According to the National Women’s History Project, March is National Womens History Month. The Association for the Study of African American Life and History claims responsibility for originating Black History Month, celebrated in the United States each February.
Why do we do this to ourselves? We Americans don’t get it. Let’s go back a few years. There was a time when women did not have the same rights as men. There was a time when blacks did not have the same rights as whites. But that time is long gone, and we need to put it behind us once and for all.
I don’t claim for a minute that there is no racism or discrimination in our country. Of course it still exists. But patronizing the victims is not the solution. We will never begin to solve the problem until we stop considering our gender or looking at the color of our skin. The solution to the problem is simple, and it’s one word: stop.
Instead, we have Black History Month, a month where we recognize all the accomplishments of many great Americans, except those who are not black. And we have a month where we celebrate the achievements of many great Americans, except those who are not women. This is wrong.
There is no White History Month, nor should there be. There is no Mens History Month, nor do we need one. We should instead look at our historic resources, text books, movies, documentaries, and the like, and simply make sure that no gender or race is excluded because of that gender or race.
What many won’t like about my thoughts is that there are significant periods of time in our history when the majority of accomplishments were achieved by white males. And if we then write about them, we are discriminating against women and blacks. This could not be further from the truth. There’s nothing wrong with writing about all of the accomplishments of white men. There’s also nothing wrong with including information about why there were few women or blacks accomplishing things during those times, that they were prevented from doing so by white men. Just say it. It’s fact. It’s history.
But drawing attention to any one race or gender, while excluding others, will not undo the past. More importantly, it will not advance our future. The United States of America is what it is today because of the hard work and accomplishments of men and women, because of whites and blacks and races from all over the world, because of young and old, blue collar and white. Let’s not exclude any of these groups by having a month during which we honor only one.