Letter: White history month

Sunday, March 04, 2018
White history month

I was recently asked by a co-worker why there wasn’t a white history month. I changed the subject and left the room. It has bothered me ever since, and I know if I am ever asked again, I will have the courage to say what I was thinking.

I thought, there will be a white history month when massive numbers of white people are ripped from their homes, country and continent. When they are hauled across the ocean in deplorable conditions, unable to speak the language of their captors. When they are separated from their loved ones and sold on the streets like cattle. When their wives, daughters and mothers are raped and beaten for disobedience. When they are forced to work for nothing more than the chance to live another day, and then as a reward for their service to their new country, to be treated down the generations as less than human, less than equal, incapable of coexistence.

When that happens to white people, then they too can have a month to celebrate their history because they wouldn’t have been the ones to write the history.

Every day, white people get to enjoy and take for granted their privilege; safe in the knowledge that their history is already being remembered. It’s why we don’t need a white history month or a white lives matter movement or a national association for the advancement of white people. We celebrate Black History Month as the least we can do to acknowledge the suffering caused to Africans by our own hands, to commemorate their struggle and to remind ourselves that other histories are just as important as our own.