Abolishing equality

HATTIE O’HARAGuest Columnist

As Americans, we dream of a country of equality. We take pride in our humble beginnings and bask in how far we have come. Our minds are engrained from a young age with words like “slavery” and “segregation” so that we may know our past in its entirety. As Americans, we dream of a country of equality, but then February comes around.

Every February, we celebrate Black History Month. It is advertised as an allotted month for Americans to remember important people and events in African-American culture. There are special television programs, luncheons and even an annual Black History Month Parade in Atlanta, all to inspire us to think fondly on the progress that has been made within our borders and around the world. However, by creating a month such as this, we are defeating the purpose of the month entirely.

In order to be an equal society, there can be no Black History Month. To gain sea-to-shining-sea freedom, we must stop endorsing race-specific parades, holidays and organizations. For the country to be truly desegregated, we must stop being the ones to draw the lines between our own people. Instead of celebrating Black History Month, why can’t we use every month to celebrate American history? Instead of having African-Americans, why can’t we just be people?

What if the school children learning about black history for the first time this February never heard about the word “segregation”? Would they still know to exclude kids that look different on the playground? What if teachers, instead of focusing on educating their students about the equality of skin color, focused on the equality of all people, no matter the race, religion, gender or social class?

As Americans, dreaming of equality, we must first ask ourselves, what we are truly longing for—equality or justice? By creating a month exclusively exalting black history, are we genuinely trying to promote an equal nation, or are we, as Americans, repaying the debts that we feel we owe to the ancestors of the African-Americans alive today?

If it is equality that we are striving for, how is glorifying one culture going to accomplish that dream? Civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. fought for a nation where every citizen would be equal, emphasizing the importance of no race being put above another—not even their own.

Equality is something that the United States has been working toward since we first struggled for our own independence. Since then we have fought and will continue to fight for equality for everyone who calls this land home. Our country has taken great strides in granting the same liberties to each of its citizens, but there are still steps to be taken until we can truly call ourselves equal.

The day when race is such an insignificant trait that there is no need for a month to draw attention to it is the day we are free.

55 comments

  1. Erin Carley says:

    While I respect Miss O’HARA’s opinion regarding the issue of Black History Month, I disagree with the notion that “abolishing Black History Month” will help to foster a more equal nation and ignores American History as a whole. In addition to this, my biggest concern is that belief in the notion that solely abolishing Black History Month will foster equality. Does this mean that other heritage celebration months will be abolished as well? If not, articles like this are debatably racist and more likely to spark outrage and violent disagreements from people who appreciate their individual history being celebrated on an annual basis.
    African American history is essential to the history of this nation, this is not to undermine the other heritages that are celebrated by different months as they play an important role in the history of America as well, but to remind you that there are just some issues a mere section of an elective history class will not cover. The complexity of African American history needs to be shared, taught, and promoted on a national annual level just as the celebrating of George Washington and Abraham Lincolns birthday, days if I may add, that are generally given to students and workers as an off day. If that means it takes a month to do so, so be it.
    Speaking from experience, classes only skim the surface of great African American achievements and contributions to this country, and while you may think this is enough, it definitely does nothing to serve an educational purpose if all students can do is regurgitate facts about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, and Frederick Douglass(and any other “big time” contributor the progression of African American history) An emphasis needs to be placed on the intricacies of the horror of slavery, the struggle out of bondage, the fight for equal rights, and every accomplishment (even if miniscule) in between. unfortunately, that history cannot be covered in one class, so a month is designated to at least help with this issue. The same stands for every other heritage month.
    Lastly, I honestly do not believe that African American history month does anything to promote segregation, bias, and exclusion of any other race and is a threat to society in any way shape or form. Celebrating this month is not mandatory, African Americans are not given a “free pass” by society, and the government does not mandate you change your daily routine because of this particular month. this month, even if it doesn’t do anything else, promotes The love of education and knowledge and unites us by scholarship, research, and awareness so that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past, nor take for granted those individuals who bled, sweat, cried, were beaten, and died to make our lives easier today.
    So, No, abolishing black history month is not something I would agree with and you will have a very difficult time convincing me otherwise.
    I appreciate your time and consideration is allowing me to express my own opinion as well.

  2. Wes Spears says:

    Be mindful that what you see as “humble beginnings” began on the backs of slave labor and genocide. It’s a fantasy born of largely white ‘historians’ that the United States had some idyllic beginning in which we prevailed over suffering to establish some model nation. No, our country was founded and flourished for a price – the price of exploitation largely based on a concept of white supremacy. Europeans were more civilized than First Peoples and Africans, so we had the right to displace them, enslave them, and even exterminate them. That’s our “humble beginnings.”
    How far have we come? What is it you want us to “bask” in? You want us to bask in the fact that poverty, hunger, and all manner of inequality still correlates all to well with race in this country. You want us to bask in the fact that our legal system is slanted in favor of white people over black people (e.g., the people who are successfully sentenced to the death penalty are disproportionately black or that the ‘stand your ground’ law now famous in Florida has basically failed in almost every instance to protect blacks but lets whites walk out unscathed more than frequently).
    Our minds should be “engrained (sic) from a young age with words like ‘slavery’ and ‘segregation’” because they are part of our history. They are the sins of our fathers and mothers, if you are white like yourself (and like me). We are not responsible for their actions, but we do continue to participate and take advantage of systems that grant white people an enormous among of privilege (even unto death) over African Americans. That’s why we talk about things like slavery and segregation, because Jim Crow is still very much alive and kicking, especially in states like Alabama.
    And why do we have a black history month? Because every other month of the year, every other year of the decade and even century, has been white history month. We stop in February in what is often sadly a vain attempt to check our own privilege (which clearly has not succeeded) and remind ourselves of the accomplishments and trials of an embattled and oppressed community of people. As a privileged white woman, you should stop in February to listen, self-reflect, and repent of the ways you are still complicit in oppression and marginalization of your black brothers and sisters, whether that be passively or actively.
    You say black history month is about progress. By saying that, you’re showing that it’s not.
    We can’t “just be people,” because that’s not how our society is structured. Our society is structured in such a way that there are degrees of personhood. When we construct our immigration laws, drug laws, economic policies, voting districts, etc. the way that we do, we can’t “just be people” because people are being treated differently – and sometimes as less than people!
    We can’t “just be people” when our country is systemically biased against minority groups. You don’t see that every day because you’re white. I don’t see that every day because I’m white. But every day, people of color encounter areas of our shared life together in which my experience of life and your experience of life are dramatically privileged over theirs. As a white person, you need to at the very least take February as a time to recognize when that’s happening in your life – because it does!
    “In order to be an equal society,” we need to recognize our prejudices (both systemic and individual) not ignore them. “To gain sea-to-shining-sea freedom,” we need to reconcile with people, not ignore their tribulations (often aided and abetted by our inaction or even action). “For this country to be truly desegregated,” we could at least start with a few things, like addressing the fact that (1) mass incarceration has become a business preying upon minority communities, (2) Sunday morning is still the most segregated hour in America, (3) voting rights of minorities are being infringed upon all over our country (the Voting Rights Act was gutted because of your neighbors in Shelby County), and (4) rates of poverty and food insecurity as way too closely tied to race just to name a few.
    “What if the school children learning about black history for the first time this February never heard about the word ‘segregation’?” Then they would continue to languish in their unchecked privilege and power, unconsciously acting as the oppressor for the rest of their lives. There would be no chance of liberation for the oppressed or the oppressor. That’s what would happen. Yes, they would still exclude kids that looked different on the playground, because this isn’t just an individual problem, it’s a systemic and multi-generation one.
    “As Americans, dreaming of equality, we must first ask ourselves, what are we truly longing for – equality or justice?” You cannot segregated justice and equality. Equality is delivering justice to all people regardless of their personal characteristics. Justice is about righting wrongs, one of the chief of which in our country is racism.
    “By creating a month exclusively exalting black history, are we genuinely trying to promote an equal nation, or are we, as Americans, repaying the debts that we feel we owe to the ancestors of the African-Americans alive today?” You do owe them a debt. You owe your black sisters and brothers now a debt, too. You are complicit, like me, in a system that oppresses, marginalizes, and dehumanizes them.
    So, yes, we do owe a debt, and a debt that we can’t even hope to repay it runs so deep, because sadly equality is NOT “something that the United States has been working toward since we first struggled for our own independence.” Such a reading of history is simply false – and its blinds us to prejudice and privilege.
    I hope you’ll take that wall of text to heart. If you’ve just scrolled down to the bottom, know this: I only say this because I have been where you are. We are cut from the same cloth, and it took a lot of intentional and dear friends a long time to point out that privilege to me. We are not equal, and ignoring inequality does not make it go away. An injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. We are all connected in this complex web of exploitation, and everyone is involved. Please don’t ignore how you benefit from this system but act in Christian love to try and understand how your experience is different from people who don’t look like you. Please, please, don’t attempt to make things equal on your own or assume you know what that looks like. You and I, we’re the oppressor and we don’t know what equality looks like. We have to repent and ask the oppressed what this new world looks like. Then we strive to make it together.
    That’s why we need black history month.

