Posted on March 1, 2005

Black History Month’s Lessons Lost on Some Whites

Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times, Feb. 27


If I thought that the majority of white people in America were huddled in front of the TV sets during Black History Month, horrified by this chapter of American history and vowing a change, I’d say it was worth it.

But the majority of white people in this country don’t understand why black people won’t move on. They simply don’t get it.

I’m not calling these people racist. I’m saying they are as disconnected from the images of young, smiling white people who attended the lynchings as black people are connected to the black men who were so horribly brutalized. We are connected to these deaths by spirit, and we feel the pain of these ancestors to this very day.

And given this history of white supremacy in America, most of us — black and white — should understand why African Americans are a lot more sensitive about racial heckling than others. But when I posed a question about the rise of on-air bashing of blacks, I received an overwhelming response from readers.

Most of it was disappointing.


And for some readers, like P. Pope, it is still about how whites feel, as if mobs of black people had also hung whites from trees.

“I don’t think you should have limited your outrage to whites who make fun of blacks. I was listening to a black talk show host at few months ago and he was making jokes about white people. I don’t see why they are any less offensive or racist than when a white person makes jokes about blacks,” he said.

P. Kalas seems to be saying that blacks have only themselves to blame for white-on-black bashing.

“Just once I would appreciate it if you wrote a story about the real reasons people see ‘Blacks’ in a negative light. It is . . . because of all of the buffoonery of the black men in their rap videos and black performers and athletes who wear giant chains,” he said.


I am glad Black History Month is just about over. The black struggle is too sacred to be subjected to ridicule.