Monday, January 16, 2006

Just another holiday?

How do you keep Martin Luther King Day from becoming just another excuse for a three day weekend? According to today's editorial from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, you need to start 'working toward achieving the civil rights leader's goals.'

OK, that sounds good, but what does it really mean? For Pennsylvanians, it could mean a lot of things. It could mean contacting your state representative to express your opposition to HB 1318, and especially toward any move to reinsert the Barrar amendment, which would disenfranchise ex-offenders on probation or parole.

Or it could mean visiting and learning more about the campaign to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act, key sections of which are set to expire in 2007 unless Congress acts to renew them.

Or maybe you could watch the most recent episode from the ACLU's TV series, which happens to be about racial profiling.

And then there's always the death penalty, with its disproportionate impact on the African-American community both in Pennsylvania and nationwide.

So, although it sounds a little corny and preachy, it's good to remember some things that make MLK Day more than an excuse for a three day weekend (Though Pittsburgh may also have needed a day to recover from the Steelers game. I fell asleep last night to the sound of my drunk neighbors firing shots into the air).

Lisa in Pittsburgh


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