Biloxi, Miss., merited the ire of the Internet this weekend when it announced on social media government buildings would be closed in honor of “Great Americans Day.” The only problem is, the third Monday of January is a federal holiday used to observe slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
The website makes mention to MLK Day, but also says “non-emergency municipal offices in Biloxi will be closed Monday in observance of “Great Americans Day,” which is the official city name for the holiday. In a Facebook post that has since been deleted, the city, population 44,000, wracked up a bevy of comments calling city officials out for their erasure of Dr. King’s efforts. A short while later, the Mayor took to Twitter to quell any concerns.
From Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich: “As far as I’m concerned, it’s called ‘Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.'”
— City of Biloxi (@CityofBiloxi) January 14, 2017
Mayor Gilich later spoke with a local news outlet to further drive home he supports the Federal holiday.“If there’s a perception of racism with not honoring the federal holiday and controversy over the name, the council would be willing to revisit and revise the 1985 ordinance,” Gilich told WLOX.
However all the back peddling by the mayor didn’t stop many online from telling Biloxi about itself.
— Jerry Mitchell (@JMitchellNews) January 14, 2017
Me arriving in Biloxi on Monday…
Them: Happy #GreatAmericansDay!
— Dab Aggin (@DabAggin) January 14, 2017
Memo to Biloxi, Miss: Monday is Martin Luther King Day. Grow up and show respect. This #GreatAmericansDay is bullsh*t. Just a thought.
— dwayne walton (@23dwayne) January 14, 2017
Stop erasing Black people, Black history, and Black culture. #GreatAmericansDay
— Ferenc G. Koszorus (@fgkoszorus) January 14, 2017