Martin Luther King

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I am against the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Also, the naming of a day in January after him.

I am not against the guy, or most of what he did. I admire him. I believe he was a great American. But I do not believe anyone is deserving of a national holiday or monument, except for maybe George Washington and Jesus (not necessarily in that order; and Jesus gets two holidays, but no monument!).

Seriously though, I greatly dislike it. I disagree strongly with the whole concept. If we wanted to have Civil Rights Day or a Civil Rights Memorial, I'm down with that. But to name it after a person has two problems.

First, you limit it too much. It's now about the man, and not the larger events that he was a part of. They become at best sideshows that are meaningful only in the context of the man, when it should be the other way around.

Second, and similarly, you are now also bound to the failings of the man. In this case, frankly, Martin Luther King had some extremely radical views (that we would even consider radical today), views that many would call downright un-American. Do we really want a monument to someone who said, "There must be a better distribution of wealth and maybe America must move toward a Democratic Socialism"?

Maybe you will argue that King was right. I think you're crazy if you do, but that's not the point. The point is that the whole discussion is irrelevant to King's real contributions that we should be celebrating, and that they necessarily become part of the picture when you devote a day or a place to the man himself.

In a Civil Rights Day you don't have to care about the fact that Lincoln was a racist, or Jefferson owned slaves, or King was a socialist: you can celebrate their achievements for civil rights and ignore their failings. But in a Martin Luther King Day, his failings are part of the picture, and detract from what we should be celebrating.

I am not down with MLK Day, and I do not care at all for the monument being erected in his name.

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