Martin Luther King Jr. statue in Boston draws online mockery, disdain

The road to online mockery is paved with good intentions. On Friday, a collection of civic organizations unveiled a 22-foot-tall bronze statue in Boston Common, the

nation’s oldest public park, honoring the relationship between the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King. Sculptor Hank Willis Thomas found inspiration in a

photograph of the civil rights pioneers embracing after King learned he had won the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. “This work is really about the capacity for each of us to be

enveloped in love, and I feel enveloped in love every time I hear the names and see the faces of Dr. King and Coretta Scott King,” Thomas told the Boston Globe. His work

depicts four intertwined arms. From one angle, the limbs form a heart, representing the couple’s love. But much as Chicago’s landmark “Cloud Gate” sculpture quickly became known

as “The Bean” for looking like, well, a giant bean, legions of amateur art critics aren’t seeing what Thomas intended. Many took particular issue with the fact that the

Kings were not depicted in full. “Given that I am not White, I am safe from ANY charges of racism for saying the MLK embrace statue is aesthetically unpleasant. The

famous photo should have been a FULL statue of the couple and their embrace. What a huge swing and miss in honoring the Dr & Mrs King. SAD!” tweeted Boston Herald columnist

Rasheed N. Walters.