Should Employees Get Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Off?

News 2012/01/06 23:17:44
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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day falls on the third Monday of the year, which is January 16 this year -- right around the corner! As much as Dr. King is acclaimed for his involvement in the civil rights movement, there has long been controversy over whether or not to dedicate a holiday to his name.

There's also an issue over whether employees and students should get the day off. By 2000, all 50 states had recognized the holiday, but in 2007 just 33% of employees had the day off. Not all schools get the day off, either. Some opt to hold special courses, assemblies, or seminars in lieu of, or in addition to, classes.

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  • Mike 2012/01/07 08:54:26
    Obviously yes! How is it possible that America refuses to honor this great man?

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  • PM Ladybug 2015/02/02 19:30:32
    Under what basis of law could that office do that? It is not a religious holiday? It is honoring a a great man, no doubt, but there are other holidays honoring great men (i.e. President's Day honoring Lincoln and Washington), so I see no reason to give only African Americans the day off. Besides, its a Federal Holiday and its open for every employer to offer as a paid holiday.
  • charles nelson 2012/01/10 01:28:14
    charles nelson
    Come on.... Let's stop all this Socialist BS.....NO MORE HOLIDAYS!
  • Paul 2012/01/10 01:27:46 (edited)
    If it's so important to someone, they can take a personal day. There have been many great men that don't get proper recognition, the man is recognized, that's sufficient enough
  • Meako 2012/01/10 01:16:14
    I am so glad that sodahead votes really dont mean a damn thing in America...

    mlk mlk mlk mlk
  • Cain2012~POTL~PWCM~JLA 2012/01/10 01:01:25
  • Denise 2012/01/10 00:46:52
    Martin Luther King was a thinker. He raised the conciousness of America. He used the media to display the "Ills" of this Country. All minorities in America benefit from the work of MLK. Blacks, Whites, Latinos and Asians can now get good jobs, a good education and live where they can afford. MLK challenged America to judge people by the content of their character not the color of their skin. To the people who answered "NO": How many of you would sacrifice longevity, your family and a promising career to bring about equality for everyone?
  • Soms Cougli 2012/01/10 00:38:46
    Soms Cougli
    Once a great man, always a great man. He changed the face of America forever.

