Against

Antonio Robinett, Journalist

Does Black History Month serve a purpose in today’s modern times? The question still remains and has stirred up controversy ever since its creation in 1976. After February 2021 has come to an end, it is important to look back at what was done to help improve the Black community.

First and foremost, Black people have much to celebrate for. There have been many achievements and accomplishments done by the Black Community that should be praised throughout the years in the forms such as jazz, fashion, and many other aspects. However, that’s where most miss the point. Why limit oneself to race? More importantly, why can’t we integrate these accomplishments into society without dividing people while doing so?

Same goes for any other race. By fixating ourselves to view and celebrate people with a racial lens, we bring upon ourselves an unhealthy outlook and relentless division within ourselves. Prominent actor Morgan Freeman defended this idea in an interview with Mike Wallace back in 2005 by calling Black History Month “ridiculous.” Freeman went on to say, “I don’t want a Black History Month. Black History is American history.” When Wallace questioned Freeman on how we are going to get rid of racism, Freeman fired back immediately by stating, “Don’t talk about it. I’m going to stop calling you a White man, and I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a Black man.”

That being said, we can bring this into perspective. This year, Google featured a “black-owned business” search tool on their homepage to “encourage supporting Black-owned businesses.” Not only is this a backwards concept, but it is disastrously racist. Buying from a business solely based on the color of skin is unacceptable. What would occur if this was for White, Mexican, or Asian owned businesses only? Afterall, the color of the business owner doesn’t represent the quality of the products, customer service, or overall experience more than any other owner.

I can see why a search filter of such kind can help businesses with visibility in this current time. I also understand that not all businesses are in a good position right now as the current mishandling of the COVID situation is truly destroying the climate for these small businesses to survive. However, it is vital that we work for all businesses to once again go back to normal.  An idea like this can be utilized for good if we don’t allow for division.

The truth is that businesses should not thrive off what color you are. Instead, companies should focus their attention on improving the quality of their craft, services, and work before they resort to playing the “race card” to earn revenue. I’m alarmed that this subtle form of segregation is not condoned, but actively promoted. Sadly, there is a double standard in today’s modern world, and we should seek out to eliminate all forms of racism instead of helping big tech companies, such as Google, enforce it.