Sunday, January 18, 2009

Racism: Opinions Differ?

It bothers me that my employer doesn't honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day. No doubt there's a benign, sensible, reasonable, straightforward and totally non-racist explanation for this, but as I don't know what it is, and yet I don't want to speak ill of the people who pay me,* I will post this image in lieu of the reason.

Another view is possible. Consider that without racists, there wouldn't even be a question of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Without racism, MLK Jr. might have been just a preacher -- or President of the USA, or prosperous commercial fisherman, or someone whose ancestors were never loaded onto slave ships in the first place. Who knows? To imagine the history of North America without racism is to take on quite a mammoth counterfactual.

So those of us who have to trudge in to work tomorrow as though it is not a holiday have to grudgingly thank racists for making it a close call.**

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*For purposes of this blog post.
**Not really. But it's an interesting counterfactual.***
***Not really.

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