Drew Zahn is a WND news editor who cut his journalist teeth as a member of the award-winning staff of Leadership, Christianity Today's professional journal for church leaders. A former pastor, he is the editor of seven books, including Movie-Based Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, which sparked his ongoing love affair with film and his weekly WND column, "Popcorn and a (world)view."More ↓Less ↑
A civil rights organization in Kansas has launched a campaign to designate Nov. 4 as a national holiday, commemorating the election of Barack Obama as president.
“The reason why I want to have this holiday is because it marks the day America grew up,” said Sonny Scroggins, founder and president of Bias Busters of Kansas, the organization pushing for the holiday.
Scroggins told WND that America has for too long focused on what its ancestors did during legalized slavery. But the election of Obama, he said, shows that the nation no longer allows race and gender to guide it decisions, but integrity and honor.
Referring to the overwhelming majority of young voters that cast ballots for Obama, Scroggins said, “The children, thirty-something and below, they put America on the right path, a path of liberty, justice, freedom, and equality for all.
“We’re not going to deny the heritage of America – it’s black, it’s white, red, yellow,” Scroggins told WND. “Obama is white and black. He represents the best of both worlds.”
Scroggins’ group has now formed a “Yes, We Can” committee that will meet every Tuesday at a historic, downtown Topeka McDonald’s restaurant from now until Inauguration Day to work toward the goal of establishing Nov. 4 as a national holiday.
“Are you freakin kidding me?” asked one poster. “A national holiday for a guy who hasn’t even shown if he can lead? He may be the president elect, but he hasn’t even proven that he has what it takes to lead this country.”
“I once thought it was required that a person be dead before they are memorialized,” said another. “Oh, but we’re speaking of the Savior, The Chosen One.”
Scroggins sought to answer his critics by telling WND the holiday isn’t so much to honor Obama, but to honor the progress in racial relations Americans have made by electing a black president.
“It has more to do with ‘We the People’ of America,” Scroggins said. “It’s America’s day. It’s more for us, as opposed for Obama. I like the fact that he’s white and he’s black and he can move race relations further.”
Lamont Lassiter, the general manager of the McDonald’s hosting the Tuesday gatherings, told WND the holiday likely wouldn’t be established until after Obama completes his presidency.
“We want to try to honor Barack Obama becoming the first African-American president of the United States,” said Lassiter, “and not only that, but also what he’s trying to accomplish.”
Lassiter told WND Americans should celebrate Obama’s goals for the country, namely “socialized insurance like Canada and France, he’s trying to have all Americans have insurance, he’s going to focus on the economy and he’s trying to pull our troops out of the war.”
Scroggins, however, who told WND he has been a civil rights activist for 39 years, insisted the holiday isn’t for what Obama’s going to do, but rather for what America has already done by electing him.
“I think about those slaves, the ones that lost their lives en route to America,” Scroggins said. “This is a happy feeling for all of us, descendants of both the slaves and the slave masters, because we are all really sitting at the table of humanity.