The Predisposition and Psychology of Black History Month

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Black History Month 2014

It is never my heart’s intent or want to come across to anyone as being cold-heartened, calloused, crass, bigoted, or insensitive. I always try to make every effort to treat all men equally regardless of such superfluous things (or at least as I see them as being superfluous) as the color of their skin, background, heritage, or national origin.

I learned a long time ago as a boy growing up in Sunday school that Jesus loves all the children of the world – red and yellow, black and white, they are all precious in His sight. I also learned that we are all members of the same Heavenly family with the same Heavenly Father, and so it seems to me that makes us brothers and sisters. And if I say that I love my Father, then as you are also the son or daughter of my Father, I should strive to love you as well – in spite of any and all of our differences – if for no other reason; because we are family. I am reminded that the scriptures teach us, “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law” (Romans 13:8). And we are also taught, “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10).

With that being said, there are some Blacks in this world who feel that their White brothers and sisters are always being treated fairer than themselves, and there are some Whites who feel that the exact opposite is true. The problem as I see it is that we all tend to only view the world through the eyes of our personal race at times. Personally, I wish there were no such term as “race.” Why can’t we all just be treated as human beings? The color of our skin does not make any one of us any better than another. We are simply different. Because of our personal world views, we often have a tendency to go through life with blinders on, and our line of sight only allows us to focus on those things that matter most or benefit us the most. Too often we are blinded to the needs of others around us, and in some unfortunate instances, there are those who don’t care to see the needs of others, or even try to have a little understanding and compassion towards others.

The truth of the matter is that the war on unfairness rages among all races, nationalities and cultures, and the scales of justice tend to tip in the favor of any particular race of people at any given time depending on the circumstances and the one who is administering the justice. I don’t believe that the problem is necessarily that one “race” is incessantly being treated fairer than another, or that one “race” is getting away with more than another, but rather it often proves convenient to use the “race card” in many situations as a scapegoat or an excuse to devalue the underlying root of the problem which may very well be that  someone is jealous of, or threatened by, another because they feel they did not get the credit they deserve, or somehow they have been cheated out of the spotlight. They are likened to two little children of different races playing a game of marbles. The child who loses the most marbles gets angry and takes his marbles and runs home in a huff declaring that the other is a cheater, or even worse, that all people of that “race” are cheaters, when that is not a fair or just assessment.

And then there are those who want to know why Blacks get to have an entire month to show their worthy and timeless contributions to the history of our great nation. “Why don’t we have a White History month, or an Asian History Month, or a Native American History Month, or something of that same ilk?” they ask in earnest. The last time I checked this is the United States of America and as citizens of this country, any race of people who so wish to have a special month dedicated nationally to their culture and history should be allowed to do so. We could all benefit from Asian History Month, Native American History Month, and so on – recognizing the achievements of those races and cultures in their lands of origin as well as in America. But, in order for that to happen, it would mean that people would have to become actively engaged in the cause and make it happen.

Black History Month did not evolve because people sat around wishing that there would be such an event, but rather people took action and made it happen. I do not mean to sound cruel, but there does come a time in our lives when we need to take our pacifiers out of our mouths and put away our baby bottles, and start asking for and partaking of solid food. The bottom line is this: If we want something to happen bad enough, the only way that it will ever happen is if we are willing to put forth the effort to make it happen.

Taking all of that into consideration, I would ask the following question in earnest, “If there wasn’t a Black History month to at least teach our children and future generations about the contributions that Blacks have made to this country, when and where would they learn about that valuable part of history?” I do not mean to sound prejudiced or racist, but the history that our children are being taught in their schools is skewed at best. If you don’t believe me, take a good look at your child’s history book. What are they really being taught? Their textbooks are filled with a myriad of pages about what one race of people, stemming almost exclusively from the empire-building countries of Europe, achieved in building this great nation, and what is mentioned about other races is often filled with racial undertones and in a negative light as if those races were the ones causing the infliction and not among those who were being inflicted upon. Even then, the history which is presented is a partial history at best, teaching only those things which the educational system want our children to learn, while at the same time doing them a grave injustice by not telling them the “rest of the story.”

