Dr. MLK Jr. Quote to be Removed From Memorial


#1

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[FONT=arial]WASHINGTON — An inscription on the memorial honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that set off a controversy will be removed.

Since the memorial opened in August 2011, critics have contended that the paraphrased quote — “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness” — chiseled on the monument near the statue’s left shoulder misrepresents Dr. King’s words.

The estimated cost of the project is $700,000 to $900,000, said Blake Androff, an Interior Department spokesman. That money will come out of a maintenance fund established by the Memorial Foundation, he said.

[/FONT][FONT=georgia][FONT=arial]The quote is a paraphrased segment of a sermon Dr. King delivered in February 1968. Examining what he called the “drum major instinct” to distinguish oneself, Dr. King asked that he be remembered for his commitment not to “shallow things” but to certain principles.
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[FONT=georgia][FONT=arial]“Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice; say that I was a drum major for peace; I was a drum major for righteousness,” he said.[/FONT][/FONT]

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#2

If the “problem” is that the quote actually summarizes what Dr. King said, I don’t see it as hugely significant, though the actual quote is visually and aurally more dramatic. My problem is with the statue itself. To me, the statue looks like statues of I’ve seen of Stalin and Mao, a similarity I think Dr. King would have found horrifying. I’m sure Dr. King was a human being and had his faults - some of them real (i.e. not the imaginings of those who disliked or hated him) - but Stalin and Mao enslaved 100s of millions of people and slaughtered 10s of millions; Dr. King’s goals were to realize the freedoms blacks (like all Americans) had in law but which were denied them by racists circumventing and refusing to enforce the law. Dr. King was pretty much a diametric opposite of Stalin and Mao, which is why I think the current statue unintentionally (I hope!) dishonors him.


#3

The problem is that this quote reminds the Extreme Left Left that King was a Christian Conservative, not an evil Communist like them.

They have been hard at work redefining Martin Luther King for decades, these efforts will not bear fruit if Kings ideas are carved in stone.