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Every Month Is American History Month

Hundreds of immigrants, including Mexican immigrant Maria Teresa Camino, center, took part in this 2003 citizenship ceremony in Los Angeles. (Nick Ut/AP) ( contrib )

Remember Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day back when we were kids?  I remember saying, “Mom/Dad — why is there Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day but, no Kids’ Day?”  The answer invariably was, “because every day is Kids’ Day.”  With that I’d usually shrug my shoulders, grab a snack and go play.  Now that I’m an adult, I’m hearing the same sort of reasoning when it comes to the “heritage” months we now recognize in our great country. We now have Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month.  If you ask why there’s no White History Month, you’re usually met with some smart Alec saying, “EVERY month is White history month.” Of course, that’s not true — but, it ends the query pretty quickly.

Without argument, there was a time in this country where the contributions of “other than Whites” were not adequately reported, studied, taught or acknowledged. Yes, slavery was disgusting and unthinkable. But ask yourself this question, does calling February Black History Month make up for slavery?  Or, would including the contributions of Blacks in AMERICAN history be exponentially better?  The answer is obvious yet it is illusive to the race-baiters in our society who seek to divide us. Like Black Americans, Hispanics were treated unfairly and contributed much more to our society than what was acknowledged. But this mistreatment has passed, and acknowledging the achievements of individuals in these ethnic groups as separate from the rest of America goes back on the strides we have made moving forward as a society.

Blacks and Hispanics do and have held the highest offices in this land. They are some of the biggest stars we’ve ever known. Why exactly do we have these patronizing months? To alleviate some deep-seated White guilt?  Or, is it more sinister than that? Is it to keep fresh in the minds of those who didn’t live through it, the unequal treatment minorities once faced to keep up in a mindset of separation rather than unification?  I say it’s the latter.

Really give it some thought. Aren’t those who came up with and continue to perpetrate the necessity for ethnically or racially named and motivated months actually suggesting that the groups covered, Blacks/Hispanics et al, do NOT play a role in our culture for the rest of the year?

This is not the America I want my children to grow up in.  I don’t want to tell my daughters that we should think about Black Americans just in February and Hispanics only in September.  Nope — we’re teaching our kids that the United States of America is the greatest land in the history of the world because people of both genders, all cultures, ethnic backgrounds and races have been able to come together as one to make it so. I want my children to be able to learn about Martin Luther King, Jr even if it’s May or August. I’d like my children to know about the Texans of Mexican ethnicity who fought alongside White Texans in defending the Alamo even if it’s December or, God forbid, February.

Just to let you know, this month I’ll be celebrating all Americans: White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, et al. I suggest you do the same.

Read more from Joe "Pags" Pagliarulo at his blog.

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