The title of this post was meant to grab your attention, Modern Philosophers, but it also speaks volumes about what is on my mind tonight.
Maine’s lack of diversity is a very easy target for me to take potshots at on this blog.
I had the interns do a little research, asking them to find out what percentage of Maine’s population was white.
One census site had it at 95%, while another said 96.9%.
Either way, we are talking about an incredible lack of diversity for someone who grew up in New York, and then lived in Los Angeles for six years.
The scary thing is, that Maine might not actually be the whitest state in the Union. However, when it snows, it pretty much has to be.
I found it incredibly ironic that it would snow in Maine on this particular holiday.
Am I the only one who feels like Martin Luther King, Jr Day has become a forgotten holiday? This isn’t a gripe about not having the day off like I once did, but rather, a complaint that the holiday doesn’t seem to get much publicity.
One coworker admitted that she didn’t even realize today was a holiday. I’m ashamed to say I checked the mailbox when I returned to The House on the Hill tonight because it had slipped my mind that there was no mail delivery on a Federal Holiday.
Why does it seem like the holiday has fallen through the cracks? Is it because I live in Maine, where I can go weeks at a time without seeing a person of color?
Or is it because we’re all holidayed out with it just having been Christmas, the holiday which seems to begin earlier every year, and New Year’s?
Does the fault lie in the fact that Martin Luther King, Jr Day doesn’t have a claymation special, any songs related to it, a big sporting event tied to it, enormous holiday sales scheduled on it, or gift giving as part of the day?
Maybe it all comes down to the fact that kids are taught more about a jolly old elf who brings them presents, than they are about a Civil Rights leader who brought a nation hope.
I was listening to the radio on the drive to work this morning, and the morning show deejays were debating whether schools should be closed for the holiday.
The other guy shot back that by giving kids the day off, they realize that the day is important and they will research on their own why it is a holiday.
Eventually, the second guy admitted that kids were probably just sitting home playing video games and not learning anything about why there didn’t have to go to school.
I wrote a monologue joke for The Nite Show around this time last year that went something like: Maine is so white that most residents think Martin, Luther, and King are three different people.
Danny didn’t use the joke, and I’ve always wondered if it was because he didn’t think it was funny, or because he knew I was right and didn’t want to joke about it on television.
I don’t have an answer as to why this holiday feels like it’s been forgotten, but the whole point of this post is to ask questions and get you to form Deep Thoughts on the topic.
I don’t expect things to change here in Maine, but I have a dream that there can at least be more awareness of the holiday.
I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
What do you think, Modern Philosophers? Do you agree that this has become something of a forgotten holiday? Does your city or state do anything special to mark the day? Do you have a favorite quote by Dr. King?