Today Floridians celebrate the legal holiday of the Birthday of Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general known for his tireless efforts in support of slavery during the Civil War against the United States of America. There is a better choice to celebrate on this day, a day so close to the day that we honor the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the man who inspired the young ‘boy from Troy‘ towards a life of service to our country.
Yesterday was a national day of service, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Today, January 19th, perhaps next year, we could be honoring Congressman John Lewis in a statewide day of action, community planning and voter education during the ‘John Lewis Advance Voting Rights Day.’ Representative Lewis thought of Dr. King as a big brother. Let his holiday stand next to his inspiration as he did, to take the next step in creating the good trouble needed to accomplish the vision of constitutional, civil and economic rights for all. In so many ways it makes sense and is strategically sound, coming at this time of year annually.
Today would be a good day to cosponsor or endorse the ‘Repair Legal Holidays of Confederates and Colonizers’ bill. Recognizing the connection between Robert E. Lee Day and John Lewis’ life work for racial equality and voting rights is important for the public to never ever forget. In forgetting, there is peril.
After the events at our nation’s Capitol, the public is crying out not only for an end to destructive embedded structural white supremacy, but for a continuance and reinvigoration of the vision led by Dr. King that Congressman John Lewis enjoined and fought so valiantly and tirelessly for his entire life. In fact, each one of these five holidays in this legislation could become annual opportunities for positive change in our state as well as rectify revisionist history that has done so much harm to our black, brown, indigenous, and disadvantaged populations and our entire society. We must repair these five inaccurate legal holidays now in service to our ancestors, our society, and our children.
More on this effort and to add endorsements go to Bills4Florida.org.