Welcome to a discussion about the upcoming 5th Revolution in the US, which I’ve titled the “Revenge Revolution.” For more about the Revenge Revolution and the author, Entry #1. Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. Entry #430 was the most recent “sense check.”
BEGIN ENTRY #473: For the past few years, I’ve been troubled by the following question. ”Is designating a month, February, as special for studying a particular race, in this case blacks, helping reduce discrimination or inadvertently perpetuating discrimination?“ Today is President Lincoln’s birthday, which seems an appropriate day to raise the question and provide some boundaries for the discussion.
The dilemma, at least from my perspective, seems to arise from what I think is a long-standing goal within the black community – assimilation. Assimilation in the sense of recognition as equals, not assimilation by eliminating blacks as a race.
The original intent of Black History Month seems noble – make US citizens more aware of accomplishments by blacks in the arts, science, humanities, and other areas. And the month seems to address some of those accomplishments.
The month also, intentionally or not, seems filled with articles and claims of “woe is me.” Articles and commentary that delve into past discrimination, what’s wrong with society today, why blacks are being denied this or denied that.
Granted, I have not spent an immense amount of time digging deep into all the conversations. However, what seems to be missing from these conversations now – and over at least the last 10 years – is an honest, discussion by blacks of how they intend to help solve the problem. What are blacks going to do to improve their own lot?
And the answer is not more busing to different schools. More busing per se will not improve the education level for most blacks. Education requires a commitment to learn, not just getting on a bus and riding to a different school.
And the answer is not more black coaches in the National Football League. What more black coaches or black quarterbacks in the NFL have to do with improving the economic well-being of blacks in general is beyond me. And even more of a waste of time is whining when a black coach gets fired. Outside of a handful of coaches in NFL history, all coaches are fired at some point.
I’ve made this observation in the past blog entries, but it seems worth repeating. And the observation seems so basic. If every other ethnic group entering the US has managed to become assimilated in two generations – three at the most – why haven’t blacks?
All other ethnic groups were discriminated against and, some still are. If you don’t think so, read some history of the early 20th Century and then some stories of discrimination of these groups as recently as last week. Do you hear any of these ethnic groups whining about discrimination? Not that I know of.
What has been the formula for these groups? A commitment to education. Not a commitment to football or basketball or the music. No, a widespread to commitment to general education. Where did that start? At the very local level, ideally with the family.
So why aren’t blacks leaders learning from these other ethnic groups and pushing for education starting at the family level? Ignore Ron DeSantis and his efforts in Florida to remove an advanced placement course in black history. Expending any effort on DeSantis is a waste of time because what he says might be annoying, but it cannot stop a legitimate effort to improve.
Instead, think about how to get children and young adults focused on education. The education doesn’t have to be in college – skilled trades are needed and offer good paying jobs. And while you’re focusing on education, ask Congress to rename Black History Month to Black Education Month. Focusing the conversation and efforts on education will pay dividends for members of the black community and gain much more support from the rest of society. END ENTRY #473
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