Our local school district in northcentral Pennsylvania didn’t celebrate MLK Day today. I joked with a patron at the library that I guess since our area doesn’t have many people of different cultures here, then we don’t have to celebrate the day. She said, “Don’t get me started.”
Then the woman, who is of Asian descent, told me how several years ago her daughter went to speak at a school board meeting and was told by one of the board members that her daughter shouldn’t even be allowed to speak since she wasn’t American. “It was lucky I wasn’t there,” said the mother. “I would have had something to say about that.”
She said none of the other board members said anything about the statement made by their colleague. However, later one of the board members did call her to apologize. Another, whom she knew well, said he didn’t understand why she was so offended and that, as a result, for several years, she and that board member didn’t speak to each other.
It seems to me that a place like this is one of the first places that the school district should have off for MLK Day.
“Racial understanding is not something we find, but something that we must create. Through education we can create change.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.