Martin Luther King was killed primarily because he represented a threat to the white elites, who held themselves above the dark skinned races. King was leading the attack on their strongholds, the schools and churches and most particularly the media. What they viewed as their divine right was being eroded, was no longer an automatic assumption, and blind fury resulted. The KKK, with all its many tentacles, reached out to stop the flood, or at least stem it. The government was involved to the extent that it held sympathizers, who looked the other way when they got word that trouble was afoot. Civil rights has been something that, in the main, has been shoved down the throats of government bureaucrats, who at that time were essentially a white bastion.