Black History Month is DISCRIMINATORY and RACIST!!

I searched the archives and could not find any topic dealing with this one, though I had been sure it had been done before. I even searched through Cecil’s stuff and found nothing on it, which surprises me, so I figure the search engines aren’t so good.

Soooo, that covers my butt and now my small rant.

I’m fed up with Black History Month. I read the comics and Black History Month is hammered at me through the two great black drawn comics in the paper. I watch Nickelodeon – hey, I never grew up, 'kay? – and get to hear about Black History Month. The favorite radio talk show mentions black history month – though not in always flattering terms, black history commercials pop up in the tube and black history is in the articles section of the paper.

OK, I get it. Cool.

Now, why the heck are there no Asian History Months? How about Hispanic History Month? We really should have a Native American History Month and along with every darn city in the US having an MLK blouvard, street, avenue or road, we could have a Geronomo or Cochise blouvard, street, avenue or road also. What about a Mexican History month, we’ve half their population over here anyhow?

Now, a white history month is out of the question. Whites don’t deserve it. Whites are the oppressors. This is the age of White Guilt.

I have it! How about an OJ Simpson history month, after all, he was set free for black pay back!?

Look, have all the friggin’ history months you want, but if you become race exclusive, then it’s racist and bigotry, no matter how you cut it. You’d better consider the other races and have months for them.

Like, I keep reading and hearing about Great Black Contributors to Humanity (someone even said Eli Whitney was black because he invented the cotton gin), but how about Great Asian Contributors to Humanity, or Hispanic, or American Indian, or whoever?

So, how about it?

If you don’t want discrimination, include 'em all, or is discrimination acceptable only when practiced by the previously discriminated against?

What, are you pissed that Edith didn’t get you that beer fast enough?

Yer pal,

It was done within the last 2 weeks. Set your search parameters to “Any Date.”

Who says we don’t?

How many famous white people did you learn about in high school and college (whoops . . . there’s no way you went to college) history? How many famous black people? You get it yet?

Is there really a debate here, or another thinly veiled racist diatribe?

Hmmm, wanna lay money on the chances?

Now, that I’m not reading the SDMB while shoveling my breakfast in my mouth, I have a chance to respond more completely.

First of all, “we” don’t have to have Black History Month. It’s just a proclamation–it doesn’t require you to do anything, there isn’t any compulsory participation, there isn’t even a day off associated with it. (Unlike President’s Day, which falls during Black History Month, and celebrated two white people.) If the government and the schools want to perform some cultural education and outreach, so what?

If broadcasters and publishers want to give it some recognition, what do you care? Don’t read or watch it. Are you that incensed that nonwhite people are getting some airtime or column inches devoted to them? If so, maybe you’re the problem. It behooves the media to at least give lip service to recognizing a consumer segment that represents 12% of the population.

By the way, National Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. Native American Heritage Month is recognized in November. May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. And National Women’s History Month is held in March.

Anything else piss you off? National Split Pea Soup Week, maybe? National Pizza Month?

I personally am opposed to any unjustified celebration of split pea soup.





Blast-off to the Pit where this can get the response it deserves.

Twentyeight, at one point I agreed with your view. What the heck is the point of celebrating “Black History”? Why not just celebrate history and all of the people in it. Why single out certain times to only celebrate people of certain skin color? Seems racist, doesn’t it?

However, I recently attended a church service (Unitarian, in case anyone is interested) about Martin Luther King given by a man in my community who went to seminary with him. It was quite a moving service and made me realise again (I don’t think I’ve really talked or thought much about the civil rights movement since high school) how significant his works and the works of the people around him were.

It seems to me like he is a person who should be celebrated and revered by our nation as a whole. He fought oppression and prejudice peacefully. Do you know how hard it is to ask someone politely to stop when he or she is kicking you in the face? I now look at Black History Month as a time for me to reflect upon MLK and his actions and views, and to reflect upon the race issues that have galvanized our nation for 150 years.

OK, first off there’s a difference between realizing something is wrong and feeling guilty about it. I’m completely opposed to racism and I feel the Founding Fathers should have made more of an effort to abolish slavery instead of letting it continue for another 80 years and letting that guy from Illinois clean up the mess (though I’m glad he did). But if a Black person tries to call me a racist just because I’m not interested in the magazine subscriptions they’re selling, they’re gonna get a real quick brush-off. (This actually happened to me once.)

As I understand it, the message of white ‘pride’ is one of “We are superior to everyone else because of our skin color.” The message of Black pride as expressed in Black History Month is “We are equal to everyone else, regardless of our skin color.” I certainly don’t see any discrimination in the second statement, but if I’ve got the messages wrong, please feel free to convince me otherwise.

Not that I think you could muster up an argument that’s coherent enough.

I like when people choose to use their IQ as their username.

In a perfect world, I’d be all for the idea that we shouldn’t have Black History Month because every month would be chock full o’ Black History, so what would be the point?

But this is not in fact the case. Apparently we, as a society, need a bit more of a focused approach at this time. I hope this changes to the point when people will think Black History Month is as silly as White History Month, because they will ask “but how would that be different from the other 11 months?” When that time comes, I’d be delighted to readdress this issue.

And any day when I read an interesting article in the paper or see a neat documentary on TV and say “hey, I didn’t know that before!” is a good day.

I LOVE split pea soup! Wow. I eat it at least twice a week. I make huge pots of the stuff! Little bits of ham in it…onions…

Oh, we were talking about racism.

I just wish we would shut up about everything to do with culture. Our country is such a hodge podge of pseudo-ethnocentrism that it makes me sick.

