Celebrating Black Racism Month: ScholarMan’s Response
I recently came across an article regarding Black History Month written in 2006 that triggered me to respond on behalf of those who participate in observing Black History Month for the sake of respect, remembrance and reflection. The article is titled "Celebrating Black Racism Month." I am not sure if any one else has responded to this author's words but I will share my view none the less.
The article that was originally written was based upon a PBS special titled "African-Americans Live." I have not had the chance to review the special, but I feel based upon many of the comments the author shared, I could respond without viewing the documentary. The point of the original article is that we as black people are cry-babies and using Black History Month as an excuse to bash white people and America. I do not know the author's race, location or educational background so this response is based on his words and nothing more.
The author of "Celebrating Black Racism Month" begins his article stating "It's Black Racism Month, that special time of year when blacks are allowed to be even more racist than usual." This statement is pure ignorance in which clearly stems from jealousy and hatred. Either he has not truly experienced the great values of Black History Month or has dealt with some vary racist blacks in his life. Black History Month is when we as Blacks reflect on the struggle that we have been through, our milestones and progress as a people in this country. During this time we honor the great leaders past and present who dedicated their lives to social change for black people. We review the various events that took place that allow us to live "free" today.
Black History Month is our time to publicly educate and improve ourselves each year as African Americans. By no means is or should this time period be used as a tool to be racist towards others. Regardless what level we are on as African Americans in this country; whether rich, middle class or poor, we should be allowed to reflect publicly on what has happened to our ancestors. We should be allowed to collectively review the various aspects of our history just as any other race without being tormented about it and called racists or those who participate in a "me, me, me" way of thinking. Indeed this is a time that we should continue to research our roots, because as Africans in America we have been stripped of most our history when we arrived here. Our names were changed, our families broken apart, our women raped, our men castrated and much more. No great success today is justification for the pain we endured throughout our history in this country.
It is true that not only did Europeans enslave us, but some of our own leaders in Africa sold us into slavery as well. Several resources are available that show the various voyages throughout the slave trade and the people who played a part in them. I agree that when stating the facts on slavery that we should state ALL the facts and not just the ones that show us as a victim in the matter. But regardless, we are the victims of genocide and the percentage of Africans who supported the slave trade compared to others is very small. Their actions were wrong just as the actions of White Americans who held us in servitude for hundreds of years after we arrived in this country is wrong as well.
So when we reflect during Black History Month, what positive things about America can we truly discuss? What should we be thanking the United States Government for? What actions throughout our history in this country should we go to the government and say "Because of these things, we thank you?" The hundreds of years that you held us in bondage? The, murders, rapes, discrimination? The violation of our human rights? The unpaid debt for our labor in which helped build this political system? The thousands who die or get imprisoned due to the drugs you distribute in our communities? The poverty that you keep a percentage of our people in so that you can invest dollars into illegal wars? I think not.
Just because America decided to end slavery and free the slaves in 1862 isn't positive in my opinion. We should have never been slaves in the first place! Did life get better for blacks after being freed? I am sure it did to some degree, but the bigger issue has not been resolved. The dirt was simply swept under the carpet. The bottom line: the political system of this country is guilty of criminal actions and can not be looked upon in a positive light until it pays for its crimes and publicly apologizes to all Blacks and other oppressed people in this country . The 40 acres and a mule promised weren't fulfilled and there was no official apology on behalf of the government for its actions.
I speak as one voice but hopefully many will agree that the only way we as blacks in America can grow and move forward with peace is to love our history, teach our history and improve ourselves based upon our history. We should educate our youth early on about their heritage. Black History Month for me is just a drop in the bucket for the amount of time I spend researching my heritage. We shouldn't wait until February to pick up a book or read an article about our roots. Let's live Black History everyday of our lives. Life is better for us now because of the struggle of our ancestors; keep that struggle alive. Don't let anyone tell you that Black History Month is a racist idea. Don't allow anyone to be racist toward you and more importantly, don't be racist toward others. Racism is still alive, but in more of a political and economic form.
To the author of "Celebrating Black Racism Month," I am sorry that you feel that all blacks use Black History Month as a reason to be racist towards whites and America. I hope that over time you will realize that that is not the case for those who truly want change in this country. The simple fact that you took time to share your views tells me that you want change as well, and I believe if you redirect that energy towards the bigger dilemma of racism in this country, we will get closer to a solution. I advise you to not group all blacks into one category; by doing this you are continuing the racist nature of this country. I promote and believe in loving your heritage, and that's what my people emphasize or should be emphasizing during Black History Month.
I wish you and yours many blessings.
Original article can be found here: http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/005151.html