  3. Marquis Ard says:

    I will response to each paragraph, overall I hope this response is taking seriously and is spread all across the university. To all my people back at SU, I haven’t forgot about y’all. Will be back to visit soon.

    This article is the ultimate manifestation of anti-blackness and white supremacy within Samford University and civil society writ-large. The basic summary of this article could be: I’m sick of hearing about you black people. I will display why below. I hope someone within the Samford administration investigates the process in which this was even able to make print. This is the equivalent of the first terrible CA 101 paper you turn in the night before it’s due. Except this isn’t CA and reflects a lot of the racial connotations the student body of Samford has. So let me get real right quick… I will analyze each paragraph of the article then provide commentary.

    As Americans, we dream of a country of equality. We take pride in our humble beginnings and bask in how far we have come. Our minds are engrained from a young age with words like “slavery” and “segregation” so that we may know our past in its entirety. As Americans, we dream of a country of equality, but then February comes around. (from article)

    What do you think existed before February in regard to black life? Everyday especially in institutions like that of Samford University black bodies are reminded of our lack agency within most institutions. Before February there was still a predominantly black cafeteria and custodial staff. Barely any black faculty that doesn’t see racial progression as James Baldwin would say — “measured by how fast you become white”. That coupled with a student body that is no different than that of Sundays church programs in the south filled with KKK members. With there discourse on race at Samford, like, “I can say n** cause u say n***” or ” See, if you just stop thinking about your problems then, you know, they will go away”. That was Samford before February.

    Every February, we celebrate Black History Month. It is advertised as an allotted month for Americans to remember important people and events in African-American culture. There are special television programs, luncheons and even an annual Black History Month Parade in Atlanta, all to inspire us to think fondly on the progress that has been made within our borders and around the world. However, by creating a month such as this, we are defeating the purpose of the month entirely.( from article)

    I agree, obviously for different reason but reasons nonetheless. We need a whole year.

    In order to be an equal society, there can be no Black History Month. To gain sea-to-shining-sea freedom, we must stop endorsing race-specific parades, holidays and organizations. For the country to be truly desegregated, we must stop being the ones to draw the lines between our own people. Instead of celebrating Black History Month, why can’t we use every month to celebrate American history? Instead of having African-Americans, why can’t we just be people? (from article)

    Wow, this is the most freighting of your commentary. I will purpose another question however; why choose Black history month to address this issue? You say lets not have any minority group receive special recognition in your white multicultural narrative but again you choose to raise this issue within our holiday. For the people at home, this is anti-blackness. The unique positioning of this proposal in the context of black history month, Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Renesha McBride — this article is a message to black bodies at Samford University and writ-large: we tired of you complaining and would prefer if you just shut up and take what we dish out upon you in this white society.

    What if the school children learning about black history for the first time this February never heard about the word “segregation”? Would they still know to exclude kids that look different on the playground? What if teachers, instead of focusing on educating their students about the equality of skin color, focused on the equality of all people, no matter the race, religion, gender or social class?As Americans, dreaming of equality, we must first ask ourselves, what we are truly longing for—equality or justice? By creating a month exclusively exalting black history, are we genuinely trying to promote an equal nation, or are we, as Americans, repaying the debts that we feel we owe to the ancestors of the African-Americans alive today?If it is equality that we are striving for, how is glorifying one culture going to accomplish that dream? Civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. fought for a nation where every citizen would be equal, emphasizing the importance of no race being put above another—not even their own. (from article)

    I thought the other sections was gone to be the worst I guess I was wrong. First, February is not the first time a child learns the world segregation. Well, maybe, in the sense of the word. However, in civil society that is what we truly live in. Segregation is all around in this society. In certain neighborhoods all across the United States black bodies live in we are segregated with no resources. No child even needs to learn the word. Why? Because when they go back home from school they know anit nobody that look like you there. Furthermore, segregation is a term of reference that tries to white-wash history and hinders discussions on race. We can’t allow these tricks that people use to deter a real discussion of the lives black bodies face in this country.

    Next you indicate — “should we promote an equal nation or pay back a debt we “feel” we owe to the ancestors of the African -Americans alive today?”
    For the people at home – look at this language. Feel! Are you serious? This is debt that un-payable maybe if the United States gave full reparations, destroy the United States prison industrial complex and other institutions of oppression and the end of neoliberal colonialism of Africa maybe, we could talk about debt being paid. The urgent need you display to move beyond that is why this country is dammed. Your lack of engagement with the past is the reason we have the same situations appearing right now in society. The same reason we have black bodies living in the worst conditions in the world in THESE United States but white people specifically at Samford University, love to travel aboard to “save” the poor African children while holding daily photo shoots for their #Facebook10 videos.

    You say King promoted all races, so why celebrate one? Please don’t reduce the brilliance of King to your Samford educated misinterpretation of him. Before Martin Luther King died he told Harry Belefonte– ” I fear I have integrated my people into a burning house”. Here lies the significance of both King and Malcolm X in understanding the unique evil that resides within this society through capitalism and white supremacy/anti-blackness. They sought to transcendence this via there religion thus establishing an ethic not of multiculturalism but strength/courage in the face of modernity’s horror.

