Wisdom Through Humor
White Guilt Month

by Justin Guy

Being that February is "Black History Month" I decided to discuss the subject with some of my black friends. Then I realized, I don't actually have any black friends.

Hm. In lieu of this it became clear that I, a categorically white person, would have to view yet one more Black History Month from a distance. I'm sure there's lots to be learned, activities in which to participate and maybe even some fun to be had during this month long celebration of this thing called black culture. I wouldn't know for sure, as I have found that I only listen "white" radio, watch "white" TV shows and frequent "white" social gatherings where Black History Month never seems to be a hot topic of conversation.

I wonder why that is. I could be wrong, but maybe it's the same reason I don't have any black friends. If I didn't know better I may find it odd that this is the social circle I now find myself in. As a child I had black friends as I had friends of many nationalities. Right up through the year of junior high school our clique was a colour wheel. Hell, I even dated a young Jamaican girl for a spell. But by graduation, I have to admit, we had all fallen neatly into colour coordinated groups that intermingled only when class let out and we were forced like a teaming crowd into the tight hallways.

After high school all things Black became a stereotype that didn't necessarily correspond with what I whole heartily knew, but with what adult life had prescribed.

Sadly, and I'll admit this, Black History Month for me serves mostly to define who I am not as opposed to who that Jamaican girl in junior high school was. White Guilt Month is a term a lot of us secretly use to describe Black History Month. And why is that? Well, personally, I would have to bet that it is because most "whites" feel as alienated and uneducated about Black History Month as myself.

Another typical reaction is that if "blacks" can have a month, then why not "whites" or aboriginal people or Chinese immigrants? This is not necessarily a justifiable reaction, but merely a typical one. A complaint from the other spectrum may be that a Black History Month restricts the teaching of Black History to said month, whereas it would better serve everyone to have this facet of history taught along side "white history".

Regardless of the pros and cons, I can only humbly propose say a "Red Blood Month". Wouldn't that be cool and idealistic? To celebrate the idea that underneath our epidermis, removed from our sordid histories and beyond our own bizarre cultural rites we're all the same? I could quote Shakespeare here but on top of being cliche that would likely give this entire article a decidedly more Western slant than it already is, so instead I'll end with a dictionary definition of "Blood":

Blood: n, the fluid that circulates in the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins of vertebrate animals carrying nourishment and oxygen to and bringing away waste products from all parts of the body.

So there you have it - Red Blood Month. We can get together, learn about each other, have a good time and lay the guilt on plants and rocks for not being more like us.


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