Despite the fact that I like getting paid holidays, I’ve been thinking about the particular ones that are recognized.
I understand and acknowledge Martin Luther King, Jr. had a huge impact on civil rights, but is he really the most important person in American history, the only one deserving of having his own federally recognized holiday? I am not advocating for every president to have a day, some don’t even deserve half a minute let alone a whole day, and I’m ok with lumping them all together and having president’s day, but why single out MLK?
Have there not been other Americans who’ve made considerable contributions? Thomas Edison—where would we be without electricity? Alexander Graham Bell—hello, telephone anyone? These are things we take for granted now, but what impact did these inventors have on the country, the world even? What about Jonas Salk, discoverer of the polio vaccine?
One could argue that civil rights are more important than light and phone calls, ok, perhaps, then why don’t we celebrate Elizabeth Cady Stanton or Susan B. Anthony, Gloria Steinem, etc.? They fought for women’s rights and equality. Are women less important than blacks?
Is it some collective white guilt that has made MLK day what it is? Why isn’t there a German day dedicated to an important Jew?