January 14, 2007

Reflections on MLK Day

From my VDARE article a couple of years ago:

Martin Luther King Day is the least popular federal holiday—only 29 percent of employers give their workers the day off. Not many non-blacks care.

This upsets many African-Americans. Black comedian Chris Rock says, "You gotta be pretty racist to not want a day off from work."

The dead of winter, however, after Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year, is the stupidest possible time to offer another holiday. To fix this, we should move Martin Luther King Day to the Friday before Labor Day to commemorate his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963 … and, to give Americans a summer-ending four-day weekend. (It's not as if a lot of business gets done on that day anyway.)

Then even the Grand Kleagle would be demanding Martin Luther King Day off from his foreman down at the hog-rendering plant.

And who was the genius who chose February for Black History Month? First you have the MLK Day frenzy in mid-January, and then two weeks later, boom, it starts all over again. I bet that, by February 2nd, even Al Sharpton is sick of Black History Month.

I can picture the Rev. Al easing into his Barcalounger and flipping on his plasma screen:

"Let's see if there's anything good on television … Oh boy, another Harriet Tubman documentary [CLICK] … Uh oh, a panel discussion on W.E.B. Dubois [CLICK] … Hey, it's that groundhog, Pungobungy Pete, or whatever they call him … and he can see his shadow! Now, that's great TV!"

The raw cultural muscle of liberalism is awesome to behold. Getting rid of Jim Crow was about the last good thing liberals accomplished … and they will never ever let us forget it, no matter how badly they must bore us with their smug reminiscences.

Despite the ho-hum attitude of most American grown-ups toward Martin Luther King Day, children are furiously indoctrinated into the cult in the schools. MLK Day is a bigger deal than [furtive look, whisper] "Christmas." For example, my son was just ordered to write a letter to Martin Luther King. This elementary schooler had to describe to the late Rev. two things he [the kid] had done that he was especially proud of. Merging Martin Luther King worship with self-esteem boosting—a classic California-style educational timewaster.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

As one of a handful of white students in a nearly all-black elementary school in Northern NJ (in the early 80's), I was one of the stars of my school's play about MLK: I got to play the bus driver who told Rosa Parks to go to the back of the bus. The failure of a few of my classmates to understand the concept of acting made for some interesting times ("interesting" in the sense of the old Chinese curse).

Today, I don't mind MLK day being on Jan 15th. It's also my birthday, so of course, I'm biased. Since most of my jobs post-college have been in the securities industry, and since Jesse Jackson intimidated the NYSE into taking the day off, I've always had by birthday off.


Terry said...

Hey, nobody bring up the plagiarism allegations again. It would be the height of bad manners.

James Kabala said...

Black History Month was once Negro History Week, celebrated on the second week in February because it contained the birthday of Abraham Lincoln (Februrary 12, of course) and the alleged birthday of Frederick Douglass (February 14. Douglass's real date of birth was, not surprisingly, unrecorded. I don't why he celebrated it on February 14; Wikipedia and a quick Google search give no help.)
The period of January 15-February 22 was certainly quite a month for notable Americans:
Martin Luther King (January 15)
Benjamin Franklin (January 17)
Robert E. Lee (January 19)
Franklin D. Roosevelt (January 30)
Ronald Reagan (Feburary 6)
Abraham Lincoln (February 12)
Frederick Douglass (February 14 -maybe)
George Washington (February 22)

Russell said...


Was that intentional or unintentional apophasis?

In any event, I think observing an explicit MLK Day at any point of the year is dumb, and not because of his communist ties or plagiarism (though those facts don't endear him to me either), but because he isn't significant enough.

MLK is the only American who gets his own holiday (even Washinton's B-Day has been atrociously watered down to "Presidents Day"), and the only single person aside from Columbus who gets his own day. That's just ridiculous. It's like the history textbooks that devote pages to Harriet Tubman but a paragraph to Lincoln.

Anonymous said...

If we are going to celebrate Dr. King's life on any day but his actual birthday, I would recommend June 19th. Juneteen/MLK Day would recognize the ending of slavery in the 19th century and Jim Crow segregation in the 20th century.

SFG said...

Y'know, Steve...I have to ask. Your kids must imibibe your views on immigration. How much trouble does this get them into?

James Kabala said...

The Washington's Birthday/ Presidents' Day situation is a mess. Legally, the name of the federal holiday is still Washington's Birthday. The Monday holiday law moved Washington's Birthday from February 22 to the third Monday in Feburary (thereby absurdly guaranteeing that it can never be on February 22) began the erosion of the association of the holiday with only Washington. Lincoln's birthday, once a holiday in many states (though never on the federal level), was abolished by many states around this time, in part because the creation of Columbus Day (surprisingly, not a federal holiday before 1971, although previously observed by many states) and Martin Luther King Day (first observed federally in 1986) created additional holidays and thereby led employers to fear that there were now too many paid holidays (although as Steve points out, they were often ignoring the new holidays as well). This led to the mistaken belief that the third-Monday-in-February holiday was supposed to be honoring both George and Abe, and possibly all presidents. Presidents' Day auto sales increased the popularity of the name. Some states have adopted the Presidents' Day; others follow the federal lead and still call it Washington's Birthday.
I don't think textbooks that devote pages to Harriet Tubman and a paragraph to Lincoln really exist.
Of course, there is still one other Individual who has a holiday named in his honor - Jesus Christ.

Rhesus said...

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.’s estate charges academic authors $50 for each sentence of the “I Have a Dream” speech that they reprint.


You'd think with King's record of illicit copying, they wouldn't have the nerve.

Kitty said...

1. Actually, I rather like having a day in January off to put up my Christmas decorations.

2. I strongly support the adoption of Juneteenth (June 19) as a national celebration, because it's one of the few times Texas actually got to be ahead of the civil rights curve. June 19th is the anniversary of the date in 1965 when the Empancipation Proclamation was read here for the first time. Black people celebrated it as a holiday for 110 years before it became an official state holiday in 1979.

3. Why can't they name the February holiday "Washington and Lincoln Day," thereby making it clear that William Henry Harrison and Warren G. Harding aren't, actually, given a holiday.

Alex said...

" I was one of the stars of my school's play about MLK: I got to play the bus driver who told Rosa Parks to go to the back of the bus."

I played one of the cops who arrested her. At least I enjoyed pantomiming the whole fingerprinting process and such.

Proofreader said...

One can´t help but wonder if MLK was really instrumental in defeating Jim Crow or if he was just a figurehead. It seems more likely the Old Order had already its days numbered, with or without MLK and the Civil Rights Movement. Integration in the army was the first sign.
Still, the MLK cult doesn´t sound sincere or spontaneous. At least seen from abroad.

Floccina said...

Chris Rock says, "You gotta be pretty racist to not want a day off from work."

Now that depends on if you are the employee or the employer. And BTW it the employer that makes that decision.