Black HistoryBlack Lives MatterOpinion

Dominion’s Opinions: Black History Month Call to Action

When we started talking about what this month’s article would be about, the annoyed pessimistic sarcastic shady side of me was like, “A column about Black History Month? GROUNDBREAKING!!” And yet…

Here we are at the start of another Black History Month where everyone pretends to give a shit about things Black, African, and/or of the Diaspora for the fewest days possible. I say “pretend” because nothing about most people’s behavior in the other 11 months of the year lends any credence to the fact that they actually care about anything beyond the bridge of their nose. Think I am being too much of a “glass half empty” kind of guy? A few examples…

Across the United States there is a movement against so-called Critical Race Theory (CRT). This movement is nothing more than a poorly disguised attempt to erase Black people from the history books, minimize and deny our pain, and re-write the American story in a way that is largely untrue while flying in the face of easily verifiable facts. Via Axios, “…14 states have imposed restrictions on the teaching of CRT through legislation, executive actions, or commission votes. In total, 35 states have introduced bills or taken other steps to restrict teaching CRT or limit how teachers can discuss racism and sexism”. The article goes on to show what that might look like in practice such as teachers being allowed to point out Rosewood, Florida or Tulsa, Oklahoma on maps, but banned from mentioning the racial atrocities that took place there.

If the companies displaying red, black, and green logos this month really cared about Black history and the people at the center of the month, they would be using their considerable political influence and money to defeat these CRT initiatives. Instead, we get ill-conceived Black History Month mattress, automobile, and fast food commercials featuring music from dead Black artists who never received their flowers (AND COINS) while they were alive.

For a little razzle dazzle, we get trite and well-worn with quotes from Martin Luther King (never Malcolm X) or beatific photos of Rosa Parks. If they use historical images or video, it’s always framed in such a way to say that was long ago, as if the woman who lied on Emmett Till isn’t still alive; as if the people who booed and spat on Ruby Bridges aren’t still drawing breath; as if their children and grandchildren (the inheritors of their legacies) aren’t today’s police chiefs and senators and HR directors and nurses.

Another example is the Black Lives Matter Movement. After the death of George Floyd, people all over this country and around the world rallied and called for change. Despite the pandemic, we gathered and protested. Gay porn stars, Real Housewives, Instagram influencers, and TikTok stunt kweens all added #BlackLivesMatter to their profiles. They cared about Black People, you guys!

And then, Big Pharma rolled out vaccines and boosters, and mask mandates were lifted. Suddenly you could dine outdoors and go back to whoring around in semi-exotic destinations. Who cares about Black Lives when you could go back to trolling for Black dick? Turns out we didn’t really care about Black Lives, we were just bored and needed to get out of the house.

If everyone who marched and protested for Black Lives really cared, they would have kept that some energy for Tony McDade, David McAtee, Rayshard Brooks, Jacob Blake, Dijon Kizzee, Deon Kay, Tafara Williams, Marcellis Stinnette, Walter Wallace Jr., Kevin E. Peterson Jr., Andre Hill, Jamal Sutherland, Adam Toledo, Daunte Wright, Ma’Khia Bryant, Andrew Brown Jr., Isiah Brown, and Elijah McClain, just to name a few of the more than 1646 people killed by police since George Floyd. They would be protesting. They would be holding police and politicians accountable.

Instead, they’ve almost all returned to a status quo, including support for a president who wants to INCREASE budgets for local policing. Instead, they went back to making shitty OnlyFans content, thirst trapping, hawking questionable beauty products, and ingesting dangerous substances for likes.

When I say everyone pretends to give a shit, I mean E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E., including lots of Black people. Hell, some of us don’t take our pain seriously, so why should others? Perhaps I am making too much of a trifle, but…

A famous TikTok making the rounds features a quote from George Wallace. Yes, racist Alabama governor George Wallace. Despite the terrible ugly history connected to this man, more than ten thousand people (almost all Black) have used the sound bite for laughs.

Another popular TikTok mocks a powerful scene from the movie Hidden Figures where the main character talks about having to trek to the “Colored” bathroom and drinking from a segregated coffee pot. Again, if we don’t take our history seriously, Black people, who else will? I have a lot more to say about that, but this is probably not the forum for that, so I’ll just say do better.

The purpose of Black History Month is to honor the contributions of Black people to United States and world history. What can we do to honor those contributions? It’s not JUST supporting Black businesses because that’s just capitalism with a darker face. And, it’s not JUST advocating for police reform because without the teaching of an accurate history, no one will understand why reform is necessary. Nor is it JUST about celebrating a white-washed Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks, but also celebrating the accomplishments of Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Myrlie Evers, Bayard Rustin, James Baldwin, John Lewis, Aileen Hernandez, and so many others. It’s about doing all these things and not JUST during the month of February.

Dominion Onyx

Dominion is a kinky Dom Leatherbear with LOTS to say. You can catch his column, Dominion’s Opinions, bimonthly in Bearworld Magazine. His video podcast, The BGKH Show with Dominion & Epic, airs every Wednesday from 8-930 pm Eastern on YouTube, (