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  • Skyla Jewell-Hammie

Black Michigan GOP Candidate For Governor Wants To Remove Black History Month

Updated: Apr 6, 2021



Deeply conservative Austin Chenge, a Black Army veteran, is planning to challenge Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s current position in Michigan. Chenge is making headlines because he believes that he can “abolish” Black History Month and replace it with “American History Month,” in a report made by Detroit Metro Times.


In a public Instagram post, Chenge declared his plans for running for governor by stating his disagreement with Black History Month.


“I will cancel Black History Month in Michigan. It’s offensive, unfair, maybe illegal…” Chenge said. “Americans from all backgrounds deserve a revered history. I’ll declare American History Month.”

Is Chenge serious, or is this a ploy to get in the good graces of deeply conservative, white men?

Chenge’s argument of changing the month to “American History Month” echoes Trump supporters’ claim of Black History Month deriving “needed” attention for other Americans. Many of the supporters believe that the month is giving “special consideration” to Black people, when “all people” should be appreciated.


The fact is: Black History Month is during February, the shortest month of the year. Why is that?

“Black History Month is in the shortest month of the year, and the coldest — just in case we want to have a parade,” Chris Rock once said in a video for Essence.


Many critics complain that the month falls on the shortest of all, so why are people complaining about 28 days of support? The ignorance speakers louder each year that there are complaints over a month of appreciation.


Critics push that it shouldn't just be a month. The appreciation of Black people should be daily.

Black History Month and Black Lives Matter is not a way to create division, as Chenge boasts along with many other Republicans.


The month is there to uplift and appreciate after generations of genocide, enslavement, racism, and ignorance. These are just some of the reasons why the Black community deserves to not only be uplifted daily but be seen and heard.


As a Black and Indigenous woman, it is painful to see a Black man try to dismantle the limited representation for Black people, especially around the nation’s realization of police brutality, and the destruction it has caused in the community.


Black History Month is about looking at the many, incredible ways Black people created, inspired, and lead through different generations. It should be a month to rejoice in diversity and the celebration of BIPOC individuals, making history in a nation where they aren't seen or heard as they should be.

I, among many in the Black community, see these actions as a step towards more division and hurt rather than the rhetoric Chenge claims. It seems he is following aimlessly onto some of the popular, Republican parties who are painting a negative image of Gov. Whitmer (MI).

There is no telling what else Chenge might come out with. It is worrisome to see someone passionately bash a current Governor who has helped Michigan residents through the pandemic safely.


On Chenge's website, he speaks of “taking back control” of Michigan. It seems that Gov. Whitmer has Michigan under control just fine.


Resources:


“Austin Chenge, First Republican Candidate For Governor of Michigan 2022.” Austin Chenge, www.austinforgovernor.com/.

Jordan, Jerilyn. “Michigan GOP Candidate for Governor Is a Black Man Who Wants to Cancel Black History Month.” Detroit Metro Times, Detroit Metro Times, 8 Feb. 2021, www.metrotimes.com/news-hits/archives/2021/02/08/michigan-gop-candidate-for-governor-is-a-black-man-who-wants-to-cancel-black-history-month.

Person. “Chris Rock on Black History Month.” Essence, Essence, 12 Feb. 2015, www.essence.com/video/chris-rock-black-history-month/.

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