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December 16, 2005

Morgan Freeman on Black History Month

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer...

Morgan Freeman says the concept of a month dedicated to black history is "ridiculous." "You're going to relegate my history to a month?" the 68-year-old actor says in an interview on CBS' "60 Minutes" to air Sunday (7 p.m. EST). "I don't want a black history month. Black history is American history."...

Freeman notes there is no "white history month," and says the only way to get rid of racism is to "stop talking about it."

The actor says he believes the labels "black" and "white" are an obstacle to beating racism.

"I am going to stop calling you a white man and I'm going to ask you to stop calling me a black man," Freeman says.

I agree with part of what he says—there is an over emphasis on Black History as separate from American History, when it should be the same. On the other hand the designation Black and White do denote ancestry, and ancestry is an important part of a person's life BUT it should be worn on your chest like a badge, not on your shoulder like a chip.

If you meet someone on the street corner and catch his name and it sounds Jewish and you ask him about it he'll more than likely be a little hesitant at first, but if your comments and questions are positive, he'll respond pleasantly, happy that someone is showing favorable interest in his heritage.

If on the other hand you meet someone on the street who is Black and try to discuss his heritage, 9 times out of 10 he'll assume you're a racist, regardless of what you have to say, simply because it's taboo to notice a Black person is Black, unless those mysterious times that only Black people know have arrived when they want you to notice and will then assume you're racist for ignoring his heritage. It's a lose/lose proposition.

Posted by Danny Carlton at December 16, 2005 09:09 AM

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