When I first heard that the Martin Luther King, Jr. statue was getting toned down from a having frown to a smile, I was pretty annoyed. The federal arts commission also didn't like that his arms were crossed, as that was "too confrontational." But come on, what was King, if he wasn't confrontational? It's like people want to turn him into the grandpa in the Werther's Original commercials, or something. But then I saw the picture which ran in the AJC. (Click image for a larger version.) On the left is the old, unfriendly version. On the right is the altered, more benign version. I think the new version is a definite improvement. Something in the brow was distinctly... not King-like. The version with a hint o' smile simply looks more like him. And they kept the arms crossed. King looks sorta like he's surveying the land, not expressing approval or disapproval, just observing. Me likey. Update: I wasn't familiar with the brouhaha over the statue having a Chinese sculptor until recently. To that, I say, pshaw. King didn't just make a difference in the U.S., he was an inspiration globally, even while he was being reviled at home ("Beyond Vietnam" speech, anyone?). King isn't the property of black Americans, and seeing him through the eyes of a so-called outsider can be nothing but beneficial.