Wednesday, December 21, 2005

American, Not Black, History

Last year, Bill Cosby criticized the black community for the sorry state of our youth and our own social and economic status. And he was hammered for it by black leaders, many of whom called him a traitor to his race for his harsh but accurate words.

Now actor Morgan Freeman has taken on the racial establishment, and I fully expect he will receive the same treatment. In a 60 Minutes interview with Mike Wallace last Sunday evening, Mr. Freeman spoke out against the near-eighty year tradition of Black History Month, which started out in 1926 as Negro History Week, an attempt to insert a little knowledge of the history and accomplishments of black Americans into a subject that was then entirely dominated by the history of white America. But as Mr. Freeman points out, that has since changed -- dramatically.
"You're going to relegate my history to a month?" the 68-year-old actor says... "I don't want a black history month. Black history is American history."
...
Freeman notes there is no "white history month," and says the only way to get rid of racism is to "stop talking about it."

The actor says he believes the labels "black" and "white" are an obstacle to beating racism.

"I am going to stop calling you a white man and I'm going to ask you to stop calling me a black man," Freeman says.
Wow. I hate to admit it, but I had never even thought about this before watching that interview myself. But Mr. Freeman is correct, and as the Independent Conservative has stated so well, this is something we should all be moving toward:
I have to say, Morgan Freeman has spoken in a context few are able to understand! He has spoken of a view of America that some really can’t grasp. When Booker T. Washington delivered The Atlanta Compromise it was seen as profound! Today that same speech would be viewed as a regression if given in earnest today. And for these different times that is appropriate. Because we have moved far beyond the America of 1895. We moved into the dream of Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream speech. Where everyone lives as Americans, without regard to race.
Still what Mr. Freeman spoke of is not acceptable for many Blacks. What Morgan Freeman spoke of is something that many Blacks fear. True and full integration. Integration to a level where a special month for a race is not promoted. Because all are viewed as Americans. ... There was a fight to end segregation and so there is no need for Blacks to have heroes with darker skin segregated any longer.
Unfortunately, so-called "black community leaders" such as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan, all too often "play the race card" -- at times even when there is no evidence of racism on the scene -- in order to promote their own status as defenders of the black man. In reality, they are promoting the very segregation against which they claim to be fighting.

As the AP article points out, even Carter G. Woodson, the original founder of Negro History Week, had hopes that "the week could one day be eliminated -- when black history would become fundamental to American history."

As evidenced by the recent nationwide mourning and honoring of Ms. Rosa Parks, I agree with Mr. Freeman that we have reached that day.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Mike said...

Wow, in the Chronicle article you linked, they didn't call Mr. Freeman a racist or an Uncle Tom because his views don't echo the PC crowd's. Maybe the world is coming to an end or something. Well... it was an AP release, but I'll give them credit.

12/21/2005 3:40 PM  

Anonymous Daffyd said...

I noticed the same thing. Must have been short on time or something...

12/21/2005 10:55 PM  

Anonymous mike said...

DD,

Maybe they were feeling festive and generous because it's nearly Christmas ummm... I mean the holiday season? Nahhh, I think your time answer is on target.

12/22/2005 10:35 AM  

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