In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr, a monument is going to be built in Washington D.C. The goal of this monument, if I’m not mistaken, is to give permanence to the ideals espoused by Dr.* King and others integral to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s: that all men should be treated fairly and, as individuals, they should not judged solely on their race. The monument features a giant sculpture of Dr.* King designed and crafted by Lei Yixin, a Chinese sculptor.
I find it interesting – no, vexing – that some blacks have come out in opposition to the choice of Lei Yixin as the creator, based largely on the belief that someone from a country with a long history of injustice and civil discord should not be the one to immortalize their leader. These people would much rather the work be done by an African-American, or at least an American.
Umm, wait…seeing the hypocrisy yet? Those same people whose parents fought hard for the right to not be judged by the color of their skin are now judging Mr. Yixin for the crimes of his country of origin, with little or no understanding of his own personal beliefs. Personally, I don’t know anything about Lei Yixin but I highly doubt that the fact that he is from a communist country should undermine his ability to create a beautiful work of art. I don’t doubt that those who have spoken out against him are some of the same people who continue to support affirmative action – but then that’s just me being judgmental without having a shred of evidence to back it up.
Perhaps once Mr. Yixin creates the statue and everyone sees that it is a favorable portrayal of the activist, it will help alleviate discrimination coming from those who claim to be discriminated against.
* It should be noted that Martin Luther King, Jr. plagiarized one third of his doctoral dissertation, making his title at least somewhat specious.