Each year when Black History Month happens, there always seem to white people who are outraged that there’s no designated White History Month. But the thing is that we (white people) don’t need a designated history month. We don’t need a #WhiteOutDay or an association like the NAACP and this echo only pulls focus away from really needed conversations back onto the dominant narrative. Maisha Z. Johnson wrote about why we don’t need these things, saying in particular that in supporting the idea:
Maybe you don’t support hate groups, but by participating in the dominant echo, you risk aligning with the same ideologies that would work to have dominant groups retain power and continue to oppress disenfranchised people.
Our history is mainstream and so every other month is white history month. And if we had a white history month, what would it look like? How would it be any different than any other month because mainstream and dominant society focuses so much on white people and upholding white supremacy. But if there were one, I think that Oregon’s Portland Community College has the right idea with having a whiteness history month – one in which examines race and racism through the lens of the social constructed whiteness.
ya’ll still want that white history month? 😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊 pic.twitter.com/1gjIuxuEbr
— SAINT (@BruhChilI) January 24, 2016
Instead of spending so much time being upset about the lack of a designated white history month, we (again as white people) should be focusing on black history and how different life would be without it. Both the Julibee Project and MTV’s Decoded have looked at how different things would be without black people and history and Black History Month really reflects and shares this history.
A world without Black History would be very different. ft. @chescaleighhttps://t.co/7nAWeLx4On
— MTV News (@MTVNews) February 5, 2016
Ultimately, we as white people need to not take the focus off of others and continuously center ourselves. Having things like Black History Month and other related months or things like #BlackOutDay doesn’t take away from our humanity but rather focuses on a marginalized community that’s often dehumanized in various contexts.