Thursday, February 10, 2011

White History Month?

It's February, great. A month where we celebrate love (or in my case the lack of love), dead presidents (not the band) and black heritage. One of my friends posted a Facebook status update asking the question, "Why is there no White History Month?"

At face value it's a pretty valid question really. There is a black history month, a black entertainment channel, scholarships for black people, traditionally black colleges. I could go on, but you get the idea. I kind of got thinking about this. I've had this discussion with my friend before. He's a white kid from a family that lives on the benches, but not too high up and has parents who drive nice large sedans, but they're made in Japan rather than Germany. He couldn't get any scholarships or financial aid because he was too average and was complaining about this to me. I heard his complaints and understood. It really is kind of a bummer.

I've not personally had the problem as my family consists of a single disabled parent and I'm likely smarter than you are, so being white hasn't really hindered my ability to find funds for college. This is tangential.

Back on topic, why is there no white history month? Well, why should there be? How many holidays or celebrations do we have throughout the year celebrating European or Colonial traditions? Pretty much every single major holiday we celebrate is from a white heritage of sorts. Oh sure the blacks have Kwanzaa, but can any of you honestly tell me when Kwanzaa is? I sure don't have any idea. MLK Day? First of all if you didn't get school/work off, you wouldn't have any idea the holiday existed and secondly that holiday isn't about black people. It's about civil rights in general and a kick ass guy who made quite a statement about the movement. Wouldn't having a white history month be a bit narcissistic? Are Saint Valentines Day, Saint Patricks Day, Independence Day, Halloween (derives from the Irish festival of Summers End with English traditions), Thanksgiving Day and Christmas not enough? How about most people having every Sunday of the year as a vacation with this idea being derived from the Christian theology that God rested on the 7th day?

Our culture is based around white traditions and people complain that black people want a month to hold various celebrations about their culture? Not to mention February isn't just Black History Month, but also American Heart Month, Grapefruit Month, National Time Management Month and Relationship Wellness Month. No I'm not making any of those up and there are like 50 others on the list, those are the ones I just found significant to mention (especially the one about grapefruits.)

Beyond this, just because it is a celebration of black history (or a channel with predominantly black actors or a college with mostly black people) doesn't mean I wouldn't be welcome. If I were to apply to Grambling University as a white kid from Utah with a 3.4 GPA, they'd be happy to have me. If I want to tune into BET, the channel producers are happy to have a white viewer (I'm sure they expect it.) If I wanted to attend a celebration of African American culture, I guarantee the people there would love to see me curious about their culture and would explain their customs with pride.

Now what comes to mind when you think of white-only gatherings? Yeah same here.. pitchforks and pointy hoods.

Okay that was racist, but I'm white so I can make fun of white people. Sometimes I wish I was Mexican, because then I could make fun of every race. Though I suppose Richard Hammond has no problem making fun of Mexicans and he's white, but he's also Richard Hammond and I am not.

Another point is that there are plenty of predominantly white universities as well. Take Utah State for example. If it wasn't for international students we would basically have a 100% white student population. People who honestly think we need a White Entertainment Network are simply ignorant. Go turn your TV on. Okay now watch a few minutes of CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, and basically any other channel that is in English and not within 3 channels of MTV. There you go - White Entertainment Network. It's just not called that because WET would be a stupid channel name.

Oh and as for the scholarships? Yeah I don't really have an answer for that, but I can't say I feel bad for you if I think about it. I suppose if you're from an upper-middle class family, regardless of race, you should probably have parents who were smart enough to only have 3 or 4 kids, max, and they should easily be able to help pay your way through school, since they're financially comfortable. If your parents happened to have 10 kids and can't afford it because they can barely afford to scrape by off of their "measly" $70,000+ a year, maybe that should be a lesson to you. Birth control is good.

Anyway, happy Black History Month to all the (mostly white) people who read my blog (including you Russian's who somehow manage to find your way onto here) By the way, just so you know, you guys make the most kick ass movie villains ever. Spy and most action movies just aren't the same without a Russian antagonist.

1 comment:

  1. 1. I agree with your post. The majority if things you learn in history is white history. It isn't bad, our founding fathers are white, but there just isn't a lot of focusing on other cultures. Heck, we even tend to ignore the Natives who were kind of involved in the founding of the country.
    2. Just be a Native...then you can make fun of everyone :)
    3. I have often felt bad to get scholarships because I am a Native. However, I only get $1000 for a 4.0. Ya it's a good chunk of money, but there is still lots of money I still need. Anyway, my freshman year I had a really good scholarship b/c my mom was alumni of the school and b/c I had good has nothing to do with my race (even though people thought I was going to college based purly off the Native schlorship).

    -Laura Allred