Black History Month Is Almost Over, But Using Racism For Political Points Isn't Going Away

ALPERN AT LARGE--There are just too many people, on all sides of the political spectrum, who just won't let racism die.  Racism is stupid, divisive, and just so morally wrong that decrying racism should be a nonstarter.  Maybe the next generation can do better. 

To that point, my son just completed his Eagle Scout Project at the Los Angeles National Cemetery in West Los Angeles, where identification of the rows of the deceased were refreshed and repainted so that the survivors of the heroes and veterans buried there could more easily access their loved ones.  

Those buried there, and those doing the project, were of diverse ethnic, socioeconomic, and political backgrounds.   

Our nation is beyond the era where we would hesitate to honor our veterans, and our nation is in an era where the movie "Black Panther" has broken records for viewership and positive reviews.  Most of the Scouts there loved doing the project to honor our veterans (the racial makeup of the veterans was not even discussed or an issue), and saw the movie. 

We elected a black President not once, but twice, and our desire for there to BE an actual Wakanda in the troubled continent of Africa (a Wakanda with its modern technology, its respect for morals and courage and character, and its inherent genius of its tribes), exemplifies our desire as a nation to "move on" past stupid ideas like racial divisiveness. 

We have a liberal political base that decries the "Alt-Right" with the latter's tiki torch-bearing crowds of those bearing resemblance to the KKK, and we have a conservative political base that decries those among the Left who appear to foment racial divisiveness. 

That aforementioned liberal political base decries the current administration's policies for fear that Muslims and Latinos are not economically or otherwise harmed, and that aforementioned conservative political base decries those opposing the current administration's policies for fear that Christians, Jews, and African-Americans are not economically or otherwise harmed. 

Both sides (if they really, REALLY want to listen to each other) eschew the fringes of the "OTHER" side who want to promote racial division to gain political points, but are missing the condemnation of their "OWN" side's fringes who are promoting racial division. 

Using made-up stories of racism to gain financial or political points?  Not OK! 

Ignoring real stories of racism to gain financial or political points?  Also not OK! 

And so it goes!  The fight against racism, and the recognition of the vital and beneficial role that African-Americans have in our past, present, and future, is abundantly clear as this year's Black History Month comes to a close. 

Yet for those shouting the loudest against racism in our modern, confused, and often uneducated and/or indoctrinated era, the question must be asked: 

Who will save us against those shouting against racism ... but who are willingly or unwilling playing a role in promoting racist memes and division?


(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D. is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud father and husband to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He is also a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee. He was co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chaired the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)