Tuesday, January 22, 2019

A Federal Holiday ... KInda Sorta

The mail wasn't delivered but the trash and recycling went out as usual.  The bank was closed and so were the schools, but even I forgot to put out the flag.

I never forget to put out the flag on National Holidays

Is it living in Arizona?  Is it holiday fatigue?  How is it possible that the day snuck up on me?  I left the house with a trunk filled with wonders for the Prince Scholars, and it was only when I recognized that I was making all the lights, that traffic was lighter, that I wondered what I was missing.  It was only when I switched over from KXCI to  NPR and heard Dr. King that I made the connection. 

There's something terribly wrong with this picture, and I think Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has the answer.  She wants to cancel Columbus Day as a Federal Holiday and make Election Day one, instead.  People can argue over Columbus as a hero forever and a day, but no one can argue that Election Day is unimportant.

And if you can make that argument, then you need to reread history - being represented in the governance of the nation's affairs is bedrock Americana.  People wouldn't go to such great lengths to suppress it if it didn't matter.

So let's shake things up a bit on the Federal Holiday front. 

We've already decided that Washington and Lincoln were somehow born on the third Monday in February, no matter the date each year.  I wonder if Dr. King would object to sharing his day with Mother Earth?

Dr. King wrote his Letter from Birmingham Jail on April 16th.   April 22, Earth Day, gets no respect on the Federal level.  I propose that we  celebrate Martin Luther King Day whenever Earth Day rolls around. 

Why?  In their own way, each is a call to action.  Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere goes very nicely with We're all on this planet together.  

No?  How about the weather.

It's hard to gear up for a holiday in the middle of January, especially this year when most of the country is frozen solid.  But April, now that's a different story.  It's much easier to celebrate outdoors when the wind chill isn't 40 below.  Wouldn't it be lovely to honor Dr. King by planting flowers and trees and gardens in his honor, nurturing the earth and taking practical steps to make the world a better place, one freshly dug hole at a time.

Building community, caring for one another, taking action to draw attention to grievances, cleaning and clearing and singing.  Woody Guthrie would be at home in either celebration...  you know, the Woody Guthrie who wrote This Land is Your Land.  Gaia and Dr. King, not detracting from one another but bringing value added to the day.

This land was made for you and me.  

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