J Edgar

History is written by the victors- Winston Churchill

This post may come of as a bit of history lesson but I write about things that interest me. Now lets get down to business. I am a fan of movies. Most genres including sci-fi, drama, action, westerns and even the occasional chick flick. I respect Leonardo DiCaprio as an actor. Inception, Titanic, Gangs of New York, The Departed, Shutter Island and Catch Me If You Can are among my favorite movies. Its rarely a movie that DiCaprio stars in that I don’t like. DiCaprio’s latest movie J. Edgaris slated to be released on November 9th. I don’t think I will be seeing this movie despite how much of a movie and history buff that I am. I have issues with J Edgar Hoover.

Cross Dressing MFer

In case you don’t know who I’m talking about he was the first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The same organization who has for decades violated the constitutional rights of this country’s citizens. The FBI got its tactics from somewhere and where else should the blame lay besides its first leader.

Hoover headed COINTELPRO which was a counterintelligence program. In the early 50s, the Communist Party was illegal in the United States. Congress set up committees to prosecute communists. When Supreme Court rulings challenged the constitutionality of those committees the FBI’s response was COINTELPRO. You know eventually this program that designed to “neutralize” threats to American security would eventually turn to civil rights and anti-war groups.

COINTELPRO has investigated, disrupted and discredited many well known civil rights leaders including Fred Hampton, Malcom X and Bobby Seal. Or how about the case of Fred Hampton, who was shot twice in the head at point blank range while he slept in his bed next to his pregnant girlfriend (He couldn’t wake because he was drugged by an FBI informant). Hampton was 21 years of age when he was assassinated. Programs like this stunted the civil rights era and caused unnecessary bloodshed and suffering.

J Edgar Hoover even approved wiretapping the telephones of the Martin Luther King Jr. because it was believed that one of King’s closest advisers was a top-level member of the American Communist Party. Smh.

I can’t sit in a movie theater and watch a film glorifying this man. Hollywood has a tendency to portray real life villains as heroes or at the very least not as they were in actuality. Examples being John Rolfe, Abraham Lincoln, Robert F. Kennedy, George Washington, etc.

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29 thoughts on “J Edgar

  1. Wu Young

    J-Edgar was a real piece of work. His twisted outlook on things coupled with being an egotistical micro-manager is legendary. He would try to ruin anyone who he thought stepped into hid purview. He even threw hissy fit when the O.S.S was created during WWII and later the C.I.A. The fact that he was allowed to stay around so long puzzled me too.

    I’ll probably check the film out but pick it apart for both the good and the bad. I tend to do that with history based films about people I both admire and despise. Since my man Clint is directing I’ll also check it out but J.Edgar will still be a deplorable bastard!

    Reply
    1. Me

      ^^^ and this is why I want to see it. I’m interested in both how they will portray this man from the historical standpoint, and how Leonardo will portray him as an actor. Not advocating J. Edgar Hoover at all. But as a biography fan, things like this interest me.

      I’m also interested in seeing if they’ll tap into some of the rumors surrounding his personal life. He didn’t marry or have children, but he had black servants and chauffeurs and was allegedly a closet homosexual, seeing that he lashed out at anyone who questioned his sexuality and named his rumored lover, who was an associate FBI director, as his heir. In an almost fitting fashion, he died alone, only to be found dead in his bed by his black servants.

      Reply
  2. Divine

    Go figure…I just saw the commercial for this and I was really scratching my head. I will not be giving the movie industry my hard earned dollars for this. I will wait until it comes to HBO. I remember reading the COINTELPRO documents while in college and just being amazed.

    Reply
  3. Euphoric Ears

    I’m with Wu, I’d like to see the movie to see what they do with it. I know it won’t change my thoughts on J. Edgar.

    A few years ago, BET had a series called American Gangster and the covered J. Edgar one episode. It was then that I learned about Fred Hampton. That story is crazy!!! I must say, BET did an excellent job with that piece.

