No, We Don’t “Need” Black History Month

The left-leaning media organization NowThis celebrated the beginning of Black History Month by releasing a compilation of staffers explaining why the celebration is so important. The language used in the video, titled “Why we really need Black History Month in 2018”, would make it seem as if the only thing preventing the return of Jim Crow racism and segregation is embracing black history for the month of February. Not only are they wrong to dismiss a very valid case that BHM is outdated and unnecessary, the reasons provided have no substance. Here is a rebuttal to some of the dumbest reasons that NowThis, and the collective left, think that it is vital to observe Black History Month.

“There is no reason why we should just learn about HIS-STORY, and HIS-STORY is white.”

First and foremost, the word history did not derive from combining the words “his story”. According to TIME, the word originates from the Greek word for “inquiry, the act of seeking knowledge, as well as the knowledge that results from inquiry”. Pioneers of the English language did not consciously decide to label the study of past events in a way that emphasized male accomplishments.

In the same that that history is not inherently sexist, it does not discriminate on the basis of race. On a global scale, some of the most studied ancient civilizations and empires on Earth were not white. China, Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Ottoman empire, their impact on the course of human events is still closely examined despite having non-white populations. Furthermore, Ancient Greece and Rome are admired not because their inhabitants had fair skin, it is because of their amazing contributions to philosophy, architecture, art, government, and literature that still influence modern civilization.

In American history, the civil rights movement is one of the most emphasized periods of the nation’s existence and associated with black activism from figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. Historians recognize the influence of blacks during the Civil War, such as Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass. Studying American history involves studying black history. History has no race, and it is untrue that it inherently favors one race over another.

“[B]lack history and black accomplishments have always been minimalized or erased for one reason or another.”

The fact that there is Black History Month in America, where African Americans consist of approximately 13% of the population, directly contradicts this sentiment. Evidently, black people in the US are not suppressed despite the fact that they are a relatively small portion of the population. White people, who make up an overwhelming majority of the American citizens, could easily do away with Black History Month and other remembrances of African American achievement if they wanted to.

In some instances, black history is given more attention than it deserves. A Google search of “American inventors” yields shocking results. The list contains mostly black inventors, most coming before more reputable names like Edison, Tesla, Ford, Jobs, and Gates. When a company as large and influential as Google seems to be magnifying black history, this sentence is hard to believe.

“Because cops are still shooting us and getting away with it.”

“Because black women are paid 63 cents for every dollar white men make.”

These two statements belong together because 1.) Celebrating Black History Month would have an unnoticeable effect on these affairs and 2.) These claims are overly exaggerated and borderline false. In what way would studying Black History help resolve these present-day issues? Maybe the Black Lives Matter movement could adopt the concept of nonviolent protest from Dr. King. Other than that, it’s difficult to comprehend why celebrating BHM is preferred over taking real action.

Regarding police brutality, higher rates of crime by blacks can explain why African Americans make up a larger percentage of police killings than their aforementioned population percentage would suggest. Data also reveals that white people are killed by police twice as much as police despite committing less crime.

Like the conventional wage gap myth, the idea that black women are paid almost 40% less than their male counterparts is misleading. A myriad of factors determines pay and the most obvious is career choice. This statistic can be attributed to the fact that black women don’t enter careers that pay as much as others. For the same work and in the same area, the gap will be basically nonexistent. If true, black unemployment would skyrocket since businesses would look to save money on wages by hiring exclusively African American women. Then again, black unemployment under the current administration is at a historic low but Democrats still cannot be pleased.

“Because there are still textbooks that refer to slaves as immigrants and workers.”

Was that not what slaves were? Through the Middle Passage, many slaves from Africa migrated into the United States and other regions of the western hemisphere where they resided permanently. That process would, therefore, constitute them as immigrants by definition, no matter whether or not it was voluntary. Barack Obama would agree since he referred to slaves as immigrants in 2015. By being subjected to forced labor, predominantly on plantations, slaves were also workers. These classifications are entirely true.

“Because there are so many different cultures within the black community.”

Wouldn’t something like Black History Month undermine this sense of individuality? Apparently, BHM attempts to lump all people of African descent together as one, and associate them with a single, linear history. If black people want their distinct cultures to be recognized, something like BHM would be the last thing they should do. The solution to generalization is not to group together different peoples with diverse cultural backgrounds based merely on their skin color.

“Because America wouldn’t be America without us.”

To say that every major thing that influenced the modern day United States deserves a month of recognition is asinine. America also wouldn’t be America without Christianity, or the Republican Party, or white people. Yet, the left would riot if even a day was set aside to honor Caucasian history. Just like the rest of the video, this intended mic-drop closing line is insignificant. Next to nobody believes that the course of American history would have played out the same without African American presence. Using such a broad and obvious notion to support BHM is meaningless.

Austin Khai Bui

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