I do not care for this Black History Month celebration thing that has been granted to Black people as a way to pat us on the bum like little children who keep trying to do good in school by working hard, but we as parents know that because of a learning disability they will never improve, or do better. I see this as placating and helping to keep us quiet and feeling pleased with ourselves. Do I know that a black person, a Canadian MP requested it? Yes I do, I just do not think we are there yet and have a lot to celebrate about.
This month of recognition is supposed to acknowledge the accomplishments and strides that Black people have made since they were given their freedom, but I see it as the Black peoples legacy of being given, or allowed to have, instead of worked for and achieved, or even given as a right. I do not care for Black History
Month, because it serves to remind me just how little has really changed and how the people in the Black race are very much still divided and rarely work together to solve common problems like other races. I do not care for Black History Month, because most of the politicians that spend the other 11 months of the year making it as miserable for Black people use it to get their picture taken shaking a Black persons hand and giving the appearance that they are working hard to ensure that Blacks are equal in civil rights and all expectations of equality given to all other races.
The president of the United States of America is a Black man and before he took office he was ridiculed not for his politics, but for his color and the stereotypical baggage that came with it. His then rival for the Democratic Party nomination, for the right to run for the office of the President of the United States, Hillary Clinton, made constant appeals to what she called, poor White America to stand with her and back her in her bid for the office because he was and I quote,” Not like us and will not understand your problems and needs like I will.” How then has America changed for the Black person, when the highest ranking Black person in the world, the commander-in-chief of the United States of America can be ridiculed, by his peers in public, threatened and left open to assignation and virtually made to look a fool, because he is a Black man in what White America thinks of as a White mans job, what has changed? These same people parading around for 1 month out of 12 talking about the advancement of the Black people and their great contributions turn my stomach for a full month.
Everywhere in the world where Black people live and come together is considered a ghetto and a high crime area. People still feel that Black families moving into a neighborhood brings down property values and the time old tradition of keeping Blacks out of certain areas still goes on today. Racial profiling is still going on and Black youth are still being shot because police are afraid of them before any interaction happens. Blacks still have the greatest number of prisoners in the penal system, so what has changed that makes us want to celebrate for a month? What has not changed is that blacks who make it good in life forget about those that have not, or try so hard to show that they are not showing reverse discrimination, or favoritism that they are harder on other Blacks than other people are. Oprah Winfrey has made millionaires out o more White doctors, authors and virtually unheard of nobodies, but not one Black person has gotten her support publicly. Doctor Phil, Doctor Oz ,was there not one Black doctor available to be mad instantly famous?
We have lost our own religion, language and identity in a time when everyone else is fighting desperately to hold on to theirs and their identity as a people. Did you know that before we were made slaves that most Blacks were practicing muslims? Forcing the Black people to become Christian, give up their language and strip them of their rights and freedoms was genocide and it is still being practiced today all over the world? With tis in mind, I ask you again what has changed for Black people that is so positive that we need to celebrate for a month and pat ourselves on the back for.
Black people have not taken even the first baby step in achieving equality with the lowest of some races. Do Black people stick together, like the Jew for instance. These people may fight amongst themselves about religious issues, or issues of principle, but let someone else get into the argument and they will stick together to fight the common foe. Not so for Blacks, we have divided ourselves, pitting nationality against the other, like in a Hatfield vs Macoy. Blacks of West Indian origin act like they are better than blacks from Nova Scotia. Barbadian Blacks thinking that they are better than the Jamaican Blacks, because they come from what is considered a more affluent island and that the Jamaicans are backward. The rest of the Black community either think they are better than the Haitians and look down on them, feel embarrassed by them, or feel animosity towards them just for being Haitian. Most Blacks are so disconnected from our ancestors and them from us that there is only words in a book to tell us of our history before slavery. No family ties, no roots, no beginning. We no longer consider them our people except when it comes to this one time of year, this one month out of twelve, when we stand up and try to show the world how unlike our forefathers we have become and how much we have assimilated into a culture, religion and total way of being that was never ours, and how much like some one else that we have become. So what is there to be so proud of that we need a month to laud our accomplishments and contributions? We need to tell our true history pre slavery, get our children to see that their African heritage, is something to be proud of and acknowledged, not denied. When we as a race have accomplished this, we will have reason to celebrate.
I am not for one minute saying that we should not acknowledge the contributions of individuals like Martin Luther King Jr., Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and all the other Black people who have worked tirelessly for the improvement of the Black race and there are many such leaders throughout history and in our present time who work ceaselessly and tirelessly to unite our people in a quiet non violent protest to get black people the equality and the quality of life that is enjoyed by other citizens of the world, not as a gift to be taken back at the will of the giver, but as a right that once achieved can not be taken away. History only need be study if the people studying it are learning from it and I do not see this happening. The same mistakes happen over and over again, the same racial slurs, the same stereotypical garbage is still being spewed out and we black people are still joining in the fight to keep other Black people down. In fact some prominent black voices can be heard putting other Black people down louder and above all the other voices combined.
