No, we don’t need a White History Month … but a student magazine thinks we do.

by Youssef Rddad, University student

When a friend handed me a copy of this month’s issue of the Minnesota Republic magazine, I thought it was a satirical publication. The publication claimed to be celebrating White History Month, and featured a white family holding a poorly Photoshopped sign that read, “We [heart] White People.” Much to my shock, this publication is serious.

I know a lot of us are sick of hearing about race issues that seem to be reported ad nauseam recently. I’m a little tired of talking about it, too, but I’m even more tired of people who like to think certain facts don’t exist.

Let’s start with the obvious argument the magazine is hinting toward: If there’s a Black History Month, shouldn’t there be a White History month?


The purpose of Black History Month is to take a moment to recognize contributions that have been historically dominated by a white narrative in the United States. More importantly, white people in America do not have to think about their history because it has been etched into nearly every institution and cultural foundation, where it has permeated ever since.

I asked my 14-year-old cousin, who is a freshman in high school, if she could name four historical figures. The only non-white person she named was Mao Zedong because she grew up in Taiwan. I’m sure she could muster up a few non-white people if I pressed her, but her initial response is reflective of how education continues to favor the narrative of the white perspective in the U.S.

But the idea of a White History Month cuts deeper than only being able to name a few dead white guys. The Minnesota Republic fails to understand the obvious and well-documented disparities between minorities and whites.

White Americans own the majority of media outlets and Fortune 500 companies and hold almost every major position in government. These are highly influential positions, and despite non-white minorities making up 37 percent of the U.S. population, they are represented by a Congress where only 20 percent of its members are either black or Hispanic.

When Thomas Jefferson signed the Declaration of Independence, stating that all men were equal, he wasn’t talking about the slaves he owned or the Native Americans. He was talking about European-Americans.

The magazine aims to provoke rather than shed any light on the issue. I flipped through their website, emailed the editor and combed through 15 pages of typo-laden articles, but I couldn’t find one shred of evidence or reason that defends having a White History Month.

That’s because there isn’t one right now, and there never has been.