King promoted peace and understanding among all people. His primary fight, however, was to win particular opportunities for blacks in the United States by juxtaposing the plight of an oppressed people against a message of freedom and democracy.
A loose-knit but growing group of critics says a black artist — or at least an American — should have been chosen to create the King memorial between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials in the nation's capital. They have been joined by human rights advocates who say King would have abhorred the Chinese government's record on religious and civil liberty.
"They keep saying King was for everyone. I keep telling people, 'No, King wasn't for everyone. King was for fairness and justice,'" said Gilbert Young, a black painter from who has started a Web site and a petition drive to try to change the project.
"I believe that black artists have the right to interpret ourselves first," Young said.
Do I need to point out the penny-ante nature of these statements, or can normal, decent people see them for themselves? Perhaps I need to toss in this information as well:
The memorial foundation directing the project seems surprised at the criticism. Ten of the 12 people on the committee that chose the sculptor, Lei Yixin, are black. Lei is working closely on the design with two black sculptors in the U.S., organizers said, and the overall project is being directed by a black-owned architecture firm.
Sad, and petty.
So was Dr. King black first, an American first, or does it even matter? From where comes this belief that blacks get "first right of refusal" to design a freakin' memorial for this great American? The people who are complaining, have they ever listened to Dr. King's words? From their arguments, I can only conclude that they have not.
Racism comes in many forms, and it usually involves judging people by the color of their skin. And that's what's going on in this instance.