Volume 90, Issue 82

Thursday, February 20, 1997



Is it a black thing or a ____ thing?

Re: Diversity Issue, Feb. 4

To the Editor:

To start I would like to say that I liked the pullout The Gazette featured in its Feb. 4 issue. It had a lot of nice quotes from famous people and maybe soon-to-be-famous people. For one of the first times I read and understood.

What I would like to talk about is what happened later that day. I was sitting down waiting for a class when I overheard a conversation among some black students.

One student said, "Did you hear that The Gazette is not going to put any Black History Month stuff in the paper this year?"

"Yeah, I heard that too," another person said. Finally, the third person in the group spoke up and said, "We don't need anything in the paper, this is a black thing and only a black thing and I'm already proud of who I am."

First of all, I would like to point to The Gazette editorial called "Decisions, decisions" (Feb. 4) from which I quote: "This is not to say a Black History Month issue won't be published in the future." I believe this is a common belief among many races ("It's a black thing," "It's a _____ thing"). Groups set up for one race or one culture tend to look down on the outsider who wants to join for the education. Many groups will deny this but I have seen it first hand. If you don't look the part or speak the part they ask, "What are you doing here?" This is the downfall of all these groups that we see come out in flocks during specific groups weeks. They do not look for the mosaic – they run away from it.

These groups need to be saying, "If you're not Chinese don't worry!" "If you're not Native Canadian come and learn about us." "If you're not Pakistani, come meet someone who is."

Black History Month is not a black thing. I need to learn about Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela and the struggle that all black people had and still face, just as much as I need to know about the Jews' struggle, the Native Canadian struggle and the struggle of all mankind. In the end we are all human.

Mark Sceviour
Political Science II

To Contact The Letters Department: gazoped@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997