(originally posted February 24th, 2005)

I participate in an online networking group called Ryze, and I run my own network (kind of like the old bulletin board system) for people based in central New York, though anyone can join. This month being Black History Month, I’ve posted a fact a day about either a famous black person, or an event that had significance in black history.

We all have the ability to go in and see how many times people have come in to look at what’s been written for every message. What’s somewhat bothersome is that most of the posts there have only had one person look at them, and she’s not even originally from America.

That’s somewhat disturbing, and in my opinion, is further explanation of just how far America has to go to overcome some of its issues with race. I’m definitely not saying that some of the participants are racist; nothing further from the truth. What I am saying, though, is that people avoid history like it’s the plague; most people don’t really care about their own history, so I guess thinking they might care more about the history of black people was kind of naive of me.

Then again, blaming the entire thing on race might be a bit of a stretch. Thinking back to my old school days, the subject people seemed to hate most was history, which I couldn’t really understand across the board because I enjoyed most history. I’ll admit to being bored when it came to European history, but I was fascinated by Greek and Roman history, and I’ve always thought that most of the other history, Mongolian, Chinese and Indian, was way underplayed. Then again, it was the 70’s, and it seemed that most people really didn’t know that much about it back then; isn’t that a shame?

However, people can’t really come together and overcome their differences if they’re not willing to even look back at history, whether recent or not, to see where the thoughts and feelings of others might have germinated. It’s disappointing, but I’ll get over it; maybe.

I say maybe because this country really does still have a long way to go. Most of us haven’t really recovered from the abomination that was September 11, 2001. Some of us in this country are still dealing with the after effects of the Rodney King trials in California; do I dare mention O.J.? This one is cut across racial lines as well; anyone watching TV news at night knows this.

Still, it’s sad overall that Black History Month interest seems to be on the wane. I could be wrong a bit because, not having kids, I have no idea what the schools are doing. As someone that does diversity training it’s somewhat disturbing to think about. But based on what I see, it seems the interest is just not there. And that’s sad.
 

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