Fashion Plate

If you like Texas Jot, please take a look at my other blog, Fashion Plate. It is the home of my handmade retro Barbie clothes and lots of delicious recipes from my cookbooks.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

MLK Versus Coach K Statue

Obviously they didn't listen to me, so the initiative signed by Bill Clinton in 1996 has resulted in the latest addition to the Washington, DC monument scene...a thirty-foot statue of Martin Luther King nestled between the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials. Silly me, I thought the National Mall was reserved to honor former PRESIDENTS.
It seems I'm not the only one a little disturbed by this statue.  Some folks seem to think MLK looks too confrontational with his arms folded.  (Wasn't his work necessarily confrontational?) Others are fixated on the fact that the sculpture was from a communist country (China) and King would have been appalled that slave labor helped to create this work. There's a segment of the population that feels his face looks too Chinese. (Hey, they did let the family select from some different headshots.) Dosen't that look like a rolled-up newspaper in his hand? Finally, this monster statue towers 11 feet over the other monuments in the vicinity.
As far as I'm concerned, the statue looks more like an angry Asian-American, than a black preacher leading "peaceful" social reform, but that's beside the point.  We have statues to all kinds of heroes and leaders, but they are not parked in an area traditionally reserved for presidential honors. Future archaeologists will stumble upon this thirty-foot tribute and debate why he was placed among the elected. Good luck, I can't even answer that question, today.

Stone selection underway.  He has his arms folded, too!
 Referencing my blog entry (see below) of January 14, 2001, Celebrate MLK, JFK or Coach K?, I think the wrong man got the statue. I hope you will join me in support of this initial drive to get a statue dedicated to Coach K.  Make your  donations at www. statue of coach Let's also petition Congrees to get him a nice shady spot on the tidal basin.
Celebrate MLK, JFK or Coach K ?

Why can't we just speak the truth and move on? MLK was the impetus of the civil rights movement, but he was also a plagiarist and a womanizer. Why wasn't his PhD revoked? JFK's philandering and alleged involvement with organized crime were suppressed by his brother, Bobby. What we are spoon-fed is the glorious allusion of Camelot. We made it to the moon and fostered the Peace Corps, but we are asked to conveniently forget the Bay of Pigs and other foreign policy fiascoes. The question of whether JFK's and MLK's shortcomings negate any of their official triumphs can only be decided by one's personal and historical prospective.
We need to reveal the good, the bad and the ugly. I find it quite interesting that we continue to foster historical textbook role models on children. If Thomas Jefferson can father a slave child and survive historical examination, why don't we stop eulogizing King and Kennedy as saints? Appreciate the good they accomplished, but include the caveats. That is how we learn from history.
If we want to celebrate a truly great "K", how about Duke basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski? I have yet to discover any flaws in his character. This West Point grad, from humble beginnings, has captured 4 National Titles, an Olympic Championship and is the second all-time winningest basketball coach. To pass my litmus test, I also needed to know what he did when he was not coaching. He built a Family Center in honor of his mother and is a supporter of many Catholic charities. He is allied with the Duke School of Business to promote ethics. He is know as a mentor, motivator and a true family man. I have picked against him in the Final Four (big mistake), but it is hard to overlook the fact that on or off the court, he is the type of role model our children really need.

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