PBS’ Religion and Ethics Newsweekly—MLK National Memorial

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[FRED] DE SAM LAZARO: This unveiling comes at a time of serious political polarization in this country. Do you think that the monument has the potential any way to provide some healing in that divide?

[THE REVEREND DR. ROBERT] FRANKLIN: I believe so, and I certainly hope so. Dr. King was a man of healing and reconciliation even in the context of calling for justice. American politics is broken today, and Dr. King’s message, his life, his values and virtues can offer us a strategy for healing what is broken. It means political opponents must never dehumanize each other. They must speak truth to power, but they must also be willing to negotiate as well as confront, and I think the King memorial will be an inspiration and a reminder that that reconciliation is possible in America.

Read or watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryRace/Race RelationsReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

6 Comments
Posted August 28, 2011 at 1:41 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. David Keller wrote:

Sorry, but that monument is monumentally ugly.  I also don’t think Dr. King would have much like being portrayed as a mean looking, stern and unbending block of granite. In fairness, I didn’t like the Viet Nam Memorial when it was first unveiled, but after visiting it I changed my mind. Maybe MLK will look better in person than he does in the photos.

August 29, 8:51 am | [comment link]
2. evan miller wrote:

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look anything like Dr. King, just a generic, scowling, black man.  And the blocky body reminds one forcefully of the statues to Chairman Mao and Kim Il Sung.

August 29, 10:01 am | [comment link]
3. David Keller wrote:

#2—The sculptor is a Chi-Com.  I started to mention that in my original post because it looks way too much like Chairman Mao.  You are correct; and I have no clue why they thought hiring a commmie to do the sculpture was a good idea.

August 29, 10:16 am | [comment link]
4. flaanglican wrote:

I think he would have preferred a humble life-size statute of himself surrounded by people of multiple races.  As a minister, I think he would have appreciated being surrounded by the true Body of Christ.  As a Federal monument, it wouldn’t overtly say that, of course. If one prefers, one could think of the Free At Last speech instead when blacks and whites could stand together and say “Free at last.”

Instead, we get Mao Tse King.

August 29, 10:59 am | [comment link]
5. Sarah wrote:

Hmmm—it is kind of unattractive and blockish.  But perhaps that pose is one that he often struck—perhaps it will be familiar to those who were acquainted with him.

August 29, 1:36 pm | [comment link]
6. evan miller wrote:

#5
Perhaps.  But the facial features and shape of the head still don’t look like MLK.

August 29, 1:43 pm | [comment link]
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