Letters from the Lunar Outpost

Beauty is the promise of happiness.
- Stendhal, French Writer (1783-1842)

I may be away from the Internet, but this blog has taken a life of its own. Here is the ninth in the ghost post series.

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t say it exactly that way, but an inaccurate quote remains etched into his granite memorial in Washington more than six months after National Park Service officials vowed to fix it.

The quote eteched into granite:

I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness

A far different sentiment from taking the full quote in context:

Yes, 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.

source: Washington Times

The quote taken out of context makes MLK seem arrogant, far from the humble servant for peace that he shows himself when taken in full context.

They did it to Obama, too. I sympathize with Obama when he says the “You didn’t build that” quote was taken out of context.

Here’s the abridged version:

If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

Taken out of context! Here’s the full version:

I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

Taking Obama out of context, you only get the first point that if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that business. The larger point is that people don’t achieve success in America because they were “just so smart” or because they “worked harder than everybody else did.”

Everything that is good stems from
the benevolence of our government overlords.

If you enjoy an inordinate amount of success,
take no credit for your unwarranted good fortune.

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