April 05, 2020
BANGOR DAILY NEWS (BANGOR, MAINE

Observe Minority Peoples Day

We Americans have seen fit to replace the traditional observance of the two separate birthdays of two of our greatest presidents (Washington and Lincoln) with one all-inclusive holiday called Presidents Day – to honor all of our presidents.

As Americans we have abolished the long-established Armistice Day in favor of honoring the veterans of all of our wars with the all-encompassing Veterans Day.

We have only one Memorial Day to show respect for all dead American servicemen irrespective of their branch of service or the war they were killed in.

We have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to honor all mothers and fathers – not just one kind of mother or father.

Americans celebrate Thanksgiving to afford all of us the opportunity to give thanks for all of our blessings.

Christmas time is generally viewed as the holiday season for all Americans – Christian and non-Christian alike.

Columbus Day is celebrated for the discovery of all of America – not just certain sections of our nation.

Now, recognizing the prevalence of, no the unanimity of, our blanket holidays (which are intended to be all-inclusive for all Americans), how can we justify establishing Martin Luther King Jr. Day, that by deliberate design recognizes only one of the many races that the United States is priviledged to have represented in its society? And especially, how do we justify singling out only one man for being honored particularly since he, as a man of God, was reputed to be quite a ladies’ man?

In all fairness, since we champion equal rights for all races in this nation, shouldn’t we also have an American-Indian Day or maybe a Geronimo Day? Why not an Asian-American Day or a Daniel Inouye Day? How about creating an Hispanic-American or Cesar Chavez Day? Obviously, establishing such national holidays would be pure nonsense. In my judgment, singling out African-Americans for a special day is also nonsensical. As a matter of fact, having a special day declared for only one race could be interpreted as a discriminatory practice and racially divisive rather than being a positive and unifying force. Think about it.

I applaud the people of New Hampshire and Arizona for being the last two states to surrender to the demand for declaring Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an official holiday. However, I would applaud them even more if they become the first two states to declare Minority Peoples Day to honor the cultures and many notable contributions of all the minority racial groups living in the United States.

It makes sense and would be a consistent practice for the United States to establish a blanket national holiday called Minority Peoples Day and to abolish the separatist Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We could be fair to the people of all minority races by taking such action.

Walter St. John lives in Old Town.


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