A plaque bearing the Rev. Martin Luther King's most famous quote recently survived a group of Oregon college students who, incredibly, found the civil rights icon's inspiring words politically incorrect.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character," reads the quote from King's landmark 1963 "I have a dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.
The moving words had adorned the entrance of the Erb Memorial Union at the University of Oregon in Eugene since 1986, but renovations late last year ignited a debate on the Student Union Board and on campus about the enduring relevance of the message.
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream…”
It was during the remodel when Laurie Woodward, director of the school’s student union, posed the question to others on the board, as well as students.
“Does the MLK quote represent us today?” a student asked the board when the issue arose, according the Daily Emerald.
Apparently, some students believed King's call for all people to be judged equally was not inclusive enough for some.
“Diversity is so much more than race," sophomore Mia Ashley toldl the school paper. "Obviously race still plays a big role. But there are people who identify differently in gender and all sorts of things like that.”
Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King and a Fox News contributor, said her uncle’s words still ring true.
“The context is the spirit of his message," King said. "Martin Luther King was very inclusive because he loved the human family. It was based on a timeless foundation, so I am glad that they have decided to have the quote displayed.”
It was not the first time students at the school had questioned a quote being posted in a public space on campus. In 1985, a quote by former Dean of Administrative Emeritus William C. Jones had occupied the same spot:
“-Established by an enlightened state for service and inspiration
-Reverent before its heritage of principle and institution
-Eager in its adventure with idea and deed
-Guardian of the noble in man’s aspiration for the humane society
-Leader in the quest for the good life for all men.”
The quote irked students back in the 1970s because of its use of “Men” for all of humankind. Years later, it was taken down in favor of the MLK quote.
The conclusion of the more recent debate had a much better outcome, with the plaque bearing King’s quote set to return to its old home soon.
“No changes, it’s been up since the early 1980s,” Woodward told FoxNews.com. “[It was] down for renovation and [will be] back up next week.”