Monument in D.C. will turn Martin Luther King into an oriental god king
The recent posting by Susan Ann Hiller about President Obama’s relentless pursuit of passing health legislation because of it special positive effect on minorities, and, in the process, his repeated invoking of the name of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, can only be understood in light of the role that the late Dr. King now plays not only in minds of many Americans, but foreigners as well.
While I lived in Norway, for example, there could be no question that to most Norwegians, especially the younger ones, King was the most popular American ever.
Neither Washington nor Lincoln came close. When Jesse Jackson visited Norway before launching his unsuccessful bid for the presidency, the organizers of his appearance before the press corps in Oslo referred to him as the “heir” to the King legacy. I believe that “legacy,” however defined, still applies to most European nations, where he is considered America’s true hero. The same was true of the clerics I spoke to in the “loggia” or halls of the Vatican.
It is with this in mind that one reads with interest the February 11th issue of The Washington Post, where an article describes the future arrival of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. This enormous piece of carved stone will stand nearly 31 feet above the ground at the other end of Washington’s Tidal Basin, the site of the cherry blossom trees, and opposite the Jefferson Memorial. King’s stone image will be at least 10 feet higher than Jefferson or Lincoln in their respective memorials, and will require driving hundreds of concrete piles into the ground to support this 55 ton Stone of Hope Memorial, on which King is shown, bracketed by two called Stones of Despair. What may interest, as well as amuse, some readers is that The King Memorial was carved entirely from Chinese stone, and will be shipped from China.
Although the Post article is fuzzy about who paid for the 120 million dollar project, it does mention that there were some complaints about its progress. The U.S. Commission of Fine Arts criticized the sculptor’s (also Chinese) image as, “too grim and totalitarian.” As a personal aside, from what I have seen, the pictures of the King statue do resemble what appears to be the fashion of sculptors favored by Kim il Sung, and a definite step down from Fascist architecture in Italy. The final phase of the construction will take place shortly in Washington, and inauguration will, no doubt, be prior to Election Day of this year.
All nations have heroes, men and women who have performed notable service to their country, and have been rewarded for that devotion. What is different in the case of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is that this hero, and many would question such an honor being bestowed to King, has been transformed into a demi-god, something antithetical to the nature of a democracy.
This is extremely upsetting. Has this thing been approved, what stage is it in?
Vincent Chiarello continues:
Not only has this architectural monstrosity been approved, but the weighty and ponderous slabs of stone that comprise the memorial, each of which weighs, “thousands of tons,” are “ready to be shipped,” according to The Post article.
The article further states that these component slabs will leave Xiamin China and arrive in Baltimore by March or April. At that point, the Chinese architect, Lei Yixin, plans to finish the work by the summer or early autumn, but only after more than 300 concrete piles are driven 50 feet into the mud of the Tidal Basin to support the memorial’s foundation. As I noted, I believe that the official opening of the memorial will be timed to precede the congressional elections in 2010, mainly as a show horse to energize the black and minority vote.
The words of Kirk Savage, an architectural expert on the monuments in Washington are prophetic. In describing the Memorial Savage wrote:
But in Washington, this will be a very, very unusual piece of work. It’s almost like a pyramid they’re building.”
Professor Savage’s description may be more unsettling to many than he realized, for it indicates that the memorial’s purpose may be to honor America’s first Pharaoh.
Was there no opposition to such a memorial, so huge, and in its style so inappropriate to America?
Ben W. writes:
LA: “How did Republicans allow such a thing to be approved?”
Are you kidding me? Seriously, Lawrence are you kidding us? Republicans are the biggest a**-kissers in the world.
Ask ANY Republican what he thinks of MLK. America is “George Washington + MLK”—that is the American equation today—Republican or Democrat, Biden or Palin, George Will or Joe Klein, Charlton Heston or Brad Pitt. Come on, man.
The day that a white man (any white man) walked in a civil rights march, was the day that Obama was voted president and MLK was made a founding father and saint of American history.
Obviously, my sense of wonder and horror is directed, not at the fact that Congress approved an MLK memorial, but at the fact that they approved this particular statue, which is way too large and freakily un-American.
Daniela writes from Romania:
So when will liberal America propose that MLK should be carved in Mount Rushmore to mark the passage into a new era after the first 150 years of American history?
Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 14, 2010 03:10 PM | Send