I write often about how the Heritage Celebration and Acknowledge months here in America in a weird way do the opposite of what they claim to do. These months center White History and Whiteness as “regular” history that does not need to be marked or spoken about in depth. They’ve also been exploited in anyway imaginable under capitalism. This also happens with a lot of American Federal Holidays.
Without a White History Month, White people get to pervert their history into anything they want. Their history gets told without any events that make them feel uncomfortable. With a White History Month, the White Pride that’s usually fueled by hate and fear of not being centered can be redirected to acknowledging, grieving and reconnecting to their history.
During slavery and the Jim Crow era in the United States, African Americans were brutalized and mistreated in almost every way imaginable. African American babies being used as alligator bait. On February 14, 1779 Captain James Cook of the British Royal Navy was killed by natives in Kealakekua Bay, on the Big Island of Hawaii. Cook was a true savage, who sailed across the world bringing murder, rape, disease, and colonialism to native peoples all over the Pacific. The Vikings and Celts DID NOT have DREADLOCKS : Viking hair history.
Several educators have shared that a lot of acts of appropriation and anguish come from the made up term White which while allows all those White people who participate to reap the benefits, simultaneously strips them of any culture, history, connection and community. These same emotions arise with transphobes towards transgender people, which I have detailed in The Gender Binary Hurts Us All.
https://www.kmstrohl.com/post/the-gender-binary-hurts-us-all We, people who are not White, especially Black people, have to hold so much space for their lack of understanding, connection and acknowledgement. Thamarrah Jones (She/Her) once shared on the podcast For Realness Sake that :
I’ve been seeing a post go around that was said “the problem is the fact that slavery is taught as Black history and not White people’s history.” Like these are the actions of your ancestors but it’s being taught as if it is the responsibility of mine. Make it make sense.
Without space for White people to do what they need to do, we are constantly expected to hold this space and to tolerate their stunted emotional maturity around their history. I want and they need a White History Month.
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