Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Congressional hopeful offers new name for King Day

I found this story yesterday amongst some other statewide Congressional campaign stories from the Capitol Fax blog. It's goofy in the worst type of way and I would think it would cause him more trouble than its worth. If I was to consider voting Republican he would have lost my vote quickly.

How is calling Dr. King Day less inclusive than American Martyr's Day? I don't see a point in changing the name of the holiday, perhaps he's going after those individuals who are still upset that Dr. King's birthday had become a national holiday. From the Daily Herald.

If elected, congressional candidate Kenneth Arnold says he'd seek to have Martin Luther King Jr. Day renamed to make it more inclusive.

Arnold, a candidate in the 8th Congressional District Republican primary, said he would push to create "American Martyrs Day." He said King would appreciate the renaming, which was part of a "white paper solution" released Saturday.

"I am thinking in full measure of what Martin Luther King was: inclusiveness," Arnold said Monday. "We should be a society of inclusion, not exclusion."

Some minority leaders disagree, saying everyone can celebrate King's message of love, nonviolence and hope with his name attached to the day.

Mario Lambert, second vice president of the NAACP's DuPage County chapter, said King's name should stand alone on that day. Lambert said it's important to have King specifically recognized for representing the struggles of black Americans, while recognizing other groups that were oppressed.

"African-Americans are still distinguished in that there still is a hard road ahead before things are perfectly balanced," he said.

King's birthday was first observed as a national holiday in 1986.

Under Arnold's idea, the new holiday would remain on the third Monday of January and would celebrate notable American civilians -- regardless of race, creed or color -- who suffered hardship or death to promote higher ideals.

In addition to King, Robert F. Kennedy, Rosa Parks and Sitting Bull would be worthy of recognition on the holiday, Arnold said. He envisions Congress debating the issue, then assigning responsibility to the president for inducting a new member for the holiday annually by proclamation.
Arnold's Republican opponent Steve Greenberg called this proposal silly and says that if it comes for a vote in Congress he would block it (yeah I hope so). This idea is goofy and I hope he or nobody else touches it. Oh and Dr. King Day is not a holiday for black folks only if that's his insinuation!

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