MSNBC personality Tiffany Cross stated that the federal government should “step into 2021” rename FBI’s headquarters after Stacey Abrams, claiming Abrams is deserving of the honor.
During an appearance of her show “the Cross Connection” on Saturday, Cross called the FBI’s current namesake, J. Edgar Hoover, a “racist tyrant who trampled civil liberties.”
“Now if you don’t know about J. Edgar Hoover, he lorded over the FBI as its first director for nearly 50 years, and he spent much of the 1950s and 60s obsessively trying to derail the civil rights movement, using tactics like illegal wiretaps, warrantless searches, and other dirty tricks to spy on movement leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr,” said Cross. “Hoover’s FBI even sent Dr. King an anonymous letter, attempting to blackmail him into committing suicide.”
“Changing the name of our premier law enforcement agency so that it doesn’t honor a racist tyrant who trampled civil liberties, I don’t know, seems like a pretty logical step to me,” said Cross.
“How about the Stacey Abrams Building,” suggested Cross. “If one woman could square off against a whole system that tried to suppress, oppress, and depress the descendants of the people who built this country, for free, and who again managed to save the country from itself, then surely, we can dedicate the building representing equal protection under law after a real political warrior.”
Other Democrats have called for a name change of the FBI’s headquarters. Democrat Rep. Gerry Connolly recently introduced legislation that would “remove any reference to J. Edgar Hoover” from the FBI’s building.
The bill would create a “bipartisan commission” that would decide who to rename the building after.
“It’s long past time to rename the FBI Headquarters. J. Edgar Hoover was a racist, a bigot, and a homophobe,” claimed Connolly. “He abused his power and trampled the civil liberties of Dr. King, anti-war protesters, his political rivals, and too many others. He is no role model for any time, and certainly not this one. Congress must right this wrong and rename this building.”
“Congress must right this wrong and rename this building,” said Connolly.
The abuse of power mentioned by Democrat figures did in fact occur. Revealed by declassified documents, the FBI engaged in a counterintelligence program, called COINTELPRO, that attempted to disrupt major political movements throughout the ’50s and ’60s. The program intended to “disrupt the activities of the Communist Party of the United States.”
The legislation would remove Hoover and rename the headquarters after an individual who exhibits the following criteria: Reflects the mission and values of the FBI; racial, ethnic, and gender diversity; and the values of the US constitution, serves as an inspiration to FBI employees and US citizens, and honors living persons with appropriate and in exceptional cases.
The commission created by the bill would include 9 individuals who have an “expertise in U.S Government history or social justice issues.”
During the ’60s, the program was expanded and the FBI began disrupting the activities of the Ku Klux Klan, the Socialist Workers Party, and several civil rights groups, such as the Black Panther Party.
It is alleged that the FBI launched a campaign against Martin Luther King Jr. The FBI feared that King would align himself with the Communist Party, so they wiretapped his communications. After discovering an affair King was having, the FBI started bugging and taping him in his hotel rooms and paying individuals to spy on him. The FBI eventually sent a letter and the gathered information to King and suggested he should kill himself.
This controversial program, which the FBI admits violated the First Amendment rights of American citizens, ended in 1971.
“The FBI is very much committed to all the communities we serve,” says the FBI. “We are bound by an oath to serve all citizens with equal compassion, professionalism, dignity, and respect.”
When asked for comment by Cross, the FBI would not comment on the renaming efforts due to the legislation currently proposed.