Listen unto Me White People, Opening Your Mind Doesn’t Hurt a Bit!
In case you folks have missed it, my purpose in printed life has taken on new meaning this year. Which is great, because previously I didn’t have a purpose.
Everyone needs a purpose, right? And so, I am now an interpreter. That’s right an interpreter for the free thinking impaired. Or in other words, to interpret for you white people who just don’t get it.
Wait, wait, wait, don’t be insulted because I called you white or people or white people or even white people who just don’t get it. Hold up. You are white, and you are people. And sadly, you don’t get it.
Hey check it out, I’m white too! And there was a time when I didn’t get it. Or at least didn’t make much of an effort to.
And so, thanks to a particularly orange abomination, it’s come to my attention, a large portion of you, specifically 74,222,958 need a bit of help in understanding stuff related to all other skin tones of the world.
Probably all other religions of the world too, but I ain’t goin’ there! At least not yet.
Now hold on! I know you’re starting to get angry. Don’t do that yet. And hopefully not at all. Wait until after the quiz.
Yes a quiz! Don’t worry, it is only one question. And it’s easy. Multiple choice even, so you don’t have to go too far out of your comfort zone.
Here’s the question:
February is Black History Month, how do you or your friends or your relatives react to that statement?
Here are your answers:
A-What statement? (The statement is: February is Black History Month.)
B- At some point, during this month, either myself, or one of my friends or one of my neighbors or one of my relatives will make a joke about it.
C- At some point, during this month, either myself, or one of my friends or one of my neighbors or one of my relatives will make a racist joke about it.
E-Okay or cool or that’s fine or oh yeah it is.
Do any of these answers seem familiar to you?
Perhaps at some points of your life you have reacted in one or several of these different ways. Hopefully however, it leads you to being, E, okay with it. Just okay. Yeah, being okay or cool or fine with it, should be your final answer.
My first Black History Month was way back in seventh grade. It was Ms. Dunlap’s English class. That’s right, English!
She took the whole month of February and turned it into Black History Month. I’m not sure if she was supposed to do that or not. But Ms. Dunlap didn’t play. And so, I sat up straight and learned Black History that February.
At the time I didn’t know what to think of it. Didn’t understand it. Didn’t understand the need for it. Didn’t understand girls. Didn’t understand why the girl with a locker above mine looked like a full grown woman. And didn’t understand why she ignored my pimple laden buck toothed skinny butt.
But I guess that’s all beside the point.
The point is, much like I didn’t understand other things, I also didn’t understand the importance of honoring American citizens, more often than not, overlooked by American History.
Again, the point is, I didn’t understand.
But I do now. And with only a small bit of effort, you can too. Make the effort.
Think, and become.