Readers View: Health warnings required around credibility of information on which MLK accusations are based

I was astonished reading Terry Prone's contribution on the very flawed David Garrow essay on Martin Luther King in which very serious accusations are made. Insufficient health-warnings accompany the piece regarding the credibility of the information on which accusations are based.

The failure to emphasise that the basis for the accusations are extremely flimsy amounting to a note added to a report compiled by the FBI, an organization headed by a man who had vowed to destroy King "and all he stood for".

I strongly urge those interested to find and read the response to the Garrow essay by Barbara Ransby, a professor of history, gender and women’s studies and African-American studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In it, she puts everything in context pointing out that Garrow's essay is no more than an "account of F.B.I. spying and half-baked findings".

She also points out that the story was taken only by "conservative pundits" who "ran with it, true or not"; on this side of the Atlantic, Garrow's essay appeared in the Standpoint, a conservative British magazine.

Ransby concluded her response with, "How unfortunate that the legitimacy of his (Martin's) entire legacy, and by extension the movement of which he was a part, is being called into question in such a sloppy manner today. How disturbing that the vitally important issue of sexual violence is being deployed and distorted in the process" - and not for the first time one might add.

Jim O'Sullivan, Rathedmond, Sligo

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