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Abolish Black History Month?

January 19th, 2002 - 7:07 p.m.

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Hmmm...I think this is going to be a humongo? paragraph again. I was going to work on my story (ha, what a lie, I haven't worked on that in awhile, not even opened it), but I was thinking about this in the shower and so now I have to write about it otherwise I'm going to forget it and it was such a good rant that I'd really rather not. It's not even really appropriate yet, but I really don't care, I'm going to rant about it anyway. Anyway, what's up with "Black History Month"? I seem to have several problems with the entire thing. If I was black (or African-American)...in fact, let's deal with that whole politically correct thing first actually. Why is it "Black History Month" instead of "African-American History Month"? If people are really that politically correct and sensitive about things like that, why hasn't the name been changed? Personally, if I was African-american/black/whatever I'd be offended that "they" decided to make February Black History Month when the only holidays celebrated in that month are those of a couple dead, white presidents. Plus February is the shortest month of the year, so if it was part of my heritage I'd complain because it should be worth at least a full 30 days damnit! But really, for an ethnicity that has constantly lobbied for equality and their fair share, they sure are being pains in the butt and not very equal. After all, to the best of my knowledge, no other ethnicity gets an entire month devoted to their history. Where are the Mexican-American History, Women's History, and Chinese-American History months? You can't tell me that women haven't had a significant impact and history in America and all over the world. Nor can you convince me that the other various ethnicities present in America didn't have roles in America's history either. I'd ask where White American Males History Month was, but that's essentially what we get in school as history class so you don't really need a month for that...instead you get year upon year of it. Oh! Hey, where's Native American History Month? I mean, sure, they at least get a day, but they have to share it with that frigger Christopher Columbus who was ultimately responsible for screwing over their entire culture and way of life. If I was Native American, I wouldn't be too happy about having to share that day...not with that guy anyway. If "blacks" get an entire month to celebrate their history, why doesn't everybody else? And why do they need an entire month to celebrate their history anyway? You don't see anybody else taking that long to celebrate their history (if they even celebrate it in the first place). Why isn't Black History Month in January? At least then it would have MLK day to latch onto. It would make more sense, since he's actually a *part* of Black History, instead of in February, where they celebrate President's Day and Washington & Lincoln's birthdays. I mean, sure, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which didn't really free anybody, but he wasn't black, so you should just leave him out of Black History month. So why isn't there other months for celebrating other histories? What *exactly* were the arguments for instituting Black History Month in the first place? Did it have something to do with black history not being taught in school? Because if that's the argument, I want a Women's History Month since I know women and their achievements aren't really mentioned all that much in normal history texts. An amazing number of people and women as well don't know who people like Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony are, except maybe the fact that Susan B. Anthony is on the silver dollar, but who knows why she's on it? If a woman wasn't associated with a president or somebody famous, women and people in general don't know who they are. Who was the first female physician? The first lawyer? The first female to attend an Ivy League University? These women were innovators of their time, paving the way for women today in various professions and ensuring education for women, but how many of them are recognized names today? And I'm sure that there were other immigrants who did important things. I know, in general, that the Chinese immigrants were very influential in the building of the Trans-Continental Railroad. I'm sure they, and others, did important things that we should remember them for, but we don't because American history textbooks are infatuated with the powerful positions held by white males. Occasionally they throw in a woman who's only important because of some other male or because she did something brave, but in a way that was approved of at the time (like Betsy Ross & the flag...sewing was eminently acceptable). There might be more black individuals mentioned in a textbook in depth than females, although I haven't made a study of it by any means. And that's just wrong. Somebody should write a corrected version of American history, including all the contributions made by various women, blacks, and immigrants in the building of our country. Until then, (and I have very little hope that that book will be written) I shall have to content myself with ranting about the various ways in which America is really frigging strange. Right now I'm watching that song, "Letting the days go by..." etc. (not even sure that's the title) by...whoever sang that on PBS. I think this is the hippest I've ever seen PBS get as far as modern rock and recognizable bands go. But this band hasn't really been popular since the 80's, maybe the early 90's, so in another 15 years PBS might be showing stuff by bands now. I think that's a rather sad statement personally, but I don't know if I had any point to it or anything. Austin City Limits is just oh-so radical of a show for PBS.

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