People in our generation have settled for contradictions in life. In some ways to live with contradictions is to be human. The prophet Jeremiah in the good book shares, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jer 17:9).
A story that caught my attention was about a Chinese sculptor, Lei Yixin who was selected to carve a 3-story monument of Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK). This monument which will be placed in the National Mall is to celebrate the life and legacy of MLK, who preached about peace and equality in the landscape of violence, injustice and oppression.
Therefore it is pretty surprising to hear that there is a group of people saying that sculptor should be African-American or at least an American. African-Americans are saying that blacks should have the first opportunity to create the monument. Some Chinese-Americans are saying that someone from a Communist country like China do not represent the democracy that MLK represented, therefore they want someone that is at least an American.
Here are the facts:
2) Lei is not working on this project alone but in fact he is collaborating with 2 African-American sculptors from the United States.
3) The project is being directed by a architectural firm which is owned by African-Americans.
4) Lei just happens to live in China and does not necessary represent or endorse the Chinese government.
5) In repeated interviews, Lei has mentioned that he believes in the message that MLK preached. In his own words, he said, “Martin Luther King hoped that everyone would be brothers and sisters no matter the color of their skin or their social status, that they would all enjoy the same opportunities and rights… I want my sculpture to show that Martin Luther King fought for democracy.”
Wait a minute… wasn’t it MLK in 1963 in front of the Lincoln Memorial said in his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character… Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring – when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children – black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics – will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
I guess he left out the “yellow people” (sarcasm).
The MLK monument is scheduled to be completed in 2009. The committee has said that they wanted to put a quote into the monument which states that in order to achieve peace, humans must “transcend race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.”
At the risk of offending people, I need to state that:
We, as “Americans” must wake up and realize that we are no longer at the center of the world anymore. God is doing some incredible things all over the world and He is using non-Americans to accomplish His purpose – believe it or not!
You can read the whole FoxNews story on this controversy here.