    What makes you think that black history month is putting a race on top of another. You obviously suffer from white privilege in the sense that it has blinded you to even make coherent claims. This article via your whiteness shows your anti-blackness. You highlight race! Why? Because you’re a anti-black racist. There is no justification for you to make such a claim logically. But again this isn’t surprising the libinal economy isn’t something rational– especially in regards to black bodies. We are the irrational/unknowable other that deserves no credence in this world. You charge us with claims of creating a superiority complex among other race while whiteness still has the monopoly. As Jared Sexton writes —

    This effort to repress a sustained examination of black positionality-“the position of the unthought”-will only undermine multiracial coalition as politics of opposition. Every analysis that attempts to account for the vicissitudes of racial rule and the machinations of the racial state without centering black existence within its framework which does not mean simply listing it among a chain of equivalents-is doomed to miss what is essential about the situation, because what happens to blacks indicates the truth (rather than the totality) of the system, its social symptom, and all other positions can (only) be understood from this angle of vision–

    Sexton Jarod, Assistant professor of Africana Studies at UC Irvine, “Racial Profiling and the Societies of Control,” Warfare in the American Homeland: Policing and Prison in a Penal Democracy, p. 209-212

    Equality is something that the United States has been working toward since we first struggled for our own independence. Since then we have fought and will continue to fight for equality for everyone who calls this land home. Our country has taken great strides in granting the same liberties to each of its citizens, but there are still steps to be taken until we can truly call ourselves equal.(from article)

    Huh? With all do respect, this country anit been fighting for nothing since its inception except for the further domination of land and killing of black bodies. This nations inception is that of genocide of Native Americans, oh but let me guess, they don’t need there reservations either.

    The day when race is such an insignificant trait that there is no need for a month to draw attention to it is the day we are free.

    Unfortunately, you need to reminded of it everyday because guess what, sweetheart, we live this.. This is my take away- never forget 9-11, the holocaust, but forget that slavery and black history cause you know kids don’t like scary stories and I don’t like black people no way. Just my opinion.

    • B Y E says:

      So so so true. this response is on point.

    • Michael says:

      To all of you who view this as racist or white supremacist literature, I applaud your desire to mobilize to stand up for what is right. After all, it is the standing up and protecting ourselves from society’s evils that has caused our unfortunate stereotypes, generalizations, and overall, personal walls to be created. As a friend of the author, I can assure you that racism was never present in the author’s mind. Despite desegregation, the topic of African Americans and equality has always been a touchy subject. However, touchy subjects will always remain touchy unless the topic is explored respectfully. I saw no disrespect in this article. I can only speculate that people who were offended by this piece felt some way entitled. Some of you have rightly earned that entitlement, most of you have not. The whole purpose of the article was to promote equality by doing away with Black History month. Since many of you have taken a magnifying glass to Hattie’s article and over-exaggerated and enlarged the concept of racism, stop calling it black history month. Why not call it African American Heritage Month? Anyways, if you truly read between the lines and understood the article, she argues that society would move more towards equality by doing away with Black History Month. This concept would remove them from the pedestal during the month of February, thus rendering all races equal. After all, with the exception of small “cult” groups, we don’t celebrate White History Month (correct me if I’m wrong but I believe that’s racist right?). In closing, I encourage you, the readers, to read the article, not once, not twice, but at least three times (or until you understand the true intentions behind the writing). Being students at Samford University, you should be more adept to explore all sides of an argument, remain open to other’s ideas, receive and give constructive criticism, and lastly, learn to bite your tongue. Those who have reacted before thinking should be ashamed of yourselves. On a side note, while you are critiquing what many of you call hate, many of you possess hate for the homosexual community. Well ain’t that the pot calling the kettle black?

      With much love and hope for our society, community, and Samford University,

      An open-minded Birmingham-Southern student

      • Marquis Ard says:

        Yall gotta stop viewing racism as white sheets with holes– its 2014 these people wear executive suits and hipster outfits now.. real talk.. read on– if my claim regarding anti-blackness above is accurate she is racist and doesn’t know it.. period.. nah I aint finna give no passes.. we too old for that.. gotta take responsibility for that stuff as Tim Wise would say

        • Gaby R. says:

          .. yea… but does ignorantmake racist. If so I may be racit and not even know it against whites, blacks, everyone… can you expand on how she is racisst or what you think is racist?

          • Marquis Ard says:

            Ok, she committed an act of racist violence via anti-blackness. This however did not occur in a vacuum. It is linked to a macro level structure of anti-blackness and white supremacy. I will say ignorance is no longer acceptable and gave a robust outline to how this offense was committed in my post and also on my Facebook. Analyze the language, context and so forth. Along with reading of some key social theorist this picture becomes clear.

        • Bethany Eubanks says:

          I would argue that you may want to consider the fact that you are talking about a human being. She may look different than you but that does not change the fact that she has feelings and is a person. She is a student who was attempting to further racial equality, not to devalue the African American community. Please take a moment to step back and remember that you are talking about someone you do not know. Someone who has African American friends and someone who desires equality. Saying she is “racist and doesn’t know it” is no to talk about a person you do not know. It also is hurtful to her African American friends who would argue against anyone who would call her racist.

  4. Readabook says:

    Hahahha oh my, this trash is what the university is teaching you? If bullying at the playground is the best example of racism you can come up with, then I kindly suggest you read several books. Start with The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander and work your way from there. Also a quick google search of ‘institutional racism’ couldn’t hurt. Didn’t your parents teach you to think before you speak? Just because you have an opinion doesn’t make it informed or worth sharing.

  5. greyson says:

    The rebuttal of the three above cover the spectrum of any argument against this article,so it’s not there where I’ll rest my head. I simply want Ms. HATTIE O’HARA explain what view point she has, because I truly cant believe an individual getting a college education in the central hub of the civil rights history, with the daily viewpoint of Samford’s lack of diversity and campus inequality can make this statement. I truly believe she must be from Denmark or Europe or anywhere else and oblivious to American history with statements such as “humble beginnings”.

    The only explanation for this is an individual given a platform and they choose to be opinionated on a topic with the voice of in factual and ignorant chatter.
    The power is not in having the platform to say something its in knowing what to say when you do.

  6. Jay Malone says:

    I could say many things in response to this article, but I believe I can sum it all up in a few lines.

    1. This article actually SUPPORTS the NEED for Black History Month. It is clear that the author truly doesn’t understand the nature of Black History Month and has many misconceptions about periods of minority reflection and celebration. If the author looked at the history of minorities in America, I’m sure she would understand why minorities celebrate and reflect.

    2. I think the author has (ironically) confused the idea of abolishing Black History Month with “attaining equality.” I believe that raising education standards across the board, no longer deeming our nation’s changing demographics as “the destruction of American culture,” and women actually earning wages on par of those of men would be more along the lines of true equality.

  7. Denevia Thomas says:

    Hello Bulldogs, I miss you all, and I hope that while I’ve been gone we haven’t become totally desensitized to the seriousness of issues of race and equality. This article makes me worry that we have. Since Brother Marquis got militant, I’m going to endeavor to maintain my composure. If you won’t hear Malcolm maybe you’ll listen to Martin.

