Saturday, January 15, 2011

MLK Day

Let me start by saying, I have made fun of a lot of people for many different reasons. Gender, race, sex, weight, height, home town, current residence, mental disability, physically disability, religion, sandwich preference, drug addiction, sexual orientation, favorite sports teams, looking at me funny, political persuasion, noobs, intelligence, education; the list could go on but I thought I’d cover the basics. I tell you this because it is important to understand no one is perfect and everyone is capable of hurting someone. I won’t defend myself for any of these things, nor will I promise never to make comments on these groups again. I try to be fair and only make fun of people when they are obviously not speaking for the sum of their constituency. Every group has that one idiot that makes all the stereotypes true.

Is there a point here? I don’t confess to be any kind of activist or political person. I’m not really out there pushing for the rights of any one people. But more than forty years after his death (Martin Luther King), people still walk into my office and start making jokes about him. They take issue with our office being closed on Monday, the official celebration of the holiday. I think as a whole our society has moved closer to ending this kind of rhetoric, yet there are still pockets of the population stuck in time. I can’t say anything, mainly because I’m not paid to interject; I’m paid to smile and nod, but also because I don’t have the nerve to correct these people. I think that’s part of the problem too. If I had the nerves to say something to these people, would it matter? Would my words make a difference?

Sorry to be such a downer, but the purpose of these days: Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day etc. is to remind us of something, to implore us to pause and think about these issues. I really believe that and try to take time on these holidays to contemplate their meaning. I hope I've made a good case for you to do the same.

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