A quote inscribed on a memorial for Martin Luther King Jr. is set to be erased because the original text from the sermon he gave was altered, causing admirers to cry foul.
The statement in question was in reference to King’s disdain for what he called the “drum major instinct,” where someone calls attention to himself. Speaking about how he wished to be remembered, King said:
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.
That statement was modified to read like this: “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.” The altered version was protested in a Washington Post op-ed, as well as by poet and author Maya Angelou, who said it made King “sound like an arrogant twit.”