I hate black history month because it is necessary. It is necessary because some people wouldn’t learn about it any other way, AND because it is necessary to appease some people. But that just means I hate people in general, because I hate the fact that it is required we go to school, and then we get a crappy education. I just hate stuff in general.

But it ain’t racist.

You mean they went and hijacked the whole month???

Damn, I had hockey tickets.

Not racist, just very weary of lopsided discrimination. I understand all of your reasons given and actually agree with each, but we treated the Native Americans just as abominably, but because they haven’t gone into the streets, screaming discrimination, don’t have millionaire rappers, make up 3/4 of every baseball, football or basketball team, haven’t burned down several square blocks of their own homes and businesses in protest nor have someone as bigoted as Jessie Jackson in the news every week – they get nothing.

Everyone doesn’t seem to fall over backwards convincing everyone else that they are not bigoted towards NA’s either. They don’t even have a majority rating on arrests and convictions in the US. You don’t see movies of NA’s as mean drug dealers, gang members, ‘boyz in da hood,’ or reworking previously all white movies into all red movies like the Wizard of Oz and Cinderella.

Any all Asian comic strips in your local paper? How many Asian comics do you see on TV cracking white jokes? How often do Asians or NA’s blast other races for making bigoted comments? Hey, … how about an NA Miss America or an Asian ‘yellow’ America?

Even a White Miss America, for that matter.

Show me any NA, Asian or White music awards? The blacks have the Black Music Awards.

Any magazines similar to Ebony? Like ‘Golden,’ ‘White’ or ‘Crimson’? How about products like FUBU? (For Us By Us) Man! Let some white company produce something so blatantly racist and they’d be in court with the NAACP for decades!

Look, racial pride is fine, but when it reaches the point that only 1 race demands to display their pride above all others, then you have racism.

I’ve watched mini-factoids about old black women that I never heard of before who have historical impact. I know about famous black figures down through the ages.

I know very few historical Asian-Americans or NA’s – aside from those who tried killing as many whites as they could – and even fewer Mexican figures.

Kind of lopsided is it not?

So, I guess it is OK to practice discrimination so long as it is beneficial to those previously discriminated against.

Well, I will agree with you Twentyeight: I really thought The Wiz sucked. WRT everything else you said though… no.

Black History Month is not created by a vast group of liberals trying to get Whitey to feel guilt over the fact that blacks were pretty badly screwed over from the get-go. We already have Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan for that. BHM is merely a proclamation that suggests that we take the time to learn a little bit of history that is commonly ignored. It’s not as if anyone mandates “No learning about white folks this month!” or anything.

Certainly there are some separatist ideas espoused by certain black folks, but I think the merits of FUBU and Ebony are best left to another thread. I will only go so far as to say a product created by a group for its own use is not in some way evil or racist.

In what way, does any of this have to do with black history month?!

Have you ever heard of reservations, been to one? Remaking movies is sort of a tradition in Hollywood btw. Oh, and again what does this have to do with black history month?

Margaret Cho. Henry Wang. Oh, and how about these women Again, what does this have to do with black history?!

Running out of steam? What does this have to do with Black History Month?

Oh how about Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, CFO, Entrepenuers…it’s called niche marketing. Again what does this have to do with Black History Month?

I think pldennison disputed that just fine. I also notice that you seemed to have not noticed it, but have continued with your assertions.

And that is the whole point of Black History Month.

Back to, what this has to do with Black History Month, btw, I’ll kindly point you back at the post of pldennison.


I don’t think Black History month is racist or discriminatory. To begin with Black History is a legitimate specialization of a specific subject of American History. This specialization is no more discriminatory then WWII, Civil War, or Ancient Chinese history. Out of all the Black History months I had at school they focused on the acomplishments of black Americans mainly from the late 1700’s through the 20th century. At no time had I ever gotten the impression that whitey sucked.

My biggest gripe with Black History month is that we forget about it during the rest of the year. I’d much rather see BHM integrated with the rest of the school year then just focus on it for one month.


I wondered when this thread would show up. I was beginning to think we could go through the whole month of February without having to defend Black History Month to someone who objects to blacks having all of that special treatment that is showered upon us by the people of the United States of America.

It’s the “just shut up about being Black” syndrome. The symptoms are:

1.Vehement disapproval of any event which Black people originate or participate in. If the event has the word “black” in it, the protests are magnified.

2.Hoarse cry of “racism” when Black American culture is celebrated in any way, shape or form. Pointing out parallels with other cultures induces temporary blindness.

3.Persecution complex. Persons afflicted with this syndrome have “proof” of the unfair treatment of whites in favor of blacks.

  1. An underlying thread of fear and mistrust which is insufficently covered by loud proclamations of “I am not a racist.”

We here at the Straight Dope are fighting the JSUABB Syndrome. It’s taking longer than we thought.

I have been sitting here, way too long, trying to decided which aspects of 28’s foolishness I should address. But there are so many and I’m not getting any younger so I’ll just do this one…

So…the existence of Black History Month (and it’s being featured on Nickalodeon) has resulted in you actually learning something about black people in history. Apparently despite yourself.

While you know nothing about Asian-Americans of Mexican-Americans, I guess because while (as pldennison pointed out) they have their own months, they don’t get as much press.

And your solution to this problem is blame Black History Month.

I have another solution. If you don’t know anything about Asians or Mexicans in American history, go to the library and learn something about them. They will, in fact, let you check books out on them, yes, even during Black History Month.

If it does actually take an offical month and a lot of air time for you to actually learn something about a people’s history- um…well that’s why there’s Black History Month.

I had to patch my roof, this morning,and everybody else got here first.