AFRICAN AMERICANS AND THE F.B.I.
THE F.B.I.'S EFFECT ON AFRICAN AMERICANS
The FBI has had a complex relationship with African Americans throughout its history. The FBI’s surveillance of African Americans and Black rights organizations grew out of the bureau’s larger espionage operation known as COINTELPRO, the now infamous program launched in 1956 to snuff out communism in the United States.
According to CNN, the percentage of Black or African American employees at the FBI has dropped from 12% in 2016 to 10.7% in 2021.
However, minority representation overall at the FBI has slightly improved in the past five years, from about 24.4% in 2016 to approximately 25.8% in 2021 2. The FBI has launched a new diversity initiative aimed at reaching out to historically Black colleges and universities to try to recruit more African Americans to be special agents. Source
In 2020, there were 2,755 reported incidents targeting Black or African American people in the U.S., making them the most targeted racial group by a wide margin. The FBI has also been accused of targeting black activists. Source
By 2017, the FBI had invented a new domestic terrorism program category it called the “Black Identity Extremism movement”. An FBI intelligence report cited six unrelated incidents over a three-year period in which Black subjects not associated with one another attacked police officers, to allege that a terrorist movement driven by “perceptions of police brutality against African Americans” Source
The FBI’s War on Black America offers a thought-provoking look at a government-sanctioned conspiracy, the FBI’s counterintelligence program known as COINTELPRO. This documentary establishes historical perspective on the measures initiated by J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI which aimed to discredit black political figures and forces of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Source
What effect(s) do you think the F.B.I. has had on African Americans? Comment below.