Monday, February 8, 2021

Michigan GOP candidate for governor is a Black man who wants to cancel Black History Month

Posted By on Mon, Feb 8, 2021 at 4:31 PM

  • Courtesy of Austin for Governor

Michigan's “deeply conservative” 2022 gubernatorial hopeful Austin Chenge — a Black Army veteran and businessman and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's first Republican challenger — announced that if elected, he will abolish Black History Month in favor of an "American History Month."

Yeah, no.

“I will cancel #BlackHistoryMonth in #Michigan,” Chenge announced in an Instagram post. “It's offensive, unfair, maybe illegal... Americans from all backgrounds deserve a revered history. I'll declare American History Month.”

Some critics of Black History Month, which has been celebrated since 1970, say that appreciation of Black history should occupy more space and time than just the month of February — including actor Morgan Freeman, who called the monthlong celebration “ridiculous” and suggested that Black history is American history during a 2005 60 Minutes interview.

But Chenge's argument to include all Americans plays directly to former President Donald Trump's MAGA base, as well as the "All Lives Matter" response to the "Black Lives Matter" movement. Black history deserves special consideration in light of our country's sordid history of slavery, systemic racism, and racial injustices — as well as an opportunity to celebrate Black accomplishments.

But Chenge knows exactly what he's doing, as it was reported last year that more than 87% of U.S. Republicans believe all lives matter, compared to 63% of Democrats who believe Black lives matter.

Since posting his hot take on Black History Month on Monday, Chenge's post has garnered more than 700 likes and a handful of comments that support the move to abolish the nationally recognized month of education and remembrance that serves as a reminder as to all the work that has yet to be done to ensure a safe, fair, and equal future for Black Americans.

“VERY impressed that you said this out loud!!!,” one comment reads. “Cancel pride week too. We are all Americans. None of us are better than others. All these things do is keep us divided. You have my vote!!!!!”

“Well done. Black history IS American history,” chimed a white man.

“Hallelujah! No more division,” declared a white woman.

Since announcing his run for Gov. Whitmer's seat in October, Chenge has called the governor a “dictator” on numerous occasions due to her COVID-19 restrictions, spoke at a Stop the Steal rally in Lansing, and all but defended the actions of right-wing insurrectionists who violently stormed the Capitol last month, many of whom he said were simply “overcome by passion.”

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