I’ll admit that I’ve been a bit intimidated to finally write my first entry. I want to live up to the expectations for Fair Play that I had set in my head and have been nothing short of terrified that I won’t deliver.
I don’t want to let anyone down with some mediocre post. More importantly, though, I don’t want to disappoint myself by not jumping in the water. So, whether I dive in perfectly or take a leap with my arms and legs flailing, I’m ready.
I’ve been kicking around a few heavy-hitter issues in my head: Hawaii’s decision to raise the legal smoking age to 21, President Obama’s address to the nation where he revealed his plan for stricter gun control, and the never-ending battle between Vikings and Packers fans. Today, though, something finally jumped out at me enough to help me kick both my fear and writer’s block to the curb.
Stacey Dash, a star of a cult-classic favorite of mine, Clueless, has ignited a fire in many Americans today, myself included.
Dash, who is now an active political commentator, is known for being a strong conservative who leans to the far right and thus is commonly appearing on Fox News programs. Despite being African-American, Dash told Fox & Friends Host Steve Doocy that she believes channels such as B.E.T., award shows specifically designed to acknowledge people of color, and Black History Month only maintain segregation and should be put to rest.
I hope she strapped on her Kevlar vest for the rainfall of hate-fueled bullets coming her way.
People have really been enjoying calling out and tearing apart not just Dash’s opinion, but Dash herself. A fan favorite seems to be pointing out how “clueless” the woman and her ideas can be.
What gets me more, though, is the refusal of understanding. While many are quick to exclaim that Dash is belittling the strides of people of color and that her statements were mindless, few are taking a chance to step back and think critically about her remarks.
Dash stated during her time on the show that the American public cannot have integration when segregation is still both present and prominent. That statement is pretty self-explanatory and no one can deny that at its bare bones it is accurate. But… it seems to appear that her calling upon the African-American population to end the segregation they participate in was inappropriate. Never mind that her labeling it as a double standard is 100% true, that if indeed there were a White Entertainment television channel and a White History Month that the nation very well would be “up in arms.” It has been unanimously decided that she is wrong and shall be condemned.
Why is that? I have a few theories.
First and foremost, we live in a society where people walk on the eggshells of white guilt.
Think about it. In the last decade the idea of “white privilege” has run rampant through our society, specifically through the young-adult liberals who were trying to find their political identity. The idea that people of a Caucasian descent have an easier path in life simply because of their skin color has strong-armed many on-the-fence Americans into falling to the left on social issues, which for years have been mostly related to racism, regardless of if they fully understand them.
I believe that many people, of all races, simply do not care that B.E.T. or Black History Month exist. They don’t think it’s right, they don’t think it’s wrong, they do not let it affect their lives. However, when the idea of them being taken away is brought to light, these people feel as though they have to protect themselves and their forced socially liberal identity.
Another theory, which I have said many times and has been the biggest proponent for the creation of this blog, is that the young America we know always needs something to be upset about. We can’t help but play the blame game, we love to express aggressive opinions, and we are completely obsessed with pretending we know the absolute highest moral ground. We will deny the double standard and blindly accuse Dash of being a ditz, an idiot, a has-been, and a ridiculous Republican.
Before I reveal my own opinions on this issue, I would like to point out that Dash is not the first African-American celebrity who has called out for the end of Black History Month. As she noted in a blog post following her comments to Doocy, Morgan Freeman once claimed the month to be “ridiculous” during an episode of 60 Minutes, where he further stated, “You’re going to relegate my history to just one month?”
Freeman later asked in the interview which month was White History Month.
This is where I love to hear all the people persist that every month is White History Month because the entirety of history taught is about white men. As someone who is an avid lover of history and studied it in college, statements like that always cue an involuntary eye roll. Not only is the history we are taught far from being solely about white people, but this should entice people to fight for a better, stronger education system, not for separate recognition of a specific history.
There is not a Mexican History Month, a Chinese History Month, an Immigrant History Month, or a Jewish History Month. As famed Jewish Journalist Mike Wallace told Freeman during the 60 Minutes interview, he does not want a Jewish History Month, to which Freeman said he did not want a black one.
“I don’t want a black history month,” Freeman explained. “Black history is American history.”
Now, I would love to see the American people try to tear down the actor most claim is the only man fit to play God in movies just as they have Miss Dash. We all know that will never happen. Maybe this is a moment where people can argue it’s because she’s a woman, but we can save that for another day.
Now, I am not saying liberals are either bad or wrong. I’m also not claiming to be a Republican. I am just pointing out aspects of the situation that so many people have ignored.
I don’t think that the elimination of B.E.T. or Black History Month is anything that will ever happen, let alone anytime soon. I believe, though, that Dash did not ask for their termination from our society to entice any sort of controversy.
I believe that Dash was trying to point out the fault in these existing. We have come a long way as a country in how we treat everyone, minorities and all. We also still have a long way to go. In the eyes of Dash, Freeman, and many others of every race, the existence of these things do not help propel us to further exterminating racism. They believe it prolongs it, because it is in fact a form of segregation.
In an ideal world, history classes would be completely inclusive because of well-funded public education. Award shows would be based solely on who indeed was the most talented. Scholarships would be given out to those who worked the hardest and proved their potential. No one would see color, not because they refuse to, but because it would be widely known and accepted that we’re all the same beneath the surface.
I don’t know what it will take to end racism so we discover the racism free utopia I’ve described, but I do know that crucifying someone who is only trying to help get us there isn’t the way to do it.