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MSNBC host demands FBI HQ be renamed after Stacey Abrams to scrub legacy of 'racist tyrant' J. Edgar Hoover
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter

MSNBC host demands FBI HQ be renamed after Stacey Abrams to scrub legacy of 'racist tyrant' J. Edgar Hoover

'... step into 2021 and rededicate the building to someone deserving'

MSNBC host Tiffany Cross suggested Saturday the time has come for the building housing the FBI's headquarters in Washington, D.C., to undergo a name change.

Instead of honoring J. Edgar Hoover, the first FBI director for whom the FBI's headquarters is named, Cross said the FBI should honor a real American hero: Stacey Abrams.

What did Cross say?

Speaking on her show "The Cross Connection" Saturday, Cross said Hoover's namesake should be removed from the FBI building because of his gross abuses of power, most of which surfaced after Hoover's death in 1972.

"Changing the name of our premier law enforcement agency so that it doesn't honor a racist tyrant who trampled civil liberties, I don't know, seems like a pretty logical step to me," Cross said.

"Now if you don't know about J. Edgar Hoover, he lorded over the FBI as its first director for nearly 50 years, and he spent much of the 1950s and 60s obsessively trying to derail the civil rights movement, using tactics like illegal wiretaps, warrantless searches, and other dirty tricks to spy on movement leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hoover's FBI even sent Dr. King an anonymous letter, attempting to blackmail him into committing suicide," Cross explained.

Cross suggested that America "step into 2021 and rededicate the building to someone deserving."

The person most deserving, according to Cross, is Abrams, the failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate who is credited for flipping the Peach State blue in the 2020 presidential election.

Activists also credit Abrams for laying the electoral infrastructure in black communities that allowed Democrats to win both Georgia Senate runoff elections in January.

"How about: the Stacey Abrams Building. If one woman could square off against a whole system that tried to suppress, oppress, and depress the descendants of the people who built this country, for free, and who again managed to save the country from itself, then surely, we can dedicate the building representing equal protection under law after a real political warrior," Cross said.

Anything else?

Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly (Va.) introduced legislation last month to rename the FBI building and "remove any reference to J. Edgar Hoover."

Connolly's bill establishes a bipartisan commission that would determine, using specialized criteria, who should be honored on the FBI building.

"It's long past time to rename the FBI Headquarters. J. Edgar Hoover was a racist, a bigot, and a homophobe. He abused his power and trampled the civil liberties of Dr. King, anti-war protesters, his political rivals, and too many others. He is no role model for any time, and certainly not this one," Connolly said.

"Congress must right this wrong and rename this building," the Virginia Democrat added.

What did the FBI say?

The FBI told Cross it would not comment on the push to rename the FBI's headquarters because of Connolly's pending legislation.

"The FBI is very much committed to all the communities we serve. We are bound by an oath to serve all citizens with equal compassion, professionalism, dignity, and respect," the agency said.

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