Remember King’s Dream Monday

Published 7:00 am Saturday, January 18, 2014

Monday will be a strange day of celebration. Nationally, it’s the day on which we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. In Mississippi and a few other Southern states, also celebrate Robert E. Lee’s birthday.

For some reason, Arizona and New Hampshire celebrate the day as Civil Rights Day and Idaho celebrates it as Human Rights Day.

Why Arizona, New Hampshire and Idaho chose the same day for their similar celebrations rather than simply celebrating it as King’s birthday, I don’t know. After all, civil rights and human rights is what King was all about.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Celebrating it as Lee’s birthday, I can sort of understand, though I personally think it is a slap in the face to King and those that celebrate his birthday on that day, even a slap at the other three states because civil rights and human rights is definitely not what Lee was all about.

That this nation kept blacks enslaved for as long as it did after the formation of a nation that became a beacon to the world as a place where common people had the same rights as those more fortunate is a matter of shame.

Equally shameful was the way Southern states, and a few others, kept the races segregated in schools and public facilities, and denied blacks the right to vote through fear and discriminatory laws and practices for so many decades following the war that gained for them their freedoms.

This last shame was at least partially erased by the courage and actions, peaceful actions, of King and other civil rights workers for whom he was the leader, and that is why we celebrate his birthday.