Aretha Franklin's son claims singer ‘had nothing to hide’ after docs show FBI spied on her for 40 years

Aretha Franklin's son claims singer ‘had nothing to hide’ after docs show FBI spied on her for 40 years
American musician Aretha Franklin performs on stage at the Park West Auditorium, Chicago, Illinois, March 23, 1992 (Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

DETROIT, MICHIGAN: Aretha Franklin's son has broken his silence after a 270-page document revealed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) chased the singer for four decades -- 1967 to 2007 -- using infiltration, false phone calls, highly-placed sources, and surveillance. The bureau was reportedly obtaining information on the ‘Queen of Soul’ while keeping an eye on her civil rights activism and her relationships with Martin Luther King Jr and Angela Davis.

As per Rolling Stone which obtained the papers from the FBI, the government file was filled with terms like, “pro-communist,” “militant Black power,” “hate America,” “Black extremists,” “radical,” and “racial violence”. Also, a part of the pages called the funeral plans for Luther King Jr a “racial situation,” before adding, “Sammy Davis Jr, Aretha Franklin…of this group, some have supported militant Black power concept…[performance at MLK memorial by these prominent entertainers] would provide emotional spark which could ignite racial disturbance in this area.”

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However, now Franklin’s youngest son, Kecalf Franklin, has expressed his distaste towards the FBI’s surveillance. According to radarlonline, the 52-year-old said, “I’m not really sure if my mother was aware that she was being targeted by the FBI and followed. I do know that she had absolutely nothing to hide though.”

Kecalf added, “It does make me feel a certain way knowing the FBI had her targeted and wanted to know her every move. But at the same time knowing my mother and the way she ran her business I know she had nothing to hide so they wouldn’t have found anything and were wasting their time. As you see…they found nothing at all.”

The lengthy document has been released years after ‘A Natural Woman’ singer died in August 2018. She was 76. At the time, a statement issued by her representative said, “It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the passing of Aretha Louise Franklin, the Queen of Soul. In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family.”

Meanwhile, the newly-released documents invited fury on Twitter. A user tweeted, “This is just obscene. Aretha Franklin was an American TREASURE.” Another wrote, “That’s revisionist and nonsensical to think music was viewed as a bigger threat. MLK nor Malcolm X were musicians. No race or nationality experienced more surveillance by the federal government than Black People.”

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A third speculated, “Wonder if it dragged on so long because agents themselves just wanted to go to her concerts and subvert a bigoted investigation at the same time?” “Track Aretha Franklin but now they can't track terrorists who attack the Capitol or steal top secret documents and hide them in a desk drawer at a hotel,” someone added.

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A tweet said, “This is something that most African American artists have know for decades & shows the deep racism within this country's LE, it not surprising at all, to some of us, but is long overdue to be exposed to show how long we as white people, have been oppressing the black community!” Another tweet read, “FBI should have been disbanded then and should be disbanded now. Gestapo thugs.”

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This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.
 

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