Recently Stacey Dash during an interview with Steve Doocy commented that Black History Month and BET should be eliminated because among other reasons it is segregation. She received a lot of heat for these statements from many in the Black community but received a lot of support from the fox news crowd. She then referenced an interview with Morgan Freeman where he expressed a similar sentiment. Crystal Wright the conservative black chick then doubled down and supported Stacey Dash’s comments and added some context for her support as well.
Stacey, Crystal and Morgan are very wrong on the issue here’s why:
- BET AWARDS ARE NOT ALL BLACK
The first problem with the arguments of Stacey and Crystal is that they are based on a false premise. The BET Awards does not only nominate and award black people past non-black winners and nominees include Sam Smith, Justin Timberlake, Robin Thicke, Justin Beiber, Eminem, Paul Wall, Miri Ben Ari, Iggy Azalea, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
- IF THERE WAS A “WHITE ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION OR WHITE HISTORY MONTH BLACKS AND LIBERALS WOULD BE UP IN ARMS”
What if there was a white entertainment television? Short answer: There is, it’s called television. Long answer: What would white entertainment television look like? Would there be show after show featuring predominantly white casts, feature white leads and deal with issues of concern to white people? Would the channel have shows that are made from a white perspective? Would it feature news about white people and celebrate white standards of beauty? If this is what White entertainment Television would look like then that means the vast majority of American television is White Entertainment Television. It isn’t called White Entertainment Television because in this society it is considered the default standard, the “norm” and anything else has to be labeled, ergo Black Entertainment Television.
Is there a white history month? Once again there’s validity to the assertion that every other month, hell every month including February is white history month, because in this society history is taught from a white centric perspective period. This is the entire reason Black History week as Crystal pointed out was started in 1926. And even if you don’t agree with my assessment about every month being white history month let me answer the question another way: No there is not a month dedicated to white history there are more than one Italian Heritage Month is October and Irish Heritage Month is March.
- BLACK HISTORY MONTH AND BLACK ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION FURTHER DIVIDE THE COUNTRY
How? How does providing factual information about history divide the country? How does including black historical figures in education divide the country? How does providing a channel that provides people with shows and programs from a black perspective divisive? If you’re paying attention it’s actually unifying, because BET is not just for black people to watch, white people are free to watch as well. And when white people get to see shows featuring black people, get to see what issues are of concern to black people, and get to see all of the things they have in common with black people it serves as a unifying force not a dividing one. Usually that is… because it does not unify in certain cases when the people watching it or refusing to watch black television don’t like black people. This is when you will see anger that there is a show that has a predominantly black cast because the person being angered has no interest in seeing the humanity of black people, has no interest in gaining insight into the black perspective and doesn’t want to feel any commonalities with black people. I find that if a white person is complaining because there is a show that has “too many black people” in it their divisiveness exists completely independently to the existence of Black Entertainment Television.
- #OSCARSOWHITE CONTROVERSY IS LAME
This is a very surprising statement by you Stacey considering that just last year you advocated that there should be greater outrage on the lack of diversity in the Oscar nominations. The simple fact is it appears that like many of your statements you are relying on secondhand sources in making your responses. Jada Pinkett Smith gave an eloquent and moving statement as to why she will not be attending the Oscars and her reasoning and rationale go far beyond just an awards ceremony to an issue that the black community must give serious attention to: our own self-worth and dignity. Interestingly enough this is actually in alignment with the conservative principle of self-determination because that is exactly what Jada calls for a use of our resources to create for ourselves. This is not just about the Oscars, this is about something far greater and far more important which by no means, in no shape or form, or any stretch of the imagination is “lame”.
- BUT MORGAN FREEMAN SAID IT
Yes, I have seen a clip of the 60 minutes interview where Morgan Freeman says he does not want Black History Month. I want to address statements he made in that interview. He asked if there is a Jewish History Month and the answer Mike Wallace gave was no, but the real answer is yes it’s May. (The interview may have taken place before George Bush announced that May is Jewish Heritage Month in April of 2006) He also posits that the way you get rid of racism is to stop talking about it which is utterly ridiculous. Ignoring a problem does not solve it, it only allows us to delude ourselves about it’s existence while conditions worsen. Ignoring an open wound doesn’t lead to healing it leads to infection. And no Black History is not American History. The United States of America is 240 years old Black history goes back a little further than that.
THESE STATEMENTS ARE THE EXACT REASON WE NEED A GREATER AWARENESS OF BLACK HISTORY AND BLACK PRESENCE IN MEDIA
You see if we think that we can just stick our heads in the sand and ignore the fact that there are people who despise black people with a passion, who view black people as intellectually inferior, as lazy, as morally bankrupt and not worthy to breathe the same air as they do we are woefully uninformed. This is the precise reason we need to as black people need to be thoroughly aware of the hatred we face, the depths of it and the roots of it. We need to be aware of how ineffective and deadly ignoring these problems have been. We need to be aware of how significantly our own psyches have been damaged by these traumas. We need to see positive depictions of black people in media both fictionalized and historical. We need to learn to see ourselves as dignified. We need to learn how to love, respect and cherish ourselves and each other but first we need to learn why we don’t.