Thursday, May 21, 2015

'White Appreciation Day'

            Edgar Antillon, co-owner of Rubbin' Buttz BBQ and Country Cafe in Colorado, has received many threats after taping the sign above to the window of his restaurant. What started of as just a conversation with friends about why there’s no holiday celebrating the white community led to Antillon making June 11th “White Appreciation Day” in his restaurant. At first, Antillon said that white costumers on that day would be able to receive ten percent discounts on any purchases. However, after the unanticipated magnitude of backfire, Antillon changed his mind and said that all races will be allowed the discount because he felt that the message behind “White Appreciation Day” was being misinterpreted.
            Many people that disapprove of the message say it lessens the importance of the history of racial inequality in the United States. It’s undeniable that white men have made the past a living hell for minorities in the United States, which is why we celebrate the amazing accomplishments of the oppressed due to their historical circumstances. Antillon says he is well aware of this and that he is not trying to put the white race on a pedestal. In fact, he claims it’s not about being black, white, or any other race, but it’s about being American. In an interview with CNN, Antillon explained, “We are an amazing culture here in the U.S. We're a melting pot. But we should include white people in that, too.” He is a Mexican-American himself and feels that no race should be “segregated” to be celebrated one period of time a year. There is Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, and he hopes that “White Appreciation Day” can send a message that we should all be celebrated as Americans every day of the year.
            In all honesty, I can't say I've never thought about the concept of a holiday like "White Appreciation Day" and in a way, I agree with Antillon. I don't think that any race, should be "segregated" to being celebrated only during one month of the year because I feel, like Antillon said, we should all be celebrated as Americans everyday. To me, this would be ideal, however, American society is far from perfect. I think that that in order for society to move forward from the racial inequality that is still present, people need to understand historical racial inequality by designating certain months to celebrate minorities and their contributions to society.
            What do you think about “White Appreciation Day” and the concept of all Americans being celebrated? Do you think the holiday downplays historical racial inequality? Why or why not?


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