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This is just a quick diary to see how other Kossacks feel about celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on same day as historic inauguration of President Barack Obama.  Normally, MLK Day is celebrated on 3rd Monday of January which is Jan 19th next year.  While the Presidential inauguration is Constitutionally mandated, Congress can pass special legislation to move MLK Day to January 20, 2009.  I cannot think of anything of greater symbolism than to celebrate the two events together,  to mark an important milestone for MLK's "I Have A Dream" speech.  MLK Day is a federal holiday and consequently a large part of the federal government and banks would have the day off.  So would a lot of schools as well.  I realized that many people may have made plans already for celebration, but with Barack Obama's inauguration they may have amended their plans this next year.

So what are Kossacks thoughts on this?  If you like the idea are you willing to contact your Representatives and Senators to urge them to pass special legislation? I know this is a long shot. I am sorry if this has already been diaried and discussed.  Did not find anything under several tags.  Not looking for tips on this, just your thoughts and comments.

Mea Culpa: MLK Day is on January 19, I keep getting MLK Jr's birthday which is Jan. 15 confused with day of observance.

Note: I am only proposing this for 2009.

Originally posted to NellaSelim on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 12:14 PM PST.


Is moving Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to January 20, same day as Presidential Inauguration, to commemerate historic event a good idea?

23%28 votes
66%78 votes
10%12 votes

| 118 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Comments? n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  So far the early consensus is no, any reasons? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fishhead, mveit, samantha in oregon
    •  Because Obama was right to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      downplay race within his candidacy.

      •  This is not celebration of race, but a... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jj32, samantha in oregon

        celebration of political equality for all Americans which in part was what Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech was about.

        •  Sorry, but that's too nuanced. (0+ / 0-)

          How can the merging of MLK day with the innaguration of the first black president not be seen as being about race? I'd venture that for 70% of Americans it would be.

        •  But we would risk acquisations of political (4+ / 0-)

          hypocracy if we celebrated a day devoted to celebrating a hero who advocated for equality for all Americans while so many American are still denied this equality, and our President elect and the majority of the Democratic political leadership still supports a civil unions only position rather than full equality.

          I'm an enthusiastic Obama supportor, who also supports full equality for all Americans and beleives we will eventually get there.  

          But I also am embrassed and feel guilty that we've asked our GLBT brother and sisters to remain patient (in the back of the bus) so we can win elections.  

          I joined those accepting the compromise positions for Dukakis, the Clintons, Kerry, Gore, and Obama and beleive that adopting these civil union compromise positions may have been politically expedient, and perhaps, even wise.

          But, we shouldn't kid ourselves that it was pretty much the opposite approach of what appears to be Dr Martin Luther King's Jr. orginal sentiment of the "fierce urgency of now" when some "mainstream" Democrats urged delaying demands for full equality until society was more ready.

          I believe our Party can be proud that we took the costly stand to support the Voting Rights Act then, even though it cost us many southern states we still have not won back, and caused George Wallace to bolt the party.

          Not everyone agrees, but many in the GLBT see parrellels, and a lack of similar courage now.

          So let's not add insult to injury now at such a sensitive time.  

          Let's keep both of these worthwhile celebrations seperate and hope we can get through them without a highly painful metaphorical equivelant of a "fierce hypocracy of moral complacenty" discussion.

          And then ASAP, I hope and expect Obama and many of our other Democratic leaders will upgrade their out-of-date seperate but equal "civil union" positions
          to ones of full equality.

          Either the government should issue full marraige certificates for everyone, or get out of a religiously based definition, and offer only civil unions for everyone.

          But given how much of a hero Dr. King is for all us supporting full equality for all Americans, combining the holidays, would be such an affront, that it would probably require symbollic protests which would be sad and diminish what should be happy days for all us.  

          Symbollically, it would bring up comparisions to those lucky enough to have full rights having a lavish and garish feast, while those GLBT brother and sisters who helped them get their rights look on in starvation throgh the windows.

          Keeping them seperate, will allow those of us in moral knots about this, to fluff the issue and look the other way, and keep our feelings of hypocracy and guilt to ourselves.  We've already done it for decades, we can manage another two months.

          But after the inaugeration, we must get back to the real original meaning of the "fierce urgency of now" and fight for full equality for all Americans. (and everyone in the world really)


          The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

          by HoundDog on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 02:05:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Let them have their own days. n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blindyone, Shhs, jfromga
  •  counter proposal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As a big fan of both Obama and King (for very different reasons), I think this is a clunker.  It actually makes me kind of upset, although I understand where you're coming from.

    Instead, I propose a new holiday for January 20 - Liberation (from Bush) Day.

    "What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is." --Dan Quayle

    by jakester on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 12:33:35 PM PST

  •  Government employees in the DC area (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Embee, snakelass, Cassandra Waites

    will get Inauguration Day off. I will too because I work under government contracts and the rule where I work is we get what the government gets. Here is the schedule of Federal Holidays for 2009. MLK's birthday is a Federal holiday, celebrated on Jan. 19th this year and the 20th is Inauguration Day. If we leave things as they are, thousands of government workers (and yours truely) get a four day weekend.

    Lots of places of employment don't give MLK as a paid holiday, but for those that do, I think they follow the US gov practice of moving it to the nearest Monday. It wouldn't be celebrated on the 15th anyway.

    You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia".

    by yellowdog on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 12:34:47 PM PST

    •  Was one of the few perks of working in DC (0+ / 0-)

      Especially since the two inauguration days I had off involved Reagan.

