American History Prioritizes Whites, period

When you are a child, the world works very easy.  You go to school, learn what’s given, and with no life experience you’re going to not ask those piercing questions that need to be asked.  This is really great for social programming.

In the beginning, you learn a very Eurocentric (read: white) view of pilgrims, the Colonies, the American Revolution, and beyond.  The vast majority of these white historical domain figures are given some sort of hero-status in history, regardless of flaw or fault.  Christopher Columbus, for example, was technically a paid pirate who murdered thousands; but due to the fact that he did his deeds for the Spanish Crown, he’s a hero.  Because he “discovered” America, he’s a hero.  The majority of Eurocentric history is given just like this.  The way history is taught in America, supports white supremacy in America.

Black History Month

“If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.” ~ Carter G. Woodson, historian and creator of Negro History Week, the precursor to Black History Month

Before Black History Month, there was technically, “Black History Week”, which was a concept argued strongly by a black historian from Virginia named Carter G. Woodson.  Looking at his quote above, I’ll have to agree with him — A group of people that doesn’t have it’s history and accomplishments recognized and understood, is in absolute danger of being exterminated.  Black history month is a good thing.  Or is it?

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Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali
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A lynching of two young black girls and a man

Looking at modern day, where we can have a president who is openly endorsed by the KKK, alt-right, and other Americanized Nazis, one can clearly observe there’s a lot of frustrations with how Black History Month is received.  From my own observations, the black discontentment of Black History month is similar to the reason why some black folks don’t like movies that depicts blacks as slaves — it seems to infinitely talk about, display and articulate what happened to black people versus black people doing something to something else.  Black people are tired of practically being taught that their history started in 1865 — the end of the Civil War — which is an oddly convenient place to start, if you are white.

Black people are tired of being told about things being done to them.  Things being thrown at them.  Black people are tired of not knowing what their real last names are.  Black people are tired of being detached from their ethnic roots.  Black people are tired of hearing the same few names in February: Martin Luther King, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman.

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Black people are also tired of not being able to access history; you know, reference it.  Similar to how white America attempts to control black emotionality; white America attempts to control time by hiding specific points of history from view.  Reference slavery, Jim Crow or lynchings for example, and see how fast a white person (or a white pet) accuses you of “living in the past”, and watch the break-neck speed in how they will tell you to “get over it”.  Meanwhile, a white person is sociologically allowed to remember all moments in American history without repercussion, to include times when all resources of local, state and national government prioritized white life above all.  A white person can in essence, time travel in their minds, yearning for the days of Leave It to Beaver while execrating any black person for merely mentioning slavery, lynchings, Jim Crow, or a myriad of other parts of American history.

Black history is just as over-policed as our style of dress, our bodies, our minds and emotionality.

Black people, are getting sick of this.

The White Response to Black History

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

White people, on the other hand, have a very different standpoint on Black History Month.  For some strange reason white people think that Martin Luther King only gave ONE SPEECH IN HIS ENTIRE LIFE, and from then on, the smoking majority of American whites were instantly won over by him.  White people somehow, think that Martin Luther King –similar to Jesus or something — died for their sins of racism, so now they all invoke his name to suppress black thought and emotion.  Strange shit, but yes, this exists.  White people also think that MLK totally eradicated racism, so sure, what are these black folks complaining about?  White people for same baffling reason assume MLK was literally colorblind and was totally oblivious to the fact that he was a black man in apartheid America.

On top of that, white people do seem to think that black history starts at the end of the Civil War.  White people also think that black people need to “thank” whites for “fighting to free slaves”, and of course, “placing them” in America, a first world country, because after all, Africa is “such a horrible place.”

Speaking of Africa, whites tend to think that Africa exists as if it’s one giant nation versus being a continent with a thousand different languages and cultures.  This line of thinking is also found in the American schooling system so naturally black people are given this same flawed reasoning.

White people tend to always separate black people from their past.  If you are a black person talking to a white person, and you mention lynching, watch to no surprise how calloused the white person responds, usually saying something stupid like “Do you know anyone who was lynched?”  White people are not formally trained to do this, but all will dish out a set of poorly constructed, full-of-white-privilege “shut up questions” such as the one stated above.  Other white-privilege-shut-up-questions are:

  • Were you alive/living/ (had you personally witnessed) Jim Crow/Lynching?
  • What racism did YOU experience? (not a real question of concern, but to shut you up)

^ They will ask you these things as if that’s the qualifier in order to continue discussion.  It doesn’t matter how triggering these questions are.  There’s NO real concern for your mental or spiritual health of well being. These are designed to attack you in order for the white person to duck and dodge the convo, because after all, white feelings are to be protected no matter what.  Strange enough, no one thinks a doctor needs to be sick in order to cure disease, or a surgeon needs a heart attack before caring about heart surgery.  But black people?  Definitely has to be there, literally {/sarcasm added}.

