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Even Obama’s Rug Gets Its History Wrong

From a bemused and forgiving Washington Post:

Oval Office rug gets history wrong

By Jamie Stiehm
Saturday, September 4, 2010

A mistake has been made in the Oval Office makeover that goes beyond the beige.

President Obama’s new presidential rug seemed beyond reproach, with quotations from Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. woven along its curved edge.

"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." According media reports, this quote keeping Obama company on his wheat-colored carpet is from King.

Except it’s not a King quote. The words belong to a long-gone Bostonian champion of social progress. His roots in the republic ran so deep that his grandfather commanded the Minutemen at the Battle of Lexington.

For the record, Theodore Parker is your man, President Obama. Unless you’re fascinated by antebellum American reformers, you may not know of the lyrically gifted Parker, an abolitionist, Unitarian minister and Transcendentalist thinker who foresaw the end of slavery, though he did not live to see emancipation. He died at age 49 in 1860, on the eve of the Civil War. (Photo at right.)

Mr. Parker was also a Caucasian by persuasion.

A century later, during the civil rights movement, King, an admirer of Parker, quoted the Bostonian’s lofty prophecy during marches and speeches. Often he’d ask in a refrain, "How long? Not long." He would finish in a flourish: "Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

King made no secret of the author of this idea

And it’s not like Mr. King has ever been accused of plagiarism.

Yet somehow a mistake was made and magnified in our culture to the point that a New England antebellum abolitionist’s words have been enshrined in the Oval Office while attributed to a major 20th-century figure…

It will turn out to be Bush’s fault, no doubt.

Oh, what a tangled rug we weave, once we select quotes based on the color of one’s skin rather than the character of their content.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, September 5th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Even Obama’s Rug Gets Its History Wrong”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    This can only mean one thing………pack yo bags, “It’s vacation time.”

    Obamao is literately rewriting history to favor the grandeur of socialist lies and Islamic love for peace.
    This is no mistake………on both parts!

  2. Melly says:

    There’s another speech from that ridiculously eloquent Parker in 1850 that included these words: a government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people, which of course became part of the Gettysburg Address. And those words are also woven into President Obama’s Oval Office rug. So Theodore Parker has lineage to not one but two of the five quotes on that rug.

    Since Obama says Republicans treat him like a dog….he better not soil that new carpet.

  3. untrainable says:

    This is no surprise. Obama has no respect for or understanding of American history. Too bad we can’t see his educational background beyond the hype. I guess that’s because the history is re-written to fit the template… and the ink on the transcripts is probably still wet.

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