    Monday night I watched Sing My Song a documentary on Harry Belafonte and his activism (and career as well). He was black listed on the FBI’s list for years as a Communist. They even had a couple (the woman posed as a psycho analysist, the man a manager) make their way into his life and they were really undercover agents for the FBI. Belafonte became suspicous when the woman began asking him questions about other activitst such as Paul Robeson, Sidney Portier, etc. during the therapy session.

    Belafonte’s 1st wife also left him b/c of the FBI. They ran down on his house while he was on tour and began badgering his wife. She couldn’t take the pressure. In her mind, there had to be some truth to Belafonte’s Communist activities…so she left.

    Reply
  4. Euphoric Ears

    I’m sorry, I just looked up Fred Hampton and the pictures after his death is just heart breaking…and disgusting. I can’t believe that they murdered this man in such a dishonorable way.

    Wow…I’ll probably be back w/ more commentary

    Reply
    1. Me

      I remember reading about Fred Hampton in Elaine Brown’s book, “A Taste of Power.” His girlfriend was pregnant with their son and the Black Panther Party found it very disturbing that the bullet holes missed her entirely, and that there were no bullet holes to signify retaliation fire, discrediting the police’s report that Fred was armed and had opened fire on them. So sad.

      Reply
      1. madscientist7 Post author

        he was drugged and sleeping when they murdered him. unless he was sleep walking and opened fire on them while doing so i doubt the police report is right. thing is they were all cleared of any wrong doing.

      2. Euphoric Ears

        Yup. The only shot fired was by Mark Clark who was on watch when the FBI raided the apartment. He was killed instantly, the shot was fired due to the convulsions he was experiencing from being shot.

        The victims didn’t have the opportunity to defend themselves.

        “We expected about twenty Panthers to be in the apartment when the police raided the place. Only two of those black nigger fuckers were killed, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark.”
        —FBI Special Agent Gregg York

  5. maureen (@MonnaAchy)

    I saw a documentary on history channel based on J.Edgar’s life and it sent chills down my spine, whenever I ride around the FBI center named after him, I still can believe he has a building with his name.

    Reply
    1. madscientist7 Post author

      like i quoted at the begging of the post. history is written by victors. in a sense dude won. history will remember him as a great man. in 2006 the fraternal order of police in chicago protested the idea of naming a street in chicago after fred hampton. we have a thousand mlk streets/avenues/boulevards but fred hampton can’t get a street?

      Reply
      1. Kat Webb (@KatWebb84)

        Hmmm. That’s a good question. If it was still White people in Black face, definitely wouldn’t see it. Though, I DID see “Tropic Thunder”, which had Robert Downey Jr. having a surgery to darken his pigment. In context, it was pretty funny, but definitely offensive, along with several other images in that film.

        Everyone has seen a number of highly disturbing films addressing the racism in America, particularly America’s South, where I’m from. I definitely wouldn’t see it if the film had the same intent, which seemed to glorify the KKK and spread negative stereotypes about Blacks.

        That’s a tough question! My interest in editorial takes on history is how it was through their eyes. I don’t think they’re trying to make this film positive propaganda for J. Edgar. Do you think that’s their intent, or just a different take on the situation?

      2. madscientist7 Post author

        tropic thunder is a comedy. i’ve read books like “black like me” where a white man took medication to darken his skin so he could chronicle what it was like being a black man in the south.

        i don’t care if their trying to make propaganda about hoover. i just don’t have any interest in seeing anything abou that man’s life. i know all that i need to know. no new facts will be coming out in this movie that much i know.

    1. Euphoric Ears

      I don’t think the post was written to “slander” DiCaprio’s acting ability. Tunde said he believes he’s a good actor and enjoy’s his movies. It’s more so about supporting another movie glorifying an American villian.

