Monday, January 17, 2005

More news from the Purple States of America

I wouldn't dream of paraphrasing Wonkette:

"We are honoring Martin Luther King Day as we always do, by staying in bed until noon and starting drinking at one. In fact, we like to think of every day as Martin Luther King Day. The folks in Mississippi, on the other hand, prefer not to think about MLK day much at all! If you -- as reader J. did -- call the Mississippi tax commission today (601-923-7000), you'll find that the office is closed 'in observance of Robert E Lee's and Martin Luther King's birthdays.' We love this. We imagine it was floated as a way to get the bigots to observe a federal holiday and avoid being targeted by Chuck D -- a compromise about as meaningful as the Missouri one, really. If this is the case, we wonder what other kinds of intrastate racial tit-for-tat deals might be in the works. What about, 'you can date our daughters as long as we can whip you for it after?'"

They also celebrate Jeff Davis's Birthday on the same day as National Memorial Day (you know, the USA's Memorial Day, as opposed to the Confederate Memorial Day--which they also celebrate, unencumbered by any concurrent celebrations of uppity civil rights leaders). I couldn't find a conclusive link, but it looks like REL's birthday is celebrated in a handful of other southern states, and I'm assuming they've been celebrating his much longer than they have MLK's.

The next time you're flipping across the dial, and you happen upon an interview of some sympathetic looking resident of the deep south who is dismissing Edgar Ray Killen's trial as little more than a circus destined to stir up long-dead feelings of ill will, think of this. And when they dismiss the racist yahoos who perpetuate the iconization of guys like Lee as being part of a small if vocal minority, ask them how that small minority manages to cajole these states into celebrating the lives of men who committed treason against the USA and fought to keep human beings enslaved.

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