I wish I were joking about this, but I’m not. Martin Luther King. Jr, the civil rights icon who paved way for the expansion of American civil rights for African-Americans in this country, just isn’t inclusive enough. His historic “I Have A Dream” speech delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 is apparently not politically correct anymore with the student body of the University of Oregon. The reason: there’s not a lot about gender identity in that speech.
The debate about whether Martin Luther King Jr. is not politically correct, outdated, or whatever points made about him by these delicate social justice warriors stems from the renovation of the building from which the now-infamous “I have a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” quote resides: the lobby of the Erb Memorial Union.
Blessedly, when the project is finished, the quote will go back in its proper spot, but the fact that this was even a serious discussion is both disturbingly entertaining and depressing. Martin Luther King Jr. was almost a victim of the politically correct thought police. That’s absolutely insane (via Daily Emerald):
The quote is not going to change, but that decision was not made without some hard thought by the Student Union Board.
Laurie Woodward, the Director of the Student Union said that when she approached the union with the question of if they wanted to keep the current MLK quote or supplement a new one, one of the students asked, “Does the MLK quote represent us today?”
“Diversity is so much more than race. Obviously race still plays a big role. But there are people who identify differently in gender and all sorts of things like that,” sophomore architecture major, Mia Ashley said.
This isn’t the first time students have begun to question if quote hanging above our heads in the EMU is representative of the student body, according to Adell McMillan’s book “A Common Ground.” Until 1985, the Dean of Administrative Emeritus, William C. Jones, occupied the space with his quote. It read:
“-Established by an enlightened state for service and inspiration
-Reverent before its heritage of principle and institution
-Eager in its adventure with idea and deed
-Guardian of the noble in man’s aspiration for the humane society
-Leader in the quest for the good life for all men.”
The quote began to bother students in the 70s, as it spoke of the aspiration and good life of “men,” which was being used as a dated term for mankind, and was therefore not inclusive.