Barber: Celebrating Chocolate Mint Day, Not President’s Day


By Shaelyn Barber

Mint and chocolate — the perfect harmony. The two flavors melt together in unison, generating delight and pleasure with each taste. The sweet, rich flavor of the chocolate and the sharp, refreshing mint leaves were meant to be.

President’s Day? I don’t think so. Today, Feb. 19, is Chocolate Mint Day, and I intend to celebrate it with vigor. I am going to crack open a tub of mint chocolate chip ice cream, pour some mint schnapps into my hot chocolate and bunker down for a viewing of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

I’ve always loved holidays. I love strange traditions with my family, like ordering a heart-shaped pizza on Valentine’s Day or watching the movie “Groundhog Day” every Groundhog Day. I theme my makeup and clothing to match my favorite holidays, and I spend all year planning my Halloween costume.

President’s Day was made to honor all United States presidents, past and present. I loved it when I was a kid. We would make America-themed crafts in class and talk about the great George Washington. I loved the flag, and I loved our country.

At this point, I honestly like chocolate mint better than I like America. I don’t want to celebrate all of the horrible things we did to found this country, and I don’t want to celebrate all of the horrible things we are still doing. I don’t want to celebrate the presidents who have been responsible for genocide and crimes against humanity. I don’t want to celebrate the people who colonized countries. I don’t want to celebrate presidents who created or continue to uphold racist laws.

My disdain for our current administration is no secret. I find the President Donald Trump foul, uncouth and unfit to serve our country. He lacks experience, tact and empathy. The ideals his platform presses forward advance racist, sexist and homophobic policies. I simply cannot stand behind him or his administration.

The past presidents are no better. We as a country have pressed into unnecessary wars, massacred Native American people, enslaved black people for our own financial benefit and put Japanese Americans in internment camps. Led by so-called “great” men, we as a country have committed crimes against humanity for which we have never made amends. I simply cannot celebrate something, or someone, I find goes so far against the principles I was taught our country stands for — liberty and justice for all.

National pride is lacking for me right now, and I’m at a loss of how to celebrate. So instead of breaking out my red, white and blue, I’ll be rocking the brown and green. Instead of telling stories about our nation’s history, I’ll be researching the history of the cacao bean. Instead of playing classic American tunes, I’ll be scourging the internet for the mintiest songs I can find.

Chocolate mint isn’t inherently racist. Chocolate mint doesn’t discriminate. Chocolate mint makes everyone happy. And it is absolutely delicious. Happy Chocolate Mint Day, everyone.

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