What Would MLK Think of $120 Million Monument?

In her Chicago Sun-Times column, Mary Mitchell asks what Martin Luther King Jr., whose legacy was humility, would think of his $120 million memorial. 

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial (Getty)

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell wonders if the humble Martin Luther King Jr. would appreciate his expensive memorial on the National Mall. 

I figure when I get to Washington, D.C., and gaze up at the "Stone of Hope," which opened to the public on Monday, I will feel like I am walking on holy ground. But right now, I'm wrestling with some nagging questions: Would King really appreciate all this hoopla? Would he really have wanted his likeness to become a graven image on the National Mall?

I was 14 years old when King gave his famous "I have a Dream," speech and mobilized the nation to tear down the walls of legal segregation. The walls did not tumble. But slowly, intolerance gave way to tolerance and tolerance gave way to acceptance in parts of the country that many thought would always be racist strongholds.

In reflecting upon King's legacy, most will point to the success of the nonviolent movement he led. Too few remember that King did not invent the strategy. But when confronted with the hardness of his enemy, King drew from the teachings of India's beloved Mohandas K. Gandhi. 

Read Mary Mitchell's entire column at the Chicago Sun-Times.

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