Presidents get overlooked in favor of Dr. King events

Presidents get overlooked in favor of Dr. King events

Reverse discrimination manifests itself in subtle ways; not unlike a diet rich in salt – we know it’s not good, we know it’s to be avoided, and perhaps most troubling, it’s difficult to prove it’s occurring since the effects are usually subtle and cumulative. Then one day the blood pressure cuff gets applied, and all the transgressions come rushing to the fore.

In Marietta, we just had such a pressure cuff situation, but you may have missed it. To wit, the Jan. 18-19 edition of the Times carried a voluminous entry authored by Marietta College (MC) highlighting programs to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. A total of eight programs were listed, all in the context of a “Martin Luther King Jr. Week” lollapalooza, as opposed to the federal holiday known as “Martin Luther King Jr. Day.” Our smorgasbord of events ranged from movies, a brown bag lunch, discussions, storytelling, guest speakers, readings, candles, free pizzas, and discussions. Cristie Thomas must have been consumed with discussions to plan all these discussions. As I write on this Monday, Jan. 17, also known as “Presidents Day,” which to some is a holiday, but to many is not, I am motivated to check the MC calendar to consider their palette of offerings to celebrate this most auspicious occasion. Finding a nullity was followed by a call to MC’s Tom Perry, whose title is too long to fit in this letter, who confirmed that there were no Presidents Day (or Presidents Week, or Presidents Month) events whatsoever. Perhaps I’m alone in finding it disturbing that MC would suggest that the gamut of all 43 past presidents are at least eight times less important than Dr. King.

Serious debate might justify pigeonholing dozens of former presidents, but in the overarching theme of advancing black causes, failure to recognize Abraham Lincoln, who staked his reputation and life on eradicating slavery, is unthinkable.

In a couple years, the whole Presidents Day oversight issue may be self-correcting, since No. 44 presumably faces the specter of being homogenized in with the rest of the ignored masses; we can only hope that MC would not let this happen.

Jeff Ferguson