Wow, Morgan Freeman GOES OFF About Black History Month!
Now, at first glance it’s easy for folks to assume the worst and call Freeman a sell-out ‘Uncle Tom’ because of his statement. But after watching the entire clip from his past 60 Minutes interview, it’s understandable where Freeman’s coming from. That doesn’t mean it isn’t debatable, it just means that he backed up his point of view with valid logic and not stupidity, nor self-hating attention seeking rhetoric *coughs Stacy Dash.*Morgan Freeman had this to say about Black History Month when asked about it in the interview:
“It’s ridiculous […] What- you’re going to relegate my history to a month?”
Freeman turned the tables and then asked interviewer, Mike Wallace this:
“What do you do with yours? Which month is White History Month? […] Come on, tell me.”
After Wallace acknowledged that he was Jewish, Freeman asked him where his ‘Jewish History Month was’ to which Wallace admitted that he wouldn’t want his history confined to a month. Morgan replied:
“I don’t want one either. […] I don’t want a Black History Month. Black history is American history.”
“Stop talking 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. I know you as Mike Wallace. You know me as Morgan Freeman. You want to say,`Well, I know this white guy named Mike Wallace.’ You know what I’m saying?”
WATCH THE INTERVIEW CLIP
Morgan Freeman’s point is very thought provoking because it’s accurate that Black history is American history, in the sense that much of it was built off of the backs of Black slaves.
However, many would argue that although Freeman’s point is a beautiful thought-that every person should have the ability, regardless of race, to simply see the next human being as the human race- unfortunately that goal has yet to become genuinely attainable. That does NOT mean that everyone in America- White, Black, Brown, etc.- is racist simply because they see color, it just means that the fabric of America and the blood, death, dirt and sludge it was woven with, has a long ways to go before it is washed squeaky clean. Therefore causing the issue of race to be woven into the everyday lives of Americans in some form- even if we are not racist whatsoever.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH CREATOR, CARTER G. WOODSON, FELT DIFFERENTLY
“If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.” -Carter G. Woodson
Woodson intentionally designated ‘Negro History Week’ to coincide with the birthdays of former president Abraham Lincoln (who abolished slavery in 1865) and Frederick Douglas. That brings me back to Morgan Freeman’s opinion on Black History Month…In 1926, when Woodson created what would become this Black celebratory month, America was only about 50 years out of slavery- it was still legal to arrest (or kill) a Black man for looking a White woman in the eye while walking down the street; it was still legal for a Black person to get brutally beaten, or killed, by police simply for politely asking why they were being stopped while minding their own business. Sounds familiar? Sadly those types of injustices are still considered unspoken ‘crimes’ in America.
But again, Morgan Freeman does make a valid point as well. So the question is: Which is the best way to deal with racism in America? “Stop talking about it,” as Freeman stated? Or deal with the ugliness of it head on, to ultimately be able to get to the beauty in every human being?