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Black History Month is Racist

Perhaps the greatest irony of Black History Month, the contemporary incarnation of what was formerly labeled Negro History Week, is that so many of its champions claim to want to eradicate both racism and focus on race, yet so many of those same people remain so heavily involved in doing whatever they possibly can to continue bringing it up and returning our focus back to it. 

I’ve always wondered why any person who’s passionate about any history, whether of a given civilization, culture, idea or whatever, would condense its celebration into such a narrow window. 

I’ve also long believed that this particular occasion has only prevented the people of this world, particularly of this nation, from accepting “black history” as a form of human history. 

For example, John Rock was a famed African-American abolitionist who coined the phrase “black is beautiful.” 

Rock was also one of the first African-American men to earn a medical degree, and he was the first ever to be admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court. 

But I don’t need a specific month to direct my focus to this, as I’ve long known it, for obvious reasons. 

What’s more, I appreciate that “black history” is broadly a part of American history and world history; moreover, I don’t find it exceptional that a “black person” has achieved these successes, because I recognize that people of any kind, of any background or makeup, can be excellent. 

And it is remarkably condescending to modify their achievements as something other than human and to frame them as ones against nearly insurmountable odds. 

This month, and all of the annual fanfare around it, appears only to preserve the antiquated notion that people of different complexions are inherently separate from their counterparts, that they are automatically assumed members of a group with which they bear only a superficial association.

And the conversation around this issue remains in keeping with the depth of that association. 

So while this group purportedly remains encumbered by those implied differences which surface in nearly every history textbook and resurface every February, these messages palpably inculcate every new wave of adolescents with these distinctions and the interpretable disadvantages attending them. 

Ultimately, the way to reconcile the errors of racism is not to repeat the follies of the past, but rather to, as Morgan Freeman posited, “Stop talking about it.” 

A range of research shows that blacks are far more inclined than whites to identify their skin color as a primary driver of their identities. 

Meanwhile, whites are demonstrably more likely to point to their ideas, families and likes. 

This heavily implies that superficial qualities far outside the bounds of the former’s control are largely predetermining those individuals' dispositions and attitudes about who they are and what they are capable of achieving, respectively. 

This attitude is wholly restrictive and repressive for a group of individuals who are individually capable of far more than they can reliably determine by merely assessing the achievements of those who bear physical likeness to them. 

This is always and everywhere a failed method for determining one's own potential, as it proves a self-fulfilling process.

What’s more, this focus tends to crowd out other personal features and identities which might otherwise propel the individual to realize his or her potential as a unique person. 

Instead, the majority of individuals commit to the low-hanging excuse, a phenomenon at least consistent with the law of least effort, to rest their heads complacently on preexisting dogma which is far easier to affirm than to challenge.

In fact, independent of both race and appearance, all people endure their own respective struggles, and it takes a disciplined thinker to isolate the actual causes.  

Just as their associations have been assumed in such a superficial manner, their inductions operate at such a depth as to affirm their foregone conclusions while independently and unwittingly subjecting themselves to those contrived limits perpetually imposed upon themselves. 

Ultimately, we would all be far better off if we were to appreciate ourselves and others as individuals capable of diverse value beyond the surface of our skin.

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