Feb 12th, 2009
Today is the 200th anniversary of the births of both Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. I didn’t know until recently that they were born on the exact same day. This connection makes sense, given their shared staunch opposition to slavery. Today is also the 100th anniversary of the founding of the NAACP.
For much of my childhood in Illinois, Lincoln’s birthday—not Washington’s—was a no-school holiday. (“Land of Lincoln,” you know.) I was a little sorry to see it merged into President’s Day: Lincoln was pretty amazing and deserves his own day, I think. And it goes without saying (*cough* last eight years *cough*) that some presidents don’t merit much celebration.
So as you move through today, pause for a moment to reflect on the efforts of those who have worked to dispel prejudice based on so-called race*. We’ve got a long way to go—but we’ve come a long way already, and that gives me hope.
*As an anthropologist by training, I have to mention that race is a social construct, not a biological fact.
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