In my childhood, Washington’s Birthday was celebrated, 22 February. The advertisers loved to do ads and commercials around the “Washington cutting down the cherry tree” legend. Everybody knows by now it was a story fabricated by a clergyman, Parson Weems. He wrote a textbook and decided that Washington should be made a paradigm of virtue. Hence the story.
Lincoln’s Birthday is 12 February and Lincoln was associated with log cabins, splitting rails, and cheesy-looking fake beards. The month was a four week long marketing opportunity. Caricatures of car dealership presidents wearing colonial style wigs, with hatchets , chopping down the cherry trees of high prices, seemed to abound. Or maybe they didn’t. Maybe these cartoons are just dreams of mine, false memories and embellishments on reality.
Today February is Black History Month. That’s it. All Black All The Time. Does Black History only matter in February? You know the answer. The various History Months and Pride Months are all concessions to the pressures of the identity groups that make up the modern Democratic Party. As such, these honorary months flirt dangerously with contrivance and artificiality.
Now if one expresses scepticism as to this popular proliferation of. “______ History Month” as offering any true educational purpose, one risks ridicule or shame.
Ironically Black History Month risks morphing into the modern version of Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream, solely a public relations artifice.
But that’s our time. Public Relations and Propaganda hold forth as our dubious conduit to truth. And we don’t even know it
Succulent Savage said:
How is possibly a bad thing to celebrate a group of oppressed people one month a year? Are you against Women’s History Month? Do you dishonor that your mother, grandmother, your wife (wives) have contributed to history and how our world is shaped today? It’s very easy for a white man to dismiss that which does not honor him and his kind quite easily. Ridicule me as you wish, David. On this point you are nothing but wrong. The simple fact you are making such statements is precisely why we need to have Black History Month and so forth.
Actually that isn’t my point at all. We don’t need any of these dedicated months to honour the persons or groups they are so intended to honor. I’m suggesting that identity politics, the motivation behind these months, serves only to fragment the culture. It is a variation on the discredited notion of “separate but equal”. The Blacks have their history, Women, Latinos, etc. The paradigm of the oppressed vs. the oppressor works only so well, before it degenerates into an exercise in shaming, and another system of prejudice and bigotry. For example at the University of Virginia, minority students are complaining that white students are entering the Multicultural Center.
None of the good intentions behind these months can withstand the pressure of the propaganda/advertising based commercial culture that dominates The Connected World of media. Women’s History is more than the old Virginia Slims
Succulent Savage said:
I still disagree with you. It’s in perspective. Viewing it as devise and separate is in the eye of the dominant group. You have the luxury of doing so. Remember, David, that NEVER in your life will you experience true prejudice. I learned this lesson quite well when I married a black man. White privilege fell to the wayside. I was viewed and treated differently. As a woman I experience prejudice every day. It’s still not the same as what others face. I sit in the lap of white privilege. I realize that you’re not a young man and have lived your entire life with conservative views and I will not alter them. I sit in a position of having experienced true prejudice personally and watched my husband face things you never will based on the color of your skin. For any group of people to say we’re here and we’re proud of our accomplishments is a big deal. It’s pride rather than whining. Taking time to honor the struggles of another group and their successes is huge!!!
So because you have decided I am a member of the white male dominant culture, my observations don’t matter. And I some how am like every other white man you have vilified and stereotyped. If you read what I wrote, it’s about how corporate advertising commercial culture cheapens and exploits the experiences of whoever they can make a buck from. That is where all these months are headed. The suffering, oppression and triumphs of any group is exploited and twisted.
Changing who wins and who loses, doesn’t honor the oppressed.
Succulent Savage said:
I say you’re missing the point of these history months! It’s a matter of perspective, as I said before. You have an incredibly negative view of the world and people, often bordering on delusional when it comes to politics.
Teaching school kids about Harriet Tubman in February is a good thing! It was good when I was a child and it’s still good!!! You can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Talking about the reality of slavery and what it did to people and our society is important!!! We have some of the most kind and tolerant people coming out of the younger generations because we talk about things honestly and tolerance is taught!!
Your observations do matter. I am telling you that your perspective is extremely skewed to see only the negative. I’ve been reading your blog long enough now to know this about you. I am one of the few people who will outright challenge you on your beliefs and remind you of the other side of things. I don’t dislike you based on who you are or how you see the world. I’m sometimes shocked. I wouldn’t keep reading if I thought your opinions don’t matter. I won’t bother commenting or even saying hello or clicking like. You’d be outside of my radar completely.
No. I am all for Black History and the historical perspective of every other segmented group who have been historically marginalized. The Black Experience must be taught within the totality of the American Experience. Ken Burns, for example does an excellent job of presenting an inclusive American History.
I am cynical. Am I delusional, because I don’t see what you see? I doubt that.
Succulent Savage said:
David, I remember not too long ago you writing a response to one of your posts calling the previous one paranoid. Those were you own words. Cynical is very different than the other. We clearly see things very differently and there will not be a meeting of the minds. Remember that you said in this post that ANY comments not agreeing with you would be met with shaming and other unnecessary rudeness. You began the name calling and such in your post with statements like that. Take responsibility for the shit you spew out on a regular basis!!! You whine an awful lot about your miserable life and do nothing to really change it and you go into half baked political rants often that are not based on much other than your opinion. Again, take responsibility for your attitudes and behavior. I purposefully stay away from posting political stuff because I don’t want to get upset with people who don’t see things my way. You began your post with crap about your way being the ONLY way. I’m out of this conversation.
advertisements. Does St Patrick’s Day honor the Irish by the excuse for a drunken revel it had become? Speaking of people treated shamefully like dirt, how come Irish-Americans don’t get a month or the Italians only get Columbus Day? Eventually the system breaks down.
Your blog and your space to air your views. Not that what i say matters much – being a white female who fucks a white man – (actually my heritage is very marginalized, Romany gypsies, but lets just bypass that for now lol )
What I wanted to say is I agree that the idea is to pit one “group” of people against another. Which causes trouble or media fuss. Then we can all mither on about how dreadful it is while ignoring the more important things, that really matter, that are going on. Then the powers that be look at us all and laugh, we are behaving exactly as they wanted – still under their control…
Just my opinion. My free speech 😉
thanks for writing David.
Thanks. You make the point quite clearly.