WPCNR NEWS AND COMMENT By John F. Bailey. January 14, 2017:
The State of Mississippi has renamed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday Monday as officially “Great Americans Day.”
This recognition of Dr. King’s Birthday was created in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. after his assassination in Memphis in 1968 by James Earl Ray. It was an acknowledgement of Dr. King’s leadership in breaking down discrimination in this country–not just in the South but in the oh-so-subtle discrimination in the North in real estate, in subpar schools in not officially segregated ghettos, but segregated just the same. He was the stalwart leader who seized upon not violence but economic boycott to bring an end to discrimination in the south and some redline reform in the north.
This change announced the last few days was made to honor all great Americans, so Mississippi says. Really?
Then we can do without Lincoln’s birthday next—perhaps; Washington’s Birthday; Memorial Day, Veterans Day – dump all those three day holiday weekends and July 4th and Labor Day, since they too all honor Great Americans Day.
Perhaps we can keep Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Qwanza and Easter and other religions since those are religious holidays—and to be strictly Constitutionalist—the government should not discriminate on the basis of religion – so eliminate those holidays too.
Just think – you would gain – let’s see you would gain 6 more days of school which all our students across the country obviously need.
If you eliminated the religious observances, you would gain 10 more days of school by eliminating the December and Spring vacations, and by dropping the ridiculous winter break in February, that’s another 5 days! 21 more days of school which of course many of our states across the north and south definitely could use based our test scores. You would also have less 4 day weeks, too– the bane of teachers who will tell you the worst attention span days in schools are the first and last days of any school week.
Mississippi has hit on an excellent idea: why discriminate about what individual is great or greater than another? What an equal opportunity concept from Mississippi!
It is unfortunate that Reverend King’s birth was selected.
It perhaps should have been a white individual to be politically correct. But nonetheless, Mississippi has hit on an excellent idea to make America great again: the generic honorary day where we celebrate everybody and keep educating because we’re all great.
If people want to observe religious days they can, they just pay the price of keeping the kiddies out of school. If they want to celebrate veterans, and the end of World War I they can, it’s just not a holiday. But companies and schools can choose to close.
But there is a way to preserve all holidays and recognize the people who have made America Great:
How About Stupid Americans Day?
That holiday would recognize persons who are easily manipulated because of their lack of abilities to read and understand and recognize courses of action that are against their best interests. This is due to the these persons’ lack of a quality education who are easily persuaded to follow and support policies and simple ideas extolled by leaders who persuade these less than discerning folks to support policies not in their own best interests.
Also qualifying as “Stupid Americans” are “stupid Americans” with high degrees of education, wealth and position who support policies that may be “in their best interests,” and prejudices, and self-interests, and sense of superiority and “better than” status but not in the best interests of the country, or ultimately themselves.
How About Great Businessmen’s Day?
This would be a tough holiday to find Businessmen who qualifty as “great.” What defines great in a businessman or woman? Is it how they treat their workers and pay them like a Henry Ford? Is it their service to the country or charity? Is it a businessperson who puts the welfare of workers in their country above the profit to be earned by shifting manufacturing out of the country? Is it a businessperson’s investment in the less fortunate of their community. Or is it to be measured by the businessperson’s wealth or success or exponential greed and dishonesty?
As the robber barons of the late 19th century return to power as of January 20 when Donald Trump is inaugurated, it is an interesting question. Is the philosophy of selfishness as proposed by Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged going to work?
We will see.
Is deregulation and creating lower taxes for the wealthy and prosecuting business “dealing” less going to be good for the country? It was not in the 19th Century. It was not good for the country in the 1920s. It was never good for the poor who were exploited under the banner of doing good.
It is not good now.
As of the day I write this, I read how banks’ profits are up substantially. Yes, America is already becoming great again.
Once again the banks and the robber barons of Wall Street who created the financial crises in the past: The Panic of 1907, the 1920s crash; the 30s depression; and most recently the 2008 crash; they are already benefiting. More Boom and inflation and recession ahead, as The Kiplinger Letter used to say.
How About Great Congressman’s Day?
This is another generic holiday that would be extremely hard to find any that you could find as great Congressmen. Congressmen and women are only considered great after they have died.
Why? Because all congressmen and women are only interested in staying in office. They stay in office by “playing you.” Those who valiantly crusade for the right like Kirsten Gillebrand are isolated. As was amply demonstrated the last two days in the Senate and the House of Representatives “despite reservations” they voted to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act. Well, if you have reservations you should not have voted to repeal it. But they did anyway.
They also rode into office this last year on a chorus of rants (and a lack of outrage by opponents against these positions) against illegal immigrants, religious prejudices against Muslims, etc., and a vendetta against the affordable care act. The congress to act on sexual misconduct in the military; for 8 years they failed to work with the President because of a thinly disguised prejudice against the nation’s first black President.
It was an obvious mission of the Republican Party to make sure there would never be another minority President elected. So this Great Congressman’s Day is another category without enough possibilities to be honored.
How About Great Educators Day?
This has more possibilities. You have the Susan B. Anthonys who fought for woman’s suffrage (and was not put on the face of the ten dollar bill); Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington; the Unknown School Teacher(to those women and men who went west as the country was settled to teach the children of the settlers and the teachers of today who take the jobs in the inner cities to teach the poor, the immigrants), that has more possibilities.
How About Great Native Americans Day?
I am talking here about the Indian Chiefs of the past—Squanto, Sitting Bull, Quanah Parker, the leaders who were consistently betrayed by the U.S. Government. This would not be a popular holiday – but an honorable one.
How About Great Immigrants Day?
Many Immigrants helped build America not just businessmen: the Chinese who built the Transcontinental Railroad; the Irish; the Germans, the Jews; Eli Whitney inventor of the cotton gin; the slaves; Marconi. My mind is just hop-scotching here about how America’s success.
What made America great was not just the white man—but the black, the red, the descendents of many lands who came here because America was free and they could work and work together sometimes in conflict but to make progress without returning to a past that did not work without an idea for a better future.
Anyway, no matter how inadvertently, Mississippi may have come up with a different way to think about our nation honestly.