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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

50. BLACK HISTORY MONTH

by The List Admin.

As I was walking down 42nd Street the other day in Manhattan, I was pleased to discover from a banner hanging off of a lamp post that Chase Manhattan Bank was "proudly celebrating" Black History Month.

Ususally I just ignore the shitloads of corporate propaganda I'm assaulted with each and every day, yet this one got me to thinking... mainly because it conjured up the rediculous image of a corporate boardroom full of old, bald, cigar-chomping white men with party hats and noisemakers listening to tribal music and cutting up a cake with Martin Luther King, Jr.'s face on it.

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After I had myself a good mind-chuckle, I started to think more deeply about the notion of Black History Month and the idea of history months in general. Who came up with them? Do they seem stupid to just me, or is this a universal thing?

Maybe it is just me, but I find the whole concept of a history month demeaning and patronizing- to black people. If you really think about it, the whole message behind Black History Month is something along the lines of: "Hey, people with dark brown skin have done some pretty good things, you know. They're really not ingnorant and inferior; they're just as good as you and me. No, really! They're so good and equal, in fact, that we feel the need to prove it to you."

To support this proposition, we are then referred to examples of blacks who are far too often of marginal importance (and even that's a stretch) in the grand scheme of things. We are eagerly sold the notion that Oprah Winfrey is an important world-historical figure (will anyone remember that Oprah even existed a century from now?), or that Boogaloo Hamilton- a Jazz musician from the 1930's- was a musical genius akin to a latter-day Mozart (and come on, who the fuck even listens to Jazz? Only pretensious, lilly-white, ass-licking northeastern lefties. In fact, I dare anyone to find me an actual black guy who listens to Jazz).

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The sad fact is that if the proponants of Black History Month truly believed Blacks to be the equal of non-Blacks, there would be no need to constantly try to prove it.

In reality, most normal people don't need a history month to convince them to treat a fellow man who happens to have different color skin as an equal and a peer. Most bigots aren't going to be influenced by a history month anyhow, so history months are at best pointless.

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"Ya know, I never thought much of them thar naggers, but Black History Month has really changed mah perspective. An enn-tire month of celebrating all that them thar coons done did really makes me see the error of mah ways. Fir example, did ya know George Washington Carver, a nagger, invented the peanut? Sheeit, boy, if it wuzn't fir them nigs, I wouln't have no PB&J to go along with my frosty glass of Tang"

Moreover, as I delved deeper into the history month phenomenon, I came to a central question which I just can't seem to wrap my mind around: Why should the famous acts of another person who is/was unrelated to one by blood but has/had a similar complexion make one feel good about one's self?

In other words, why should Morgan Freeman's success as an actor make a regular everyday black person feel good about themselves? Simply because they both have heavily pigmented skin?

Alec Baldwin is white and successful, and I feel bad every time I see that asshole on a screen. Same goes for Michael Moore, Hillary Clinton, Hitler, Stalin, and Katie Couric. As for most other whites, like Bodie Miller for example, I just don't give a flying fuck. What do they have to do with me?

I guess I should apologise, but I just cannot comprehend this idea of transferred trickle-down self-worth.

If history months were just silly, that would be one thing. The fact, however, is that hsitory months are a detriment to both the group they attempt to "celebrate" as well as the United States as a whole.

History months are detrimental to the "celebrated" because they re-enforce the notion that certain racial/ethnic/or gender groups are so inferior to others that they need a whole month of positive spin in order to be seen as viable. They are a perpetuation of a massive inferiority complex.

History months are detrimental to the United States as a whole because they re-enforce the notion that there are (and should be) certain independant racial/ethnic/and gender groups that are in constant and unending opposition to each other. History months help create and promote a sort of artifical tribalism whereby each American must pick a racial/ethnic/gender/sexual orientation "team" and then stick by that team as it fights the other teams. Needless to say, such tribalism (which is utterly artifical- a topic which I'll touch on in another post) is counterproductive and downright dangerous to the long-term survival of our nation.

Instead of the powers that be attempting to unite us all under the banner of our shared Americanism, we are thoughlessly chopped up into groups and sub-groups based on the color of our skin in a system more reminisicent of Nazi eugenics than anything else....and then assigned a month to "celebrate" ourselves (if we are non-white male).

That's why, regardless of what Chase Manhattan does, I won't "celebrate" Black History Month. I wouldn't celebrate White History Month, Women's History Month, Gay History Month, Chicano History Month, and/or Asthmatic History Month either, so does this make me a bad person and a racist?

In actuality, the only way to give blacks equality and respect is to not treat them any differently than one would treat anyone else. That, after all, is just common sense- which explains why the left continues to trudge along with its idiotic history months.