February 09, 2004

Color Blind . . . or Just Blind?

Am I the only person who finds the concept of Black History Month, and most especially the way it is "observed" at LeTourneau, insulting, degrading, and generally unhelpful in improving race relations and nuking the spirit of racism that still lurks amongst us?

How much sense does it make, really? First of all, why do we have a Black History Month? Check out how it got started. Actually, I think that's kinda cool, right up until about 1976. Let's look at a few numbers . . . The current US population is approximately 13% Black, 1% Native American, 4% Asian, 14% Hispanic . . . and the rest of us are dirty Caucasians, presumably.

Why is there no Native American History Month? No Asian History Month? No Hispanic History Month? I'm not even going to bother to suggest a European History Month because . . . duh. Do we have Black History Month to emphasize a time when we pay attention to a particular minority, or what? Except that the largest minority (I thought it was until I saw the percentages up there) is the one that gets their own month. And now all the "lesser" minorities get shafted. But it's not even the largest minority anymore . . . so why? Obviously we can't have four months out of the year devoted to this sort of thing, that's ridiculous. How about Minority History Month?

Ummm . . . no. This concept promotes racism, pretty much. Why? Because it is discriminatory. Maybe you'd call it "positive" discrimination, or some such nonsense, but you're still treating people differently based on race. It's not a good thing. Why can't we have American History Month? Isn't that what we all are now? Isn't the whole "great melting pot" concept kind of indicative of the fact that America is made up of people from all races, and that no one is any better than anyone else because of it? LeTourneau provides me with the perfect example of why this is so jacked up.

What Admin thinks "Black History Emphasis Week" in Chapel says: We are racially sensitive and culturally competent because we observe PC type things.

What it actually says: God forbid we have black people speak in chapel at any other time than during February.

And the same goes for the rest of the country: "Let's have Black History Month in February because God forbid we pay any attention whatsoever to Black History during any other time of the year."

By the way, I enjoyed chapel this morning, and I think the other two chapels we have lined up this week look really great. I just think it's a shame that we have to have some kind of excuse to invite a "person of color" to speak to us in chapel. And even when we do, it must be announced loudly to one and all, "We are white, and yet we love and respect those who are of a different race and color. Watch us prove this to you during one whole week out of the year. Bask in the holy gleam of our righteous glory. Amen."

Posted by Jared at February 9, 2004 09:13 PM | TrackBack