Yes, white feelings > black life, and white feelings > black history.

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And for that reason, white people HATE black history month.  White people are just as sick of black history month as black people are, for the same reasons.  You see, to a black person, black history month is full of what white people done to black people.  To a white person, it’s the same — it’s white people doing things to black people.  So, in knowing that, wouldn’t Black History Month be a brutally, radically honest element of white history?

Black History Month is really a brutally honest visit that reminds everyone — especially white people — that their shit stinks.  Black History Month is a yearly reminder that white people are the most violent people on the planet, they are crude, barbaric, selfish, vulgar set of people on the face of the earth.  Black History Month explores the abusive relationship blacks have under white rule.  Black History Month forces one to peer into the Soul of these United States of America, which is a cold presence devoid of guilt.  If mainstream history is the Bible of America, Black History is the Hidden Scriptures.

While black people learn about their ancestors in Black History Month, white people learn about their klancestors.

If one were an alien from another planet and came down to America… and listened to American whites tell it alone… one would think that it was black people who enslaved whites.  One would think that it was the black person who enforced a Jim Crow onto white people.  If you only listened to white people whine about how their white privilege is waning away, you’d think that it was thousands of whites who were lynched across these United States.  You’d think the black man and woman deserve this modern day persecution we face.

But, that’s not the case.  That’s categorically untrue, and Black History Month forces all to realize this.  And that’s why Black History Month is really a brutally honest White History Month.  And truth be told, white people hate it.  So may be, Black History Month still is a good thing, because it’s really a genuine White History Month.

“How come there’s no such thing as a White History Month?”

I remember back in the day, so many white people, oblivious to their privilege, saying this.  Many still do.  Upon further assessment of what we call Black History Month, I’d advise such folks to be careful what they wish for.  If I cared about their white fragility, that is.

Photography Credit: Gordon Parks

Written by Johnny Silvercloud

The Soul Brother #1 of a Kind. Consequentialist street photographer abolitionist writer/speaker who stands for any oppressed peoples. I do it because every man and woman deserves freedom of thought -- especially black folks.

20 comments

  1. Indeed! In some cases however all that is needed is for a black person o show up in some white peoples orbit for the fragility o begin. It certainly explains some of the hostility individual black people get from strangers. IMO, a black body brings guilt and shame directly to the forefront of their minds.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Great article!

    This really stood out for me,

    If you only listened to white people whine about how their white privilege is waning away, you’d think that it was thousands of whites who were lynched across these United States.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Johnny, this is one profoundly excellent piece of writing. It’s captures the thinking of so many of us, and in it’ own way, sort of helps us deal with our conflicting views on how black history is processed by both black and white folk.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This post works as an answer to the Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About The Radicalization of Whites? article in my humble opinion.

    I’m European and what jumps to my eye from my perspective is the analogy with how specific countries here delt with their oppressive pasts, Nazi-Fascism related specifically. There’s a correlation with how severely countries dealt with that after WWII and how much apologism and xenophobia persists to this day. Berlusconi “joked” once that Mussolini merely sent people on vacations referring to concentration camps. Imagine Merkel saying that relative to Germany’s past. Italy’s public television in the 90’s famously acquired the rights to a BBC documentary about the horrors of Fascism in Africa and the Balkan peninsula, so that it couldn’t be broadcasted in Italy. It’s the same pretending to have dealt with the horrors of the past without never fully acknowledging them.
    The way I see it white supremacy and racism in the US are still so widespread because the by default narrative about the greatness of America’s history is at its core a white supremacy manifesto. You can’t eradicate white supremacy and racism while glorifying the past (or present even) that was built on those as a premise.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a lot to think through. I have had similar thoughts (though not as well researched, articulated, or experienced). Thank you. I pray that there can be more honest pieces like this.

    Like

  6. I haven’t had the extreme displeasure of encountering whites writing off Jim Crow laws or lynchings in my schooling. Perhaps this is because I’m only 17, or because my school’s comprised of roughly the same proportion of demographics as our nation is as a whole, but my US History class presented Europe’s invasion of North America as such, and taught that the indigenous people were treated savagely and slaughtered by Europeans. We learned the battles and were shown examples of propaganda distributed by local newspapers- for example, inventing an attack staged by the natives that “justified” killing hundreds of innocent natives. Not only that, but hostorical oppression of POC has been a central theme all 4 years of high school in social studies and English classes. 4 of my teachers have referenced Amy Tan, and we were assigned her essays on having non-European heritage in the US and being a first gen immigrant, as well as how her heritage impacts her writing. We haven’t been utterly sheltered from the atrocities committed by past generations, at least in school.

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    1. There are fragile whites who would whine about how your curriculum is anti-American and unpatriotic.

      I see it as the foundation for making this country what it can be. We are a work in progress, not the perfect gift of God to the world. Once we acknowledge this, we can make amends and reparations to the wronged and work towards a truly multicultural yet unified nation.

      Like

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