(Originally written Tuesday, February 14, 2006)
It's February, and that means that once again it's a month near and dear to my heart, because it highlights the heritage of my people throughout the formation of our wonderful country: Black History Month. Yes, Black History Month, (I dunno if I'm supposed to capitalize or not, but I'm going to anyway) when we celebrate the amazing and important things that blacks have done in our country. There are the big names we all know and love: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Malcolm X, George Washington Carver, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Jimmy J.J. Walker, O.J. Simpson and many, many more. But there are the lesser known black trailblazers as well, such as Lucius Twilight, the first black man in America to graduate from college.
Being in the Army, I've noticed that the military takes its heritage months very seriously. There are displays and shit all over the place, daring you to not look at them, read them and acquire an education. They do it for all the other heritage months, and they've done it for this one as well. Black History Month is no different.
So, being a black man constantly thirsty for information and knowledge of self, I decided to look at one of the displays out here in Iraq, and I have to say, we must really be hitting the bottom of the barrel with this whole highlighting of people business. I mean, I felt a little bit patronized. The first black man to ride a horse? A black man who made improvements in the whaling industry? The first black man to flick a booger under a table? (Okay, I made that last one up, but it's in the same spirit as the others.) Doesn't that seem a little stupid? Just being the first black person to do something, doesn't mean the person should be honored or highlighted. Or else we'd have to honor Dave Chappelle for being the first black man to go crazy, throw away a $50 million contract and run away to Africa, (and not just Africa: South Africa. That alone is some crazy-ass shit) where he proceeded to tell reporters that he wasn't addicted to crack. Way to go Dave!
I'm not even going to mention how Black History Month is also the shortest month of the year. That's way too obvious, isn't it? Why not give us the first day of each month, then we could have Black History Welfare Check Day! Could it get any more offensive than that? Probably, but it would require effort and colorful language.
You know what else February is, (besides the trickiest month to spell)? It's American Heart Month! What does that mean? I don't know! I guess that means we should highlight all the achievements the heart has made. Remember that time the Grinch's heart grew three sizes bigger? That was great. Or the time Moloram reached into that dude's chest and pulled out his beating heart, which then caught on fire as the dude's live body was lowered in the pit of molten lava? That was a good one too. But it happened in India, so it might not count. Although Indiana Jones was involved, and he's American, so I'd say that teeters on the fence.
Next month, (March) is serving quadruple-duty, which is kinda unfair to everybody involved. We've got 12 months, let's spread it around little bit! Anyway, next month is Women's History Month, (won't that be exciting?) Irish-American History Month, (you'd think St. Patrick's Day would be enough) American Red Cross Month, (which means March is the perfect time to fall down a well or get caught in some third-world natural disaster) and most importantly National Caffeine Awareness Month! Caffeine exists! It's everywhere! It could be sneaking up behind you right now! You and you're family aren't safe, WATCH OUT!!
Man, I can wait for next month; my excitement and sense of anticipation are palpable. I think the only thing I'm looking forward to more is September, because it's National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. The possibilities there are mouth watering.