From: Michael Wyndham
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 6:17 PM
To: MEINERS, TERRY A
May I offer a few thoughts on the matter of “Black History Month”? I most certainly agree with you that there is absolutely no need for a parallel “White History Month” but I would suggest that neither is there particular merit in the observation of “Black History Month”.
In the course of recorded human history, black, or darker skinned, persons have been neither more nor less noble than others; neither have they been more nor less ignominious than persons of any other color. The same may be said of white or lighter skinned persons. Dark skinned persons have been both slaves and masters of slaves as have lighter skinned persons. In fact, far more lighter skinned persons have been enslaved by others than have darker skinned persons over the course of the recorded experience of humans on this planet. Whites have enslaved both whites and blacks and Blacks have enslaved both whites and blacks. Humans of every ethnicity and race have been equally prone to exhibit both the better qualities of human nature and the more disdainful.
The preferred course forward for humanity would be that history be as accurately recorded as humanly possible, for the consideration of each succeeding generation, in the hopes that persons of every color would learn to emulate the better qualities displayed by persons of every ethnicity and race and to eschew the worst tendencies evident in persons of every race and ethnicity. The lessons of substantive human history are far more to be valued than ceremonial observances attached to the experiences of particular ethnic or racial groups.
Michael A. Wyndham, Ph.D
From: MEINERS, TERRY A
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2013 2:22 PM
To: ‘Michael Wyndham’
Subject: Black History Month
I agree with your points, but dark skinned people were enslaved in America within the past 150 years. Full civil rights weren’t granted until 50 years ago in America. Thus, an acknowledgement of American history a few generations removed is still a vital teaching tool on the stark differences in opportunities for fair skinned people over dark skinned people.
I suspect it will take a few more generations before the scar tissue of slavery is as close to healed as can be reasonably expected.
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As for whether having an African American president has finished the need for cultural highlighting, this article from DEADSPIN will illustrate just how much more work remains to be done to eradicate harsh racist behavior. READ: “Get that n****** off my TV”