People love celebrating holidays and special occasions. On Independence Day I often dress up as Uncle Sam and recite the Declaration of Independence. On Halloween, I build a Haunted House to spook the kids in my neighborhood and give them a chilling experience dressed as some monster or ghoul. On St. Patrick’s Day I wear green, listen to traditional Irish music, eat corned-beef and cabbage and raise a glass of Guinness to the Saint’s honor. St. Patrick’s Day is special to me, for it is also my birthday. I have always felt a kinship to the Irish people because of this. I love their history, literature, sense of humor, and their myths.
The leprechaun in Irish folklore is intriguing with their short stature and mischievous merriment, hiding their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The real gold is sharing the celebration of our unique cultural heritages. Celebrating other people’s special holidays, backgrounds, and experiences is one of the joys of life.
Yet, today in some hyper-sensitive enclaves, especially on college and university campuses, you can only celebrate from afar. Cinco de Mayo is observed on May 5th to commemorate the Mexican Army‘s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla. If celebrated by wearing a Mexican sombrero, poncho and throwing back some Coronas with chips and salsa watch out. Someone is likely to shout, that’s cultural appropriation, especially if you are not Hispanic. Juneteenth, is known as Freedom Day, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. If celebrated with a barbecue and some soulful Blues, watch out. That’s cultural appropriation, especially if you are not black. Really!!! Who the heck gets to decide what’s cultural appropriation and what is not?
My step-daughter joined her Mom and I for our Passover Seder, which marks the Exodus of the Children of Israel from Egyptian slavery when God “passed over” the houses of the Israelites during the last of the ten plagues. My wife, who is Presbyterian, can cook up traditional Jewish foods better than members of my family. After eating a steaming bowl of “Jewish penicillin,” Matzo Ball Soup, my daughter exclaimed, “I love being Jewish. The food is awesome.” We all laughed. Isn’t this what celebrating other cultures and heritages is all about? Enjoying our similarities while discussing our differences in a civil and understanding way.
Having grown up in the sixties and seventies, I have experienced the shift from reasoned discussion to radical indoctrination in places of work, worship and learning at all levels. Some elite college professors and special interest student groups, who are in fact the biggest dividers, are the most ignorant among us. Too often this cult of the unenlightened twist, turn and misinterpret history and ideas to fit a narrative. Acknowledging other people’s cultures and heritage creates the wonderful melting pot of experiences we, as Americans, get to celebrate. The idea of E Pluribus Unum – Latin for “Out of many, one” should be held in such high esteem that it is etched on the hearts of all Americans.
Sadly, the dividers of the left continue to group individuals into color, race, religion, sexual orientation and class. It is long past the time to stand against this tearing down of Western Civilization and say, “enough.” If you have a problem with my celebrating your holiday or heritage, that’s on you. I am fortunate to have friends of every race, religion and background. We often agree to disagree, and that is alright because as friends we are free to have differing opinions without being cancelled or called out for an idea that is diverse.
I attended a Catholic University and loved the experience because it was the right school for me to attend. There I learned the quote from Saint Francis of Assisi who lived in the 1200’s. “First seek to understand, then be understood”. Or better yet, understand yourself then you might be able to understand others, celebrate others, enjoy their rich diversity of customs, cuisine and traditions. Most importantly understand their wisdom.
It is time we push back on those who will not accept that we are all created equal as humans; that no one is more human than another. We are all equal under the law and should be treated with dignity and respected as individuals, not groups. The equity crowd that believes the myth of lighter colored skin pigmentation equates to privilege needs to have their lies exposed and extinguished.
Leftists are always looking for power and pots of gold in other people’s pockets, creating their own mythical leprechauns to taunt us and telling impressionable young minds that there are illusive dragons to slay. In the battle of ideas, it’s time to stand up and say enough of this on the good Saint’s Day. Lift a glass of your favorite beverage and give a toast to the exterminator of snakes from the land. Sláinte!