More evidence that capitalism is failing the average American: the statue of Martin Luther King destined to stand at a national memorial was outsourced to a Chinese sculptor. And something got lost in translation.
This King looks like rather disturbingly like sculptures of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and other communist luminaries, all of whom were guilty of genocide.
This image, a model for the actual sculpture, is the best I could find of the King statue.
Now, go here and compare it to any number of statues of Lenin. Or compare it to a rather famous statue of Cheka (later and popularly, KGB) founder "Iron Felix" Dzerzhinsky.
Note the aggressive, confrontational posture, the stance, the scowl, as well as the coat and the chiseled (no pun intended) hawkish features on both statues, features neither King nor Dzerzhinsky actually had. The style is referred to as "socialist realism" and its visual elements are what makes art from the Soviet Union and its communist imitators so distinctive. No doubt my friend and co-blogger David could weigh in with greater insight, as visual art's not my thing (I did spend some time in a misbegotten phase studying the socialist realist movement as it applied to literature, but that's for another time), but the similarity of style is such that even my untrained eye picked it up immediately.
Now, joking references to communism and capitalism, and jokes about China aside, I agree with those who are demanding that the statue be reworked, not because I have a problem with communism (though I do), but because this aggressive, "we will bury you" style of memorialization seems horribly inappropriate to Dr. Martin Luther King, who while as bold as any genocidal communist, was a man of peace.
And because, next time, it might be appropriate for someone with check-writing authority to ask someone with an artistic eye to take a look at the damned model and to ask whether a skilled artist schooled in an extremely distinctive style is an appropriate choice, before ordering a supremely expensive work of art.