Written: March 2015 | Intended to share on February 2016 | Got scared | Not anymore.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
Perhaps, this should have been called Black Oppression Remembrance Month but knowing how “politically correct” Americans like to be, they decided to replace the obvious words with “History”. Since celebration of history is so important, why don’t the Europeans or Asians or Americans have a history month allotted to each of them? Maybe it’s just me but anything that spells out a minority group and adds “celebration” at the end is to me a more condescending and patronizing move than a celebration. And during Black History Month, what is celebrated? The tears, blood and sweat of the Americans who migrated from Africa forcefully, to a land where they still barely have a place today.
So what is really being celebrated? Their accomplishments so far? Maybe. But...
All I see is hurt, pain, despair and fear during this month long “celebration”. Why the shortest month of the year was deemed fit for this celebration is something I would rather not delve into. Assuming all things equal and all fingers equal, both of which will never hold true, Black History Month to me is a backwards celebration. That there are black people in power and black celebrities with power is one thing. That there are black young boys getting shot daily is another. That there are black girls getting pregnant daily without proper orientation into the society is yet another. I’m afraid there is much more work to be done than a month long celebration that comes with a myriad of sometimes inexplicable emotion.
If I was African American, I feel like I would not hammer that sad history into my children’s skull, to prevent the bitterness and anger that comes with rehashing such history. But you can agree with me that they will learn it one way or the other – in school, through friends and obviously, through the media. Still, there is a way history can be passed on from generation to generation without making it seem like a burden is being placed on these younger ones to retaliate. Because that is all I see – anger deeply nested within the oppressed African Americans, waiting for any little opportunity to retaliate. I have a few words to say to both parties as they each have their fare share of work to do.
There is so much hate within you.
I usually think to myself that if not for the deep love for God and the reverence African Americans have, as reflected in the way they worship on Sundays, they may not have been able to survive the treachery in this country. I’m not huge on movies, but if you think back to any movie depicting a success story of African Americans (basketball-related movies for example), you will notice that the mother always gives her children The Word as all she has. Or you will hear an expression like “I was brought up in the church”. However, this love for God, I believe is dampened by the physical things surrounding African American communities. And that is understandable.
Truly, the only reason Americans treat you the way they do is because they are intimidated. It is that simple. They are intimidated by your intelligence, your power, your strength, your resilience, all of these without which you would have withered from this land a long time ago. Yes, it may seem that when it comes to jobs, “your place” only lies behind the McDonald’s counter, or as a cleaner or body guard. But for a proper celebration of Black History Month, more and more African Americans will need to be up and doing. Martin Luther King did his work many many years ago. Someone needs to step up now as much as he did, because celebrating MLK’s work 100 years from now without equally celebrating a new breed as dutifully-minded as MLK was will be a backwards celebration. Case in point, what MLK did was great. He laid the foundation and agreed, loads of successful African Americans who have risen against the debilitating nature of the American system are constantly placing the bricks. But who will put the roof on? Think about it.
Frankly, I do not know why today’s wave of “Americans” feel so entitled. Most of you are children or descendants of immigrants so why can’t you allow another wave of immigrants be? Oh let’s see. Because the color of their skin is more pigmented than yours? I know that you have probably claimed Lupita as yours. She’s so beautiful, it’s unbelievable that she is one of these “black” people. Or she’s so beautiful and is such a gem. But you are constantly bullying that African American (or African) girl in your class. Could it be that her skin is not "Lupita enough" for you?
It’s okay to be intimidated by someone you know has more physical and/mental strength than you. But it is outrightly not your place to act on that, especially when you are coming from a place of baseless generalizations. Bullying this person with laws that subdue them or camouflaging “equal rights” employment policies will not help the situation. All you will continually breed is anger, and anger will turn to uncontrollable rage, and uncontrollable rage will turn into a race-wide chaos. It’s like forcing someone who is drowning to stay underwater. Of course they will revolt!
I believe that Americans should take off the idea that African Americans are scary and broken and every other misconstrued perceptions of the "black" race. Ewww! I hate that word "black". But let's accept it for the sake of world peace and go on with this article. Take the person in front of you for what he/she is or at least, for what you see. Don’t assume things and don’t transfer bad experiences with the pre-conceived notion of a certain group.
I think this can also be said for African Americans. Not everyone is racist and trying to bring you down. Know when to pull out the race card (trust me, being in America has shown me the power of pulling out the race card) but don’t pull it out every time. A negative remark to you may just be an evaluation of you as a person, not your entire race.
I’ll end with this example.
A mother was getting her son ready for school and this elementary school prohibits knee length shorts for boys. Because this boy’s mother was in a rush to go to work, she pulled out a pair of shorts and handed it to her son. He got to school and on getting there, was asked to go home immediately. His African American mother comes to the school and is obviously angry that her son was made to miss an entire day of school (for a mistake she made). She immediately pulls out the race card, yelling at the teacher and principal that her son was treated that way, “because he is black”. No!. Instead of retaliating this way, why not own up to your mistake, stating that you were in a hurry and apologizing. Own it, apologize and move on. As you walk off with your boy, the teacher and principal (if American), will be shocked that you did not pull out the usual race card. You just gained a lot of respect, and by so doing, taught your son how to react to situations in a mature way. Also, you just saved your son from eventually hating every white boy in his class.
More love is all we need. Enough of the hate.
Happy being Human month.
Article by Memkoh