The statue, representing a “Stone of Hope,” sits forward from a “Mountain of Despair.”
In reality it’s made to appear as if MLK has split the mountain in two and is morphing out of the granite like some great, sullen chthonic deity. After complete societal collapse the site will be suitable for virgin sacrifices and the like.
Visitors pass through the mountain on their way to King’s statue and an expanse along the basin rimmed with an inscription wall covered with stone carvings of some of his most famous quotes. The four-acre area will also feature the iconic cherry blossom trees that draw thousands of tourists to the Mall each spring.
“The very first time that I came to the site, I was almost overwhelmed,” Martin Luther King III said. “I really was impressed by this artist. He was able to capture the essence of my dad.”
What does he know?
Sculptor Ed Dwight, who has made seven statues of King, objects to the memorial’s depiction of the icon — and to the artist chosen to create it.
“This idea of having this 30-foot-tall sculpture of this man, and this confrontational look, he would not appreciate that, because that was not him,” Dwight argues.
Dwight is a black American artist, which might have seemed to make him an ideal candidate for the job, but he doesn’t have access to a Chinese quarry and the indentured laborers who come with it.
You try steal happy family lucky civil rights! And cigarette lighter! Good for you we no white racist! Stop looking at girl! Up against wall!
[Chinese artist Lei Yixin], for his part, said America did not have sole claim on King.
“Martin Luther King is not only a hero of America, he’s also a hero of the world,” he said.
They could not find a capable black sculptor. They would not have a white one. Or they simply didn’t want to pay a decent wage. So the Chinese, who disdain democracy and embrace ethnic nationalism, who despise blacks and view America’s experience with multiculturalism and diversity as “chaos” largely because of the civil rights movement, who have contributed nothing to the advancement of individual or minority rights–they have the same, or greater claim to the civil democratic tradition than an American of European descent, whose forefathers have been dying for centuries to advance the cause.
A Communist Chinese national creating an image of an African American to harry European Americans about legal and political rights. And none dare note the ironic affront. This is the inverted empire of American multiculturalism, where hypocritical foreigners use the perverted language of civil rights to impose upon us an oppressive mediocrity.
He’s all yours, Mr. Lei. But just between you and me, he ain’t really all that. Then again, I suspect you knew that already.