In February, many black people across America will celebrate Black History Month. 

And some white people will wonder why. 

They will say something to the effect of, ‘That’s racist” or “What if I celebrated ‘White History Month’? ” 

Let me calmly explain that they do just that every day with no fear of reprisal. Those types of comments come from what most Americans learned about black history … nothing. 

And even if they did, they got a safe version from one line of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. 

Because of that, America’s schools are suffering. Generations of Americans are barely aware of some of our country’s history. Now we live in an era where social media hot takes propel well-meaning white people to tell the masses, particularly black people, how they should honor their heroes. 

For instance, when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was in Chicago during the 2016 football season, a group of military and police supporters urged Kaepernick, who didn’t stand during the National Anthem before games, not to protest at Soldier Field. The Chicago Bears’ home field is also a memorial to American soldiers. 

“This is not the place to perform that type of disrespectful act,” Dean Angelo Sr., the president of a the Chicago police union, told news site DNAinfo.org (for which I’m a contributing reporter). “Not in this building. This is not just some other stadium.”

It seems like Angelo and the group assembled conveniently forgot about what took place at Soldier Field 50 years ago. 

On July 10, 1966, King gave a speech there during what was called the Chicago Freedom Movement. King and his supporters came to Chicago to peacefully protest “high levels of institutionalized discrimination” in schools and housing. 

“We are tired of inferior, segregated and overcrowded schools which are incapable of preparing our young people for leadership and security in this technological age,” King told the crowd assembled that day at Soldier Field. “We are tired of discrimination in employment which makes us the last hired and the first fired.”

This month, I suggest that many of you who might turn your nose up at this column to take a look at our country’s history. Not the history you were taught in school but the history of some of the people America has historically oppressed. 

Note that critics of the Black Lives Matter movement who’ve said what Dr. King and other civil rights leaders and activists won’t do, may be the descendants of the people who turned fire hoses on King and peaceful protesters, yelled racial slurs and created laws to keep black people oppressed. 

These critics also forget that some of the first civil rights activism seen in the black community came from block clubs and churches. The fight for equality didn’t start because of the election of President Donald Trump. 

It will keep going because every American has the right to criticise those we reluctantly elect to represent us. 

That’s called being an American.

Evan F. Moore: The Democratic Party needs to have its come-to-Jesus moment

In February, many black people across America will celebrate Black History Month. 

And some white people will wonder why. 

They will say something to the effect of, ‘That’s racist” or “What if I celebrated ‘White History Month’? ” 

Let me calmly explain that they do just that every day with no fear of reprisal. Those types of comments come from what most Americans learned about black history … nothing. 

And even if they did, they got a safe version from one line of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. 

Because of that, America’s schools are suffering. Generations of Americans are barely aware of some of our country’s history. Now we live in an era where social media hot takes propel well-meaning white people to tell the masses, particularly black people, how they should honor their heroes. 

For instance, when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was in Chicago during the 2016 football season, a group of military and police supporters urged Kaepernick, who didn’t stand during the National Anthem before games, not to protest at Soldier Field. The Chicago Bears’ home field is also a memorial to American soldiers. 

“This is not the place to perform that type of disrespectful act,” Dean Angelo Sr., the president of a the Chicago police union, told news site DNAinfo.org (for which I’m a contributing reporter). “Not in this building. This is not just some other stadium.”

It seems like Angelo and the group assembled conveniently forgot about what took place at Soldier Field 50 years ago. 

On July 10, 1966, King gave a speech there during what was called the Chicago Freedom Movement. King and his supporters came to Chicago to peacefully protest “high levels of institutionalized discrimination” in schools and housing. 

“We are tired of inferior, segregated and overcrowded schools which are incapable of preparing our young people for leadership and security in this technological age,” King told the crowd assembled that day at Soldier Field. “We are tired of discrimination in employment which makes us the last hired and the first fired.”

This month, I suggest that many of you who might turn your nose up at this column to take a look at our country’s history. Not the history you were taught in school but the history of some of the people America has historically oppressed. 

Note that critics of the Black Lives Matter movement who’ve said what Dr. King and other civil rights leaders and activists won’t do, may be the descendants of the people who turned fire hoses on King and peaceful protesters, yelled racial slurs and created laws to keep black people oppressed. 

These critics also forget that some of the first civil rights activism seen in the black community came from block clubs and churches. The fight for equality didn’t start because of the election of President Donald Trump. 

It will keep going because every American has the right to criticise those we reluctantly elect to represent us. 

That’s called being an American.

Evan F. Moore: The habitual line-stepping of casual racists

Many of us have one or two friends on our social media timelines who make us cringe. Their comments often passive-aggressively progress into loaded statements like:

“I wish black people cared more about black-on-black violence.”

“Where’s Black Lives Matter?”

“Why can’t they fix their own communities?” 

Or my favorite, “You’re the real racist!”

Or, they will post a meme or retweet something that’s clearly targeted at a certain group of people. 

These folks seem to believe that black people should worry about our own communities instead of the numerous cop shootings in the news (some of them take place in our communities, by the way). 

Like most people, we can walk and chew gum at the same time. It’s OK to discuss an obvious problem while looking into matters close to home; we can do both. 

Instead of shutting these folks down, we should try to have a meaningful conversation with them. Get to the heart of the matter and ask them: Why do you feel this way? What have you read that leads you to believe that black people don’t care about their communities? Have you ever talked to someone in these communities? 

Notice that some of the same people who want stop-and-frisk (which was ruled unconstitutional in New York by a U.S. District Court judge) and the National Guard to be sent to Chicago tend to not live anywhere near those two cities. 

Also, let them know that the things they post are having an adverse effect on your friendship with them.

Ultimately, some of these folks delve into a world of partisan politics. From personal experience, when someone’s social media behavior is affected by that, it might be best to bid them adieu. After all, they have already made their minds up, similar to that uncle who still believes former President Obama is a Muslim who hates America. 

It goes into how well-meaning white people tend to use a paternalistic tone when telling black people to “fix their own problems” on one hand, while calling it race-baiting on the other. They ignore the fact that black people have a long history of standing up and fixing their communities without help. 

The next time someone says certain minorities don’t care about their communities, it is THEY who don’t care. Of course, this doesn’t mean they’re racist; they may just be unaware of their misinformed or false preconceptions of a community to which they do not belong. However, if they have a history of only pointing out only negative things about certain groups of people, then it is up to us to call them out for their prejudice and racism. 

Evan F. Moore is a syndicated columnist with Gatehouse Media. He writes about the intersection of race, violence and culture. His work has been featured in Rolling Stone, Chicago Tribune and Ebony. Follow him on Twitter @evanfmoore.