Jan 15, 2016 Our firm is open today, when Va. courts are closed on the Lee-Jackson day relic
Our law firm is open today. My son’s Fairfax public school is open today. Numerous other Virginia city and county governments are open today. However, all the Virginia courts, the DMV, and all other state government offices are closed today for the relic [Robert E.] Lee-[Stonewall] Jackson day that since 2000 has fallen on the Friday before Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.
I support having a federal holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr., and will blog more about him on his federal holiday, as I always do.
For those Virginia government employees who today have a paid day off, 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, 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 my 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 forcing African-Americans to the back of buses, but much more is left to be done nationwide and worldwide, and keeping a Lee-Jackson day does nothing to help that momentum.
Happy MLK Day! Remove Lee-Jackson day.