via Abagond by abagond on 2/8/12
White History Month, unlike Black History Month, is the month that never ends. From Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death” to “manifest destiny” to America as “the great melting pot”, American history is not merely taught from a white point of view, it is taught as if blacks, Mexicans and Native Americans do not truly count as people.
White American slave owners, like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry, are held up as heroes of freedom. Meanwhile John Brown, who gave his life trying to free the slaves, is seen as what? A madman.
White racism is downplayed, so much so that whites say stuff like, “The Irish made it. What is wrong with blacks?” or sometimes even, “Jim Crow? What’s that?”
Lies are told about Native Americans and Africans so that the crimes committed against them by whites seem to be “not so bad”.
The achievements of whites, like the light bulb, are played up as wonders of invention while the achievements of people of colour – you know, like civilization, writing, iron, geometry, or like even clothing – are played down, taken for granted or just never get brought up for some reason. Egyptians, Middle Easterners and early man, meanwhile, become honorary whites for particular periods of history.
Yet we are supposed to believe that the history we were taught at school is somehow Magically Unaffected by all that.
History as taught at school (as opposed to university) is such an utterly self-serving whitewash that it should, at best, be called White American Studies. Add English literature to that.
Yet white people still say stuff like, “Why is there a Black History Month but not a White History Month?”
That is called being blind to white privilege.
It is called being so used to how society favours whites that you do not even notice it and think of it as just “normal” and even “fair”.
So fair that any change from it, like Black History Month or affirmative action, is seen as unfair, even racist.
But there is more: a misunderstanding of ethnic or racial pride.
Most White Americans were taught to “not see race”, to be raceless. Unfortunately that failed to end racism. So for people of colour pride in one’s race becomes a necessary and even healthy self-defence.
But the sort of pride most whites have in their race is so unhealthy, false and narcissistic that it needs to put down others to seem good by comparison and to play down evils like slavery to maintain the idea of whites as Basically Good. Their broken self-image leads to broken history and round and round it goes, hurting everyone.
African-American – News February 10, 2012
Dallas ISD girls excluded from field trip to see movie about Tuskegee Airmen (Dallas Morning News)
Black High School Basketball Players Mocked With Banana Suits, Monkey Chants (WTLC-AM Indianapolis)
Making history: Joanne Griffith’s ‘Redefining Black Power’ project comes to the Bay (SFBG Politics Blog)
CSULB reaches out to churches to recruit African-American students (Press-Telegram)