I humbly apologize to anyone that I may offend, but it is time that all of our children learn and know more about Black history than having Blacks associated with the continent of Africa and the chattels of slavery. It is time that they learn and know more about such noteworthy history as Native American history, other than hearing that the Native Americans were nothing more than horse thieves, and renegade savages that should have never been allowed to leave their reservations. What about all the atrocities that were committed against them? Why is the mention of those so quickly swept under the carpet? Why are our educators and educational system as a whole so afraid to tell the entire truth of history instead of filling our children’s head with a lot of myths and half-truths which over the course of time perpetuate into nothing more than whole lies?

With all of that, there are people in this country who get upset because there is one day set aside to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who gave his life trying to bring about equality and justice, not only for his own race of people, but for all races of people. Why do you honestly think Dr. King was assassinated? He was assassinated because he was an “uppity” Black man trying to right flagrant wrongs that many Whites felt were entitlements of their “superior” race, not wrongs at all, and felt that they were fully justified in committing the atrocities that they committed against a “race” of people simply because they were Black. He was assassinated because he stood up for what he believed in and knew to be right, and there were many Whites, and yes, even some Blacks, who felt threatened by him doing so. However, in all fairness and honesty, one should remember that there were many White brothers and sisters who supported Dr. King in his cause.

I am by no means implying that all Whites in this country have always had the easiest of life, or even now are able to bask in the sunshine in a lounge chair of ease. To think that would be nonsensical and utter foolishness. There are some who think that we should bury the past and move on with our lives, but the past is a part of who we are. I will agree that we should not dwell in the past, but we certainly need to learn from it. For a man who does not, or a society which  does not, learn from the past is doomed to repeat it.

No, my friends, it is a new day, but the scales of justice still are not evenly balanced. We still have a LONG way to go in bringing about true equality and fairness for ALL people of ALL races, and doing away with preconceived notions that any one race or people is superior or more important than another.

God did not make any man to be subservient to another, and as long as He continues to give me breath to breathe, I will continue to raise my voice and to speak out against the flagrant wrongs and injustices of the world. I invite everyone to see this world through the eyes of this 55-year-old Black man who has not only studied the history of this country, but has LIVED through several chapters of it as well. If I had been born of another race, who is to say how I would view things? It is quite possible that our world would be no different from what it is today. I have no way of knowing, but I do know that without the different viewpoints, true equality and opportunity will never be achieved.

I humbly believe with all of my heart that God places us in the family line of which He needs us to be a part of, when He needs us to be there, and for His purposes, and that we accepted that opportunity of our own free will and choice.

He also made some of us pacifist, and some of us activist. I will say that if any person, regardless of race, color, creed, or national origin, never looks out for his neighbor or stands up and speaks out against the flagrant wrongs and grave injustices that he sees or experiences, change will never come, and those who are guilty of causing such impositions will continue to comfortably lounge in their easy chairs of self-deluded satisfaction, enjoying the cool breeze of status quo, believing that things as they are should be accepted as the norm, when that belief is a deplorable fallacy.

Please share your thoughts and comments about this treatise.

Black History Month

2 thoughts on “The Predisposition and Psychology of Black History Month

    Shirley said:
    Thursday, 6 March2014 at 13:29

    Keith it was a delight to read views and thoughts that also resonate with me. I especially liked your insight into how what we teach youngsters can askew their view of the world and its people. As I often say to the younger generation, you can be the change you want!
    Shirley

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      keithlbrown1958 responded:
      Thursday, 6 March2014 at 14:43

      Thanks Shirley! I am glad that you enjoyed the article that I wrote. Even in 2014, we still have a long way to go as far as race relations are concerned. It is up to us who have experienced the realities of history to educate the younger generations of the truth, and to teach them as you say, that they can be the change that they want.

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