Valerie Fu / Daily Nexus

As many might appreciate, all of us working folk get one Monday off in the middle of February to honor a couple of big figures in American history. Is it to celebrate human rights activist and advocate for Black empowerment, Malcolm X? Well … no. Is it to celebrate the source of the first immortal human cell line, Henrietta Lacks? Uhh, not quite. Is it to celebrate famed abolitionist and leader of the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman? Wrong again. 

Wouldn’t it make sense to celebrate prominent Black historical figures during the month dedicated to celebrating Black history? Hilariously enough, America has decided to dedicate one day out of the shortest month of the year to celebrate George Washington’s birthday — of all fucking people. Creatively named President’s Day, this day gives us all an extra 24 hours to ponder why honoring a couple of dusty, musty, crusty ol’ butt-scratchers is worth countless mattress clearance deals and workplace closures. I mean, I get it. Everyone’s shitting on white men now, maybe we should just let them enjoy their three-day weekend in peace. They’ve done so much for America, from letting women vote in their elections (lucky us!), and protecting the country from foreign threats (starting bloody proxy wars to plunder resources) to ending racism forever (right? I remember reading that somewhere).

This may come as a surprise to some, but our America has changed a teensy-weensy bit over the 235 years since the signing of the Constitution. After 235 years of change and (not enough) progress, celebrating the creators of a fundamentally flawed, systematically oppressive government seems a bit silly, no? Don’t we feel a bit … goofy? What’s the point of President’s Day anyway? To get a couple more hours of shut-eye on our brand new Sleep Number smart mattress? The ickiness of commemorating the lives of literal slave owners during Black History Month is more than enough to keep us awake at night. 

Rather than wax philosophical about Mr. Wooden Dentures, we should learn more about the first African American woman to orbit in space upon the Endeavour, Mae Jemison. We should be reading the works of Audre Lorde, a Black lesbian poet who wove her identities seamlessly into her art. We should be honoring Marsha P. Johnson, a Black transgender woman and a fervent activist who was on the front lines at Stonewall. We should be inspired by the steps of Ruby Bridges, the first Black student to attend a freshly desegregated elementary school when she was only 6 years old. Rather than spending even a minute more thinking about Washington, Abraham Lincoln and all those other freaks, we should continue to deconstruct our collective idea of who really built this country. The truth is, Black Americans have always defined what it means to lead and innovate, and it’s time we stopped pretending that our presidents are even close to worthy of a similar distinction.


Miss Informed thinks Lincoln’s top hat was probably compensating for something.