Jan 13, 2017 We are open today, when courts are closed for the Lee-Jackson Day that is overdue for retirement
Lee-Jackson Day falls every Friday before Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. Lee-Jackson Day is a relic of the past that belong in the dustbin of history.
Of course, when I recently mentioned my aversion to Lee-Jackson Day within earshot of a courthouse clerk, she exclaimed that the reason for her four-day weekend does not matter to her, as long as she gets that long weekend. .
Today, my son’s Fairfax County public school is open. Numerous other Virginia city and county governments are open. How long do we need to wait for the state government and courts to stop closing for Lee-Jackson Day?
For those Virginia government employees who today have a paid day off for Lee-Jackson Day, rather than giving them one less paid day off, they can be given a credit for a day off on another day. However, Lee-Jackson day needs to end, not because Lee and Jackson fought for the losing military, nor out of any judgment about states’ rights and secession rights, but because this holiday is inextricably intertwined with Virginia’s official virulently racist and Jim Crow past.
Nobody but myself decided for me to move to the South from Manhattan in 1986 when I got an apartment in Arlington, Virginia, just one subway stop away from attending George Washington Law School in Washington, D.C. Northern Virginia in particular, and the rest of the South, look and feel much better today than from the days of racially segregated bathrooms and water fountains, and forcing African-Americans to the back of buses, but much more is left to be done nationwide and worldwide. Maintaining a Lee-Jackson day does nothing to help that momentum.
Happy upcoming MLK Day! Remove Lee-Jackson day.