    To start, I’m not condemning anybody. It is hard not to take then stance you have when you have always been, continue to be in a position of power. White privilege is a real and true thing. The worst part is, you didn’t earn it and you don’t deserve it but yet in the eyes of society your owed it. How crazy is that? White privilege and the underlying culture that creates it is what necessitates “Black History Month”.

    I’m a woman though, so let m talk to you on that level first. How many of you are familiar with the “Black Girls Rock” program and movement that has begun on BET? If you’re not check it out. Did you know there is a countervalent Twitter movement to creat “White Girls Rock”? And on the surface it seems like equal and opposite movements that both promote women and cancel each other out, creating a balance, right? Wrong, just like with the issue of Black History vs American History, white women, white girls, are constantly bombarded with positive reinforcement, images in movies, television and popular culture that remind you that you are special, beautiful, powerful. Very few images promote for black women and girls. Our major popular images are Michelle Obama and two adulterous television characters. Throughout history we have been trapped in boxes of Jezebel, the whore; Mammie, the proud, fat black matriarch; and Sapphire, the angry black woman. Well Michelle is Mammy, Oliva Pope and Mary Jane Paul are thr Jezebels. I say white America is batting a pretty good average with two out of the three.

    History is the same way. Constantly, throughout every year, white America is being reminded how their ancestors came on the Mayflower, battled religious oppression to create a new land, overcame hardship to reach a land where they could be all they were destined to be. Inundated with the assuranve that your legacy is strong and your future is secure, for no othervreason than that skin. I learned more about Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, heck, even George W. Bush, in school than I ever did about black leaders. And even the ones I was introduced to through school were white-washed. Martin Luther King Jr. who taught nonviolent resistance, Rosa Parks who sat on a bus, the children in Birmingham who were violently attacked with gun and fire hoses and didn’t fight back. Images white America would want to promote because they make segration appear to have been brought down by peace, love and interracial unity. Where are the lessons on Medgar Evers, Huey P. Newton or Malcolm X, you know warriors who raised weapons in a battle for their life.

    But I digress, that is another fight for another day. To this well written and obviously well thought out article I pose the question when else would you have us learn our history? We are a people without a land or a language, demonized for centuries, marginalized for decades and told to get over it because white America is over it. How is that fair, where is the equality in that?

    I’ll leave you with the Langston Hughes poem “I, too, Sing America” because it pretty much sums up this topic:

    I, too, sing America.

    I am the darker brother.
    They send me to eat in the kitchen
    When company comes,
    But I laugh,
    And eat well,
    And grow strong.

    Tomorrow,
    I’ll be at the table
    When company comes.
    Nobody’ll dare
    Say to me,
    “Eat in the kitchen,”
    Then.

    Besides,
    They’ll see how beautiful I am
    And be ashamed—

    I, too, am America.

  8. Libra says:

    This article should have been written better.
    I would like to believe that this article is trying to “eradicate” any sort or racism, and inequality, which is great but the formulation of such will was not well presented.
    The United-states, especially the South, has an astonishingly big history of the conflict between Caucasians and African Americans. Although it may seem that this segregation and discrimination is not as outstanding as it used to be in the past, it is still present. Right now is not the time to “abolish” Black history month, and do not agree with this idea.
    All races have been fighting with another race over supremacy and legitimacy. I understand that having a Black history month is in someway making the Black race a little more important during this time, but African Americans come a long way in the United-States, they fought for their rights and they independence from sufferings that have been put upon them by their ancestors. But Black history month is not a way to show that African Americans are more important than others, it is a way to recognize people within their own community who fought for themselves and the generations after them, they fought for the United-States to have today an African-American President. It just to show how far they have come and celebrate that freedom that was nonexistent only 60 years ago.

    It saddens me to read Marquis Ard’s comment. If you are stuck up on your argument of white supremacy in different places, there is no way you will achieve your goal of equality. Furthermore, I do not believe that your goal is to reach equality but to show that African-Americans are better than Caucasians, which is a ridiculous goal. At the end of the day, we are all humans, if you want racism to stop, then stop talking about it.

    We are still too early in the process to claim that racism is fading. Stereotypes are growing bigger, we have making racist jokes without thinking deeper into the joke. WE strengthen all stereotypes everyday, we pass on those stereotypes that strengthen racism onto our kids and we are hoping for equality ? Baby steps.

    There is no medication for racism, it is how we are raised and raise our children. Most of us are too afraid to step up for ourselves and do as our parents told us to because we respect them, because we think it is right, and when someone stands up of their own beliefs we disagree and disregard them. What are we then thriving to accomplish ?

    This article should be a mind opener. I do not particularly agree with all details but I hope my interpretations of its overall meaning correlates with Mrs O’HARA’s.

    Those claiming that action should be taken, may be right but may also be wrong. Yes African-Americans have an major part in history all over world ! but does their impact on history make them any different from other races ? from Caucasians in particular ? ?No it does not. All races have their stories, stories that might have not being as well documented or popularized, but they are still there.

    Racism is a “lifestyle” that everyone has to deal with in their own way.
    Again, this article is not as scandalous as some people may seem it look like.
    Understand what is meant, and please please please people, the only time when we are all equal is when we die, is when we close our eyes and pray to whatever God we believe in, is when we satisfy our physiological needs… but aside of that, history has shown that for thousands of years there have always been differences, and if we are thriving for equality now, baby steps are required.

    I feel like I went of track, but again. Ms O’HARA could have formulate better but the overall statement may be considerably a good base for the equality fight.

    • Marquis Ard says:

      “It saddens me to read Marquis Ard’s comment. If you are stuck up on your argument of white supremacy in different places, there is no way you will achieve your goal of equality. Furthermore, I do not believe that your goal is to reach equality but to show that African-Americans are better than Caucasians, which is a ridiculous goal. At the end of the day, we are all humans, if you want racism to stop, then stop talking about it.”

      What do you even mean by “stuck on my argument of white supremacy in different places, there is no way you will achieve your goal of equality”. Please don’t tell me what my goals are. I don’t have a goal of “equality”. I have a goal of demanding full reparations and ending systematic oppression of my people.

    • Marquis Ard says:

      “Racism is a “lifestyle” that everyone has to deal with in their own way.”

      What? A lifestyle… wow .. Again re-read my post and also the following texts

      1. Jared Sexton Algorithms and Schemes
      2. Francis Welseing The Isis Papers
      3. Charles Mills Racial Contract
      4. Saydi Hartman – Scenes of Subjection

    • Marquis Ard says:

      Is the goal of showing blacks better than whites really that ridiculous tho.. Civil society does a good job of doing the opposite… but thats cool tho.. lets just move on to .. equality .. whatever that means.. I will tell you and anybody else no! Fooled me once shame on u.. Fool me twice.. Nah

  9. Cort Gatliff says:

    This op-ed further proves why we do in fact need Black History Month.

