*Four months after Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter was elected president of the civil rights group he co-founded, the organization is in a tailspin and she is silent on why she hasn’t taken the helm.
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference has been fractured by infighting and a federal investigation. Agents recently raided the Ohio chapter’s headquarters and the home of the SCLC’s national chairman, who faces accusations of financial mismanagement. In Georgia, Fulton County prosecutors have also launched a formal investigation into the Atlanta-based organization’s financial affairs.
Through it all, the Rev. Bernice King – who was elected SCLC president Oct. 29 – has said nothing. She has yet to take over, and the interim president she is replacing has already left.
With no one to speak on the group’s behalf, observers say the long-declining SCLC is weaker than ever.
“J. Edgar Hoover is in his grave, shouting and celebrating,” said Tyrone Brooks, a Georgia state representative and longtime SCLC member, invoking the name of the FBI director who kept tabs on the SCLC for years. “The organization he tried to destroy is now being destroyed by the very people who claim to love it and love the legacy of Dr. King.”