General Question

YARNLADY's avatar

How did blacks get an entire Black History Month, and Native Americans not even get one N A Day?

Asked by YARNLADY (39487 points ) February 1st, 2012

There is an obscure Native American Day mentioned in the Google search, but not many know about it. How did this come to be?

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46 Answers

FutureMemory's avatar

Under-representation? I can’t think of even one NA politician.

Blackberry's avatar

I think @FutureMemory has a good point. And essentially wiping out an entire culture and race to make room for yours doesn’t help, either.

marmoset's avatar

Non-native Americans are in an incredible amount of denial about what our ancestors did to the native population here. We don’t really want to think about it. To the extent we do think about that part of our history, we have just a few myths and oversimplifications. On the other hand, while racism against black Americans is still deeply entrenched in our culture, whites are much more comfortable acknowledging the realities of slavery and black history in the U.S. I think that’s a big factor.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Having a “day” would imply some recognition of the native americans – and specifically American responsibility for uprooting them and killing so many of them off.

There is no support – especially in this current political atmosphere – on the part of any politician to admit that America did anything wrong to the native americans, even though it is documented and it happend 125+ years ago.

Bottom line, doing something in 2011 would imply guilt and wrongdoing, and that is a political non-starter.

ragingloli's avatar

A lack of regret and acknowledgement of the atrocities committed, is my guess.

Jude's avatar

We need one here in Canada, as well. For our Natives.

keobooks's avatar

November is National Native American History Month

There’s a National History month for just about every race. Black history month just gets the most attention. I don’t think a National History month really fixes anything for anyone, though.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^^ There‚Äôs a National History month for just about every race. ^^ For African Americans not the month of African American’s greatest leader, Dr. King, but the second month which is also the shortest month, just a curious observation.

keobooks's avatar

The month was selected by an African American professor because it marked the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas.

http://www.infoplease.com/spot/bhmintro1.html

YoBob's avatar

Hmmm… my guess is that there were not as many Native Americans left to whine about injustice.

Charles's avatar

How many Black voters are there? How many (possibly Native) Americans are there?

digitalimpression's avatar

I don’t know, but this guy has it 100% right in my opinion.

YoBob's avatar

Amen Morgan Freeman!!!

AstroChuck's avatar

@Jude- What about National Aboriginal Day (in May or June)?

Blackberry's avatar

@digitalimpression I totally agree with that premise, but it has just as many cons as it does pros (just like any ideology of course).

If we simply stop talking about it, doesn’t the kind of assume that everyone is in complete acceptance? Or doesn’t it assume that everyone has a knowledge base that is well enough to understand the constructs of race and culture in American society? America has a lot of different societies within itself, and I don’t think just forgetting about it can work everywhere.

People will ask questions and if they don’t get satisfying answers who knows what people may just assume.

I don’t think black history month is going to solve these problems, though, but I also don’t think it’s a detrimental process that is impeding progress.

auhsojsa's avatar

@marmoset I don’t think we are naive about the situation, it’s more like if the youth did not live through it, for the most part, it doesn’t affect their life style. There’s been a handful of generations that have grown up in the U.S.A. since the Native Americans ruled the plains. It’s a sad but true fact. (Out of sight out of mind)

I’m sure if someone pushed for a month of awareness it would follow through. I don’t see how overlapping a month would hurt as well.

incendiary_dan's avatar

We still have Columbus Day. Clearly denial runs deep.

auhsojsa's avatar

If it makes you less sad. As a fourth grader we were taken to Old Town San Diego, where we learned about the Kumeyaay for a whole week. It was a magical time in my life. I’ve never went to a work shop where we learned about “black” culture.

I agree though, we should have a month of recognition. Let’s do it, start the petition!

Nullo's avatar

Different case, perhaps? It may have something to do with the way that the Native American populations function in a manner akin to countries.

Blueroses's avatar

@FutureMemory There was Ben Nighthorse Campbell, long-term Representative and Senator from Colorado, whose name was kicked around as a possible presidential candidate until he dropped out of politics.

There’s a very large Native American population in my part of the States and they are quite influential in local politics and in raising awareness of tribal cultures. All levels of political boards’ rosters contain names like Good Crow and Takes Horse.

The public schools include several weeks of tribal studies into the curriculum, but on the other hand, barely does anything for Black History Month. I guess my point is that recognition is demographic.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Some of you guys seem to have missed @keobooks post with appropriate link up there. Recognition of the month is another matter, and @Blueroses has a big point. When we lived in Washington State and Colorado, much more attention was paid although Ben Nighthorse Campbell really pissed off a bunch of us when he switched parties mid-term to the Native American communities and concerns. It is, indeed, often about demographics.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
digitalimpression's avatar

@Blackberry I see what you’re saying, but I’ll stick with Mr. Freeman.

I don’t see black history month as a detriment at all… I just think that men are men, regardless of their color… and continuing to make distinctions based solely on ethnicity doesn’t make sense to me.

digitalimpression's avatar

and yes.. women are women too… when the technicality police show up.. they surely will…

Nullo's avatar

@Blackberry I second Mr. Freeman: race-specific social recognitions drive the wedge deeper, since they emphasize an already apparent otherness. Imagine if there were an Aryan History month, think of how divisive that would be.

@digitalimpression Give the technicality police this, with my regards.

sydsydrox's avatar

I think that November is Native American History month or something….
That’s a good question, I don’t know why they haven’t been appreciated for everything they’ve done.

keobooks's avatar

@sydsydrox You THINK November might be Native American History month or something? What on earth would give you that idea? I mean it’s not like someone posted something on this very thread about it or anything…

le sigh..

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Blackberry's avatar

@Nullo @digitalimpression Isn’t this strange….we’re agreeing on stuff….

Yeah, I know what you mean, but I’m torn because it’s seems like a “this is the way the world should work” vs. “we’re almost there so let’s just implement it” kind of thing. That’s why I said it may work in some places, but not others.

syzygy2600's avatar

Might as well ask why the centuries of slavery and cultural genocide the British did to the Scottish and especially Irish are completely ignored by contemporary society. Irish slaves were still being worked to death in the sugar plantations of Barbados long after African slaves freely walked the streets of America.

Or might as well ask why the situation in Turkmenistan is completely ignored by the mainstream and alternative media. One of the most oppressive and totalitarian regimes in modern history was carried out in that country, and no one lifted a finger to stop it (hint: there number one natural resource is an important component in electronics , and even hippies these days regard their goddamned Iphones as a sacred right).

Bottom line is the social engineers always have their reasons for bringing certain things to the limelight while disregarding others. I don’t know why they ignore Natives, but I’m sure they have their reasons.

YARNLADY's avatar

@keobooks Thank you for the excellent source.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Political pull.

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woodcutter's avatar

Squeeky wheels?

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sydsydrox's avatar

@keobooks Im sorry I posted that. I was typing about it at the same time you were typing, and I just wasn’t sure, because i am really bad about holidays and dates and things like that. So people, just ignore my comment please.

Aster's avatar

They wanted it and they got it. So predictable.

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mattbrowne's avatar

I’d say let’s start a campaign. Call your representatives.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Start your own Committee, maybe it would catch on Nationally?
If one does not have what you are searching for then create one.
If there is a need fill it.

keobooks's avatar

November is NA history month. NOVEMBER.

Incoherency_'s avatar

How about Febuary 30st?!

woodcutter's avatar

Other than Solidad Obrien getting her documentaries running on CNN what exactly to blacks get during their month??

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