Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man many respected in his day and a man who has gained the respect of millions in this country and around the world. However, someone at USF decided King didn’t deserve that respect and vandalized the bust in MLK Plaza on Monday night. This kind of destruction is completely ridiculous, stupid and demeaning.
While nothing is known about who would have dared try to remove the bust from its pedestal, it seems to be the act of someone with strong ties to white supremacy or just plain stupidity. King’s accomplishments are beyond reproach and too numerous to recount here, but all deserve respect — respect the vandal chose not to show.
Students and the USF community need to remember that any kind of intolerance, especially on such a diverse campus, is unconscionable and detrimental to the larger population.
It is sad and disheartening to think that in 2003, almost 35 years after King was assassinated, hateful pranks and crimes like Monday’s defacement are still being committed. While people would like to think the American public has come a long way in curbing racism and lessening the racial divide, events like this serve as a reminder that racism and hate are alive and well.
The bust should be repaired and placed back in its rightful place. While the vandal’s motives can only be assumed, restoring the statue to its elevated place will send a clear message: One of the greatest men in American history, will not be forgotten.