers us about this story. We’re just not quite sure what to say.
Please take the time to digest both articles. It’s a….
To whom did Withers owe responsibility, if at all, to anyone or any entity?
To his nation, to the FBI, to his family, to Dr. King and others in the civil rights movement, to the movement itself, to his race….
You tell us. We’d like to hear.
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