It appears that the Obama White House is intent on sweeping history literally under the rug after the new presidential rug was found to have a historical quote wrong. The quote attributed to Martin Luther King was actually the words of abolitionist Theodore Parker who will now have his misattributed words walked over by every visitor to the Oval Office.
The quote is “[t]he arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” King, however, was not the source of these inspiring words. They were the work of a Boston abolitionist and Unitarian minister. Parker was an incredible writer and a tireless advocate for the end of slavery. He never lived to see it. He died at age 49 in 1860 — shortly before the Civil War.
King never claimed to be the author of the words and gave credit to Parker.
The original quote from 1853 was
“I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.”
Theodore Parker, “Of Justice and Conscience,” in Ten Sermons of Religion, (Boston: Crosby, Nichols, & Company,1853).
In the end, he would likely take the slight in good fashion. After all, he told people “[n]ever violate the sacredness of your individual self-respect.” Amen, Brother.
Source: Washington Post