  10. Kelsey Hall says:

    I do not believe getting rid of Black History Month would prevent kids from learning how to “exclude kids that look different on the playground.” At best this article is highly idealistic of the equality that exists today in this country. Racism is still very real and it continues every day, perhaps in more subtle ways than before. By having Black History Month we are able to acknowledge the injustices of the past so that we may learn from them, but also we can celebrate all of the accomplishments of Black members of society. And as others have pointed out, there are many cultures that celebrate heritage months (Hispanic, Asian American, etc).

  11. Katie Ormsbee says:

    I was led to this article by a fellow Samford graduate who was distressed to see such an article posted in the newspaper of our alma mater. I respect Ms. O’Hara’s right to exercise free speech. However, I believe that the ideas she expresses in her opinion piece are both misinformed and harmful.

    I think that the words of George Santayana bear repeating here: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” That this article was written in the first place is a testament to the fact that the US is doing too little, not too much, to educate the public on the importance of the history of all minority groups in our country.

    Miss O’Hara asks, “What if the school children learning about black history for the first time this February never heard about the word ‘segregation’?” She envisions a world in which, were we never to open our mouths about segregation, children would play together without regard to the color of their skin. I argue, instead, that when we stop reminding ourselves of the civil injustices in US history, we doom ourselves to repeating those same atrocities. We must never forget the horrors of our history–whether blatant segregation, genocide, pointless wars, or oppression. These subjects may be painful to study. They may be uncomfortable to talk about. But they are vital to an understanding of our country’s present and essential if we intend to learn from past mistakes.

    I am a woman. I know what it means to be discriminated against on the basis of my gender. I have female friends who have endured sexist and degrading remarks in the workplace and continue to make less than their male counterparts simply because they are women. I live in a country where my gender makes up less than 20% of my congress and where policies on women’s health are developed by men. I live in a country that has never had a female president. But I have hope that things will change. I have hope, because I remind myself daily of the history of women in America who stood for change–from suffragettes to second and third wave feminists to my own mother. I think it is vital to remind myself that women like me have had the right to vote in this country for less than a century. The moment that women forget our history, we lose an incredible amount of hope, pride, and inspiration for our future.

    I’m a woman, but I’m also white. I will never know what it means to be a racial minority. I will never experience the discrimination, profiling, and stereotyping that African American citizens have to deal with on a daily basis. My ancestors were never enslaved, lynched, or wrongfully jailed. I have been born to boundless privilege. I realize that every single month in the US is White History Month. Open up any high school textbook. How many public figures, how many canonized authors, how many policy makers aren’t white? How many aren’t male? Twelve months of every year, we teach history from the privileged, white point of view. That is why we have Black History Month.

    Ms. O’Hara writes that “our country has taken great strides in granting the same liberties to each of its citizens.” Those strides would never have been taken without the tireless fight of minority groups to achieve those liberties. Each of those liberties were gained though hard-fought battles and with many casualties. That is why we have Black History Month.

    She asks, “Are we, as Americans, repaying the debts that we feel we owe to the ancestors of the African-Americans alive today?” This is not a matter of “feeling.” This is a matter of historical fact. The US oppressed African Americans, and racism is still alive and well today. This country does owe a monumental debt to the minority groups it has oppressed. That is why we have Black History Month.

    There are still those who question the need for Black History Month. That is why we have Black History Month.

    Like Ms. O’Hara, I would like to live in a world that is discrimination-free, but that world will never exist. Humans will always fear the “other,” and fear is the basis of oppression. That primal fear is never going to go away. The best we can do is combat fear with love and with education–an education that serves as a constant reminder of the sins we’ve committed in our past and a celebration of those who called out those sins and rose above them. As long as we choose to fight fear, there will always be a need for Black History Month.

  12. Aaron Roberts says:

    Wes Spears: “We have to repent and ask the oppressed what this new world looks like.”

    And how, in all practicality, am I supposed to do this?

    • Wesley Spears says:

      It means we need to be able to live in community or at least with cooperation with people who don’t look like us. On an individual level, I think that looks like being in community with and having friends (not just token acquaintances) who don’t look like you. Listen to their stories and hear about their experiences. Let that shape how you live and respond to people. On a systemic level, it means finding a way to break down the power structure so that’s it’s open to all people not just white people (and often white males). That looks different in every community. I can’t tell you how every community should approach the problem of racism (if anyone tells you there’s one way, they’re lying or mistaken). However, I’m fairly sure it starts with going out of your way to encounter, befriend, and listen to the stories of people who don’t look like you or come from the same place or background. That’s what I’d advise you practically to do. It’s something I did not do as well as I could have in my time at Samford, so I encourage you to do better. Does that help?

  13. Claire says:

    This topic has already been brought to the attention of many from an article on NY Daily News in 2009 and USA Today in 2011. This is old news and an old story that many would agree is ridiculous in its nature. You can pull the ‘I’m not racist’ card all you want, but this article, in its poorly written form, says otherwise–whether you meant for it to or not. It speaks quite a bit on not only your behalf, but on Samford’s behalf that it was even published. I sincerely hope the lengthy posts above me that disagree with you will give you some insight into how senseless this article is. Please find new material to write about next time.

  14. Adrienne says:

    Well, this really helped with my daughters decision on if she should attend this college. If this is what the professors are teaching, then there’s no reason to continue our debate on if she will fit in. That’s going to be a NO. I will not send my child to a school that does not embrace the heritage of all races.

    • Samford Crimson says:

      As stated in each issue of the Crimson: “Opinions expressed are the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of the Crimson or its staff.” The Crimson is also not the voice of the University. This piece is the opinion of the author alone.

    • Kelsey Hall says:

      This article in no way reflects anything that was ever taught in my 5 years at Samford. What individual students believe is their choice but please don’t let this article become a reflection of the thinking at Samford University. The numerous responses against the author’s opinion piece should show you that there are many of us here who are open minded. I am a founding member of Samford’s multicultural sorority and we are working to bring more awareness and diversity to campus every day.

  15. Justin says:

    WALLACE: Black History Month, you find …

    FREEMAN: Ridiculous.

    WALLACE: Why?

    FREEMAN: You’re going to relegate my history to a month?

    WALLACE: Come on.

    FREEMAN: What do you do with yours? Which month is White History Month? Come on, tell me.

    WALLACE: I’m Jewish.

    FREEMAN: OK. Which month is Jewish History Month?

    WALLACE: There isn’t one.

    FREEMAN: Why not? Do you want one?

    WALLACE: No, no.

    FREEMAN: I don’t either. I don’t want a Black History Month. Black history is American history.

    WALLACE: How are we going to get rid of racism until …?

    FREEMAN: Stop talking about it. I’m going to stop calling you a white man. And I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man. I know you as Mike Wallace. You know me as Morgan Freeman. You’re not going to say, “I know this white guy named Mike Wallace.” Hear what I’m saying?

    Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/blackhistory.asp#suUy5zWBJWsgIkfX.99

    • Lydia says:

      It is ridiculous to posit that the opinion of a single black man can be the authority on a subject. Morgan Freeman is entitled to his opinion, but he absolutely cannot speak for every black person in America, and to hold him up as a trump card on this subject is lazy and dehumanizing. It supposes that Black America is a monolith, and nothing could be further from the truth.

