As Democrats lashed out at the administration of President Donald Trump and demand the appointment of an independent special prosecutor to investigate the firing of FBI Director James Comey, a potentially more ominous question emerging among Black politicians and community organizers is who would be the next FBI director?
The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, arguably the most powerful law enforcement agency on the planet, has always had a very unique and tenuous relationship with the Black advocacy and political community. When the FBI’s name is mentioned in the annals of Black history, it is with a profound sense of trepidation and animus. It was the FBI, under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover, that engineered sinister surveillance and prosecutorial programs like the infamous COINTELPRO which relentlessly targeted and imprisoned prominent Black activists, revolutionaries and outspoken critics of the U.S. government.
Melina Abdullah, one of the original founders of the Black Lives Matter movement and a professor and chair of Africana Studies at California State University. (YouTube Screengrab)
Given the Trump administration’s brazen hostility towards the civil rights community, many observers and advocates are bracing for an FBI director that could be, in many respects, the resurrection of Hoover in attitude and distaste. Or, to many observers, much worse. (The AFRO)