I have previously addressed arguments related to the strengths and weakness of Black History Month here.
Until now, however, I have not addressed one of the number one questions asked, especially in February and March, and that is, “Why isn’t there a White History Month?”
The simplest answer is that every month, every week, every day, every hour, every minute is, in effect, “White History Month” because of how our past is generally commemorated, how our day-to-day political and economic operations privilege White people (especially White heterosexual cis-Men), and how world views are dictated, for instance. This is exactly, in part, what bell hooks refers to when she discusses the Imperialist White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy. White people–their world, History, accomplishments, hopes, fears, dreams, expressions, and reflections–receive the vast, vast majority of attention and thought throughout society.
The first time I was asked a question along this line was while conducting my Diversity Workshop to a group of student tutors at a college in 2011. One of them asked, “If there is a Black Entertainment Television channel, why can’t we have a White Entertainment Television channel as well.” The simple answer is: Every station is White Entertainment. We don’t “see it” because it is so normal and the given.
One of my favorite bloggers, Abagond, has a number of really good blog posts where he takes the notion of needing a White History Month and makes it into a positive forum to critique White people and show the not-so-friendly side of United States History. Check this post out.
This YouTube video does a really good job articulating some of these ideas.
Categories: Thoughts and Perspectives