Let MLK , Jr. Day be Equality Day

As we once again celebrate a great orator, leader and inspirational figure, we must also realize there’s a correct and equal way to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.

No other holiday is named for just one person. President’s Day is for all presidents, Memorial Day is for all those who died in wars, Mother’s Day is for all mothers and Veterans Day is for all veterans. All of these holidays are for those regardless of religion, sex or race. (Columbus Day should be renamed Founders Day or Discovery Day and Christmas is a religious holiday).

The struggle for color blindness and equal opportunity began many generations before and continues generations after MLK.

Cesar Chavez (who by the way was against illegals taking jobs from the legal farm workers whom he represented,) W. E. B. Du Bois, the white abolitionists, Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks, Lyndon B. Johnson (without whom much legislation would not have passed); the white college students and citizens who marched with the protestors — all these figures played a prominent role in the struggle.

As such, I believe MLK would be ashamed and embarrassed that his name and his name alone is celebrated as the starting point for equal opportunity rights.

Perhaps we should rename MLK Day to Color Blindness Day, Equality Day or Equal Opportunity Rights Day so as to be inclusive of all those who fought and struggled and who continue to do so today and tomorrow.

Maybe then there would be fuller participation by those who feel MLK Day is not on equal footing with other recognized holidays.

I would love to see parades and speeches and writing contests about the presidents during February for President’s Day as done so during MLK celebrations.

I would love to see students writing about the Constitution and extolling the wisdom of the Bill of Rights on Constitution Day in September.

Equal exposure.

Mike Coley
Fayetteville, Ga.