Black GOP Candidate Promises to Cancel Black History Month in Michigan If Elected

Austin Chenge, a Republican candidate for Michigan governor, vows to get rid of Black History Month in his state and replace it with "American History Month."

Black History Month

Image via Getty/Alejandra Villa Loarca/Newsday RM

Black History Month

Austin Chenge, a GOP candidate for Michigan governor, is facing backlash over his stance on Black History Month.

On Monday, Black Army veteran announced he would abolish the annual observance in the state if he’s elected, stating that the month was not only “unfair” it was also potentially illegal.

“I will cancel #BlackHistoryMonth in #Michigan,” he wrote on social media. “It’s offensive, unfair, maybe illegal… Americans from all backgrounds deserve a revered history. I’ll declare American History Month.”

I will cancel #BlackHistoryMonth in #Michigan. It's offensive, unfair, maybe illegal... Americans from all backgrounds deserve a revered history. I'll declare American History Month. Austin Chenge, #Veteran & First #Republican Gov #Candidate for MI. Visit

— Austin Chenge (@AustinChenge) February 8, 2021

According to the Metro Times, Chenge is the first Republican to launch a campaign against Gretchen Whitmer, the current Democratic governor of Michigan. The 35-year-old has caught heat over his “deeply conservative” positions as well as his defense of former president Donald Trump. He has vowed to cancel the state’s contract with Dominion Voting Systems—a voting machine manufacturer at the center of baseless election fraud claims—and has defended the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol last month.

“Some of them were overcome by passion, more passion than others and may have acted in a way that they didn’t intend to when they went there,” Chenge told the Detroit News about the deadly siege. “… If someone is motivated by passion to do something, it’s more subjective than it is objective.”

#CapitolBuilding : Yesterday, I saw Americans doing everything necessary to ensure their God-given freedoms, their rights and their #American way of life, some were overwhelmed by more passion than others, but all for the love of their country. Austin For #Governor of Michigan.

— Austin Chenge (@AustinChenge) January 7, 2021

Chenge, who is of Nigerian descent, would become Michigan’s first Black governor if elected; however, he recently told NPR he wasn’t interested in the historical significance of a potential win. 

“I don’t actually see myself as a minority, or a Black American, or a Black anything or a minority anything,” he said. “I just see myself as an American. When we start focusing on a person’s gender or race or anything that causes division, we lose our unity as Americans … If I become the governor of Michigan, I’m not going to be the first Black governor of Michigan. I’m going to be just another American governor.”

You can read reactions to Chenge’s attack on Black History Month below.

No sir. If anything Black History should be celebrated more. Our history doesn’t take anything away from any other culture.

— RayApollo (@RayApollo) February 9, 2021


Nigeria 🇳🇬, please come get ur mans. We got enough of our own sellouts. We don’t need extras..

— Yvette Carnell 🇺🇸 (@BreakingBrown) February 9, 2021


If you don’t shut up yo’ dumb ass up.

— LGBTCROIX (@KirkWrites79) February 9, 2021


Of all things to focus your energy on, you chose this

— Malik el-Shabazz Pro Shops (@EliSeeney) February 9, 2021


Looking for that white approval...smdh 🦝🍉🦝

— JōLu777 (@jolu777) February 9, 2021


Unfair and illegal - that proximity must be intoxicating - and BHM celebrates the success of blk ppl whether or not born in this country. It’s unfortunate this is the way ppl choose to move forward in politics because the more one taps the further they go with the GOP

— RespectisEarnednotGIVEN (@ItsKey_70sbaby) February 9, 2021


This is just terrible marketing for a candidate. Lol even if you hated BHM, why wouldnt you wait until you won to make that known??? Lol fire your advisors NOW. They are trying to sabotage you

— The Regular Network (@TheRegPodcast) February 9, 2021


Frankly, I can't tell the diff...

— Tongue-Tied (@ErfWindnFire) February 9, 2021



Whole lotta shucking and jiving goin on with Austin Chenge.

— BEN O. VERBICH (@AgentHenny) February 9, 2021


There’s a thing called history class where white American history has ALWAYS been taught. You’re pandering for white votes.

— april (@aprilinao) February 9, 2021

Latest in Life