Let me begin by stating a few simple facts: For the vast majority of its history, whiteness has represented the default for social and cultural normalcy in America. White people are and have always been overwhelmingly represented in every pillar of America’s popular culture, from TV to film to broadcasting to celebrated literature.
Finally, American history by default is white history. Everything else has always been treated as secondary—if not ignored completely.
In 2023, I shouldn’t have to explain any of this. And yet…
That’s right, folks, white people have, once again, turned Black History Month into White Grievance February—because not even on the shortest month of the year are white conservatives willing to refrain from indulging in their diversity and inclusion resentment—and now “White History Month” is trending on Twitter.
I mean, some of these white tear incubators aren’t even waiting for the subject of BHM to come up. Here’s Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeting about the GOP “cutting Social Security and Medicare, handing even more tax breaks to the wealthy and well-connected, and restricting abortion rights even further,” only for some disgruntled Caucasian to reply, “When is White History Month?”
“Are you racist against white people?” the responder asked a woman who is clearly and absolutely as white as white can be (despite her caucasity-infused Cherokee claims). “Every other ethnicity has a History Month. Why are you prejudiced against white people? Tell your White Voters why you will not support White History Month? They want to know. Proves your a racist.”
Orrrrrr—maybe Warren simply isn’t so blinded by her own whiteness that she can’t see she lives in a country that is 60 percent white, where Congress is at least 77 percent white, and where every single state legislature in America is disproportionately white.
In other words: It’s virtually impossible to be racist against white people in a white-majority country where white people control virtually everything.
Oh, but the delusion is real.
“White history month would focus on the histories of different nations of white people, how they evolved, the things they did, etc. It would focus on the greatest accomplishments of the white race, and celebrate our continued existence,” Twitter user @HakunaMateria wrote, generally describing the vast majority of what’s covered in American and world history curricula. “You know, like black history month.”
@HakunaMateria went on to tweet, “I don’t actually want a white history month. I just think it’s absurdly hypocritical to make the whole damn nation worship black people for a month, while demonizing any white person who simply says “I’m happy with how I was born, and it’s okay to be white.”
First of all, literally no one is forced to recognize BHM. One can simply ignore all of the advertisements, events and various commemorations of Black historical figures, and just continue living in a country that celebrates more white American culture than anything else 11 months out of the year. Secondly, even if that weren’t true, recognizing BHM is hardly synonymous with making anyone “worship Black people.” The fact that they would even characterize it that way shows they are just one big aggrieved ball of white fragility and anti-Black resentment.
Here’s the thing, normally, this wouldn’t even be a story worth reporting. White people getting their Klan-derwear all in a bunch over the celebrating of non-white culture is as American as apple pie, baseball and the devaluing of Black lives. But right now, we exist in an educational environment where conservative legislators are waging war against Black history, propagandizing the hell out of critical race theory while being unable to accurately define it, and causing the College Board to fold under right-wing pressure to strip its AP African American studies course of everything that falls outside of bare-minimum Black history teaching.
“The Republican agenda is to end racial division,” Twitter user @bropedio erroneously claims. “Democrats are the side that benefits from racial tension, so they have an interest in prolonging it. We should not have a Black history month for the same reason we should not have a White history month. Just American history.”
First of all, Republicans are the furthest thing from anti-division. They don’t want unity, they want unity under the condition that conservatism (and by default, whiteness) controls the culture and the nation’s politics. Prioritizing white feelings over non-whitewashed history is not an “agenda to end racial division,” it’s the exact opposite as it only really considers what white people find divisive.
Secondly, calling for colorblind American history is just basically calling for white-dominated history without calling it as such. Again, whiteness is America’s default. That’s why Black History Month remains necessary.
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