I have to say, Morgan Freeman has spoken in a context few are able to understand! He has spoken of a view of America that some really can’t grasp. When Booker T. Washington delivered The Atlanta Compromise it was seen as profound! Today that same speech would be viewed as a regression if given in earnest today. And for these different times that is appropriate. Because we have moved far beyond the America of 1895. We moved into the dream of Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech. Where everyone lives as Americans, without regard to race. In the effort to actually make that a reality, actor Morgan Freeman in speaking with Mike Wallace of CBS said words that are rattling for some.
Transcript of Mike Wallace/Morgan Freeman interview at this page. Select the video Freeman On Black History | December 15, 2005 16:42:51.
For some, those words are too much to ever be fathomed! To do away with something that has the “Black” title is sacrilege for some. And I must say that the fear is partly understandable, but must be overcome. Growing up being a Black man I always felt something like Black History Month was needed. I was always told that without it America would forget the contributions of Blacks. And when Negro History Week was founded in 1926 that may have been true. Then someone like Rosa Parks would have never been permitted to lie in state at the US Capitol. And to be honest, given it is an honor only given to Presidents and the greatest military generals, it could be argued that she received more than her due. I would counter that she was a general in her own regard. Still in times past such honor was not even thought of. Today Blacks are honored and efforts made to include great Blacks in American history. So honestly the need has been removed for additional outstanding efforts to impress Black history as a separate facet from American history in general.
We are far beyond 1942 when John H. Johnson created the “Negro Digest”, which later became Ebony Magazine. Today accomplishments by Blacks are covered by all news sources. Blacks are not intentionally ignored any longer. Anyone watching news, entertainment, sports and business shows is bound to see Blacks along with others. For the old White racist that does not wish to watch any program that includes a Black face, their choices have become severely limited.
Still what Mr. Freeman spoke of is not acceptable for many Blacks. What Morgan Freeman spoke of is something that many Blacks fear. True and full integration. Integration to a level where a special month for a race is not promoted. Because all are viewed as Americans. All Americans can help this happen, by no longer promoting such race forced standards on the masses. Push to include Black figures as AMERICAN history and not a special “Black” mention. There was a fight to end segregation and so there is no need for Blacks to have heroes with darker skin segregated any longer.
The true irony of the interview with Mike Wallace, is that Mr. Wallace can be viewed as a minority himself, given he is a Jew. He fully realizes that there is no need for a Jewish History Month. But he asked Mr. Freeman how can racism be ended without something like a Black History Month. He does not feel racism is ended by having a month for his own minority group, but suggest it for Blacks. Because Mr. Wallace like the rest of us is simply used to the way things have been. It is hard to move to something that is different from what someone is accustomed to. But if we are going to truly end racial segregation of Black History it is time that we allow it to truly be American history.
update (12/21/2005 2:10PM ET): La Shawn Barber mentions in this post that the Baltimore Sun asked her about Mr. Freeman’s remarks. They never published a word she said. There is a wealth of other things in that post I fully agree with also. La Shawn, you should not be surprised that the Baltimore Sun has a bias against Conservatives, especially those of us with a darker skin tone. I’ve pointed that out in detail in this post. I don’t know how Gregory Kane can endure working there.
La Shawn’s original comments about Mr. Freeman are in this post. The Liberal media does not want you to know that there are Blacks that actually support Mr. Freeman’s comments.
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