I am shook. Like the kind of shook I don’t quite know how to put into words. Like, if you tell yourself in the middle of a skid “this is bad, this is bad, this is bad,” but it’s not really until you stop sliding that you can assess how bad it actually is, that you can get used to living in the new reality where your car is totaled and you have to make time in your life to deal with insurance and getting a new car.
As you know, because I’ve been pissing and moaning about it for years, the one part of this bombing book that has been so frustrating to me is the actions of the FBI. They just made no sense to me. Why were they making no effort to solve these bombings?
I mean, yes, racism. But flipping through the files, the main impression of the FBI that you get is arrogance, that they were just so much better and smarter than any of these local dingbats. It just didn’t make any sense to me that the FBI wouldn’t have relished the opportunity to embarrass Nashville by solving these crimes.
On Friday I learned that the FBI was running the UKA strand of the Klan in Tennessee. From their own files. Hoover told the President. Now that I think about it, probably multiple presidents. It started when the Klan started expanding in Tennessee, which is 57 or 58.
I think the FBI halfassed solving our bombings because they didn’t want any investigations leading back to their guys.
The FBI claimed to have control of half the Klans in the nation. During the 60s.
If that’s so, then is it any wonder that so few Civil Rights era crimes were solved? Or successfully prosecuted?
I still don’t know what to make of it. I’ve updated my manuscript with all the relevant quotes, but I also have to take some time just to let it sink into my brain.
The FBI was running half the Klans in America during the worst Klan violence we saw in the postwar era. No one seemed to think that was wrong or fucked up.