Boxing Day and Kwanzaa ~ compare and contrast

To: The Lame Duck Earth Scorcher

Sometimes I think I’ve been living under a rock most all my life or that I’m about as incurious as they come. For years I’ve known that the day after Christmas is called Boxing Day and until about 1 minute ago I didn’t even wonder what it was referring to and just assumed it was a weird British thing. Well, it turns out that it’s fairly apropos to the situation here where millions of Americans will be receiving their last unemployment checks today if you don’t sign the damn relief bill. Here’s what “People Also Ask” says about Boxing Day (from the BBC):

“Boxing Day was traditionally a day off for servants, and the day when they received a special Christmas box from their masters. The servants would also go home on Boxing Day to give Christmas boxes to their families.”

So Boxing Day traditionally refers to an annual largesse that the upper caste bestowed upon the lower caste to include some amount of stuff and a small amount of time off. My bet is that it was woe unto the servants who worked for your family in Scotland back in the day (or were your ancestors servants? hmm…. interesting thought) – boxes full of flashy, useless crap that probably got ditched at the train station.

Bringing it home, what the heck gives here? I surmised the other day that your protestation that Americans be given $2,000 instead of $600 was a rouse designed to implode the system and this may well be correct. I’m thinking, though, that I missed some super obvious bits that need to be called out. 

Here goes: even if you end up tanking the whole relief bill and manage to shut down the government Monday night, you still get to claim that you were looking out for the best interests of the people since it was you who ostensibly wanted to give the larger amount of money. Thus, you get to claim the high road even though people will not only get no relief money, but the moratorium on evictions will expire and today’s unemployment checks will be the last ones for the foreseeable future (plus the f*cking government will shut down). And….. Biden will be left with the mess. And….. constituents will be spitting mad at Congress.

Are you going to man-up with an actual veto or will you go full-on sleazoid with the “pocket veto” option and let the bill writhe until this Congress adjourns on the 3rd? I suppose I could still see you signing the darn thing at 11pm Monday night ahead of the government shutdown with all sorts of muttering and whining to signal your feigned dismay at not securing your peeps more money. But really, I think on balance, you’d rather screw Biden and Congress (and US) royally than come through in the clutch that you’ve manufactured.

You’re going to do whatever you deem is in Donald’s best interest so at this point I’m going to pivot to what I learned about Kwanzaa this past week from one of the chaplains at work (Kwanzaa sadly having been another thing I’d previously been totally incurious about).

Kwanzaa starts today and ends on 1/1/21 and it celebrates African American culture and promise, focusing on seven principles:

         *Unity – strive to maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race

        *Self-Determination – define and name ourselves, create and speak for ourselves

         *Collective Work and Responsibility – build and maintain our community together and make our brothers’ and sisters’ problems our problems and solve them together

         *Cooperative Economics – build and maintain our own businesses and profit from them together

         *Purpose – build and develop our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness

         *Creativity – always do as much as we can to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it

         *Faith – believe with all our hearts in our people, our parents, our teachers, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle

May we be safe to celebrate in ways that affirm dignity and equality.
May we be willing to bear witness to deeds that build us up and that tear us apart.
May we have the strength to facilitate the former and intervene on the latter.
May we not accept that status of pawns in the current power plays.

Tracy Simpson

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