• Sheila Penelope Thorne

Martin Luther King: Take a Day

I can’t do this. I will seem angry and militant, I’ll appear to be someone whining.  My thoughts about not writing a Martin Luther King day posts are similar to my struggle on the first year of the MLK day. If you were a federal or bank employee, you got the day off;  the rest of us had to use a vacation day. I had my excuses;  did I really want to tell my management I was taking Martin Luther King day off? How would that look; what would she think? A co-worker and I convinced ourselves, “he would have wanted us to work.”I did not take the day off.

Left: Women and men gather around Stonewall Jackson’s grave during Lee-Jackson Day. Right: Stonewall Jackson; Robert E. Lee; Confederate; celebration; parade; south; southern; martin luther king jr.; mlk; mlk day; holiday; virginia; civil war.

The MLK Day bill, signed by Ronald Reagan, who was opposed to the holiday was veto proof. Those who were vocal and voted no included John McCain, Chuck Grassley, Steve Scalise and Orrin Hatch. McCain later would speak of this as a mistake while Grassley, and Hatch insist they voted no because of the economics; there would be a loss in productivity. The same rationale used by Reagan to justify his opposition. On a state level, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas, have Martin Luther King and Robert E Lee day, it’s a joint holiday. Georgia and Florida still have Robert E Lee as its own holiday. Lee-Jackson day is celebrated in Virginia. Lee Jackson day is set up to be the Friday before the Monday of King day. Many companies, rather than make MLK a holiday offered up floating holidays and personal choice days. I get it, they want to promote diversity, but don’t want to upset a base.

#MartinLutherKing #martinlutherkingday #mlk

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