    • Veronica Duarte says:

      Again just because one black person has one opinion does not mean that’s all how we feel. In today’s age did you know black people could all come to different opinions !? Just because Mr. Freeman says it does not mean that we all feel this way. It’s sad you think one man can speak for an entire race. Until you have lived the life my ancestors have don’t listen to just one man. Second I know it’s a month that white students feel bad for the Sins of their fathers of race but, you will not down the month that we celebrate how far we
      Have come as a race and how far we need to go. Lastly you could have had the best intentions in the world but to only single out black history month shows how equal we are not. Don’t try and say we ever where. My ancestors were burned, linched, and forced to work. Please educate yourself and to the Samford crimson you are also to blame for publishing something so insensitive. Read your pieces and think about the students it will hurt. Or do our voices still not count to you ?!?

  16. Brendan W says:

    I am a former student of Samford University.

    Equality has nothing to do with celebrating heritage. Just because as African American people we take a month to celebrate who we are as a people does not take away from the fact that we are all still Americans. That is our right. No I have never been a slave nor have I ever been forced to sit in the back of a bus or been publicly discriminated against but I hold a high regard for the people that went through that just so I didn’t have to.

    The problem as this article shows is the very fact that people spend to much time thinking about race. We “Americans” are so selfish. When someone is getting more shine than the next person it becomes a problem. Instead of us embracing and supporting one another we want to take away from one another and call it “becoming more equal.”

    Becoming equal starts with your mentality. We have to stop thinking that position or a title or money or race makes us better than the next person. Bill Gates is no better of a person than the Latino that cuts his grass or built his house. Oprah is no better of a person than the caucasian lady that lives in a trailer. When we grasp this concept then we can become equal, not when we abolish Black History Month.

    We are all the same in God’s eyes and that’s really all that matters in the end.

    • Marquis Ard says:

      And we all kiss and hold hands under this egalitarian/utopia . then you go home and find out your daughter was killed by a white guy because she wandered on his front porch drunk. choose to create this fantasy harmony if you want. I anit got time for it. you will be the new token they use to say look why can’t we just think like this because that is a isolated situation and shouldn’t hurt “our” goal of equality. lol wake up

  17. Benno J. Bauer, Jr. says:

    What a truism from this student at Samford University. It is sad that through tainted eyes, the filters of the brain, and the filters of the soul that one cannot see the equality that is being spoken of here.

    Is there any place in God’s Word (THE BIBLE) that separates and acknowledges different races and/or does He speak to each one of us, His creation, as one and the same.

    What is so beautiful here, is that Hatti sees the issues that the different races has caused each other. Just the very nature of Black History Month sets the Afro American apart. They do that to and for themselves. We do not have a German History Month, we do not have a White History Month, we do have gay parades and the like, pushing their value system upon us and we allow it to escalate and grow. There should be an American Day for each other, each and every day, and that we stand in being united as a people who love the United States, stands upon the foundation of God’s Word, and what our constitution was founded upon.

    Do any of you truly see that the “white skinned American” is pushing that upon any race in the United States? No you do not! But we do see where division has taken place and where it is in the year of which we are in, continues to be so.

    When the Federal Judges, the Supreme Court Judges makes decisions, not based upon our constitution, but personal opinion, as has recently happened in the State of Texas, we remove ourselves from the foundation of God’s Word and of our Constitution of the United States.

    God’s Word is very simple and plain on how we all should live. It is also very plain about how we should not live. You can decide to line up with God’s Word and honor each other as equal and/or you can decide to live the gay lifestyle and think that is o.k. with our God, you can decide that God must have meant it another way, but it is right there before you, being as clear as day as what is acceptable and pleasing to Him. You can decide to hang on to your lifestyle of being angry, you can hang on to your lifestyle of being jealous, you can hang on to your lifestyle of superiority, you can hang on to your lifestyle of masturbation and porn. You can, in and of yourself, to rationalize God’s Word to soothe your conscious. But the truth is with all the before mentioned, not have a peace within your soul.

    I cannot state how beautiful and right on this young lady is. She speaks of her desire to see our people united as one and not walking apart.

    I myself have wonderful Afro American friends, I myself have wonderful Hispanic relationships, I myself have special Asian friends, I myself have neat White friends. I don’t try to set myself apart, above, and/or below anyone, nor do they. I have a Chinese daughter-in-law, I have a Hispanic brother-in-law, and last time I checked their “skin color” was different than mine. Do I determine them by their skin and/or do I determine them by being meant to be and created by God Himself.

    If you have issues with what she has so beautifully shared, than that tells me you have issues within yourself that began a long time ago, way before she wrote this letter. You have issues that only God can heal, because those are inner issues. When you share you highly sarcastic and/or outrage remarks, it just speaks of your person and who you really are.

    God’s Word states, in effect: “Do you have eyes to see, and ears to hear?” “The blind do not see.” And, ETC!

    You can continue to be divisive and/or you can seek to smooth the waters to be joyful for one another, who were meant to be, and that God knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb. Accept your color, whether it is red, white and/or blue. And accept our fellow man and not look at the skin color, but what is within them. Can you receive a white skinned man? Can you accept a black skinned man? Can you accept a brown skin man? Can you accept a slightly yellow/tan color of our Asian friends? Do you try to lift up yourself to be “recognized?” Do you set yourself apart, because you have a “white color,” “to be recognized?” If so you choose to “set yourself apart.” to be recognized by your color makes a statement, and it is not one of connecting, but dividing.

    This young lady is again is so right on, and we can either live in the past and/or live in the present via walking according to God’s Word. Continue “Black Americans” shouting to be recognized by having a “special month,” and you continue to set yourself apart. The flesh that shows itself by these actions are not your skin color, but the “color of your heart.”

    • Josh Alvarez says:

      “Continue “Black Americans” shouting to be recognized by having a “special month,” and you continue to set yourself apart.”

      Last I checked I didn’t see any “Black Americans” “shouting” to be “recognized” with “a special month”. Especially not in these comments. Read any of Marquis’s replies. You don’t even see the institutional privileges that allow you to speak from a stance of colorblindness in the first place. African Americans are already relegated to the worst geographies America has to offer, you talk like we’d be handing out new land once we forget race. Preaching colorblindness and calling it equality doesn’t change their environment, doesn’t give them a better school with funding like the other side of town, doesn’t change the fact that the old Jim Crow left 21st century African Americans neighborhoods in areas most likely to flood in the event of a disaster.

      • Benno J Baue Jr says:

        Last time I checked that is what many black people do. I see it on the news almost every day in Houston, Texas. Those whom want to make an excuses for their plight, will always be there amongst us, no matter their color.

        I have wonderful relationships with a lot of black skin people, and some of those have and were had a major impact on my daughter from the school and the church she attended. Their outlook is their life today and their the health of their marriages and family. They are part of our team at school and church. I have a friend who is “Chap” who is the Chaplain of the Houston Texans. He and his wife have sat at our dining table, and guess what, he is black. He sees himself the excuses his black brethren make for where they are at. But he also sees many white’s making the same excuses.

        Let’s go somewhere else for a moment. The black people in Africa captured and sold each other to other black people to become slaves. It was a fabric that was intertwined in Africa way before our land of today was found.

