History's Lessons

It’s March. Where did February go? It does seem like February slipped by in a furry of snowstorms. So did black history month. or maybe its were I’m located. When I lived in Texas, it seemed like the short month of February was jam packed with activities designed to remind and celebrate the legacy , contributions and history that Black Americans have made to this country. I went to luncheons, breakfasts, parades and service activities, etc. There were so many we had to pick and choose which we would attend.
Now that I have moved to “supposedly” more liberal California, the month almost slipped by unnoticed. There was one activity, and that is the first weekend in March. Instead of being a month of remembrance and reflection, the thing that will stay in my mind about February of 2010 is The Compton Cook Out on UCSD’s campus, an event that was a mockery of black history celebrations everywhere, where participants were encouraged to come in black face or dressed as jigaboos and project girls. Oh, wait, that’s not all. There was also a noose found hanging in the school library. Lovely.
What saddens me about that is so many times we like to say that things like Black History month are not necessary, that we are all equal now and since we have a Black president, racism doesn’t exist and that the lessons we’ve learned from our past history have been ingrained in the younger generation. Don’t you wish that were true?
In the words of Gustave Flaubert ,
“Our ignorance of history causes us to slander our own times.”


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