The next time you stop to think about Black History Month, pat yourself on the back. Chances are, you've already made it yourself. No, seriously, you needn't be Condoleeza Rice or Dr. Ben Carson to make black history happen.
It can be as simple as it was for me back in high school, when I quit sports to try out for cheerleading solely for the purpose of integrating the squad (I was too tired of all the athletes being black and the cheerleaders white...I was gonna learn to do a split if it was the last thing I did). Quit lacrosse, made history. Or today, becoming the first black woman in my town to have twins. Or the first one to set foot in the new supermarket on Route 9. Small victories in black history, but I'm just sayin' - so many of us make milestones everyday. Without ever knowing it.
But there's a flip side to that coin. And I hate to break it to you, but it's not all that shiny.
For every great moment in black history - of which there are many - there's a step back. I'm not talking about the homeless brother singing Biz Markie on the corner, shaking his cup. Mental illness doesn't count. I'm talking about utter and complete triflingness (I know triflingness is not a word, but you know what I mean). Case in point - Saturday, about 7:30 pm: Mr. J and I were in Target with the kids. Funny what an exciting night on the town becomes once you have kids, but I won't go there this time:
Two women - ages anywhere from late 20's to late 40's - neither morbidly obese, but both a bit overweight, walked up to those motorized red scooters for the handicapped, hooked their carts up to them and began careening through the store. Did I mention there were kids in the carts? About two kids per cart? They were following eachother all over the store and finally through the checkout line where they paused to pick out soda, candy and read gossip magazines. I didn't mention their ethnicity, I'll let you take a wild guess.
It looked like a parade for the undermotivated. It made my eyes hurt. I almost wanted to laugh, but just couldn't - mostly out of disbelief. And then, in spite of myself, I felt myself turning green because those sisters with their scooters, carts, kids and Twix bars had more nerve than I've got in my little toe. I wanted to look over from aisle 12 and yell "Hey! I got three kids, too! I'm tired, too! My feet hurt, TOO! You see me riding around Tarzhay on a complimentary scooter for the handicapped?!" But refrained, for fear of getting rolled on.
Harriet Tubman walked too far and too long for us to do this in February or any other month. Harriet deserved a deluxe spa pedicure and some reflexology. Those sisters deserved a spanking.
I know I'm wrong, just plain wrong for even thinking that.