Print Story Thinly Veiled Segregation
By slozo (Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 05:50:53 AM EST) (all tags)
Something has really pissed me off up here, this horrible need to divide, the need to place blame on others, and of course, always the need for more and more gov't intervention.

Rant below. Poll as well, because here, unlike in the US, your vote is still counted. Well, sort of . . .


I am listening to the wry, conservative pan-handling jibes of AM640 on the way to work. The reason I can't get FM, and the fact I only have two or three choices for listening pleasure on the commute in is, for you, another story. But, I was listening to Toronto's jock/conservative station as it were, probably waiting for the hockey scores I missed from late the night before. That, and when I am tired, listening to idiotic commentary often keeps me awake.

So, the guy is talking about other issues of the morning, etc, and mentions in conjunction with some shooting or stabbing that down in Georgia (or Alabama?), they have african-centric public schools, and although it sounds loony, it just might work. They get into it a bit, at first saying "I almost don't want to bring this up, because I'm afraid some trustee will be listening and think this is a good idea". Then, it becomes the talking point of the morning show, with many of the callers chosen wanting to talk about just that. I shake my head in annoyance, and switch over to the golden oldies station after 15 minutes.

While on my lunch, I sit in the large cafeteria and work on my crossowrd puzzle. It's too damn easy on this day, and I look up at the City TV News channel (CP24) that is constantly on the nice flat screen on the wall. In my regular lunch hour, there is a show - Cityline or something - with this vapid talking head, and always has a guest or two on her show to talk about some issue or other, along with a phone-in poll, and with people who call in to comment and debate. That day, they are talking about the proposal that some school trustees in Toronto are going to put forward a proposal for an African-centric school. The reasoning is, according to the guest, to have a school where children of African or Carribbean descent aren't marginalised, and where they can have more of their "peers" around to emulate and learn from. Specifically, the high drop out rate of black males is cited (40% from high school), and the issue is presented as though the government (school system) has failed to address the needs of black kids. This black-focused school aims to cure the ills, the proponent says.

I listen to the show and make a few comments to my lunch buddies about the strange, divisive proposal, but they aren't conversing as usual with me, although it appears they agree with my disapproval. The subject is too testy and controversial for normal workmate banter, it seems, so I am left to watch and make internalise my thoughts. Most of the callers disagree with the idea, using words like racist and apartheid - some of these callers identify themselves as black. The poll reflects pretty much the same opinion at the end of the show, with the NO's numbering over 1,500, and the YES's around 250. I shake my head, clean my dishes, and go back to work.

On the same show at lunchtime, they are talking about the same thing, except it's in the aftermath of an 11-9 vote for the trustees to accept the proposal for an Africentric school, focused on black history and culture. To keep the young black men in school, we are told.

Holy shit, I think to myself . . . talk about two steps backward - never mind the can of worms they have opened for every ethnic community, and the funding of these schools as compared with the catholic school board. I live in one of the most ethnically diverse places on earth, and judging from my travels, one of the most peaceful and tolerant as well. Why would we create division, dissent and race/ethnic profiling for our youth, when we are dealing with a social issue that starts in the home? I am disheartened, and angered by these trustees, who from what I can see, pay no attention to the communities they pretend to serve. And I am saddened . . . saddened, for all the bullshit the kids in these future schools will have to put up with.

Ok, done. What does Husi think about this?

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Thinly Veiled Segregation | 43 comments (43 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Oh Canada! by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 06:01:54 AM EST
From the front page of The Washington Post, Canadian Mill Towns Pay For U.S. Housing Collapse.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

hmm by webwench (4.00 / 1) #2 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 06:12:00 AM EST
We do it with private religious schools, and with schools that allow only boys or only girls.

Getting more attention than you since 1998.

Are those government funded as well ? by Phage (4.00 / 3) #3 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 06:21:32 AM EST
Either way they are all bad ideas.

[ Parent ]
I have not looked up Canadian school funding by webwench (4.00 / 1) #7 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 08:07:17 AM EST
as I know nothing about it, really, but as of 2002, there were 10 single-sex public schools operating in the US, with Bush pushing for more.

