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Family Man: Columbus Day is a big sham
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Once again I was forced to work while others got to benefit from the sham which is Columbus Day. Having all the legitimacy of Festivus (Seinfeld fans got that one), Columbus Day keeps hanging on like the last dinosaur with only a select few getting the day off. Among those is likely the staff of the state office of vital records which took a whole month to cross out the word female and write in male on my birth certificate (see last week’s column about my sex change). Hopefully they are resting on a beach somewhere today recovering from that monumental feat. I know that Chris Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492 but I don’t see why some people get his birthday off. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (yes, I’m quoting stats and using a lot of parentheses today) there are six holidays that are widely accepted as paid days off. Those are Christmas, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day, New Year’s Day and Thanksgiving. Let me point out I work on the Fourth of July and Memorial Day so I don’t even get those off. So, the fact some folks get Columbus Day off irks me even more. There are several second-tier holidays, besides Columbus Day, that most of us working class folks don’t get off. For instance, about a third of the working public gets President’s Day off. I find that to also be a sham holiday since it isn’t even on a president’s birthday. They split Lincoln and Washington and call it one day. Shamefully, as many people get President’s Day as Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which also sees about a third of America get the day off. If you’re going to legitimize a day, then MLK would be the one. President’s Day is just an excuse. Now, if you are a red-blooded American who supports your troops, you should be hopping mad that only 22 percent of workers get off for Veteran’s Day. That’s right, the sham of President’s Day allows one-third of the work force off but a day that honors our fighting men and women sees less than a fourth of the work force get a holiday. Columbus Day is really the holiday of the elite as only 14 percent now celebrate the day. The number was toppled by the recession in 2009 when several cities cancelled their Columbus parades and made employees work as a cost-saving measure. And another thing. Columbus Day is a super fake day since he didn’t even discover America. There were thousands if not millions of Native Americans here already who had “discovered” it a millennia before. That’s not even counting the Vikings who beat him by centuries. Everyone had been here before. It’s a big continent. If anything, Europe should have been embarrassed about how long it took to run into it. So, if we’re going to choose a sham for a holiday, let’s choose one that isn’t a fake day like Columbus Day. Standard reporter Duane Sherrill can be reached at 473-2191.