Monday, January 16, 2012

While you're there, fix the button

A small but successful campaign is forcing the U.S Department of the Interior to modify a quote on the side of the Martin Luther King, Jr. monument in Washington D.C.

The missing context and omissions of two small words in the quote makes King sound arrogant. Gone unnoticed is a glaring error on the front of the statue that makes King look foolish.

There's a rule in men's fashion called Sometimes-Always-Never. That identifies which buttons to button, from top to bottom, in a three-button suit jacket.

As a well-dressed preacher who told his freedom marchers to wear their Sunday best, King knew this rule. We can see in photographs that he followed it.

Yet, his statue depicts the bottom button fastened like a frat boy concealing a Daffy Duck tie at the spring formal with the sisters of Alpha Sigma Ho.

Maybe if they had found a sculptor who did real research on his subject, instead of building agitprop monuments for barbarians like Mao Zedong, we wouldn't have this problem.

All they have to do is chisel the button off and leave an empty buttonhole shape behind. Fixing the quote will require a lot more work than chipping a little class into the rock.

I don't support the King is Ours group that formed to demand that a black sculptor design the monument. I think the name of the groups demonstrates they failed to grasp Dr. Kings lesson about equality between all people, not just blacks and whites. That being said, a black man would never have let something like this slip. One of the King is Ours organizers is even named Clint Button.


  1. King Is Ours did not form to demand that a black sculptor design the monument. We formed to protest the fact that the monument was "made in China." We formed to protest the fact that slave labor in China quarried the granite used to sculpt a memorial to a man who was murdered defending workers rights. We formed to protest the fact that the artist, renowned in his own country for sculpting monuments to communist leaders--including Chairman Mao--was given the incredible honor of leading the team that sculpted a monument to the first African American to stand on our National Mall. In fact, a black sculptor DID design the sculpture that was approved by the Park Board, the Commission of Fine Arts, and the Department of the Interior. His name was Ed Dwight. He was kicked to the curb after the communist artist was brought on board as a SUBcontractor for the project as a stone cutter. Dwight critiqued the changes Yixin made, the suit jacket and button issue included, and for complaining, Dwight was kicked fired. Just a little FYI for you...

  2. Having created a MLK memorial sculpture for my town- and having done my research on not just his face but his, stance, mannerisms and dress, I noted this glaringly ignorant error when the model came out. Why did this get through the committee? Especially in light of Dwight's critique? The whole saga is a snafu travesty.