      Reply
  6. NinaFontaine

    Like someone said up thread I want to see the slant they give his story in the movie but honestly it will be a mantinee watch during the week and not opening weekend LOL.
    But I feel everything you’re saying and understand.

    Reply
  7. The Suburban Thug

    I feel where you coming from sir. I must disagree though. When Clint Eastwood directs a movie, he sticks peripherally close to facts. I consider myself a amateurish history buff, so while all your points are valid as to the kind of person Hoover was, it will be interesting to see how Eastwood handles all of them, but also some of the Hoover back story.

    Critique of the movie will be forthcoming.

    Reply
    1. madscientist7 Post author

      we’ll agree to disagree then. eastwood himself said this:

      “People have lost their sense of humor. In former times, we constantly made jokes about different races. You can only tell them today with one hand over your mouth, otherwise you will be insulted as a racist. I find that ridiculous. In those earlier days every friendly clique had a ‘Sam the Jew’ or ‘Jose the Mexican’ – but we didn’t think anything of it or have a racist thought. It was normal that we made jokes based on our nationality or ethnicity. That was never a problem.”

      most people who make remarks like this usually are racist. so a person who is racist (perceived by me) directing a movie about someone who clearly had an agenda against the civil rights movement. yeah i thin i’m good.

      Reply
      1. Kat Webb (@KatWebb84)

        Taking into account that I don’t actually KNOW Clint Eastwood, I don’t THINK he’s racist. He’s one of the few White directors who has non-White characters in almost ALL of his movies, and not as some side character. As a real PART. That is one of the reasons I support his work.

  8. Quis

    That’s what makes part of Hollywood intriguing, the ability to glorify criminals and influence the preconceived understandings of good versus evil. Let’s shift it away from the disguised criminals better known as our forefathers and examine some popular movies of the past few decades. Did you not want Caine to be free from prosecution in “Menace II Society”, although he as a criminal be definition. Frank Lucas seemed more like a hero than a villain, huh? Cleo, Frankie, Stoney, and TT were like the powerpuff girls +1 in “Set it Off”. Just to name a few, it’s the Hollywood way.

    Reply
    1. madscientist7 Post author

      here’s the thing quis. menace ii society and set if off were fictional tales. they were meant to draw sympathy from the audience. frank lucas was a villain. there’s not denying that but the fact that i read i knew who he was well before the movie premiered. hollywood didn’t sway me in that fact. he got everything he deserved. he sold drugs to his people and make a fortune doing it.

      Reply
  9. Silent Scorpion

    Although I have little interest in this movie, I’m not totally be against seeing it. I do encourage those who have no knowledge of J. Edgar Hoover’s story (but who love Leo and everything) to READ about J. Edgar first and watch the movie later. I do have a feeling that all the lighting, makeup and the attachment of Leo’s name will distract people from recognizing the villain being portrayed. So I implore everyone to do some research before purchasing a movie ticket November 9th.

    Reply
  10. I Am Your People

    I just can’t believe the FBI HQ is named after him. Not only was J. Edgar racist as a mug, but he was gay (and went undercover in drag) and hated gay people. Like…what? I’m not against anyone seeing it, so long as it’s not a glorification of him

    Reply
  11. CHeeKZ Money

    Yeah man. I am kinda with the other readers. I’m not against seeing a money. Unless you are going to tell me that the profits from the movie are going to support some type of right wing extreme.

    Now Clint is known to leave ‘Color’ our of his films, so there may be an issue where our people would be upset that ‘our stories’ don’t make up the majority of the movie. However I was wonder what lead you to believe that the film would glorify him. Esp with Leo attached to it. Leo leans as left as me politically. I would have thought they would upset the other side but exposing Hoover.

    Now I know you don’t need to know more about J Edgar, but other people could stand to learn something if this film was done right and I think its good to tell the stories of these villains so people hear their name in infamy. Plus I always feel like the best argument if held by capturing your enemies strategies. Heck if they didn’t make this movie… you might not have written this blog post, right?

    Reply

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