Dodge Ram has drawn the ire of social media after using audio clips of a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speech in a commercial that ran during Super Bowl LII.
A Super Bowl ad for Dodge Ram trucks has sparked controversy for using audio from a sermon delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Both social media and those directly tied to King’s legacy can’t quite agree on what to make of the ad, which received approval from King’s estate.
The minute-long commercial features audio excerpts from King’s “The Drum Major Instinct” sermon and begins by noting that the civil rights leader gave the sermon 50 years ago to the day. The ad then shows scenes of Americans plugging away at various jobs: firemen rescuing a dog, an engaged teacher writing on a chalkboard, soldiers marching in formation, and one scene where a Dodge Ram truck drives down a small town street carrying a church, honest to God.
In the sermon, King warns against man’s need to feel superior—or against the drum major’s “desire to be out front, a desire to lead the parade.” He argues that people should instead harness that natural instinct “to be first in love, to be first in moral excellence and to be first in generosity.” It was the last sermon King gave before his assassination.
Dodge Ram thought its ad was in step with King’s message.
“In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ram truck owners also believe in a life of serving others,” reads the video description on the Ram Trucks YouTube page. A representative for the truck manufacturer told April Glaser at Slate that the brand “worked closely with the representatives of the Martin Luther King Jr. estate to receive the necessary approvals,” adding that “estate representatives were a very important part of the creative process.”
Still, not everyone directly affiliated with King’s legacy seemed eager to be associated with the ad.
Neither @TheKingCenter nor @BerniceKing is the entity that approves the use of #MLK’s words or imagery for use in merchandise, entertainment (movies, music, artwork, etc) or advertisement, including tonight’s @Dodge #SuperBowl commercial.
— The King Center (@TheKingCenter) February 5, 2018
While the Patriots battle the Eagles during Super Bowl LII, asteroid AJ129 is flying pretty close to Earth, cosmically speaking. But how close exactly will it be, and should you be concerned?
Big Think may not be well known for our football coverage —yet! — but we have some rare science / football crossover news.
While the Patriots battle the Eagles in Minneapolis during Super Bowl 52 (February 4th, 2018, starting at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBC) a quite large asteroid with the official name of '2002 AJ129' is set to whiz by Earth, missing us by a scant 2.6 million miles. To put things into perspective, Mars, which is relatively close to us in the solar system, is about 34 million miles away. So AJ129 is flying practically "tight parallel parking" distance in terms of interstellar distances.
Yet that is still several thousand times the width of Earth, so we aren't even close to getting hit. So, despite some alarming press coverage, NASA tweeted out to a concerned citizen (in Spanish) telling them that any cries of armageddon are "a lie."
AJ129 is thought to be about 0.745645 miles wide (just under 3/4's of a mile) and has an elliptical orbit, meaning that it roughly intersects with Earth's orbit about once every 16 years. It's quite an enterprising little guy and even has its own Wikipedia page!
You can see for yourself just how close AJ129 is coming to us by checking out the white oval here compared to Earth's orbit in blue: