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Do We Really Need Black History Month? In 2011 America, there’s no need for anything like it.
City Journal ^ | 17 February 2011 | John H. McWhorter

Posted on 02/17/2011 7:58:32 PM PST by neverdem

To feel that something is tired in the idea of Black History Month isn’t, despite what one might hear from some quarters, racist. When Carter G. Woodson founded Negro History Week in 1926, he hoped that the need for such a celebration would gradually recede. For the week to morph into a month did not exactly bear out his wishes, and today, even black people brandish an array of objections to Black History Month. Actor Morgan Freeman wonders why the history of his people must be relegated to a single month. Others more recreationally inclined consider it suspicious that February is the shortest month. Is it perhaps time to let Black History Month go?

The question is not whether black history is important. It is whether America still needs to be reminded of that fact. What would an America sufficiently aware of black history look like? Suppose, say, the organizers of a centennial commemoration of the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo decided to highlight the racially discriminatory side of the original event. Or suppose a traveling museum exhibit of slave ship artifacts reportedly got record-breaking attendance at every site that it visited. Both have happened, both suggest an America that “gets” black history—and both occurred ten years ago, at this writing.

Just a year later, Washington State Representative Hans Dunshee, who is white, agitated to have Jefferson Davis’s name removed from a Seattle highway and replaced with the name of William P. Stewart, a black Civil War veteran from Washington. Meanwhile, white Underground Railroad buffs in Ohio were the most vocal critics of various historical distortions in a planned Cincinnati National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. In modern America, things like this are ordinary: I chose among countless possibilities. If this isn’t an America ready to heed Carter G. Woodson’s advice, then what would be?

How about fast-forwarding to last year? Isabel Wilkerson’s chronicle of the Great Migration, The Warmth of Other Suns, was one of the most ecstatically received books of the year and will likely win a Pulitzer. Another of the most popular books of 2010 was Rebecca Skloot’s chronicle of Henrietta Lacks, a black woman whose cancer cells researchers harvested without her knowledge; the story will soon be an HBO film. On Broadway, the hit musical Memphis depicted the rise of rock and roll amid a violent response to an interracial romance. Another musical, this one about the injustice perpetrated in the 1930s upon the Scottsboro Boys, was brought from Off Broadway to the Great White Way despite highly mixed reviews, because its (white) creators and backers thought it too important not to be more widely seen.

And we also live in an era when history textbooks are dedicated to chronicling slavery to such an extent that critics decry the decrease in space devoted to other aspects of history, and when university leaders consider it more important that an undergraduate know what institutional racism is than what the Munich Agreement was. All of this is why a month dedicated to black history now feels like a month dedicated to seat belts. Both are now part of the fabric of American life, with black history almost as insistent on any wakeful person’s attention as the pinging sound in a car when you don’t buckle up.

It can be strangely hard to admit that a battle has been won. But especially considering that the typical white person isn’t exactly a walking encyclopedia of “white” history, it’s time to admit that America knows its black history as well as anyone has reason to wish it to.

John H. McWhorter is a City Journal contributing editor.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: blackhistorymonth; mcwhorter; obamasupporter; thestoryoflanguage
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1 posted on 02/17/2011 7:58:35 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem

Yeah, I thought this was a post-racial society.


2 posted on 02/17/2011 8:01:28 PM PST by Celtic Cross (Looking to escape to Idaho--Will work for keep.)
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To: neverdem

I think when the Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton agitators stop agitating, we may realize the progress we have made.


3 posted on 02/17/2011 8:08:34 PM PST by Bronzy (We Remembered In November.)
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To: neverdem

No. It’s white washed anyway (no pun intended). Never a contrary word, always positive, sometimes exaggerated. “History” includes the bad as well as the good.


4 posted on 02/17/2011 8:09:38 PM PST by A_Former_Democrat (The Rodney King Riots: Courtesy of ABC, CBS, NBC & CNN)
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To: neverdem

I demand we have a “Poor Whitty” Month


5 posted on 02/17/2011 8:20:32 PM PST by jongaltsr (It)
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To: neverdem

NO, WE DON’T NEED A BLACK HISTORY MONTH. JUST LIKE WE DON’T NEED A SPANISH HERITAGE MONTH (OCTOBER).


6 posted on 02/17/2011 8:27:18 PM PST by rep-always
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To: jongaltsr

I demand we have a Czech-History month!

We need to talk about Czech contributions to society and how the Romans, the Vikings, the Austrians, the Germans, the Hungarians, the Russians, etc., have oppressed us.


7 posted on 02/17/2011 8:27:18 PM PST by MrInvisible
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To: neverdem

I have a great idea! Let’s have Black History Month, White History Month, and Asian History Month.


8 posted on 02/17/2011 8:32:50 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: neverdem

Why don’t we just go into a no-hyphenation phase-in and gradually change it to...American History Month.


9 posted on 02/17/2011 8:34:03 PM PST by Colinsky
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To: neverdem
Morgan Freeman
10 posted on 02/17/2011 8:37:53 PM PST by Puckster
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To: jongaltsr

I’m thinking the NAACCP:

N National
A Association
for the
A Advancement
of
C Color
C Challenged
P People


11 posted on 02/17/2011 8:42:16 PM PST by Puckster
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To: Colinsky

That is exactly what Morgan Freeman said in the interview with 60 Minutes......”Black history is American History”.


12 posted on 02/17/2011 8:44:27 PM PST by Puckster
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To: Puckster

Morgan Freeman has gotten wisdom at an old age like a lot of older folks.
Black history month won’t go away.
It keeps the democrat voters happy with their own month to celebrate people of a certain skin color and further segregate them from the American mainstream. If the black leaders ever dropped this, they would lose their power because the last thing they want is for all people to assimilate. They have to keep the race division alive to stay in their positions.
Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Baraq Obama and Eric Holder would lose a lot of power if this happened.
I don’t give a rats rear what color you are just as long as you are supportive of the the country that gives you an opportunity to pursue your dreams. Interjecting race and bringing up past sins only sentences you to living in the past and wallowing in someone elses past.
Rotten way to live.


13 posted on 02/17/2011 8:52:08 PM PST by Texas resident (Hunkered Down)
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To: neverdem

See tagline


14 posted on 02/17/2011 8:52:32 PM PST by ROCKLOBSTER (Celebrate Republicans Freed the Slaves Month)
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To: neverdem

Only racists deamdn raced based months, weeks,days, testing, political caucuses, etc.


15 posted on 02/17/2011 8:54:35 PM PST by NoLibZone (wE)
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To: neverdem

Starting 2014, Black History will be a part of American History in general.


16 posted on 02/17/2011 9:06:00 PM PST by Clock King (Ellisworth Toohey was right: My head's gonna explode.)
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To: Texas resident

“If the black leaders ever dropped this”

The NAACP and all activist leaders have merely transposed the power of the “share cropping” system in the South after the Civil War, from white to black oppression. Share cropping/company store....keep em in poverty, and afraid of Liberty. Mob rule, not individual integrity.


17 posted on 02/17/2011 9:12:01 PM PST by Puckster
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To: neverdem

How can we tell when “their” history month starts and stops?

We are bombarded with their whining racist crap 24/7/365.


18 posted on 02/17/2011 9:12:32 PM PST by Iron Munro ("Our country's founders cherished liberty, not democracy." -- Ron Paul)
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To: neverdem; All

I’ve wondered the same thing. My newspaper has it on the front page featuring a different person every day. I’ve felt like writing and asking, “when is White History month”?

Oh, we also have hispanic history time and features about islam on the front page!!


19 posted on 02/17/2011 9:16:27 PM PST by potlatch ( !/ ~*coincidences usually aren't *~\!)
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To: Bronzy
"I think when the Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton agitators stop agitating, we may realize the progress we have made."

I believe had MLK not been murdered, race relations today would be radically different and more in line with MLK's efforts. Race baiters Jackson and Sharpton in, cahoots with the Democrats, have hijacked MLK's dream and have essentially undone all the hard work he had done to achieve a color blind society.

Had he lived I believe we would have probably never seen any gangs, hip-hop, (c)rap, or any other destructive crap we see in the black community today. Jackson and Sharpton have done nothing positive for race relations. All they do is add fuel to the fire when race relations go wrong rather than attempt to calmly sort out the facts and resolve the issue.

Rather than present a mature, common sense, race-neutral approach to problems, they just start spouting off crap, calling whites racists, and demanding reparations. It just sickens me to know that they have, for all intents and purposes, destroyed everything MLK had accomplished, just to make themselves rich and powerful. I would not shed a tear if either one of them were to leave this earth in the near future.
20 posted on 02/17/2011 9:26:39 PM PST by FortWorthPatriot (Obama is no Hitler; Hitler got the Olympics!)
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To: neverdem

Embrace Black History Month! My son’s 4th grade teacher gave him a choice of doing a paper on MLK, Rosa Parks or Jackie Robinson. Instead he chose Herman Cain and Alan West, having watched their speeches at CPAC. The teacher had not heard of either one of them. But I assure you, when he is done presenting his report in front of the class, she will, and so will the 12 black kids in the room.


21 posted on 02/17/2011 9:37:13 PM PST by montag813 (http://www.facebook.com/StandWithArizona)
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To: montag813

Awesome....take the fight for true Liberty to them by not letting them dictate the ground rules.


22 posted on 02/17/2011 9:48:05 PM PST by Puckster
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To: montag813

Wonderful. Give him an A from the FR for excellent work.


23 posted on 02/17/2011 9:58:58 PM PST by Bronzy (We Remembered In November.)
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To: Puckster

That’s what he’s talking about. LOL!


24 posted on 02/17/2011 10:46:31 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: ROCKLOBSTER

LOL! But they haven’t stood for much else besides national security and a fair amount of crony capitalism until the modern conservative movement got started.


25 posted on 02/17/2011 10:55:50 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: montag813

Herman Cain and Alan West, can’t do much better than that. IIRC, Cain is the only one who has actually announced his candidacy for the GOP nomination.


26 posted on 02/17/2011 11:07:40 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: neverdem

How about a setting aside a month - or even a day, starting small - to talk positively about the great White Americans of the past like Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson or George Washington?

We can do this with Pocahontas, Harriet Tubman, Cesar Chavez, George Washington Carver ... why not for European Americans? Shouldn’t they be encouraged to take pride in their ancestors?

That’s what the multiculturalists want for every group in the world with one notable exception.

Of course even to broach the subject is to be hounded and tarred and feathered as a “racist” and “white supremacist” - because the definition of a “racist” is no longer hatred or aversion or discrimination against “people of color,” but merely having a positive view about Western culture or pre-1965 America.

You can literally show up at a campaign rally with an Allen West campaign button with your black wife and a sign that says “I LOVE Black People” and still, and still, you will get called a “racist” by the likes of an Al Sharpton.


27 posted on 02/17/2011 11:42:20 PM PST by WilliamHouston
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To: WilliamHouston

Of course we could get rid of all the race based set asides and caucuses and television channels and museums and perks in the federal budget.

But then the special interests would howl with outrage like they were being assaulted by the Ku Klux Klan itself just like the public employees unions are doing over their entitlements up in Wisconsin right now with the Scott Walker/Hitler signs.


28 posted on 02/17/2011 11:46:49 PM PST by WilliamHouston
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To: neverdem

this may surprise most here but while i oppose. MLK day i think a special recognition for true black heroes or accomplishments. is reasonable


29 posted on 02/17/2011 11:59:00 PM PST by wardaddy (I support the Bedford Forrest license plate in Mississippi Haley Barbour bravely refuses to denounce)
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To: wardaddy; Joe Brower; Cannoneer No. 4; Criminal Number 18F; Dan from Michigan; Eaker; Jeff Head; ...
Galileo and the Scientific Pose of the Left

Climate change: Galileo moment for GOP (agitprop alert!)

A lost cause: The high-speed rail race (WaPo whacks Obama again!)

Selective use of science ‘as bad as racism or homophobia’ (war against "bad" science)

Some noteworthy articles about politics, foreign or military affairs, IMHO, FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.

30 posted on 02/18/2011 12:02:18 AM PST by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: FortWorthPatriot

u really should read up on King...the myth has. become the reality but its still a lie

do you think you know better than Buckley....Reagan...and Goldwater who were there?

ill take their word for it....just for starters King supported our enemies in a time. of war....no different than Fonda...cept he got a holiday


31 posted on 02/18/2011 12:10:00 AM PST by wardaddy (I support the Bedford Forrest license plate in Mississippi Haley Barbour bravely refuses to denounce)
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To: neverdem
I want my "White History Month" Dogonnit.
OH wait, I forgot about the slaves
that I'm accused of having owned in my lifetime. My bad.
32 posted on 02/18/2011 12:15:54 AM PST by MaxMax
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To: neverdem

no


33 posted on 02/18/2011 2:11:59 AM PST by expatguy (Support "An American Expat in Southeast Asia" - DONATE)
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To: neverdem

Is he being funny when he says, “typical white person”? Isn’t that what Bambi called his typical white grandmother?


34 posted on 02/18/2011 3:50:11 AM PST by GnuHere
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To: potlatch

What about the Indians? If ever a group got screwed it was them. Black have MLK day—what do Native Americans Have? Thanksgiving? The Mexicans have Cinco de Mayo, Irish Saint Pats, Italians Columbus Day,Chinese—the Lunar New Year. Blacks should have a day—but that’s it.


35 posted on 02/18/2011 4:32:04 AM PST by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: neverdem

Black History Coupla Hours should be more than sufficient.


36 posted on 02/18/2011 4:38:44 AM PST by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; 31R1O; ...

· GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach ·
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Thanks neverdem.
To feel that something is tired in the idea of Black History Month isn’t, despite what one might hear from some quarters, racist. When Carter G. Woodson founded Negro History Week in 1926, he hoped that the need for such a celebration would gradually recede.
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
 

· History topic · history keyword · archaeology keyword · paleontology keyword ·
· Science topic · science keyword · Books/Literature topic · pages keyword ·


37 posted on 02/18/2011 4:44:55 AM PST by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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To: Puckster; Bronzy; neverdem
Awesome....take the fight for true Liberty to them by not letting them dictate the ground rules.

Thanks. My wife and I can't afford private or homeschooling right now. So we've decided to arm our 9-year old with the Constitution, 'Liberty and Tyranny' and FACTS; and told him he should question everything he is taught that does not conform to those facts, and let the chips falls where they may.

38 posted on 02/18/2011 4:51:52 AM PST by montag813 (http://www.facebook.com/StandWithArizona)
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To: Celtic Cross

“Yeah, I thought this was a post-racial society.”

It is. The Ministry of Truth has so decreed.


39 posted on 02/18/2011 4:58:17 AM PST by Psalm 144 (Voodoo Republicans - Don't read their lips. Watch their hands.)
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To: Clock King
Starting 2014, Black History will be a part of American History in general.

What's special about 2014?

40 posted on 02/18/2011 5:01:14 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

I have a great idea! Let’s have Black History Month, White History Month, and Asian History Month.

***********************

AN EVIL ICEPEOPLE PLOT!

February WOULD BE THE SHORTEST MONTH!

(Insert screaming Minister Jeremiah Wright sound effects here, spittle soaked microphone included, hat tip for “Icepeople” science reference to Minister Farrakhan)


41 posted on 02/18/2011 5:04:03 AM PST by Psalm 144 (Voodoo Republicans - Don't read their lips. Watch their hands.)
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To: neverdem

We boiled down all the presidents’ birthdays down to one day, President’s Day.

Let’s just have All Americans Month where we celebrate the various colors of our skins and be done with it.

(This is so stupid.)


42 posted on 02/18/2011 5:16:09 AM PST by paulycy (Islamo-Marxism is Evil.)
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To: neverdem
they haven’t stood for much else besides national security and a fair amount of crony capitalism until the modern conservative movement got started.

They stood for civil rights against the Southern racist RATs. Eisenhower sent troops to Arkansas in 1957 and nationalized the AKNG to protect the civil rights of black students.

Without Republicans, LBJ's civil rights act would have been killed by the RATs.

Until around 1935, most black politicians were Republicans.

43 posted on 02/18/2011 5:58:52 AM PST by ROCKLOBSTER (Celebrate Republicans Freed the Slaves Month)
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To: neverdem

How come Black History Month occurs every other month?

Don’t we already have a Black History Week? Every month?

Which month is White History Month?


44 posted on 02/18/2011 6:08:35 AM PST by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post.)
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To: Celtic Cross
Yeah, I thought this was a post-racial society.

It was, until they showed that completely fictionalized movie ROOTS.

45 posted on 02/18/2011 6:10:43 AM PST by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post.)
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To: Jack Hydrazine; neverdem
I have a great idea! Let’s have Black History Month, White History Month, and Asian History Month.

I have a better idea. Let's have AMERICAN HISTORY MONTH, each month school is in session.

46 posted on 02/18/2011 6:12:40 AM PST by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post.)
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To: Colinsky

Dang it. You beat me to it.


47 posted on 02/18/2011 6:13:26 AM PST by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post.)
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To: ArrogantBustard
What's special about 2014?

I meant 2013 (too sleepy last night). Obama is out of office, and we can start to see some real leadership.

48 posted on 02/18/2011 6:28:12 AM PST by Clock King (Ellisworth Toohey was right: My head's gonna explode.)
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To: neverdem
I refer to 'Black History Month' as 'White Guilt Month'. The variety of reactions is quite entertaining.
49 posted on 02/18/2011 7:06:49 AM PST by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
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To: Clock King
I meant 2013 (too sleepy last night).

Thanks. It was a puzzle.

Obama is out of office

For which we humbly pray in Jesus' Holy Name, Amen.

50 posted on 02/18/2011 7:32:09 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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