US To Change Disputed Quote On MLK Memorial

A quotation inscribed on the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial will be changed following months of complaints that the statement was edited out of its original context, a spokesman said Friday.

The quotation on the left side of the memorial, which opened in August in a park near the National Mall in Washington, reads: "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness."

Advocates have complained since then that the quotation makes King appear self-righteous or arrogant, pointing out that what King actually said in Atlanta on Feb. 4, 1968, was this:

"If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter."

Rachel Manteuffel, a columnist for The Washington Post, wrote in an opinion piece Friday that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar had given the National Park Service 30 days to consult with the King Memorial Foundation and others, including members of King's family, to find a better quotation.

Interior Department press secretary Adam Fetcher confirmed Salazar's order, NBC News' Kelly O'Donnell reported from Washington.


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  • by Mann on Jan 15, 2012 at 05:27 AM
    Well now we have a statue of someone whom never did a thing nor helped blacks at all. They all praise this dude that had some dream. Abraham Lincoln was the one that freed you guys. Not mlk
  • by Tiredofrace on Jan 14, 2012 at 03:43 PM
    Lavon king would be ashamed of Obama like I am ashamed of pelosi. But you prolly don't know politics. All Obama does is create and encourage class warfare and ou idiots support it bc he's black. That's the problem. He could never do anything wrong in your eyes bc you can't see past his color. I think a person is a person and I want someone actually like king who gets that. I'd vote for him anyday bc trust you trust me, he'd HATE Obama. HATE.
  • by Cactus Location: Strabane on Jan 14, 2012 at 01:53 PM
    I see Dr. King has his arms crossed. Does this not (in body language) indicate "leave me alone"?
  • by Lavon Location: Goldsboro on Jan 14, 2012 at 10:33 AM
    We went from being slaves, from being beaten, being shot, and having out women raped to holding the Highest! Position in the land. No weapon formed against us shall prosper. YESSSS!!!! we have made it. We are now Professors in some of the most prestigious Colleges in the land. We today make more money than the one's that use to be our slave drivers. Yessss! we have made it. We are now the bosses of the one's that want to strip away our rights. Yessss!! we have made it! THANK YOU JESUS!
    • reply
      by Cboy on Jan 14, 2012 at 02:12 PM in reply to Lavon
      Lavon people like you are why racism is still a problem, you refuse to let it die because if it did you would be out of excuses.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 14, 2012 at 02:16 PM in reply to Lavon
      lavitra you watch to many fictional movies.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 14, 2012 at 03:09 PM in reply to Lavon
      Wake up Laverne, you are dreaming!
    • reply
      by Dave on Jan 14, 2012 at 04:05 PM in reply to Lavon
      Thanks for the laugh!
  • by Lavon Location: Goldsboro on Jan 14, 2012 at 10:29 AM
    Im so proud of how Dr King fought for us. Dr King you deserve your Memorial. If it was up to a lot of these racist folks up here they would tie a chain around the memorial and pull it down. Thank God we live in a society where these people racist ways don't count for anything anymore. Dr King! Dr King! Dr King!! Yeessss!!! we have made it. Obama! Obama! Obama! Yesssss! we have made it. Michelle Obama! Michelle Obama! Yessss we have made it.
  • by Lavon Location: Goldsboro on Jan 14, 2012 at 10:25 AM
    I tell you it was so touching to see that Memorial of Dr King in person. He would be so ashamed at how the racist Republicans are treating Obama now. We've come a long way dr King but we still have a ways to go. I truly thank his dedication and persistence in the Civil rights movement because if these racist folk could have their way today we would still be in the cotton fields and wouldn't be able to use puplic bathrooms.
    • reply
      by Cactus on Jan 14, 2012 at 01:49 PM in reply to Lavon
      Lavon, I'm proud of you. You made three comments and did not use the words "fool or idiot", thats a mile stone for you. Now go dust your obama shrine.
    • reply
      by Tammy on Jan 14, 2012 at 04:04 PM in reply to Lavon
      Lavon I wonder if you have truely made it as a race. In the most prosperous country in the world they make a statue to MLK and it is in white marble instead of black onyx. Why not have the statue represent the the color of the race and the peoples instead of the color of the oppressors.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jan 14, 2012 at 05:24 PM in reply to Lavon
      Lavon, you do know that Mr king (he plagarized his doctoral dissertation) was a registered Republican??? you did know that right???
    • reply
      by Dar on Jan 15, 2012 at 05:36 PM in reply to Lavon
      Lavon, MLK would be ashamed to know that a lot of his hard work was thrown away by the very people he stroved to help. I'm not going to name the problems because you know what they are. Try facing reality for once in your life and stop passing the blame on others.
  • by Nikki on Jan 14, 2012 at 09:46 AM
    Can't they just put 'he' was a drum major... I mean, that's what he said to say
  • by barstool on Jan 14, 2012 at 09:02 AM
    No wonder John Edwards has heart failure,A white memorial of a black leader made in China.only in America.
    • reply
      by HA!! on Jan 14, 2012 at 05:07 PM in reply to barstool
      Thats pretty good!!
      • reply
        by Yeah on Jan 15, 2012 at 05:43 PM in reply to HA!!
        That pretty much sums up the situation in America.
  • by Tim Location: La Grange on Jan 14, 2012 at 08:58 AM
    Thank to Queen Maya Anjelou, High Holy Priestess Oprah, and the Nosing Around Always Causing Problems crowd for this one. Personally, I'll be at work. Gee,that's a four letter word.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 14, 2012 at 07:50 AM
    i wonder if the memorial mentions plagarism and adultery...if they are wanting to get things historically correct, im sure it will
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