Black History Month

Today marks the beginning of Black History Month. For the past two February’s, I’ve been much less aware of the month’s significance because I have graduated college and moved off campus, away from Black student governments that have way too much money.

I’m not a fan of black history month. I think it’s a commercially invented phenomenon that is not that different from something like Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day. If you truly care about something, you don’t need to set aside a time to feature it – you live it every day. Sure going out for a nice dinner on Mother’s Day is nice, but there are 364 other days in the year when she’s still your mother.

People complain about the racism that still exists in our country and to an extent, those people are right. But it’s also those people that do the most to perpetuate negative stereotypes. Consider the following experience — I was on the phone with an individual while at my work the other day and refused this individual an opportunity to come serve community service hours in the office with me. When I did, she immediately responded with “You can’t stop me from working with you because I’m black!”

No, I calmly told her, I could not. But I could refuse her because she is an unpleasant individual, which has nothing to do with her race. She angrily called me a racist and hung up. Racism has evolved from a serious issue in America to a crutch that people use when they fail at something or a situation turns out contrary to how they believe it should.

Morgan Freeman was on 60 minutes recently and echoed my sentiments nearly exactly.

He’s absolutely right. What other race, religion or cultural group has their history relegated to one month? Sure, Barack Obama designated a month Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, but can you name what month that is off the top of your head? I couldn’t. What is the point of calling attention to something if you are doing so for the wrong reasons? Celebrating one’s history and culture isn’t a bad thing, but it also shouldn’t take a government proclaimed date to get people to appreciate it.

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Posted on February 1, 2011, in Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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