Getting more attention than you since 1998.

[ Parent ]
What do religion and sex-segregated schools. . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 06:31:20 AM EST
. . . have to do with schools based on skin colour?

From what I can tell, the only thing that is somewhat comparable are the all-native schools on reserves. 'Somewhat' meaning, not very much.

[ Parent ]
They are schools by ks1178 (4.00 / 1) #5 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 06:39:37 AM EST
Set up to allow only a certain segment of the population to participate, and then often modify the way and what things are taught to better serve the students at the school.

This is done to varying degrees of affect.

The fact that they are looking to fund this publicly is 1 issue, but segmenting the lines based on race rather than sex, or religion isn't all that much different.

[ Parent ]
sex-segregated schools, in particular, by webwench (4.00 / 1) #8 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 08:15:48 AM EST
are comparable to race-segregated schools in the sense that students are segregated based on a physical characteristic they are born with and over which they have no control. Additionally, as race-based discrimination exists, so does discrimination against females.

Religious segregation is less comparable perhaps, since no child is born with a religion genetically attached. However, a child has no control over the religion practiced by his parents, and has limited control over his own religious 'label'.

So, pretty darned comparable in my mind.

Getting more attention than you since 1998.

[ Parent ]
Do the sex-segregated schools . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #12 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 09:28:06 AM EST
. . . alter their curriculum to concentrate on female/male only role models, history and culture? Are these schools designed to target males/females because they are dropping out too often? And I thought sex was a trait, not a "characteristic" . . . although I could be nitpicking here.

But this is all beside the point, in my mind. What I'd like to know is, what is your opinion of it, besides noting similarities to other present day situations? Do you bring up these other cases to justify its validity, or just to note that it is socially acceptable?

Speaking of socially acceptable, here's a small sampling of commentary from the same article:

[ Parent ]
Anectdotal Evidence by ks1178 (4.00 / 1) #16 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 10:37:19 AM EST
Take with a grain of salt, but:

> alter their curriculum to concentrate on female/male only role models, history and culture?

Yes. Particularily many all girls school. Whether having reading assigments by female authors or about female protaganists. Or focusing on idea's about female empowerment, women's rights, etc...

> these schools designed to target males/females because they are dropping out too often?

No, but they are often designed to help females prepare for higher education. To help them excel in area's that are often considered male dominated subjects (such as math and hard science).


I'm not going to go into the details that girls and boys learn differently, because I do not believe that applies to segregation along racial lines. Socio-economic lines, yes, but not racial.


Along with the above, special purpose schools often attract a higher quality per dollar spent teacher than public schools will. (i.e. public schools almost always pay way, way better than private schools, yet the private schools can and do still attract some of the best staff). I would assume that this type of school could do the same, by attracting highly motivated and passionate teachers that believe in the schools mission.

It's also easier to motivate a group of people when they have 1 common issue that they can rally behind. Whether it's promoting the "brotherhood" at an all male school, or female empowerment at an all-girls school, or African Pride at an all black acadamy. Those techniques can than be used to help focus the students on their studies.

Plus it makes it easier to discuss controversial things in an environment when you don't have to worry as much about accidently insulting the opposite group. Particularily for social conscience high-school age students, that might not always think before they say something.

Whether all black schools will work out as well as all male or all female schools have, I don't know. Only time will tell (as you pointed out there are already some in the US). But in my opinion as long as they are optional, and you are not forced to go there, why not allow it and see what happens.

[ Parent ]
Some good observations here . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #32 Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:30:32 AM EST
. . . and I agree with your first few points.

I still think that it is an attempt at a solution that does not address the real problem. See my long answer to CRwM for some of my reasoning . . . but to whit: the "community" (I think it is several different communities) needs to engender strict rules for staying in school and doing well scholastically. Changing what you are learning about does not solve the problem of not staying in school and studying hard.

