Scrap Black History Month
People celebrate February as Black History Month, but what is its real purpose — other than therapy for elite blacks? Obviously, there are brilliant black intellectuals, but in general, blacks aren’t interested in scholarship. We should stop deluding ourselves; blacks don’t care deeply about learning.
Blacks rarely value knowledge for its own sake. In my experience, many blacks are happy to study something to get a degree and a job, but learning something for its own sake is another story. It is not uncommon for me to have to justify my reading habits to other blacks. The only time I can freely discuss intellectual issues with a black person is if he is exceptionally curious. Many blacks think you can go crazy if you study too much. On several occasions, I have seen blacks caution one another against passionate study because it will induce madness.
Of course, white people tease nerds, too, but they don’t act as if brilliance is antithetical to whiteness. Meanwhile, some blacks still think scientists are arrogant layabouts for investigating the mysteries of life. To them, intelligence is worthy of scorn. Even educated blacks have told me that scientists are weird people.
Unlike whites who celebrate men such as Adam Smith and Milton Friedman every day, the heroes of the black community will always be entertainers, not forgotten intellectuals such as Abram Harris and Alexander Crummell or entrepreneurs such as Elijah McCoy and Milly Pierce. All Black History Month does is stroke the egos of some blacks. We should scrap it to spare blacks the burden of pretending to care about learning.