There are days in our calendars that stand out as celebrations of specific things. For one day everyone talks about this and discusses the day and at the end of it pat themselves in the back for having been so in tune and open to new things. Of course the day after rolls around and not much if anything has changed. A few days ago we had two such days: Women’s Equality day and the remembrance of the March on Washington. Our calendar reminded us that we should celebrate and think of those who struggled, like the civil rights activist that marched for future generations or the suffragettes who fought for their daughters. Without them we would not have the advances we have today! Or do we?
Call me a cynic but a lot of things have stayed the same, they just got a new coat of paint to distract from the rotting wood. Yes, legislative measures are pushed so no one will be discriminated against because of race, gender, sexuality or religion. It’s all very prettily set out in the Bill of Rights. But we all know how laws are followed. And we all know of loop holes. You were not paid because you were a woman but because you didn’t do a job as well. You didn’t get the job not because you are black but because the other guy is more qualified. You didn’t get fired because you are gay they just needed to cut down on costs. Most people will never admit a choice is made because of a prejudice.
The problem is a lot of times they are there and whether we like it or not we all have them. Open minded people are prejudiced against those who seem closed-minded. And the same works the other way around. Sometimes it’s subtle, I work in a store that caters to an audience most see as almost all if not purely male. I have had customers ask me if one of the guys are not around. It wouldn’t bother me if they had asked the question and I said I didn’t know about that specific product. But it does when I say I can help and the assumption is I wont know because how could a chick know? It’s a small incident yes, but that’s the thing, these happen all the time. Such as when something is called “So gay!” to mean it in a negative way. Why is gay, a word that can be traced back to meaning happy and positive, suddenly become an insult? Or let’s all admit at some point you clutched your bag or cell phone or other possession a bit harder when that odd-looking (read dangerous) kid got on the bus. Nine out of ten times it will be a black teen. The list could go on and on the little things that are such a part of our society many times we don’t even notice.
The little things fall through the cracks the rest of the year when we don’t celebrate something. Maybe we should apply the Mad Hatter’s logic to this, why limit this to one day? The suffragettes did not march to have one day where we celebrate women, the civil rights activist did not march for a day to remember either. And yeah sure we have the “______ Month” but still, it’s a month out of 12, in black histories case the shortest. No, they, and those of us who keep up their fight do it for equality and that means every day. So let’s really remember them and make every day remembrance day of all those who have fought and said no so we can have a better life and make sure those that come after us don’t need to be reminded once a year you need to be decent to your fellow human beings.