A civil rights hero

Monument causes uproar over architect and resemblance

A man who spread peace and tranquility would find distress and utter chaos nearly a half century after his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Standing tall — A 30-foot monument is built in remembrance of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla, Getty images

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was a prolific man, to say the least.

A monument was built in his remembrance, but judging by his walk through life, it would lead most to believe that the monument is unnecessary.

It is not about whether he deserves it or not because he does. However, his purpose in life was to show people that they should not seek to be the center of attention but to think of others before themselves.

Not to be cliché, but Dr. King would be rolling over in his grave with a sense of embarrassment and the thought of “How does this further my dream?”

His dream was what he wanted to leave behind. He wanted the generations after him to benefit from the passion he thrust on Americans. Rather, America has not finished the race or won the war on racism. We may never get there.

Our country is going into trillions of dollars in debt, and thousands of people are continuing to lose their jobs, yet $120 million is spent on a rock to commemorate a non-violent, passionate, God fearing and life-changing man. Instead of building a monument, why not let his work and the change our country has had since speak for itself?

Amazingly enough, the monument is being ridiculed not because of the cost or the purpose, but because of the architect and whether or not the monument resembles Dr. King enough.

Lei Yixin, a 57-year-old master sculptor from China, was the architect selected to build the monument.

“Critics have openly asked why a black, or at least an American, artist was not chosen and even remarked that Dr. King appears slightly Asian in Mr. Lei’s rendering,” Malcolm Moore, writer for the Telegraph, said in his article “Martin Luther King memorial made in China.”

In Yixin’s defense, how arrogant are those who think that Dr. King’s dream could not break the barrier of our country? How arrogant are those who believe that America is the only place on our planet that struggles with judging people by attributes other than the content of character?

“I knew of Dr. King since I was a teenager,” Yixin said in an interview on wamu.org. “He’s not only a hero of Americans, he’s a hero of the world. His vision of equality for the world is universal and everyone should pursue the dream.”

America should feel honored that someone from a country of communism is willing to build a monument representing someone who struggled for freedom and equality.

The confusion, disagreement and controversy over the statue only proves that building the monument was the wrong thing to do in the first place.

Instead of using the money for a monument, the money should have been used to create jobs, build homes and help the education system to blossom. Instead, we sit idle by, letting precious funds go to “waste.”

Let us remember him for what he stood for.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” Martin Luther King Jr. said in his “I Have a Dream” speech.

He did not dream of a day where people would fight over the specificity of his statue or build rifts between a people he once longed to see at peace.

Let us not lose sight of the dream.

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