Saturday, February 11, 2012

Trying to Understand Shamrock Socks in February 2012

I have no love for Valentine’s day. In this case, I mean I do not have any guy I’m going to be snuggling up to come February 14th. I am okay with that reality. At peace with the world. Tra, lah, trah, lah.

Okay, not not really.

It is Black History Month aka African American History and Heritage Month. The flag waving permissible issms are at a all time high and show no sign of dipping below the legal legal of sanity. The only grace I can take hold of is the the debates for the Republican contenders for the White House are taking the month off.

For the record, I am not associating the GOP contenders with Target.  The fact that the GOP contenders have tried to make people that look like me targets for their bile is beside the point.

And I do have one.

I was in Target. Target has black hair care products that I generally have to ride a bus three hours to get to a store that has the same stuff at a huge mark-up. I can get it $15 cheaper at Target.

Target has food, mostly processed food but the one near me has some fresh items. Target has clothes that fit potions of my body in a price range I can afford.

They have Valentine’s day stuff that is just about to go to half price. They have St. Patrick socks. Well, socks that have shamrocks on them.

I know what they don’t have. A decent affordable stand alone .mp3 player. A topic for another time. They also don’t have anything about celebrating African American History or Heritage Month. 

There are no banners. No placards. No streamers.  Not a balloon. Not fond of balloons anyway so that could be a plus.

I’m looking at those St. Patrick influenced socks and I am trying to figure out why are they putting the shamrock stuff out in February? I’m standing there internally scratching my head. 

Then it comes to me. Beer. 

On St. Patrick’s day everybody wears the green. Folks having no genealogical peeps from the island will be fixing corned beef and cabbage or at least reading about a heart healthy version in a magazine or newspaper.

There will be big parades that will be inclusive and exclusive. At least here in California. There will be beer drinking and some will even drink beer that is colored green.  Oh, and there will be green peppermint McFlurries and shamrocks on cookies.

You can sell St. Patrick’s day. 

You can’t exactly sell Black History Month. It is problematic.

If this was the 1970s you could move red, green and black socks.  It is not the 1970s anymore.  How about some “Remember the Dream” socks?  Well, perhaps not.

You could have posters in the stores with photos of historical ancestors but I’d be kinda worried which ancestor’s poster would wind up hanging in the toilet paper section.

Then you would have those folks that would complain. There is always somebody to complain but these particular people would complain that "there isn’t a White History Month so why should anybody recognize Black History Month?"

These same folks will be also be complaining through Women’s History Month, Latino/Hispano/Chicano/Mexicano Heritage Month and Asian and Pan Pacific Heritage Month. Some of those whiners will be debating again in March.

Really Not Picking on Target

We are told that everybody wants to wear the green for a day. Watch your local papers and advertising  circulars. A stereotypical green having nothing to do with living people to be sure but it is celebrated and sold with enthusiasm.

It involves food and beer and, well, that is about I know about the day.

Authentic Irish and Irish American history is fascinating, complex and is woven into the building of this nation. That isn’t what the commercial St. Patrick’s day is about but we do a strange form of let’s pretend.

Authentic African American history is fascinating, complex and is intractably woven into the building of the nation. It seems that folks would rather let the days go by.


  1. True this. A friend went on a tirade in a local I Party kind of store because she couldn't find anything for Black History Month although they did have an image of Dr. Martin Luther King. I will have to share this post with her. I'm in Boston and you know St. Patrick's Day is big here and that doesn't bother me; it's just as you say - why for one and not for others. But even a lof of us from the culture don't celebrate or nurture the month often using the excuse that we should celebrate Black history all year 'round and then not doing that either.

    1. We both would be millions three times over if we could get money for each time we have heard "if we would just stop being Black and just be Americans."

      If we would not bring up our past and current history when discussing a straight up current example of the issm in action.

      How we are consciously silent in order to move through the day because you can't want to beat the snot out of each and every stupid, hurtful and pure base line evil thing that is espoused as fact in order to score points or win votes.

      Too dang much going on.