I am first generation Latvian, and I grew up in a large Toronto ethnic community. Especially in my early youth, we spoke Latvian half the time at home, and we were brought up european-style. We had strict curfews, always an hour or two earlier than our peers, it seemed. We had chores on the weekend, and they had to be finished before we could escape to playland with our friends. I went to Saturday school all through grade school, so I went to school 6 days a week - it was a full day, with different subjects and everything. I learned all about the language, culture, and history of my parent's country and people. In regular school, after a couple of years of bad math scores, my dad forced my sister and I to do extra homework after school. I remember specifically going through a grade three Latvian text book while I was in grade 5, and they were difficult questions. My dad would have disowned me and my mom never forgiven me if I (or my sister) had dropped out of school. Even though I could have dropped math after grade 9, I was forced through coercion to take grade ten, which I finally passed on the second try in summer school, where I actually got a high grade, ironically.

If I had not been pushed, I could easily have dropped out of high school, especially if I had been in a culture where that was an option.

My point is - we need to address the problem, not the effects.

[ Parent ]
My opinion? by webwench (4.00 / 1) #20 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:03:50 PM EST
I'm not Canadian, so I don't really have a dog in that fight.

I will say that, since the world ingeneral is populated by all sorts of people, and since every workplace is intermixed by race, religion, sex/gender/orientation/whatever we're calling that shit nowadays that has to do with your genitalia and where you like to put it to use, segregated schools set up an extremely artificial environment and, in my opinion, fail to do what schools are intended to do, and that is to prepare its students to get along in the real world amongst all the other real people.

But that's just the opinion of one lolbertarian in a neighboring country, and so matters not one whit.

Getting more attention than you since 1998.

[ Parent ]
'no child is born with a religion genetically by chuckles (1.00 / 1) #19 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 11:40:40 AM EST
... attached'

Some religions are more closely attached to ethnicity than others.

"The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin [...] would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities"
[ Parent ]
Jewish. by Rogerborg (2.00 / 0) #30 Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 12:25:11 PM EST
Michael Jackson.
Pope Joan.

Any more for any more?

Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.

[ Parent ]
sex based schooling by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #18 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 11:07:51 AM EST
There are much better arguments for boys or girls only schools as there is increasing evidence that boys and girls learn best in slightly different environments. The arguments are even better post-6th grade as hormones distract box sexes from learning if the other sex is present.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
Hard issue, are they forced to go there? by haplopeart (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 07:38:00 AM EST
I see it two ways almost.

If the students of African decent are not forced to go there, but can choose to go there or to any other school then its not that bad a proposal.
(Although any splitting out of one set of students from another is bad in my mind.)

On the other hand, well the other hand is all kinds of bad.

This is why government by MohammedNiyalSayeed (3.00 / 3) #9 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 08:21:42 AM EST

should not be in the education business.

Besides, how many friggin' African-Canadians do you have? Four? Maybe five? Does that really require an entirely separate school?

You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
"Black history and culture"? by Rogerborg (4.00 / 2) #10 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 09:07:00 AM EST
Do they mean the pre-European colonial part where it was all a bunch of Africans in mud huts raping and butchering the shit out of each other for no good ISG-damned reason, or the post-European colonial part where it's merely overwhelmingly a bunch of Africans in mud huts raping and butchering the shit out of each other for no good ISG-damned reason?

Oh... wait... did they mean "the statistically tiny minority of black history and culture that occurred around here very lately instead of in Africa, like, you know, Frederick Douglass and DoctorMartinLutherKing and Rascalz and shit"?  They really should be clearer about these things, or else people might start to ask questions, and ISG knows that's the last thing you want in the context of educating.

Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.

As opposed to by anonimouse (4.00 / 1) #28 Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 11:38:11 AM EST
Learning about white history and culture where it was all a bunch of Europeans in wattle and daub huts and a few scattered castles raping and butchering the shit out of each other for no good ISG-damned reasonwell they may have thought of one to justify it

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
[ Parent ]
That's not what I learned in White History 101 by Rogerborg (4.00 / 2) #29 Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 12:13:58 PM EST
White history started with the Baby Jesus and finished with the perfection of democracy in 1776.  In the middle there may have been some poetry.

Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
[ Parent ]
I want to change my vote to yes. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 09:26:05 AM EST
I was against it until I read the 'borg's helpful encapsulation of all of African history. These kids probably get something pretty much like Rog's enlightened and no-nonsense take on history now in their classes. It's a little less witty, but I suspect the basic outline is the same.

Are we worried that they won't learn to deal with white folks? Believe me, folks of African descent spend all their lives learning to put up with white folks. They don't need extra schooling for that.

I love ya, CRwM . . . by slozo (4.00 / 1) #13 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 09:34:20 AM EST
. . . but I call bullshit.

There are presently two votes registered in the poll, and the lone nay is mine. You've made me reveal I vote in my own polls, but there it is. Unless, of course, you meant 'vote' to mean a hypothetical casting of one's opinion . . .

[ Parent ]
Nope, that's mine. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #14 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 09:51:00 AM EST
Ya caught me.

Truthfully, I don't see anything wrong with it. Didn't see anything wrong with it prior to any comments being posted.

I thought it would be more showman-like for to me to announce a change in my vote. It pleased my sense of drama.

I blame the political season. It's corrupted me. I'M A VICTIM! I NEED HELP, NOT JUDGMENT!

[ Parent ]
See my comment to webwench . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #15 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 10:17:14 AM EST
. . . with the link to the comments on the CBC article, and see if that doesn't sway/influence your ghost vote (sorry, couldn't resist). At the very least, the public doesn't see this as a good idea, and shouldn't the public be served by the government and institutions that are supposed to serve them?

Also forgot to mention . . . when I was watching the call-in tv show earlier this week, a couple of callers asked if the kids had been asked about it. A quick reply was offered by the moderator before they cut away to commercial, something along the lines of, "well, it won't be taken into account, but yes, the kids voted, and over 70% said no."

I have just searched at length on the internet for further reference of it, but it must be buried.

[ Parent ]
It doesn't change my feelings on it. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #17 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 11:05:31 AM EST
I have one and only one caveat: enrollment in any special-curriculum school should be voluntary. I haven't seen anything that suggests African Canadian students will be forced to enroll in said schools, but if that is the plan then I am not cool with it. If, however, students and parents have a choice, then I'm for it.

Basically, I think that the school-aged population of any country is massive and extremely diverse. I feel a robust educational system will do its best to diversify the approaches it offers to best serve the community at large. Some students will excel in a traditional program, others will excel in a less conventional program.

If scores go up and kids leave school armed with the skills they need to advance in life, then that - more than the defense of a sort of half-assed progressivism that trades a leveling monotony for celebrated diversity - should be encouraged.

Some more specific responses to issues raised by the comments in "Your View" bit you linked to:

  1. The "white people could never get away with this" complaint: This is, if you'll excuse what I picked up in my French immersion class, some trite shit here. It's like a rich man wondering what's wrong with the poor and hungry that they are tempted to steal bread when he is never so tempted. The historical conditions that have prevailed in both the US and Canada have worked for the benefit of whites for  nearly 300 years. This isn't to say that these conditions justify every plan advanced to help minorities, but it does suggest pretending we're all starting with the same contextual frameworks and that all our actions are commensurate is willful ignorance.
  2. The "this doesn't solve the real problem" issue: I'm actually somewhat sympathetic to these complaints. The problems that plague the African American community will not be solved by Afrocentric education alone. Community conditions, home life, health issues - all those need to be addressed. Still, I would need proof that it will exacerbate conditions before I declare Afrocentric education off limits. Will this single school be created using funds that would have otherwise gone to help the community in some better way? Are we robbing Peter to pay Paul? If so, then these folks have a point. Otherwise this is making the perfect the enemy of the good.
  3. "Lowering the standards of education won't help the kids" issue: I think it is telling that people assume a curriculum that focuses on the African cultural experience would be, automatically, "dumbed down." Do we need to go into the racist assumptions that underpin this notion? All students, regardless of the program they attend, should be able to meet certain skill requirements prior to graduation. This program should be no exception. Any concerns beyond that are just crypto-racist claptrap that assumes there is no black history or culture worth learning.
  4. The "I'VE used CAPS to EXPRESS my TOTAL DISGUST" issue: these people should be taken out back, forced to dig their own mass grave, and then shot.

[ Parent ]
Sorry about the late reply . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #31 Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:07:19 AM EST
. . . weekend was hellish, what with all the partying and visiting and such.

Enrollment in the school is voluntary, so this gov't 'sponsored' institution fits your requirements. I put brackets around sponsored, because the funding of the whole thing is murky . . . but rest assured, despite the usual rhetoric and protestation, some tax dollars are bound to support some of it. At the very least, they aren't going to build a new school, from what I can see, and it certainly wasn't the community who hatched the idea and brought it to the school trustees - it was several key trustees who thought of it, pushed it forward, etc.

I'll tell you my basic problem with this, CRwM: I go back to the beginning, where we have a supposed community, the "black community", in trouble, specifically, their youth. (I think there are several distinct communities that are lumped together inappropriately, my reason for the quotes). So, we have some stated problems that need tackling - high drop-out rates for black males, and low scores/grades across the board. Again, these are problems that have been stated by most of the community leaders, including proponents for and against the afrocentric school.

So, those children have issues, and we need to look at some commonalities to see if we can find the root of the problem. I am not a social worker for the gov't, but from what I understand, there is a massive problem of absent fathers. The correlation of 'broken homes', or single parent families, and the drop-out rate is real. Now, it's hard to replace daddies out there, but in my mind, the onus is on the community to fix their own problem. It is clear, at any rate, that the culture of these children does not actively support and FORCE the kids to stay in school, get good grades, encourage scholastic excellence. This attitude starts with the parents, and is passed on to the children - taking school seriously, and knowing that dropping out ISN'T AN OPTION does not happen by accident. 

The west african, jamaican, carribbean, and east african communities have to take a hard look in their homes, and see if they are doing enough for their kids. Because in my mind, it starts in the home, period - and no government intervention is going to alter that too much. Look at the ethnic communities that are successful, and try copying their style.

And lastly, the can of worms - what about the other ethnic communities that have similar problems? What about a Sri Lankan school, a hispanic/south american school, a portuguese school, a polish school, etc. Is the gov't now obliged to service their special needs too?

And what of the ethnic communities like the Chinese, Japanese, Indian . . . just because they have a healthy culture that engenders high  scholastic achievment, they don't get any help? Talk about fomenting jealousy and resentment . . .

So, everyone wants less drop outs, and higher scores for these kids. So we change the cirriculum?!? And essentially seperate them from theeir peers who have different cultures and skin colours?!?

For me, this is not a solution, but the creation of another problem.

[ Parent ]
All good points. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #33 Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:39:08 AM EST
When I was looking for details on this, I thought I read that the idea of the black-centric school had been scrapped. Did somebody revive it?

[ Parent ]
I have yet to get clear info on this . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #35 Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:50:47 AM EST
. . . but yeah, from what I understand, this had been put forward a year or two ago. There had been stong dissent and whatnot against it, with a somewhat troubling end to meetings where there was a lot of shouting and potential for violence. They then put it on the shelf until later, which happened to be last week.

Try looking for quotes from the mother of a slain black boy, Jordan Manners. She is against the afrocentric school, so unfortunately, her opinion is not shown by the media. I wonder, though, what the media would have made of it if she had been for it - it would have been an ideal spokesperson for their sales pitch.

[ Parent ]
The media. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #36 Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:29:24 AM EST
In the good old US of A, both pro and con news outlets would be having a field day with this. Antis would have found Ms. Manners and trotted her out early and often.

But your description of the unity of the media's approach to the issue makes them sound decidedly on a single side regarding this.

Would you say the Canadian media is more uniform in ideology than the US media? Or is it just this issue that seems to have brought them all on one side?

[ Parent ]
Interesting question . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #37 Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:49:00 AM EST
. . . and I'd have to say a reluctant yes - the Canadian media is more uniform in opinion, I think. But really, that is probably more a product of us having fewer news outlets and networks.

But your point about how it would have rolled in the US - I disagree. It has been shown time and time again, that when the gov't has an agenda, and wants something to be ignored, covered up, etc, it can be done. For all your many news outlets, for instance, covering the election - how come no coverage of the diebold machine inconsistancies, the failure of the voting process in many places, etc? No investigations, no mention of the public uproar in many communities where it is obvious. Voting fraud is happening again in my opinion, and this is to choose your next president . . . some school for dark-skinned people is small potatoes, comparably.

[ Parent ]
How it would have rolled in America. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #39 Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:40:02 AM EST
I'm going to have to differ with you on that based on my experiences with the creation of similar schools.

New York actually has hundreds of special programs for its school children. Most of them are built around an academic focus (see the film and television show "Fame"). However, several popular alternative programs are language-based immersion schools with an emphasis on a certain culture. We've got African American schools, Chinese American, Hispanic programs, even a school for gay and lesbian students (though this is a sort of special case as it was originally set up as a refuge for students on the receiving end of anti-gay and lesbian violence in the general student population and only later made curriculum changes to meet the needs of its unique population).

Enrollment at the schools is voluntary and the creation of the schools is driven by coalitions of educators and parents. If a group can garner enough support and show that their program 1) will have enough students and 2) will meet the city and state's general education requirements, then they usually get their school. The only rejected proposal I can recall in the decade or so I've lived here is a proposal for a French school in Brooklyn. They couldn't show that they could get enough kids interested.

Two years ago, a group of parents and educators got together to try to open a Arab-language and culture school: the Khalil Gibran International Academy.

All holy Hell broke loose. Detractors claimed that it would become a terror training camp (really, that was said). Supporters, of course, declared the detractors racist. Lawyers against the school claimed it would violate the separation of church and state - it would be impossible to teach Arab culture centered classes without getting heavily into the Koran. The principal of the school was targeted for all manner of unceremonious meetings of shoe leather and posterior in the right-wing press. It was vicious.

Eventually the school was opened, but only after the principal was canned and the curriculum picked apart.

My point wasn't that the government is covering anything up. My point was more: don't you have right and left media outlets who would love to make a little extra cheddar off a nice public ideological fight?

[ Parent ]
Apparently, there is more cheddar . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #40 Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 09:17:38 AM EST
. . . in towing the prestated line, as has been shown time and time again - unless you have a picture of Brittany Spears at the community rally, then it's all hands on deck.

btw, your "fame" school? I attended one, Claude Watson School for the Arts in Toronto(the first arts school in Canada, if I remember correctly). It certainly didn't focus on academics, but the 4 arts (visual, dance, drama, music) were all covered, as in the popular show. I got in at grade 6, and attended up to grade nine in the high school program before moving to another city.

And, my point IS that there was a willful "cover-up" by the government (in this case, the school board and their trustees), in that they ram-rodded through the proposal before any serious debate could have been started. No studies done on any of the core issues, no real public discourse TO DECIDE on whether the community wanted it or not. As misslake pointed out - it seems wrong to have this kind of thing start from the top down.

[ Parent ]
I see. by Christopher Robin was Murdered (4.00 / 1) #41 Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 09:20:50 AM EST
I misunderstood the implication. I would agree with you and misslake. The special programs in NYC almost always start as a grass-roots sort of thing, and that goes a long way toward making me feel more comfortable about them. Such top-down, closed-door decision making is inappropriate even when the aims of the group are true.

[ Parent ]
way to bait the hook there... by garlic (2.00 / 0) #43 Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:26:41 PM EST

[ Parent ]
yes but by webwench (2.00 / 0) #21 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:06:58 PM EST
it seems we had better make sure the white folks learn to get along with the black folks too.

Getting more attention than you since 1998.

[ Parent ]
So it works like smallpox? by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #22 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 12:34:32 PM EST
Geographical proximity should fix it?

Canada instituted voluntary franco-centric schools on the basis that francophone culture was valuable enough to get its own programs.

