This past Monday was Martin Luther King Day. This is a day that we, as a country, have set aside to honor the life and accomplishments of this great civil rights leader. Another way we have honored him is with a memorial and statue in our nation’s capital. However, there is a bit of a controversy surrounding the Martin Luther King Jr. statue. There is a quote on the statue that is attributed to King but has some crying foul.
The quote engraved on the statue reads, “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.” Many have asserted that this is not what King said, the famous poet Maya Angelou being among them. The actual quote from Dr. King is: “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 the other shallow things will not matter.” Angelou contends that the paraphrasing of the original quote and the absence of the word “if” completely changes the meaning of King’s words. I happen to agree with her. It also got me to thinking, what other famous quotes have been changed or misattributed. The following is a list of some that I found.
Misquote: “Luke, I am your father.” – Darth Vader