letters to the editor

Letters to the Editor | A response to Ezra Gray’s “Should America Have A Black History Month?”

Hey Ezra, I have a few clarifications for you in response to your “Should America Have A Black History Month” piece. In it, you question whether or not other races deserve national history months to go along with African American History Month.

Allow me to reveal some information to you; other races do have their own months. First off is Irish American Heritage Month in March, then Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month as well as Jewish American History Month takes place in May, while most of September and part of October is home to Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month, and the entirety of October is National Italian American Heritage Month.

November rounds out the year with National American Indian Heritage Month. In fact, during most of these months, NDSU’s own Office of Multicultural Programs, as well as various clubs, host various events pertaining to each month.

In your article, you ask about “Arabs”, which by the way it would have been much more respectful to say, “Arabic People” or “Middle Eastern People” and Muslims. You seem to be confused about what it means to be Muslim, as this is not a race.

It is a title for people who follow the religion of Islam, a religious affiliation that includes people of all colors and races. Calling this a race is akin to me calling all white people I see on campus Catholic when there are any number of religions or denominations they may belong to, or they may belong to none of them.

It’s not simply a catch-all term for any brown person from the Middle East. Using this opportunity to move on to your question about Arabic People, it may come as a shock to you that Arabic People can be African American and they can be Asian American. See, the Middle East is situated on the point where Asia and Africa meet.

Now, this is not to say that can only be these things, some people may identify as either of those things. I am not from the area, and I cannot presume to know the intricacies of that particular culture. I can, however, point out these possibilities to you Ezra, who seems unaware of them. Now, the months of January, April, July, August, and December have no designations, and I’d love to see that changed. Let’s make these months inclusive of people, that’s what America is about right?

Being an inclusive nation, regardless of creed, color, religion, or race. Perhaps the next time you have questions about African American History Month or any other national history months, you can go to the main level of the Memorial Union and visit someone in the Office of Multicultural Programs. An even easier option is a simple Google search. I hope that I have addressed all of your questions in these 500 words or less letter.

Oh, and “white history” as a whole doesn’t need a special month. We just call that history.

Tyrel Iron Eyes

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