By Danielle Young, The Root
It’s official: America is going through something serious right now. There are multiple shootings of black people at the hands of law enforcement that have left many families confused and in mourning; there was a sniper shooting that killed five police officers in Dallas; and I mostly fear that the violent and horrific stories aren’t over.
In times like these, we should come together, lift one another up. But of course, we’re not in a perfect world, so there are plenty of people who use this as a time to attempt to rip us apart. Those people say, “White girls rock” when we celebrate black excellence at Black Girls Rock! Those people don’t understand why lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people get to be proud and straight people don’t. Those people are perplexed by HBCUs.
It’s these types of people who need all the seats in all the stadiums in the world. I have a message for you: It’s not about you. Grow up and realize that you might not be racist, but you’re dangerously close. Here are five things that should stop now.
How many times does it need to be broken down so that it’s officially broke?! #BlackLivesMatter exists only because of the racial disparities that leave many of our loved ones slain. It’s a cry for recognition of our humanity. It’s a response to the lives of people like Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Rekia Boyd, Aiyana Stanley-Jones and the countless other black faces who lost their lives because of their melanin-rich skin. Their killers have consistently not faced any consequences.
We use #BlackLivesMatter as a reminder that we matter, as an affirmation that despite the recurring killings, we should experience humanity, too. #AllLivesMatter is already implied, and trolls seem to think that when “Black lives matter” is said, it somehow means that only black lives matter—and that’s definitely not the case.
2.) White History Month
Can someone please tell me about how there’s so little white history taught in schools—so little, in fact, that there needs to be a full month dedicated to celebrating it? I’ll wait. Oh, you can’t? That’s because every piece of history taught in school is saturated in whiteness. Black History Month was created as an acknowledgment and celebration of the impressive achievements of black people, who somehow managed to succeed despite the hatred, violence and inequality directed toward us. White History Month extends all year, and all we’ve been allowed is the shortest month of the year to celebrate and recognize our history.
Also, Stacey Dash once said that there shouldn’t be a Black History Month, or Black Entertainment Television. I try not to acknowledge her ignorance, but seriously, does she not realize why these things were created in the first place?
3.) We Don’t Need HBCUs
Wendy Williams put her Stacey Dash wig on and ignorantly claimed, “I would be really offended if there was a school that was known as a historically white college. We have historically black colleges. What if there was the national organization for white people, only? There’s the NAACP.” Girl. Girl. GIRL. Wendy’s father attended Lincoln, an HBCU, and she should know better.
These universities were created because black people were pushed out from getting a high-quality education at other universities. So we did what we always do: created our own. Now these schools are celebrated and upheld as accredited institutions. And let’s be real; every college that isn’t an HBCU is a predominantly white institution, sooo … we do have historically white colleges. And isn’t the Ku Klux Klan a national organization for white people?
4.) The #BlackLivesMatter Movement Is the New KKK
Good ol’ boy Bill O’Reilly has compared Black Lives Matter to the KKK, calling BLM a hate group. Well, at least he admits that the KKK is a hate group. However, Black Lives Matter is the exact opposite. There is no hate there—only love, support and frustration at the constant killing of black people. BLM activists have never killed anyone, strung anyone from trees, burned crosses or placed fear in the hearts of anyone with skin that doesn’t match their own. But guess who has? The KKK.
5.) Straight Pride
For those ignorant people who claim that there’s a need for “straight pride,” I’ve got only Prince side eyes for you. Straight is the default. Gay pride was created for the same reason Black History Month was: There was no celebration of, and mostly oppression of, homosexuality. So LGBT folks did what black people did: created a space for them to celebrate themselves and their lives and to have a place in this world, just like anyone else.