Black History, White Guilt, and 28 Reasons

Screen shot 2014-02-05 at 9.23.12 AMUsually during this time of year I will (re)post Morgan Freeman's claim that Black History Month is Ridiculous. You know...he makes a compelling argument and asks a pointed question: Black history is American history. Why relegate it to a single month?  Fair enough. But now that that has sort of been played to death on the Internet I would like to have a look at something else. Today I offer SNL's Black History Month highlight - a list of 28 reasons to hug a black guy. In case you missed the skit, a trio of black high school students recite a Black History Month project enumerating said 28 reasons. The punchline?  Reasons #2-28 are slavery. Yes - not only the baggage associated with the institution but the word itself makes their white classmates and white teacher really really uncomfortable and admittedly guilty. White people - does this seem accurate to you? If a black person mentions slavery do you feel guilty? Would a frank discussion about the institution or even a mention of the word make you stare at your shoes?

I am extremely interested everyone's take on this skit. I personally would be happy to discuss the skit, racism, and the social, political, and economic resonance of slavery with anyone (black, white, or whatever). I promise not to get all fidgety.

With compliments,


PS - in case you haven't seen it yet...