Updated: Feb 2
Black History Month remains essential for the continued and present representation of African American contribution to the American Democracy experiment. Throughout our nation's rich history, the contributions of all representative minority groups, including Native Americans, have been overshadowed and slowly pushed aside in favor of the more prevalent Euro-Christian curriculum narrative currently taught in many state public schools across America.
A resurgent push from the ALT-Right and GOP endorsement of suppressing minority achievements by the false claim that preferential treatment is given to minorities makes the majority white population feel diminished and isolated. Really? How? Putting aside that this tale is not accurate, the white nationalist community encouraged by the GOP, Qanon, and Trumpers have reached back into their history to resurrect the America First racial trope and its accompanying racial tropes to make white people feel "victimized" or a nuevo minority group - as if this could be somehow possible outside of a Hollywood movie film studio. The nationalist fantasy that anyone else not white, non-Christian, protestant, and American born is not American; this waters down the population to include mixed-race or bi-racial people. The history is complicated for bi-racial Americans' place in society with the complexity of America's founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson's liaison with his daughter's black slave girl Sally Hemmings with whom he fathered at least six children.
I believe that white nationalists and the GOP, like Florida Gov. Ron Desantis, have pushed state laws to ban books and inhibit diversity at every opportunity because they know education is the key. The locked door of obstruction can be opened through a diverse history education that provides the factual context to the historical mistreatment of minorities and reveals the essence of anti-LGBTQ policies and laws. Imagine for a moment, your child comes home from school, learns about the Tulsa Massacre and lynchings, and begins asking pertinent questions about why this happened. Then imagine white parents of these same educated children demanding change to harmful policies, and then imagine if we started voting accordingly for representatives who work for change instead of blocking change. Education and Black History Month scare certain people into suppressing and pretending it shouldn't exist. That is to say; Black History Month is unnecessary since America has had a Black President - President Barack Obama. However, having a black president is mutually exclusive from the necessary celebration of Black History Month. One may argue that Black History Month offers one of the remaining avenues to keep the achievements of black Americans relevant, given the education roadblocks towards minority contributions to our great nation.
America's diversity is a strength, not a hindrance, to white progress, no more than improvement to social equality and a racial group standing. A fear exists on the right that if this generation becomes overly sympathetic to minority causes and joins forces to improve equality, then as current minority groups grow and possibly displace white people as the majority, the roles will be reversed. Whites would then experience what minorities currently endure. Therefore, Black History is important for everyone but scares or threatens the GOP and white nationalists who labor under the disillusion of white supremacy. I contend the increased racial police murders of black people coincide with the laws and policies that block public school education from teaching diverse history topics and LGBTQ-sensitive subjects to work against any empathetic ideas that black people and all minority groups have no value or that serve submissively - think about law enforcement commands often shouted at murder crime scenes of unarmed black men - "stop resisting," "show me your hands," and "stop moving." In turn, victims have often responded with screams of "momma," "I can't breathe," and "I'm not moving." From slavery and reconstruction to the Civil Rights movement to recent social protests following the George Floyd murder by white police, Black History month teaches us about the context in which black American and minority achievements have been made. We all must celebrate Black History Month and each minority group's history to the nation's fantastic progress from cotton fields to Space exploration - it's our history together.