This punch-in-the-gut article undoubtedly knocks the wind from its author most. David Garrow, who won a Pulitzer for a biography of King, boasts membership in the Democratic Socialists of America, and remains, alongside Taylor Branch, the most acclaimed biographer of the civil rights leader, undoubtedly becomes not only part of the story — a fate dreaded by historians — but a villain in it. Most U.S. press outlets ignore his shocking research. The Washington Post, which rejected his article, focuses not so much on his revelations but the critical reaction to them in its story, “‘Irresponsible’: Historians Attack David Garrow’s MLK Allegations.” At its conclusion, Garrow displays a naïveté in answering whether he worries about the publication damaging his reputation. “No,” he maintains. “Not at all. I think that’s impossible.” In the final line of his article published by the UK’s Standpoint magazine, Garrow writes that some aging King scholars — he is only 66 — may not live to see the 2027 release of the transcripts and audio, suggesting a motive for releasing an article on the summaries now before others get the jump on the information or before the grim reaper gets the jump before 2027.
The King revelations reveal several curious inflection points of the 21st century American elite left. In March Star Parker noted that “The Left’s Identity Politics Rejects the Vision of Martin Luther King Jr.,” and as Garrow told Dominic Green of the London Spectator at the beginning of the month, “the King transcripts are not about race. They are about the abuse of male power,” a topic that’s been at the forefront of the American left since the fall of 2017. But the DNC-MSM would not give Garrow’s revelations traction, because, Green writes, “Garrow alleges that the editors are afraid of being attacked as racist by Twitter mobs — a theory that seems to be confirmed by the Post’s attack on Garrow,” adding:
We might add that King is sacred to liberalism — perhaps so much a saint that the prelates of the press are covering up his feet of clay. Whether caused by misplaced paternalism, cowardice, or simple partisanship, this is a dereliction of journalistic duty. It’s hard to imagine the same newspapers demurring from running transcripts involving Richard Nixon or Donald Trump.
While lesser figures can be easily consigned by the left to the permanence of the Memory Hole, it’s understandable that the media refused to do the same to King’s reputation. as one of Rod Dreher’s readers wrote, “I hope Dr. King remains celebrated; I also hope that his sexual behavior (again, assuming this story is true) is not forgotten. And in the future, when someone on the Left advocates the abolition of Columbus Day, or the taking down of monuments to Washington or Jefferson or many less well-known figures, I hope that people bring up Dr. King, NOT in the spirit of ‘Whataboutism’, but in order to remind them that there is no incompatibility between celebrating the achievements of people in the past and acknowledging that those people had – as we all do – major flaws.”