      By the way, unless things have changed recently, Federal employees who happen to work in Fairfax, VA do NOT get Inauguration Day off. The reason? When the law was passed authorizing the day off, the city of Fairfax (not of course to be confused with Fairfax County) hadn't yet been incorporated and therefore wasn't referred to in the legislation. Nobody wanted to be bothered fixing that.

  •  And thus imply to all those scared white people (0+ / 0-)

    that somehow black people won and run the country?

    (-8.00, -7.18) I got my country back!

    by Arken on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 12:44:59 PM PST

  •  Not sure-- but here's a great way to celebrate (0+ / 0-)

    This T-shirt from is awesome-- had to get me one of those real quick:

  •  You can't change (0+ / 0-)

    a holiday a month before.

    Millions of people have made plans to travel, companies have allocated the day off.

    This is a total nonstarter.

    •  Sure you can, just give the option of leaving the (0+ / 0-)

      19th open for those businesses and government agencies that already have plans.

      •  That's silly (0+ / 0-)

        Business doesn't operate that way.

        This has zero chance of happening.

        This would be a ticket for mass confusion.

        Besides, to act as though this is a more special inauguration officially, and that Obama is the "black" president, frankly offends me, and would really, really leave a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths.

  •  Well I guess people would rather celebrate on a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    samantha in oregon

    four day weekend.  But only some federal employees will be off on Inauguration Day.

  •  I took off 1/20, so I get 2 days off! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That's going to be one hell of a celebration, let me tell ya!

  •  Congress has bigger things to worry about (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blindyone, Cassandra Waites

    like the economy quickly going down the toilet.

    It's great that the two days are back-to-back. Lets leave it at.

  •  No, but I think it's very cool that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snakelass, Cassandra Waites

    MLK Day falls right before the Inauguration Day this January. Kind of like how the last day of the DNC, when the presidential candidate speaks, fell on the 45th anniversary of MLK's "I have a Dream" speech.

  •  The activists in my community have suggested (0+ / 0-)

    that Inaugration Day be spent meditating on Martin Luther King, Jr., and his legacy and the continuing struggle/plight of African Americans and even have some kinds of gatherings or 'services.'

    I would not like to see Martin Luther King Day mixed up with any other function.  He deserves his OWN day to be remembered. the elites...actually believe that society can be destroyed by anyone except those who lead them? - John Ralston Saul -

    by Silverbird on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 01:50:35 PM PST

  •  You know, the more I think of it, (0+ / 0-)

    the more this bothers me. I would think that Dr. King, who spoke about people not being judged by the color of their skin, would want his name to signify the celebration of the first black president. It sort of goes counter to the very point of the I Have a Dream Speech...

    (-8.00, -7.18) I got my country back!

    by Arken on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 01:51:50 PM PST

    •  No, I think he would want us to celebrate a day.. (0+ / 0-)

      when such a diverse group of Americans came together to elect a person based not on the color of his skin, but on the quality of his leadership.  That we now live in an age where integrity and character are given greater value than the race, religion, or gender.  This is another major step on the road to progressive civil society in which all Americans be part.  We still have a long way to go.

  •  If you are in the DC area for that weekend, then (0+ / 0-)

    here's a good way to mark the holiday:
    (full disclosure: I'm on the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq steering committee, and we are among the sponsors of this event)

    In observance of
    PLEASE JOIN members of the Olive Branch Interfaith Peace Partnership in Washington, D.C.– or in your own local community for an interfaith celebration and call to remember Dr. King’s vision:

     "Rebirthing King, Rebirthing America"

    Speakers confirmed: Vincent Harding, adviser to Dr. King;  Rev. Michael Kinnamon, National Council of Churches; Dr. Sayyid Syeed,  Islamic Society of North America; Nidal Awad (CAIR); Rev. William G. Sinkford, Unitarian Universalist Association;  Sammie Moshenberg, National Council of Jewish Women; Rev. Joan Brown Campbell, Chautauqua Inst., Rev. Dr. James Forbes, Rev. Sharon Watkins

    Organized by the Fellowship of Reconciliation in partnership with members of: American Muslim Voice, Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America,Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Christian Peace Witness for Iraq, Faith Voices for the Common Good, Jewish Voice for Peace,Muslim Peace Fellowship, Pax Christi, Presbyterian Peace Fellowship,The Shalom Center, Unitarian Universalist Association, United Methodist Church General Board of Church & Society, and others.

    In the Nation’s Capitol, on the day before the Presidential Inauguration 4:30 p.m.

    All Souls Church, Unitarian
    1500 Harvard Street, N.W.

    Other participating organizations include leaders from: Chautauqua Institution, Christian Church/ Disciples for Christ, Common Cause, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Gold Star Families for Peace, Healing of the Nations Foundation, Islamic Society of North America, National Council of Churches of Christ, National Council of Jewish Women, Network of Spiritual Progressives, Nonviolence International, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Sojourners, Tikkun, U.S. Catholic Conference, Veterans of Hope Project, Witness Against Torture, and more.

    Local interfaith gatherings are encouraged in communities nationwide.

    For more information – including curricula materials on how to frame an event in the context of Dr. King’s vision of building the Beloved Community and ending militarism, racism, and materialism – visit:

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. -- Mark Twain ... or was it Groucho?

    by Christian Wright on Fri Dec 05, 2008 at 02:11:40 PM PST

  •  Better idea (0+ / 0-)

    Just let every Federal worker have a nice warm feeling about the incoming President because he gave them a 4-day weekend.

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