        Here is fact: By the time the slave trade was abolished in the West, there were many more slaves in Africa (black slaves of black owners) than in the Americas.

        Take responsibility for your own self. Quit complaining. I grew up I in a very poor environment. My Dad and Mother did not go beyond the 6th grade. My dad had other part time jobs, always working to put food on the table as my Mother did. Some of those part time jobs, where I helped my Dad was roofing. Back in those days, there was the segregation, and the black people had their own school and community. I helped my Dad put many a new roof on their houses. We were working for them.

        I began working mowing lawns when I was around 8 or 9 – making monies. I began driving a car at 14 and worked in restaurants until 1:30 AM in the morning, not able to leave until the kitchen was spotless. I later worked in a hardware store after school and in the summers. Many of my high school schoolmates had their 3 months of fun each summer. I did not. I had to work.

        My parents did not help me with Junior College and Texas Lutheran College (now a university). I had to find my own way, and some of that was borrowed monies. I paid it all off. I had no educational and no professional arena of which I was raised in. I did not have that mentoring. No one gave me a thing, I had to fight for it. I graduated in the bottom 10% of my high school and was told point blank by my high school counselor not to even bother with college.

        I was 90 pounds when I graduated from high school, and totally insecure. I did not know it until 45 years later that I had OCD, which can be a great gift and/or also a curse.

        I had a “fire in my belly” to succeed. I was on the Dean’s list all though college. I had to reread and reread…. I became one of the “most successful” from my gradating high school class.

        I could have rested upon a pity party because we lived on the other side of the tracks, literally.

        You of those whom are of the black skin have much more today than I ever had, take advantage of it, and stop setting yourself apart. Look yourself in the mirror and received that you were meant to be as Psalm 139 speaks of. Join humanity and the life of America, which has opportunities for all of us, get the chip off of your shoulder and quit saying you are at a disadvantage because of slavery. That is living in the past. But if you continue to live in the past, then you need to dig into what your own people did to each other. They practiced slavery way before it even came into the minds of those setting into a new land.

        I consider all, no matter their color, no matter their position in life, no matter their zip code, no matter the title they have behind their names, no matte the $$$’s they have in their bank account, as a equal. I have shaken hands with those whom are Presidents, Prime Ministers, Junta leaders, etc. And I have shaken the hand of those that have little, and all in-between. My daughter has seen that lived out about me. She also sees that for those, no matter the color of their skin, having a chip on their shoulder, and are trying to “position themselves,” in society I have zero tolerance for.

        Again, reread and reread Hatti’s letter, and if you have “eyes to see,” she is speaking to all of us that we are equal and we are to live it out, of which God’s Word speaks of.

        I have not read anywhere thus far, anyone of another skin color lifting themselves up and/or their skin color God gave them.

    • Veronica Duarte says:

      No we as blacks have tainted eyes. Sad to say you have the same views as her. Dont act like verses in the bible have not been molested and molded to support wrong doing..

    • Britton says:

      “Do any of you truly see that the “white skinned American” is pushing that upon any race in the United States? No you do not!”

      Thankfully for the legislative initiatives surrounding and including the Civil Rights Act, most instances of “pushing”, as you term it, are in fact illegal. If your argument that America is post-racial relies on the fact that we had to legally bar people from creating second class citizenship to the content of their racist fervor, well that sir is very faint praise indeed. Since then, racism has taken on a largely institutional (and in the case of the article, individual)structure that is less visible than past displays of racism. However, even the most rudimentary inspection of our economic, educational, criminal justice, religious,and cultural institutions reveals just how systemic racial discrimination is in America.

      As the product of white, upper class and educated society, I haven’t the slightest clue what it feels like to be the object of a discriminatory environment that is so pervasive and inescapable. However, at the very least, people like myself can exercise a minimal degree of intellectual honesty and admit to ourselves and others that this is the case. Instead of this asinine and trite non-sense about how ignoring discrimination will cause it to disappear and leave use in some egalitarian hug-fest as we sing Kumbaya.

      • Benno J Baue Jr says:

        Watch the movie – LIFE OF A KING – no matter our skin color and the means and/or the lack thereof, speaks of an “attitude.” No blame, looking forward, with all the opportunities that are available for all young people, if they will but put their hands the plow. One cannot plow a straight line looking backwards and/or sideways. What is your aim? Whatever your aim, and with a fortitude of heart, whatever you want to achieve is out there for you, rich and/or poor. Be a light that encourages others, that anything is possible, if you but WILL to do so. How much time has been wasted on a debate?

        Make a choice and fight for that and you will achieve. No matter the color of skin God gave you. scripture speaks of “count it all joy…….” Yes it fights ever fabric of one’s being to go through deep trials of which one did not choose….but placed upon one by another. It takes a deep gut check at times when you fold into a fetal position, unable to sob any more, not able to speak, and one has a choice to stay on the floor and/or get up, and face the emotional pain that is beset on someone. Growth and true maturity cannot take place unless we go through deep trails. Those whom come for a privileged background and take it for granted, will never have the deep roots of one who has suffered deep pain. Those deep roots that are established no hurricane winds can uproot. This is how character is built. It does no good to blame other’s one waste their energy there. This I know for life has taught me so.

  18. Aja Mosley says:

    To O’ Hara: I pose just one question…

    Are you so “Gone With the Wind”, that you forget that the only Black History education we did get in our textbooks consisted of only three pages of what truly is an elaborate history (a Nat Turner blurb, a Dred Scott decision blurb, a picture of how they packed slave ships, a Rosa Parks/ Martin Luther King, Jr. page, and a Brown v. Board of Education blurb)???

    Again, your view is one of great denial. But, I can’t fault you because you live in a world that caters to you, and you don’t even realize it. You will never know what it is like to be a minority. With those “Rose Colored Glasses”, ignorance truly must be blissful. To abolish Black History is to abolish American history.

    But, don’t mind me. I’m just another Black person, and my heritage means nothing to you. Thanks for considering my struggle on the quest for equality…or not.

    Sincerely,

    Another Black Samford student who remembers, and celebrates, her history.

  19. Purveyor of History says:

    After reading through the comments on this article, I am appalled by the 2 dimensional view of history and the one sided arguments that are being made. We must realize that we are viewing our heritage as a country through the lens of the 21st century. Wars are distant, poverty in the United States is laughable compared to poverty of past generations, and claims of “oppression” are a joke.

    To preface this, I firmly believe in the total depravity of humankind. We live in a fallen world, among fallen people. Our past is pretty screwed up, and we should learn from the successes, mistakes, and atrocities of our ancestors.

    Historically, the strong rise to power on the backs of the conquered and the dead bodies of those who opposed them. In ancient and medieval times, it was a common practice to enslave the conquered and to either displace any people group living in a captured area, or assimilate them into your own population. Following this model, the native population of the Northern American continent was effectively wiped out.

    Prior to the arrival of Columbus, it is estimated that ~50 million ingenious people groups lived in the Western Hemisphere. This reached a low point in 1890 of about 1.8 million. That is over 48,000,000 people simply pushed (aka, dead) aside in a 400 year period.