    Then again, I do understand the need people have to work for the sake of money.
  • Michael Mcconnell 2012/01/10 00:38:21
    Michael Mcconnell
    A better question is "should government employees get the day off with pay?"
  • Junior the Outer Space Musi... 2012/01/10 00:32:40
    Junior the Outer Space Music Man
    They should, but I don't anticipate any forward movement on this.
  • Nekosarethebest 2012/01/10 00:28:23
    Too lazy....
  • Rosemary 2012/01/10 00:24:43
    I don't think it does a whole lot of good to have this day off ... all people would do would be shop, sleep or eat. It's not as if they'll go marching for civil justice or protest discrimination. For many folks, the day -- and, sadly, the man -- really doesn't mean anything. And, besides, Dr. King would want people to work for causes in which they believe, not to sit around and do nothing.
  • PatBB Rosemary 2012/01/10 12:43:47
    There is a group with a slogan something like, 'Not a day off, but a day on!' which tells people to do something that day in accordance with Rev. King's principles! I just moved out of Wilmington, NC, where even the mostly-White high schools send marching bands to the MLK Day parade!
  • tntbs 2012/01/10 00:24:25
    Yes if they are not doing an activity that honors all people being equal. No if they are.
  • wwe.sodahead.com/RPG2011 2012/01/10 00:22:55
    The only thing he ever did was make the blacks racist.
  • truchac... wwe.sod... 2012/01/10 00:36:38
    As you so clearly show, he could have done better at making some people not racist. Your comment is beyond stupid.
  • wwe.sod... truchac... 2012/01/11 17:03:03 (edited)
    I'm not racist as you are implying. His message bore truth and legacy. Unfortunately it has also brought with it a form of reverse hate that I think in my experiences has over shadowed his message to his people and to all people.
  • charles... wwe.sod... 2012/01/10 01:29:15
    charles nelson
  • coach k wwe.sod... 2012/01/10 13:21:56
    coach k
    you might be to young to rember when blacks had to sit on the back of a bus. when blacks had to stand in the street if a white woman passed by. when blacks were beaten for trying to vote. and you say he made black racist.
  • wwe.sod... coach k 2012/01/11 16:53:53 (edited)
    No I'm not too young. I very much remember that time. All I'm saying the tide has changed. I can no longer be in areas where Afro-Americans out number whites without being harassed. I stopped at a McDonalds near a hospital where I was visiting my dying sister. It was in a all black area and I was refused service. I have been called racist names, but not once since I was about 10 and ignorant have I used the n word or any other racial slur. I do find it amusing though the majority of racial jokes come from those who profess to be racially tolerant.
  • knockoutcleaning 2012/01/10 00:22:18
    as soon as I saw this topic I thought oh boy here come the idiots im surprised not to see any stupidity on this topic thanks ! But certainly I think it should be celebrated this was a huge turning point in this country people are quick to throw up other names but there accomplishments where not as great as Mlk
  • Robinhood 2012/01/09 23:52:37
    i do not have anything against him, but since in america we don't take off for any other non-religious holiday why should MLK day be taken off?
  • WCS99no1 2012/01/09 23:50:06
    I would like to get MLK Day off and do some community service. I think more employers should encourage their employees to use the day to serve their communities.
  • PatBB WCS99no1 2012/01/10 12:44:47
    Bang-on! Please see my response to Rosemary just above.
  • bruce d 2012/01/09 23:07:06
    bruce d
    I only said no because I believe it's up to the individual business , heck any day off for any reason is good !!
  • ZB 2012/01/09 22:49:37
    There are so many great and/or special people in our history that do not get a special day. Why should MLK? Because he was at a turning point? Because of what he did? Or because he was black? I have never had MLK Day off unless it was a normally scheduled day off. Why should anyone else get it off?
  • Stan Kapusta 2012/01/09 22:43:55
    Stan Kapusta
    Unless all have the holiday off. It's discriminatory.
  • Maverick Capitalist 2012/01/09 22:43:11
    Maverick Capitalist
    Why? Hell, we combine Washington and Lincoln and these guys did something besides get shot. But that is not to diminish King's efforts, it is simply questioning the level of importance we elevate King to. JFK and Bobby were both murdered, but aren't honored. If King had not been shot would he be elevated to the position he currently holds?
  • gaylehelen 2012/01/09 22:34:21
    Yes, it is a Federal holiday.
  • Martin McCabe 2012/01/09 22:15:55
    Martin McCabe
    Why? I don't get Emperor Norton day off.
  • truchac... Martin ... 2012/01/10 00:37:48
    Why would you?
  • sonny1 2012/01/09 22:04:41
  • PM sonny1 2012/01/09 23:29:38
    Lots of rioting and looting??? Lots??? Who did that? Surely not the protestors who could have been shot for being out in the streets after dark. Who was doing the looting and rioting? You went to city after city following King? I find that hard to believe.
  • sonny1 PM 2012/01/10 03:45:27
    Let me see if I can put this into words that even a simpleton can understand. I never said I went to city after city following King. We did have TV back in the 60's and I know it's hard to believe but back then it was fair and balanced and not that puke you see on MSNBC and the reporters were honestly reporters, they reported what was actually happening and if you would take the time to go to any library and review actual newspapers from that time you would see just who did the rioting. Also check out the riots in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit just to see who rioted and what the aftermath of the riots were, they even burned down there houses, did you ever hear the expression "Burn Baby Burn". Check out history and see for yourself, maybe when you grow up you will understand history and what we all can learn from it.
  • truthman sonny1 2012/01/14 11:37:33
    I have never understood when blacks get mad and start rioting they burn down their neighborhoods then wonder where in the hell they are going to live and eat.
  • zebsmom 2012/01/09 22:02:07
    No, and IMHO, the employees that do get it as a paid holidy [pretty much only gvt] shouldn't get it either. Sorry, but I feel the same way about Caezar Chavez day. Not that it wasn't a nice thing to honor them, but lets get real. They were only enacted to pander to particular voting blocs. With the country in the fiscal mess it's in, we don't need 2 more paid days off/paid overtime for working for gvt employees. [I believe Caezar Chavez day is only in CA]
  • syl 2012/01/09 22:00:02
    He's not snubbed-He already has the holiday. Also, there are plenty of Great American War Heroes, that should be honored by their own holiday, instead of lumping them all together in Veteran's Day. If people think that they have to have a day off in order to recognize MLK, that obviously shows that's bunk. They just want a day off, for whatever reason.
  • Rosemary syl 2012/01/10 00:27:03
    I'm still waiting for this country to give Pearl Harbor Day a proper observance. I've never seen this day off and, if any day should be taken off from work and respected, it is this one. And I was born in 1953 so it's not as if I have a personal, vested interest. But I do come from military stock so this day is very important and personal to me.
  • syl Rosemary 2012/01/12 21:59:59
    I totally agree. What happened that day, the lives that were lost, & launching us into WWII, should deserve the day off, & respected as you say. My Dad fought in WWII-in fact he had just left Pearl Harbor in Sept, landed at California, then to WA. state, & then overseas. I'm proud of him, & all those who served our country with their very lives on the line.
  • Tom Camfield 2012/01/09 21:52:26
    Tom Camfield
    With limited choice here, I'll have to pick "no" when I'd prefer "perhaps." First of all, this is not a racial thing. Secondly, there are numerous other national holidays on which businesses remain open and employes do not get to stay home. It's pretty much government workers (and perhaps bankers) who get a full quota of lie-about days.

    Meanwhile, Lincoln and Washington even had their birthdays rolled into one "Presidents' Day" which is on neither's birthday. What was that all about?

    I worked many years after the government in its misguided wisdom also arbitrarily ruled that many holidays would be observed on Monday. I worked on a weekly newspaper where taking Monday off only made the work week difficult, where Friday would have been dandy. So we took off no Monday holidays . . . were given instead extra vacation days, about 5 a year.
  • cm 2012/01/09 21:51:14
    The No's lead the Yes' by 8% ummmmm

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