In 1973 the Illinois Legislature was the first in the nation to create an official holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. That same year, the Texas Legislature responded to calls for a celebration of MLK’s life and work in a very different manner.
Since the ’30’s Robert E. Lee’s birthday on January 19th had been a minor state holiday. In 1973 the Texas Legislature consolidated it with a celebration of Jefferson Davis’ birthday to create a brand new, totally race-neutral Confederate Heroes Day. Take that you Hippie, Commie, agitators. Of course, any overlap on the calendar with MLK’s birthday was pure, race-blind coincidence.
It should be noted that the Legislature in 1973 was under the control of Democrats. Now that Republicans, the Party of Lincoln, control every arm, leg, finger and other appendage of state government, the bill to repeal Confederate Heroes Day is probably working its way through committee as I write this.
It should also be noted that in 1973, Rick Perry was still a Democrat. Again, pure, race-blind coincidence.
Contact your Legislator and ask him or her (probably him, really) about the current status of Republicans’ efforts to either repeal Confederate Heroes Day or move it to a less obviously spiteful location on the calendar. Enjoy the tense silence.
Monday in Texas you’ll enjoy a leisurely rest from your labor, an opportunity to honor a man who gave his life to end racist oppression or to honor those who gave their lives in a bid to preserve violent white supremacy. Take your pick. In Texas you still have a choice. Liberty!!!