    During the Atlantic Slave Trade period, it is estimated that Europeans transported nearly 11 million Africans to the Americas. They were a combination of criminals and prisoners of war, sold by African kings to the slavers, and the captives of raiding parties sent out by European sailors/soldiers.

    Following the first major immigration wave in the early to mid 1800s, “Free” Irish laborers were used to construct the main canals of New Orleans. These working class wage workers were cheaper than slaves, and used in the jobs that were considered too dangerous for the “investment” of slave labor to be lost to malaria and yellow fever.

    There are no limits to the violence however; when on the trail of tears, where 17,000 Cherokee Indians were removed from their native lands, they took 2,000 of their African Slaves with them.

    From a slightly different viewpoint, it is insightful to examine warfare also. We see that between World War One and World War Two, in a 20 year period, a staggering 100 million people died. This isn’t a total casualties estimate, it is people that were DEAD. No, not maimed, injured, or just homeless, DEAD. It is very easy to sit back from your comfortable chair and judge those that came before us, but we must realize that the world was a different place. Even just a few generations ago, we wouldn’t recognize the face of humanity.

    This naive and downright selfish bickering is both disgusting and shameful. Ms. O’Hara is trying to point out what she believes is an inconsistency in society. Nothing more nothing less. I will not express an opinion one way or another on the subject of Black History Month. What I will do, is point out that in this day and age, it is completely unacceptable to claim that you are being oppressed if you have the capability to comment on this article. Your future is your own. Carpe Diem and forge a new beginning. Remember the past, but strive to build a better tomorrow.

    • Veronica Duarte says:

      Do you not think this is what we are doing as African- American’s. We celebrate the past and try everyday to change the future. You will never know how it feels to be an African- American, especially here at Samford University. I just like you am here on my own academic merits. I am in college changing my life. BHM does not mean we are stuck in the past it just means we won’t forget it. You can throw a history book at me and still you will never know he any of it feels. So please have several seats…..

    • Benno J Baue Jr says:

      so beautifully spoken! You have a wonderful way communicating, which is a gift. Thank you.

    • Elmira says:

      Superb intaomofirn here, ol’e chap; keep burning the midnight oil.

  20. Thomas "Scooter" Broussard says:

    Despite the request for this article to be an expression of one’s opinion , let’s just keep things honest and 100….This is an emotion that this person truly has deep inside and decided that this was the best avenue to release their ideas in order to receive a civilized response. As a black male, a former SU football player, & most importantly an SU alumni, it will voice my opinion and give u a more clear picture of Racism at Samford. I will use this small sample and then be open to any replies/thoughts from anyone.

    First, it feel as though removing black history month would be a very bad move. Let’s think about it….The purpose of black history month is not to celebrate the success of blacks during the time of segregation. The purpose of black history month is setup to celebrate those individuals whom happen to b black that decided to do something and make something of themselves by creating opportunities for others during segregation. Removing black history month is removing black history. In order to understand the purpose of desegregation you must first understand and feel the suffering and pain caused by segregation. Racism in any form or fashion is wrong. Nevertheless; racism in America and racism at SU still exist.

    Racism at SU does exist and if you do not agree, i will make myself available to have that discussion with you at another time. However, the main issue I have with the motion to remove Black History Month bc it will prevent future racism?…. Go sit down. The first step is not covering up history books and bibliographies. The first step must be stopping being racist yourself. Most people have either had a racist moment or thought in their lifetime and that has nothing to do with Black History Month. When I was told in CA class my freshman year that “I need to learn the history about my people” or during a private meeting with that same teacher, “are you sure you can handle this class? Bc your kind of people don’t really do much in my class..” do you think what came to my head was well if February wasn’t black history month then maybe she won’t be so angry with blacks? Of course not, I said to myself I will prove this woman wrong bc I am proud of who I am, where I am from & those whom have given their lives for me to b able to sit in that classroom. I showed up everyday to that class in order to prove to her that I, a black male from Baton Rouge can overcome whatever she puts in front of me regardless of my skin color. When walking down the sidewalk through campus, do u think when other people would go out of their way not to walk by me or other blacks that maybe I thought if black history month didn’t exist then this group of people wouldn’t have exhibited that blatant sense of fear of me bc of my skin color? Of course not.

    If black history month is the problem, then what are the issues behind racism within other races? Because racism is not just between blacks & whites. It’s between and within every race. Do I know how to stop or slow down racism in America? No I do not. But what I do know is this, Black History Month made me a believer. BHM made me a believer that despite my skin color I can do anything that anyone else can do. BHM helped me to understand that I can set my goals high and not live in fear in my efforts to accomplish them. BHM humbled me at a young age and allowed me to understand that no 1 race is better than another.

    BHM allows me to visualize what my ancestors set out to do during times of segregation in order to end racism. So I do not believe the question we should be asking is will removing BHM end racism? The question we need to ask is simple, what can I do with my life today to be a vessel for someone else and be a living example that race, gender, creed, origin or religion plays no role in how we treat and exist with one another.

    In attending SU I was introduced to blatant racism and learned first hand that being targeted through racism is gut-wrenching. However, I met some of my best friends at SU and no they are not all one race. My time at SU was the best 4 years of my life. I would not change anything bc those 4 years taught me lessons that have helped me to become who I am today. But I will never forget any of the bad times bc those times help me to remember those who gave their lives so I could have a chance to go to school and all the other opportunities I have been given.

    Food for thought…. would you give your life for one of your family members to keep living? Would you give your life for someone who pissed you off daily to keep living? Would you give your life for someone who acknowledges the fact they only hate you bc of your skin color? Not saying any one of you reading this wouldn’t….but SU taught me how to b selfless. SU taught me how to live my life for others. For those who know me, I would like to think that you all know I would give my last for you. I would give what is required of me bc of those who went before me and have done so. BHM reminds me that being black is not a crime. Being black is not a crutch. Being black does not reflect my heart rather it only is a reflection of melatonin within my skin.

    So, in conclusion, I ask you this….is BHM the source of racism? What is more dangerous, reminding people of what certain people endured and still pushed through? Or knowing that racism still exists and racism is still killing people today who look like you and me? All in all, I believe that racism is an issue that will not end today or tomorrow. Our kids should not be blinded to that fact. Rather let’s help them understand how to deal with is when they are confronted with it. Remember, someone cared enough to do it for you and I…..I am Thomas Broussard. In my afterlife I care not how of I appeared to others. I care about how many times did I overcome racism in order to fight the larger fight…..how can I be heard in order to help bring people to Christ. Let Go & Let God.

  21. J-Dawg says:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1442202181

    If you are reading these comments and are intrigued with this discussion, try reading “Racism without Racist.” The book looks at many ways racism is prevalent in current social and institutional structures. It also reveals many undeserving privileges that whites have over minorities that are looked over every day. Many commenters are quick to defend the writer’s personal motive while others seem to be pointing out the flaws in the writer’s character. I urge both sides of this discussion to stop making a writer the focal point and start promoting the topic at hand: racism at Samford. This discussion should not stop here. There’s an opportunity here, and we shouldn’t wreck it by muddying up the comments.

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