In Canada we should be fielding a Marlene Jennings in every predominantly Black community to fight for our rights instead of selling our votes for unkept promises. Only by representation in the government will we see changes in the laws that seek to hurt and keep us down. We need to stop feeling sorry for ourselves for being enslaved and all the unjust things that we go through and educate ourselves, so that we can get good jobs and if they will not let us have them, then we should build our own companies and hire our people to work in them. We need to be in a position to help our people when we reach the top, not move to the affluent neighborhoods that did not want us, forgetting where we came from. As people looking for change we need to support Black owned businesses not steer away from them thinking that other races do it better. We need to get Black people on the ticket in our ridings, vote for them and then support them once they get there; not demand unrealistic things and withdraw our support in punishment like you see happening in the United States for Barack Obama. Why is it okay to be screwed over and totally ignored by any other politician, but you hate the Black politician that fights uphill all the way to get you what they can? Why is it okay not to vote for the Black politician who failed to get you what you wanted the first time around, but tried their best and vote for the guy who stood in his way and blocked the law that would have saved your life, or at least made it better? This is your history as well Black people and it should be taught so that hopefully it can be changed and not be a recurring theme as it is now. Maybe then we Blacks will have representation from our own people, instead of relying on another people to guess how we feel about issues concerning us and then fighting to get us equality, or parody.
We need to praise people like our ex Governor General Michelle Jean, not so much because she was chosen for the post, but because she worked tirelessly and still does to help the people of Haiti in their hour of need, un shaken by the racial slurs, bigotry and attempts to diminish her hard work effort, by the racists who still live in this country and around the world. If we are to succeed in our quest for equality we must reach out to each other and support each other and stop acting like crabs in a bucket. When we have done this maybe we will be able to afford to take a month of celebration and truly have something to celebrate about.
In Montreal you can find senior citizen homes for White English, White French Jewish, Chinese, but you will not find any for Black people. So Black people again change what they eat, their social activities, the language they speak and try to blend in to other cultures, so that they can survive even in their old age. This is a weakness in Black people, not to be celebrated, but to be changed and until, Black people do they have nothing to celebrate and certainly not for a whole month. This is not the fault of White society, White leaders, or the White community; this is the fault of the Black community, Black leaders and Black people. While other races strive to build communities, business alliances, positively promote their religion and take an active role in their communities, Blacks tend to rely on others to take care of them, to give them and to allow them and in doing so they get passed by.
When the snobs and bigots of Montreal tried to stop the Jews from living somewhere, they rallied together bought land and made themselves their own communities. Today these communities are considered some of the best places to live and are some of the most highly evaluated properties in Montreal. The Jewish people have the Jewish Defense League to look after the racial bigotry, they have the B’nai Brith, that takes care of all Jews in need of help, they have camps social centers and schools that teach their children their language and customs and heritage and they did it without handouts, without waiting for someone to save them and without violence. This community, these people have something to be proud of, but there is no national Jewish month; there is only the being and the promoting of being Jewish all the time. These people have fought and continue to fight prejudice, hardships, but they have learned not to rely on their oppressor for help and do things for themselves. From business to education, medical needs to their rights and freedoms, they come together and stand as one people and the Black community could learn a lot from them in how to affect change in their lives that would afford them a true sense of pride and accomplishment.
The Black community has been trying to get the Negro Community Center renovated and back on it feet for over 20 years now. A project that was promised funding by all three levels of government, but to this day it still sits in ruin while the black community argues amongst itself on what is needed from it and what is the best design for it, how much to charge for entrance to it and how to raise money for it. The leader and the board of directors of the project got so crazy they barred the people of the community from siting on the board by, adopting the same racist tactics that are constantly being used to block blacks entrance and representation to such things. They incorporated and educational barrier, language barrier and then a secrecy barrier and totally alienated the community the center was for from all fund-raising and decisions to do with the center.
At the same time the Jewish YWCA, or YMCA was in need of renovations and I do believe that it was made larger. There was no argument about how to go about fundraising, their plan did not hinge on government approval, or donations; they simply appealed to their community and presto land was acquired and the building was up and running and that to me is something to be proud of, something to emulate. If we are to succeed we must first get into a position of self-reliance; a position of not needing the support, or the handout from those who would keep us down. We must begin to believe that we are equal and have the right to play, eat and sleep as well as dream and realize our dreams the same as they do in peace and with dignity.
When Blacks can once hold their heads up high, support themselves respect each other and get respect from others then I will be glad to celebrate our accomplishments and our contributions to our greater communities of Montreal, Quebec, Canada and the rest of the world . We must start getting lawyers and doctors, bankers and banks, politicians and communities that are not ghettos and we must start doing it now. Our children must learn of our history and our heritage as something to be proud of and stop being taught that our African heritage is something to be ashamed of. How many Blacks today are still ashamed of their African heritage and how many can be still heard to say,”I am not one of them black Africans; I am American, or Canadian. You will not hear that kind of denial of heritage from a Jew , a Greek, an Italian, or an Oriental person. When all this has come to pass it will be time for celebration untill then we have little time for celebration and all of our efforts should be focussed on changing ourselves into something we can be proud of all year round not only for a month.