I’ve never witnessed an MLK day that was met with more grumbling than this year’s. I overheard the guy at work who likes to shoot off about gun rights going on about a surf shop that was having an MLK Day sale called “RESPECT–all black items 20% OFF”. He thought he was going to blow a gasket when he heard about that from some AM radio talk show on the way to work. Listening to right wing talk radio — what a crappy way to spend King Day! The more I think about that surf shop’s idea, the more I think that’s the coolest idea EVER!!
Two things wrong with this picture: I had to work and I had to listen to people uncelebrating MLK Day while I had to work. Now I know why it’s a holiday. YOU NEED TO BE AWAY FROM THAT on MLK Day.
But my MLK Days have been memorable ones nonetheless despite having to work on virtually every one of them. The very first one I planned to attend, I was unemployed but signed up with the temps. A call to go unload boxes at a Fresno warehouse from the temps. The job only lasted a few hours – we were a bit too good at unloading the boxes. So I figured I had a chance to join the celebration. When I got downtown, it was just wrapping up.
After trying for the next few years, inventory counting kept me busy on MLK Days. So I was rather frustrated. When I had returned to Fresno State, for, like, the third time, I decided to bring the whole LGBSA along with me, since I was President and it’d be kind of dumb to just go by myself. It was a very cool experience. As we marched, an old timer, an elderly black woman, she reached out to us and said “march closer together — this is how we had to do it — pull together, lock arms for protection. We watch out for each other. Watch out for that hole!” She pointed out a muddy pothole in the street. And that is how we marched Fresno’s King Day parade.
It’s black history, it’s American history, it’s freedom movement history.
Oh yeah, and there was some stupid bomb in SPOKANE this year. It was found before it went off. The FBI in the Pacific Northwest is remarkably vigilant.