{September 2, 2016}   Celebrating Labor Day with History: Women Who Ran for President and Why We Have Labor Day

“Service is the rent that you pay for room on this earth.” – Shirley Chisholm

People often attribute this quote to Muhammed Ali, but Shirley Chisolm is the first to be quoted with this adage. My own personal sheroe, Shirley Chisholm, was the first woman to seek candidacy for one of the major political parties when she ran for the Democratic presidential nomination. She is often forgot, but Hilary Clinton definitely stands on her shoulder’s as the Democratic nominee.

I highlight these Shirely Chisolm because she worked on the Education and Labor Committee during her time in Congress. She worked for the everyday woman, immigrant, minority worker. In fact, one of her legacy’s while in the New York State Assembly was to  get unemployment benefits extended to domestic workers. It doesn’t seem like a big deal now, but then as is the case now, the main demographics who worked in domestic work was the woman, immigrant, minority worker. The very people who are at the forefront of much of the controversies in the 2016 election. The very reason many people want Hilary as President. The very people who are “causing all the problems” with their protests and demonstrations against inequality.

Ironically, the same type of people (all though not the same demographic) that was the catalyst for Labor Day. Labor Day was originally intended to be a nationwide protest against inequality led by laborers, not a day for picnics. The meaning changed when laborers were guaranteed one day of a year to relax (worker’s rights weren’t law then, and people often were forced to work 365 days a year or risk losing their jobs)… That’s right, Labor Day. You see we as a country have a habit of forgetting from whence we came. We receive small concessions and think that one, everyone has received them as well, and two, that no further progress should be made. Imagine if people stopped striving for change at the first sign of success? Most of us would not have the freedoms and liberties we receive today. So the idea, that people should cease protesting or rising up because they have a good life or life isn’t as bad as it use to be is not only sad, its pathetic and selfish.

I normally keep this blog light, but we as country just need to be better.

Here are five trail-blazing women who ran for president before Clinton:

Victoria Woodhull (1872);

Belva Ann Lockwood (1884);

Shirley Chisholm (1972);

Lenora Fulani (1988); and

Jill Stein (2012).


Learn more: Friday 5: Women Who Ran for President

Learn more: The Forgotten History of Labor Day



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

et cetera
%d bloggers like this: