Monday, January 21, 2013

Happy MLK Day!

Mel and I fist bumpin for freedom.

I woke up late this morning. Late, as in I should have left the house 5 minutes before I actually woke up kind of late. Normally, I wouldn't mind - it happens - but last week I did the SAME THING. However, the morning last week was what I call an Alanis Morissette morning: a traffic jam when I'm already late. I did not want that to happen again. I was so relieved that I only ended up being 10 minutes late because I practically flew into work! I thought, "Wow! Everyone who's late this morning must be in a hurry too, and that's why we're all going 80!" Theeeen, I remembered: I'm the only chump who had to work today.

I haven't had MLK Day off at my last two jobs (so, going on a decade), which of course leads me to believe that the companies I work for are racists and don't believe in civil rights. (Totally kidding, but I like to tease them.)  Growing up, I always liked learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. I went to schools that were exactly 49% white, 49% black, so it hit home that I wouldn't know half of my classmates had I been my parents age (it took Texas a taaaad longer to integrate than other places). Don't get me wrong, there were definitely some tense moments too, especially in the high school years; I definitely remember some "cracker" name calling and "Kill Whitey" chanting, that we crackers would pay no mind to.

Often times I've wished that I grew up in a quaint New England town where education was valued rather than having to teach myself most of what I know (like when I signed up for my first college classes and they asked how many hours I wanted to take. "Uhm...40?" Oy.), but I do value the life and social skills that school in rural east Texas taught me. I think Dr. King would be pretty proud of what we've accomplished as a nation, even if it has taken way too long to get there and there is still improvement to be made.

Side notes:
  • Am I the only one that sings "Pride" by U2 in my head when they see a picture of MLK?
  • In perhaps my favorite book of all time, it's mentioned that it was a Spanish priest that had the bright idea of bringing slaves over to the Americas when the poor Native Americans started dying off. I like to remind my Catholic friends of this. ;)

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