Monday, February 1, 2010

28 Days of Mindless Racial Pandering and Other Trivial Pursuits

It's that time of year: Black History Month is upon us again. It's that one month a year America pretends to care about black people. Woo.

I tried to unsubscribe from the mailing list that I've been on for years after one particularly annoying email during the 2008 campaign but, alas, I am still on it. (Sorry, I don't remember what was in the email.) I never read the damned things unless the headline is particularly catching--and today, of course, my morbid curiosity made me open it:

[All caps in original. RNC's New Media team apparently has yet to master common internet etiquette.]

Anyway, the banal shout-outs to our forebears is embedded below:

Not to be outdone, Senator Harry Reid penned an op-ed establishing the little known fact that black Americans are indeed Americans just like everybody else. No, really, it's titled:

Sen. Harry Reid: Black history is American history

Thanks, Hank. Perhaps you could elaborate on this obscure fact for us just a little bit more?

While the progress we've made together as a nation is laudable, those of us who've been on the frontlines know that much work still lies ahead of us. Like all communities, the African-American community is concerned with ensuring security and stability for themselves and their families. African-Americans, just like all Americans, want to have a steady job [sic; I think the 33 or so million of us want more than ONE job between us] that they can depend on, stay in their homes, afford quality health care for themselves and their children, have the ability to send their children to the best schools, know that they're safe in their homes and communities and are able to plan for retirement.

How many people on the "frontlines" of civil rights today still refer to "Negro dialect"? Furthermore, his "progressive" thinking has gotten him only so far as to take most of a paragraph to explain that black people are just like everybody else? I'll be the last person to say we're in a post-racial society, but is the above explanation really necessary? 

I want to reiterate what I wrote in an earlier post: I don't think Reid is a racist. I just think he's a putz. 

Reid is just one of many nitwits that will be pandering to black people this month--many of whom will be mistaking trivia for history. (The color of the man who invented the traffic light, though interesting and useful in it's own way, is of considerably less significance than understanding the astonishing figures of wealth represented in and created by the slave labor upon which this country was built.) 30-second soundbite commercials by black celebrities paid for by this or that corporation (::cough, cough:: speech ::cough, cough::) highlighting this or that historical contribution is better than nothing, I suppose, but missing the overall point: The way our history is being taught is sorely lacking substance, in "black" history and almost all other aspects of American and world history. Watered-down historical accounts dominated by names and dates that run together is a piss-poor way of enlightening a young mind as to how our country--and our world--developed. The old adage that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it isn't referring to date memorization.

So, if you want to do something of use for Black History Month, I suggest reading a book or two that takes a serious look at black life in America from either a literary or academic perspective. I'll post suggestions for various types of readings soon...none of which will include Harry Reid.

Last year's post on BHM here.


Anonymous said...

What are the great accomplishments that that Africans have contributed that he refers too? Was it in physics, science, technology, chemistry, telecommunications, electronics, car design, energy?

All I hear is fantasy and talk.

JPB said...

Wow. That's some lovely ignorance there, Anonymous.

Start with this book--assuming your mouth-breathing ass reads.