Friday, September 2, 2011

Body Language Not So Secret # 302: An Injustice to Martin

Certainly, I am not the first to write about this, but perhaps I am the first Body Language expert to do so. We all should join in unison for the call for a re-do. The Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial recently unveiled on the National Mall in Washington D.C. has many controversies surrounding it. The inaccuracy of his quote, the origin of the granite, the nationality of the and previous work of the sculptor are all very valid and I will not belabor their details here, but I would of course, like to discuss Martin's body and facial language as portrayed in his statue. 

Lincoln's, Jefferson's, FDR's, etc. nor any other of our nations leaders sculpted in stone or metal in Washington D.C., on Mt. Rushmore or elsewhere are portrayed with such a negative body language as Reverend King's was recently carved. Any child will tell you that his facial expression as portrayed here is negative. It does in fact display mild anger. Why? His crossed-arms are consistent with closed-mindedness and defensiveness. Why? These are not opinions - but reflective of factual human behavior. Martin Luther King Jr. embodied none of these negative emotions.

The presence or absence of a wedding ring is significant too. Indeed, it is a very strong symbol. It's difficult to find a picture of Dr. King without his. He was wearing it while on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963 - why not now, forever in stone?

That this particular statue-memorial design was approved, one so poorly representative of such a great man - reflects an incredible set of oversights and gross incompetence. I love the man and what his memory and work stands for, but this is a profoundly inadequate attempt at memorializing him. Re-do!