This video reflects on Counterintelligence Program’s (COINTELPRO), a secret FBI program that sought to disrupt and discredit freedom movements. The specific focus this video outlines the goals and tactics of COINTELPRO for disrupting and discrediting black nationalist organizations and their leaders in the United States, though blacks were far from the only ones targeted by he FBI’s program.
As the video points out, the primary goals were to prevent the emergence of a “messiah” who could unify and electrify the militant black nationalist movement, preventing violence on the part of black nationalist groups, discrediting black nationalists to the responsible negro community, whites, and agro-radicals, and preventing long-range growth of militant black organizations especially among youth. The program’s tactics included discrediting groups and individuals through publicity, pinpointing potential troublemakers, and developing specific strategies to prevent militant black organizations from converting young people.
The first goal is to prevent the rise of a powerful black leader who could unify and electrify the movement, such as Martin Luther King Jr. or Stokely Carmichael.
The second goal is to prevent violence on the part of black nationalist groups by identifying potential troublemakers and neutralizing them before they act.
The third goal is to discredit black nationalists to three separate segments of the community: responsible black leaders, sympathetic white liberals, and radical followers of the movement.
The fourth goal is to prevent the long-term growth of militant black organizations, particularly among youth. The document encourages agents to take an enthusiastic and imaginative approach to this endeavor and encourages them to recommend techniques for achieving these goals.
Let’s Sing Along
Spying on black nationalists,
Trying to disrupt their plans.
Targeting leaders with charisma,
And discrediting their whole clan.
Prevent violence and gain control,
Neutralize troublemakers in full.
Discredit to the black community,
And to white sympathizers too.
The goal’s to stop a black revolution,
And prevent youth from joining the solution.
Get imaginative with your approach,
And the Bureau will always encroach.