Friday, November 9, 2007

Shedding a tear for the white man

Canadians are multicultural, diverse and my favourite “tolerant”, right? I call bullshit! The reality is that racism and racial tensions do exist in Canada. The issue is coming to the fore right now in regards to young men and womyn of colour and the education system.

In a nutshell, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) held public discussions this week on the possibility of creating a “black only” high school. The reason being that drop out rates for youth of colour, particularly youth men, are alarmingly high. 200 or so community members came to the public meeting and most were in favour of a pilot school. Supporters argue that the current public education system does not fully represent black culture and black youth tune out and drop out because they don’t feel engaged.

I will admit to being undecided on the idea of a segregated or “Afrocentric” school, as it is sometime referred to. Therefore my musings here today are not on my opinion regarding where I stand but rather I want to demonstrate that there is a definite need for something to be done. Stats on drop out rates are great but one need only read the coverage of this issue to understand the racism bubbling under the surface in Canada.

Sometimes, you need to search for it under the politically correct stench of bullshit, in the case of Margaret Wente’s Globe and Mail discussion. Other times it’s so blatantly obvious that it’s startling. The National Post, bastion of all things right-wing went all out in their absolute hatred of this proposed school. They list four main reasons why these schools are a bad idea, and let me tell you, there’s some real zingers.

“Experiments with "Afrocentric" schools have often yielded bizarre curricula that teach students puffed up fairy tales about the supposedly ignored grandeur of ancient African civilization, and which describe the history of European peoples as one of unrelenting brutality and colonial exploitation.”
Yes, because the white man has always been so nice to the black people and nobody’s ever mistreated them, abused them or made them seem savage and uncivilized. Slavery (and residential schools for that matter) were a damn good time, don't you think? Right up there with the Holocaust on my list of favourite historical moments.

The National Post should of just made the title “PRAISE THE WHITE MAN” so that you’d save yourself the five minutes of reading the whole editorial to figure out their main argument.

But the best part of this whole thing? Their conclusion. The high rates of dropout amongst black youth have nothing to do with the education system. No no no! It’s substance abuse, lack of respect for the education system, bad parenting, fatherless homes, etc. When they say that, I’m thinking “Alright, I like this so far. They’re going to break into a discussion of societal racism and institutionalized oppression." Well apparently I was giving them way too much credit.

“The roots of these sociological phenomena are rooted deeply within individual families and the lifestyle decisions they make. That is where any solution will have to originate.”

You heard it here folks. According to The National Post, black youth are dropping out of school because they choose to be poor and living in fatherless homes.

And the white man marches on.


William C-Marshall said...

Wow, as if they're conisdering a black only school. If they are so worried about drop outs, maybe they should get a new paradigm for school. CHANGE the public students idea on it, make it more active, hands on, and help to change it, instead of putting out MORE money to fund a school which will cause racist remarks.

Oh, and as for cheesecake... I don't think I could pull it off, but pie, hell, everyone loves pie, and I'm someone, and love pie, and as for pi, everyone KNOWS pie, and I am someone, so I know pi. Anyhow, thanks for the comment!


figaro said...

I don't think anyone is saying nothing needs to be done. What's your explanation for the problem? What's your solution? Your post is nothing but a rant. If you actually believe racism is the cause of this issue, why not state it plainly and make your case?

Feminist Catalyst said...


Thanks for your comment.

First of all, I don't think it's merely a rant. (But what's wrong with a rant anyway?) I've yet to read any commentary like mine that talks about the discussion surrounding the issue, which I think is as important as the issue itself.

I also think that I did clearly explain what the problem was.

If you are truly interested in where I stand, I think segregated schools should not be implemented because they let the so-called "white schools" off the hook and allow them to continue teaching an exclusionary curriculum. Public schools need to be challenged.

Anonymous said...

Well yeah they're saying they're dropping out because of themselves. Their background, etc. They are blaming it on them. Real mature.