Saturday, February 9, 2008

One Month...

I get real disturbed every year around this time. It's February. This is the time of year when everyone drops their normal curriculum and begins teaching lessons about important Black Americans. Lessons about Martin Luther King Jr. are taught, his speeches reviewed, and his message related to the present time. Students read his speech at assemblies and we clap and talk about the importance of celebrating Black History. This entire month is dedicated to the black people of the United States that fought for equal rights in the past and continue to tread forward with the fight.
One Month...
Only one month set aside for the celebration of the Culture of America. This infuriates me.
We try to say that our nation has made progress in regards to equal rights and treatment among all individuals. Who are we kidding? We dedicate 1 Month to celebrate Black History, we make race the issue in an election, we still talk about a "Black Quarterback" in the NFL. We as a society accept the media's portrayal of black people. The media consistently puts the American people into groups and labels them based on race. We hear of the first black person in Space, the first black Quarterback to win a Super Bowl, the first black person to become President... Maybe this is what we need!!
It is noteworthy and historical to mention these accomplishments, but at what price. Maybe the media thinks that they are helping the cause for "equal rights" by mentioning these accomplishments. I would like to argue that they are doing quite the opposite. The media, by putting different races in sub-groups, has actually keept these cultures/races/sub-groups separate. We are constantly reminded that we are different from each other. I am white and he is black. We are thrown into this world of labels.
Schools are to blame too. We always talk about equal rights among all races, but celebrate the accomplishments of black people for one month. Why is that? I mean, does anyone else see something wrong with this? We label students based on race, socio-economic status, and behavior. Labeling is the gateway to segregation. We constantly segregate in our minds.
History should not be divided into months. We need to celebrate every individual that had hope for this Country and World.

The way I see Society...
The World is transparent. We are a Global Culture. America consists of people from everywhere. Everyone has a different story of how they became an American. The fact is that we are all here in this Country, some for different reasons than others. We all have different versions of the same dream... to be successful, loved and heard. I know that this is grossly simplified. Too often, there are people that try to disrupt the natural occurence of progress. We are progressing, very slowly, with regards to everyone having equal rights. Some want to make you believe we are progressing rapidly. This is not the case.

Until we as a global society accept everyone... really and truly accept everyone as "people" with the same dreams, we will continue to progress slowly. I offer a view of one man. I do have hope. I see hope for a future that involves everyone being transparent.

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