Our view: the shortest month of the year

You’ve all heard the joke.

If there’s a Black History Month, why isn’t there a White History Month? Because every other month is White History Month?

Not laughing? Neither are we, because it’s true.

Race is such an integral part of our everyday lives, but most of us don’t like to talk about it. It makes us uncomfortable. If you’re part of the majority, you may not see what the problem is. Everyone has equal rights, and there’s no more discrimination. Besides, when you look at a person, you don’t even see a color.

Sound familiar?

Tomorrow starts Black History Month. Pan-African Studies, Black United Students, KSU-NAACP and others will host speakers, events and discussions to educate members of the Kent State community about history, culture and racial issues. If any of this interests you, go to these events. If any of these don’t interest you, go to them anyway. Race plays a major part in our lives. You’d be foolish not to learn more.

If you hadn’t noticed, Pan-African Studies, BUS and KSU-NAACP deal with African and African-American history and culture. Not everyone is a member of these student groups or has that for a major. That shouldn’t be a problem because race goes far beyond one department and a few student groups.


• Pick up tomorrow’s Stater for a schedule of

on-campus events during Black History Month.

Race plays a part in world history and American history, culture, law, sociology, economics, arts, science and language. Other academic departments should do their part by incorporating race into their curriculum if they haven’t already.

We’re not asking for a complete revolution of the curriculum, but at least make an effort to recognize that this country is not colorblind, for better or worse. Ignoring race stunts students’ education because they learn to ignore the obvious and subtle issues.

The purpose of attending higher education is to go beyond what grade school taught. A university should prepare its students to enter the professional and independent world waiting for them after graduation. Race doesn’t disappear once the academic department and student groups are a thing of the past.

If you’re black, we’re probably not telling you anything you didn’t already know. You’ve seen just how much the color of your skin affects your life. You’ve seen how race affects your family and friends. You’ve seen how people of other races don’t get it. Please, help them understand. Talk to them. Invite them to events or meetings if you’re part of the group. Just go with them even if you’re not.

If you’re another race, go learn. There’s more going on around you than you realize, regardless of how open you are. Talk to friends, family and/or professors about race. Branch out and take a class in Pan-African Studies. Go to a meeting or an event. These aren’t hard things to do. It’s time to make the effort.

There is no harm in expanding your mind a little. The world is a much bigger, much more complex place than you probably realize. Just because the Civil Rights Movement ended decades ago doesn’t mean equality exists today. It’s time to learn why. That way, figuring out the solution will be much easier.

Student, educate thyself.

The above editorial is a consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.