Allow me a little latitude for a moment if you please.
Prior to the formation of Martin Luther King Jr Day, Americans celebrated Lincoln’s birthday on Feb 12 and Washington’s Birthday on Feb 22. They were federal holidays and most business closed. However, a number of businesses remained open on those federal holidays.
How would you feel if you were working in one of the businesses on Washington’s birthday and a group of white people came in and handed out fliers to everyone stating,
“Dear (business name), you are defying the Washington holiday. Shame, Shame, Shame. This is a racist act. Shame, Shame, Shame.”
You would probably wonder what in the world they were talking about and who let these kooks out of the funny farm. Would anyone think that a business being open on Washington’s Birthday would be considered to be racist against white people?
Now let’s look at what happened on Monday in Burlington, Vermont. Even though it was a federal holiday, TD Bank opened their doors for business. After an MLK celebration was held at City Hall, approximately twelve people descended on the bank and handed out fliers that actually read,
“Dear TD Bank, you are defying the King holiday. Shame, Shame, Shame. This is a racist act. Shame, Shame, Shame.”
But since MLK was black, being open on his holiday to some becomes an issue of race and their actions gain national attention. And I for one believe that it is the protestors that are the real racists and that their actions are only meant to throw fuel on the racial fires to keep them burning. The only people that saw any racial connotations in the choice of a business to open on MLK Day were in the eyes of the protestors and no one else.
Did they contact the owners of the bank and ask them the reason behind their actions? I seriously doubt it. Most likely, the leader of the protest is one of those activists that goes around trying to find things that can be twisted around to give them reason to yell, scream, holler and make false accusations of racism where none was intended. And I’m confident that the same person would not have repeated his racist accusations to any business that would have opened on Washington’s Birthday.
Another question that needs to be asked is, ‘where there any other businesses open on the holiday or did they just single out the bank?’ I’m sure there were stores, gas stations and urgent care centers that were open on MLK Day, so why weren’t they protested against?
What makes the bank being open the only case of racism amongst all the other businesses that were open? After all, if the bank being open on MLK Day is an act of racism, then the same should be true for all other businesses that were open, right?
These days, we consolidated the celebration of two of the greatest presidents in American history along with every other president into one holiday so as to free up a day for Martin Luther King Jr. And since we now have a president that is part black and part white, any racial protest would be confusing to say the least.