Sunday, August 21, 2011

Martin Luther King -- Hero of all-American Communism!

"It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)."

--Duke Ellington

The below socialist/Stalinist-realism statue, composed by an art-worker who did busts of Mao ZeDong, is about to be a long-delayed and permanent fixture on the Washington D.C. Mall as a memorial in honor of Dr. King.

Simply put, it is an offense to a religious man who was a humanist and moralist rather than an ideologue (but also a savvy politician); indeed, it could have been designed by J. Edgard Hoover, whose FBI thought Martin was a committed Commie all along.

It is a sad reflection on our America that we are remembering -- in such a crude, one-dimensional fashion -- a complex, charismatic person who was such an inspiration to our country during critical decades. This simply stupid statue (it has nothing to do with art) does violence to the memory of a leader of sensitivity, subtlety, and humanity -- not to speak of his immense intelligence and sense of history.

Nobody's perfect. Martin was an accused plagiarist and not exactly a model husband. So: why can't we honor Dr. King in a way that shows him as the human being he was, like all of us, imperfect -- but who led us the world over in such extraordinary ways, because he reminded us, no matter the color of our skin, of our endless imperfections -- and, most important, of our hopes and aspirations for a better world?

Since when do we need Stalinist models to remember persons who make our country (let's hope) great?


frankwilliamsru said...

Hadn't figured why I didn't have a good feeling about this monument when I saw the images on the web.
Your right, it sucks and is an aberration instead of a tribute to a man and a time of great change and ultimate positive consequence.
He was an unparalleled human. And a human all the same.
I do feel you needn't add to the reality of the man as a man. We all have closets with ghosts!
His legacy is beyond that. He is a necessary icon of hope that helped bring us out of hypocrisy and bigotry. We still have work to do.
Our present is his prophecy, and as his children we are all as our father, imperfect!

Paul Rockower said...

Or Han Solo for some carbonite realism:

Bill said...

Thanks for writing this. Martin Luther King changed American society and he ought to have a memorial on the Mall--but not this one. We don't do statues of heroic figures any better than the Soviets did; maybe not as well. We should take the powerful and stunningly beautiful Vietnam memorial or the FDR memorial as our examples, not clichéd, "heroic" depictions of the man himself. As you say, this monument has more in common with the FBI building than with the man it is supposed to honor. Stalin would have been proud.