Perplexed is an awesome word, and perplexed is what I am. I’ve been wanting to post this blog for a few days, but I’ve been afraid of the potential backlash I might receive. Today, I decided the backlash would be worth it because what I’m saying is not being said with ANY malicious intent.
It’s February, and February is Black History Month. I’m really confused. Why do we need a Black History Month, or a Woman’s History Month, or an Irish American History Month or any other specific history month that may crop up?
Please don’t think I’m negating the role that ANY race or nationality played in the development of our country. They all deserved to be recognized, but on a daily basis, not for just a certain number of days in any given month. The women who fought so that other women could vote, Rosa Parks, and Dr King and the myriad of others who fought for civil rights, the Japanese who were interred during World War II – they ALL played a role in the formation of this country and their struggles should be recognized every single day. Not just in February, or November or whatever month is assigned to them.
It bothers me because I loved growing up thinking America is this great melting pot, but we’re not. At least we’re not any more. We single people, nationalities, and races out, even if its for the best of reasons. My grandmother and grandfather on my Dad’s side were both born in Ireland, and I’m proud of heck of my Irish heritage, but I am, first and foremost, an American, not an Irish-American.
Were there many Irish born people who fought and struggled every day to carve out an existence in this country and create a better way of life for their families? Yes! Should their struggles and contributions to our nation be recognized? A resounding YES! Do they need a particular week or month of recognition? No, I don’t think so. I think their contributions are a part of AMERICAN history and should be recognized as such.