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Is It Time to Tear Down MLK Statues and Memorials?

Just a few days ago I was driving in a part of my home city that I hardly ever frequent.  Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a very impressive, very large, stone monument.  It was an elaborate display, including very large plaques and pictures honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  I stopped by to check it out and saw that the monument was apparently erected in 2016.  I wonder how much longer it will be there.

Don’t mistake that to mean that I don’t think King’s legacy is worthy of honor or recognition.  I do.  I just also know that we are living in a sorry era where everyone’s legacy has to be run through the social justice warrior approved purity test, and if some offensive way be found in these figures of history, they must be dutifully expunged from our national consciousness: history pages scrubbed, monuments removed, statues torn down. 

How sadly ironic that a movement that gained steam by destroying Confederate soldier monuments may soon mature into obliteration of Dr. King memorials.  Why, you ask?  What did King do to offend the sensibilities of 21st Century woke, enlightened, progressive activists?  Well, this:

A huge archive of documents recently released from Federal Bureau of Investigation files exposes in detail King’s sexual activities with dozens of women as he travelled the country campaigning against racial inequality.

Don’t misunderstand.  This isn’t just about adulterous affairs.  From Clinton to Trump, both sides of the political aisle have proven their willingness to overlook infidelity.  No, King’s sins appear far more egregious:

In another incident said to have been recorded by FBI agents, King is alleged to have “looked on, laughed and offered advice” while a friend who was also a Baptist minister raped a woman described as one of his “parishioners”.

Details of the assault are believed to have been captured on tapes that are currently being held in a vault under court seal at the US National Archives.

King was accompanied by a friend, Logan Kearse, the pastor of Baltimore’s Cornerstone Baptist church, who had arrived in Washington with what an FBI summary describes as “several women ‘parishioners’ of his church”. Kearse invited King to meet the women in his room, where they “discussed which women among the parishioners would be suitable for natural and unnatural sex acts”.

The FBI document adds: “When one of the women protested that she did not approve, the Baptist minister immediately and forcibly raped her” as King watched.

At the same hotel the following evening, King and a dozen other individuals “participated in a sex orgy” including what one FBI official described as “acts of degeneracy and depravity.

When one of the women shied away from engaging in an unnatural act, King and several of the men discussed how she was to be taught and initiated in this respect. King told her that to perform such an act would ‘help your soul’.”

Yikes.  Personally, I’ve written before about my own views on statue removal and legacy erasing before.  Every human is fallen and in some degree reflects the sinful spirit of their age.

So it seems we must either remove all statues, monuments, and memorials to these imperfect people who went before us, or we begin collectively teaching and understanding that monument and statue building can be less about worshipping individuals who are every bit as flawed, abhorrent, and sinful as we are, and more about acknowledging and remembering the part key figures played in our country’s epic struggle to create a “more perfect union.”

But even on the sliding scale of ambiguous morality that we live with these days, surely abiding and approving of rape surely ranks up there with abiding and approving of slavery?  And if it does, the woke allies of the progressive left can’t suspend their #MeToo hashtag activism and let King slide by unscathed, can they?


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