Home Opinions The convincing case for “White History Month”

The convincing case for “White History Month”

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Illustration by: Rachel Bostick | Staff Illustrator

As February is dwindling down and Black History Month is coming to an end, the echoing cries of white people wanting a month becomes unbearable. It is exhausting, but perhaps necessary.

American society often glances over major events in black history, so designating February as Black History Month gives us a chance to better educate ourselves. Of course, any time someone mentions how black people, or any non-white people, were and are treated differently, opposition is sure to follow.

During this particular month the opposition states there should also be a White History Month, but conveniently glossed over is how it’s already taught thoroughly. Most, if not all schools have a white history class; however, it is usually simply called history.

This history is idealized and topics like slavery or native genocide are barely studied. This being said, America should have a White History Month solely focusing on the racist atrocities committed by people of European descent in this country.

This month can be filled with public service announcements on how the United States locked up Japanese-Americans during World War II, breaking numerous laws and violating numerous rights of these citizens. The government failed to lock up any Germans or Italians, and shockingly this act was fairly racist.

Also, remember how America deported thousands of citizens because they were of Mexican descent? Neither do I. Mass Mexican deportation conveniently was left out of my history class.

America needs a White History Month because the blatantly racist brutalities committed by white people are casually left out of core curriculum.

The whole idea behind Black History Month is to focus the national gaze upon aspects of history people are not usually taught in schools. The negative aspects of American history are not taught in school; therefore, a White History Month is necessary.

We can use this month to learn about both large-scale and small-scale racism in this country. For example, we as a country can discuss how so many trials in the South purposely took place with all white juries. These juries were used to ensure a not guilty verdict for obviously guilty white defendants, like in the case of Emmett Till.

We can also learn about current racism in the denial of mortgages to qualified people who happen to not be white. Yet another aspect of systemic racism I did not learn about until perusing Tumblr.

White History Month shouldn’t be a month full of white-bashing, but instead a reflection of how far this country has come and still needs to go. Unfortunately, most schools in the United States do not acknowledge, let alone teach the aforementioned atrocities.

School would have to be all year long in order to teach even a portion of the facts left out of typical history classes, which is why we need a White History Month.

So we can focus the national gaze upon the bad history of white people, which is lacking from our education system. The saying goes, “learn from your mistakes.” However, if people never learn what those mistakes are, they can’t learn from them.