by Delvon Johnson
"Critical Race Theory" by Detroit Artist Jonathan Harris
As a child growing up, Black History month was a time when we learned about all of the trailblazers that made major contributions to the world. Whether it was Harriet Tubman, who led the slaves to freedom, or Garrett Morgan, who invented the traffic light, it was the month of February that we learned all about the amazing contributions and the influences that African Americans gave to not only America, but the world.
But the world is changing. Black History Month doesn’t have the impact on the world as it did years ago. In 2022, there is so much happening that it feels as if the recognition of what all African Americans who have done so much for our lives seems less important. White Supremacy and privilege is playing an integral part in dimming the light on the blood that our ancestors shed to make this country what it is today. It feels like we are going backwards instead of moving into the future. Politicians are trying to take our voting rights away. Civil Rights are being challenged. It’s even to the point where caucasians, in certain parts of the country, don't want African American history to be taught in our schools because they don’t want their children to feel guilty about the color of their skin. Their skin!! They want them to be unaware of how we were treated in this country with centuries of abuse, neglect, and even death. All because of the color of our skin. Isn’t it ironic? It seems to me that they want the truth to be covered up. They call it Critical Race Theory, and it’s even being considered to be a law.
But this can’t happen. Those who don’t know history are condemned to repeat it. It would be a disgrace to every African American in history that has fought, shed blood and gave their lives as a sacrifice for us to have better ones. It has nothing to do with making white children, or adults for that matter, feel guilty about the color of their skin, or the discomfort they might feel in a conversation about it. It’s about facts. It’s about being educated on what this country was built on. It’s about knowing what life was like for African Americans because it is a part of history. Period.
Racism used to be concealed. We always knew it was there, but it just wasn’t as visible. Whether you were in a store shopping, and the salesperson would follow you through the store assuming you might be shoplifting, or if you were seated in the back of a ritzy restaurant by a white waiter with wine glasses and a smile. But we knew. We always knew.
In 2022. Racism is no longer concealed. It is directly in your face. It’s a part of our lives every day, and some caucasians are no longer ashamed to express it. Our former president opened a pandora box from the past that we may never be able to close. The racial sensitivity is gone. It actually feels as if it is ok to be racist, but the behavior isn’t considered to be. We hear it on the news, the radio, and even in person unapologetically.
We have got to fight for the will of our future. We have to fight so everyone will know the importance of Black History Month, and how many of us have done so much to make this country the great one that it is. We cannot let White Supremacy diminish all of what we have achieved for not just this country, but for the world. That’s why Black Lives Matter. That’s why voting matters. That’s why Black History Month matters. And we cannot let anyone convince us to think otherwise.