Earl Ofari Hutchinson's take on the politics of the day
The Hutchinson Report
American Urban Radio Network
Al Sharpton Show
Monday 10:00-11:00 AM PST 2:00 to 3:00 EST
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Saturdays Noon to 1:00 PM PST
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As a baby boomer, I can recall when my mom and dad would go to the stores early on Saturday because at 6:00 PM they would close until Monday morning.
No super markets, no department stores, zilch. Except for a candy store, or a mom & pop grocery store, that was it.
Sunday was a family day.
A day to enjoy.
All of this was possible due to a thing called the “Blue Laws.”
What were the “Blue Laws?”
In Henry Taber's Faith or Fact, he writes:
The first observance of Sunday—that history records is in the fourth century', when Constantine issued an edict (not requiring its religious observance, but simply abstinence from work) reading, 'let all the judges and people of the town rest and all the various trades be suspended on the venerable day of the sun.' At the time of the issue of this edict, Constantine was a sun-worshiper; therefore it could have had no relation whatsoever to Christianity.*
There you have it. Police, Fire, Medical, and Movie theater personnel were the only ones who worked on Sunday.
One of the last remaining Sunday closing laws, in the United States that covers selling electronics, clothing and furniture is found in Bergen County, New Jersey. Bergen County, part of the New York metropolitan area, is home to the largest retail shopping malls of any county in the nation, and home to four major malls. The town of Paramus in Bergen County, where three of the four major malls are located in, has even more restrictive blue laws than the county itself, banning all type of work on Sundays except in grocery stores, restaurants, and other entertainment venues. The Bergen County legislature recently wanted to abolish them, but residents who live near Garden State Plaza objected.*
Until 1973, the only place where you could shop on a Sunday was on Delancey St. on New York’s Lower East Side. The stores were closed on Saturday.
Why do I bring this up?
The past week has brought news articles of some retailers wanting to start the Xmas shopping season on Thanksgiving Day.
We have now only a handful of days when families sit down to a meal together. A day when work is forgotten. Unfortunately many of us may have forgotten what work is like due to the recession. But be that as it may, now they want to eliminate this day.
I say no.
We have seen greed in ways I never thought were possible. I would like to see a return to Sundays the way they were.
As far as these retailers are concerned, let’s picket and boycott them.
The disintegration of family life started when Sunday was tossed out the window as a day of rest and recreation.
To all that agree with what I’ve said, it’s time to lobby Congress to make Sunday a national day of rest. This way all states will have to comply.
The time has come to restore tradition to Sunday.