Skip to comments.Monumental Hubris (Chinese laborers worked on MLK memorial)
Posted on 09/07/2011 7:13:47 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Will work for national honor.
We dont know if the Chinese stonemasons who built the new Martin Luther King memorial got the job by shoving a sign bearing that message into the faces of its overseers. We know only that unpaid, nonunion, foreign nationals built the massive shrine on the Mall. They toiled for national honor and to bring glory to the Chinese people, one of them explained to an investigator hired by the DC-area stonemasons promised the job.
Happy Labor Day!
Martin Luther King died in Memphis supporting a strike by the citys garbagemen. So its not a stretch to assume that he would be horrified that imported workers making the Chinese minimum wage constructed an American tribute to him. Hurricane Irene postponing the monuments opening ceremonies last weekend, and an earthquake moving a service scheduled for the National Cathedral, suggest that maybe the Great Shop Steward in the Sky wasnt pleased, either.
The National Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation, like those who commissioned the pyramids, hope future visitors to their stone temple wont wonder how it was built. Alas, the slave-labor scandal is just the most discussed way that an honor has become an insult to Martin Luther King.
Kings children charged the foundation building the memorial for the use of their fathers words and image in the projects fundraising. A clue to their indifference to history came when Bernice King, at an event celebrating the new memorial, noted her fathers place on the National Mall not far from Abraham Lincoln, remembered for signing the Declaration of Independence. Confirmation came when they skipped history for economics by burdening the overburdened organizers of the monument with an $800,000 bill.
Is that why the foundation had to go cheap on labor?
Martin Luther King had a dream. His children have a scheme.
One of the quotes attributed to King etched into the memorial actually comes from Theodore Parker, an antebellum reformer who helped bankroll John Browns Kansas activities. Should Parkers descendants seek their cut from the King family?
Another quoteI was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousnessis a cut-and-paste job compressing several sentences into one. Unsurprisingly, the words that King didnt say do not reflect Kings sentiment, which was the opposite of a congratulatory self-eulogy. The quote makes Dr. Martin Luther King look like an arrogant twit, poet Maya Angelou, a consultant to the memorial, reacted. He was anything but that.
You get what you pay for. When Chinese Communists write your history, dont be surprised when your history is neither yours nor history. Commissars vanish from the picture and words get erased from the quote. Outsourcing reportedly saved the project $8 million. It cost the remembrance its integrity and authenticity.
The arrogance of rewriting history to fit a granite slab is matched by hubristic art and architecture. The monuments social realist style meshes as well in neoclassical Washington, DC as an igloo might in Kings hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. Lei Yixin, a Chinese sculptor known for a cult-of-personality statue of Mao Zedong, crafted the centerpiece of the new memorial. Social realism appealed to mid-century totalitarian narcissists, who ridiculed a deity above them as a blasphemy against man, demanding that we accept the truly ridiculous idea that we should worship men as gods. But a man of god can never be a god of men.
The stone relief may have nailed Kings image. It is a grotesque distortion of his soul.
As off-putting as entombing a liberators likeness in a style evoking the twentieth centurys great oppressors is the not-so-subtle juxtaposition of this King with the King, the King of Kings. Visitors emerge from a Mountain of Despair to glimpse a Stone of Hope, a journey from Kings struggles to our national redemption. Along the way, those making the pilgrimage to the Washington, DC holy place pass through a 14-station Inscription Wall.
Why not cut the pretense and just call it the Via Dolorosa?
Eric Hoffer famously wrote: What starts out here as a mass movement ends up as a racket, a cult, or a corporation. The MLK temple is a stone-cold reminder that the civil rights movement has become all three.
Our government seems somewhat less than enthusiastic about getting Americans working again /understatement
And King looks vaguely Chinese in the pictures I have seen.
This should have been designed and built by Americans, black and white.
Dr. Maotin Luther King...
When I saw the statue I was reminded of Chinese propaganda in which Mao is shown in the center of a picture leading the workers and peasants towards a shining future. Just sayin’.
Why is there now a giant statue of Chairman Mao on the Mall?
A gift from Chinese communist workers in honor of the most famous American communist. Makes sense to me.
Just as an fyi, 0bama and his communists buddies built the monument for one of their own:
King attended the Highlander Folk School which the Communist Party operated at Monteagle, Tennessee. Identified in a picture is King, Abner Berry, a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and writer for the “Daily Worker,” Aubrey Williams, Communist Party agent and president of the Southern Conference Educational Fund (SCEF) a red front organizing blacks in southern states. Miles Horton, head of the Highlander Folk School, King was listed on the schools’ letterhead as a “sponsor.”
The Highlander school was financed by the Julius Rosenwald Fund. At one time Rosenwald headed Sears Roebuck Co. He spent $22 million financing civil rights groups. His daughter Edith Stern continued to give money to the SCEF and Highlander Folk School after her father’s death. Her husband, Alfred stern of New Orleans, fled to Russia just before he was to be arrested on spy charges.
King is virtually always presented as a man dedicated to arguing against racial biases. His lefty ties — even the very union activity he was cheering on at the time he was shot — are not well known.
Well, Obummer is the Outsourcer in Chief...
Why should Americans work when their fellow citizens provide them with food, housing, medical care, education, and even a “free” cell phone? At least the Chinese are willing to work.
We cannot talk of Dr. Du Bois without recognizing that he was a radical all of his life. Some people would like to ignore the fact that he was a Communist in his later years. It is time to cease muting the fact that Dr. Du Bois was a genius and chose to be a Communist. Our irrational, obsessive anti-communism has led us into too many quagmires to be retained as if it were a mode of scientific thinking.'
Martin Luther King Jr address at Freedomways celebration of Du Bois centennial, 1968.
Every one a dreamer pointing the way forward to a future that simply never comes to pass. Perhaps it is the philosophy underlining the dream?
American artists and sculptors and their interns (paid or unpaid) would have loved to have worked on a memorial to MLK.
Without them, we have a giant hunk of junk on the Mall.
Interesting quotes. MLK in the late 60s was not the young preacher of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Sad.
and if they would have given him more negro features, they would then complain that they did that on purpose...you can’t please everybody.
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