Canada's first free citizen of African descent arrived in the late 1600s. At one point, Canada boasted the largest free black population outside of Africa. Africa Canadians were a beacon of self-determination during the long grim night of American slavery. Is the celebration and perpetuation of that special culture somehow a less worthwhile goal?

You're the libertarian. Why stand in the way of a voluntary program generated from within the community to meet the community's special needs? That's the very point of allowing people and groups political freedom: so they can find local, tailor-fit solutions to their problems. Wouldn't that be better than a top-down one-size-fits-all mandated program?

[ Parent ]
Again - this wasn't from . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #34 Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:44:04 AM EST
. . . the community at large. A large sampling of opinion from the greater black community is overwhelmingly against it.

The idea was put forth by a few trustees, who leveraged an 11-9 vote in favor of it. No big studies had been done, and public opinion from the kids and parents was never taken into account, except for the meeting when the vote took place - which was a joke, in my mind. The gov't position is clearly for it, and thus the information we get is appropriately filtered.

I'm all for libertarian ideas like you say - but this isn't one of them. I see it as an agenda pushed forward onto the people, exactly the kind of thing libertarians are against.

[ Parent ]
divide and rule by dmg (2.00 / 0) #23 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 01:20:50 PM EST
divide and rule.

debate is dead in the west due to cultural Marxism. this is intentional.
dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.

I think I have a unique perspective on by muchagecko (4.00 / 1) #24 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 02:53:05 PM EST
this issue. My kids were the only tow-headed white kids in a area that was African American and Spanish (which was the term the folks from South America used to call themselves in NJ). My kids were picked on incessantly. After a few months, I wouldn't let them play outside.

My girl had a really rough time at school - she spent too much time protecting herself to learn.

Turn the clock to the present. We're in lily white Washington. My kids are thriving socially and academically. NJ schools are ranked third in the nation. WA schools are somewhere in the high 20's. But my kids are much, much better off here.

Do I think segregated schools are a good idea? No, but I can sympathize with people who want them.

"It means more if you have to earn it, even if it's by doing something as simple as eating a meal." Kellnerin

Lily-white? :^\ by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #25 Fri Feb 01, 2008 at 09:57:04 PM EST
My class, just down the road from you in WA:

16 students, including;

2 Native Americans
2 Asian-Americans
4 African-Americans

That's hardly lily-white and I suspect that mirrors the ratio at the kids' schools.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
I see the kids at both schools. by muchagecko (4.00 / 1) #26 Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 09:47:51 AM EST
There's no color at all in my son's class, although at assemblies I have seen a few hispanic kids and one African American. My daughter's school is as white as my schools in Utah.

"It means more if you have to earn it, even if it's by doing something as simple as eating a meal." Kellnerin
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That's odd. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #27 Sat Feb 02, 2008 at 10:18:02 AM EST
Sure it's a fairly homogeneous neighbourhood, but perhaps the distribution of minorities is weighted toward older people w/o young kids, or someone Gerry-mandered the school boundary lines?

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
late to the party by misslake (4.00 / 1) #38 Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:25:51 AM EST
so i was thinking, if there was a need, a community desire to better educate and better support a certain sub-set of children, wouldn't they have already organized a saturday latvian-style school? your family isn't the only one i know of that sent their kids to a special ethnic-religious-language-cultural school on saturday or sunday. or, that went away for the summer to a special religious camp.

it seems like a supremely bad idea to make this kind of descision from the top down and not from a community desire.

maybe it's just me, but i've rarely met people in canada who identify as "black" unless they moved here from the usa. canada's people of colour have always seemed to me to come from very diverse backgrounds, some immigrants from africa, some from the carribiean, some from the usa, some from uk, south america etc. is there a canadian black identity that can be served by such a school or is it just going to be a school further divided by other perceived ethnic differences? i can't imagine that the brazillian and bahamian kids who are being disadvantaged by the public schools are going to be served any better by an afro-centric school.

Yeah, I had a big problem . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #42 Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 09:42:50 AM EST
. . . with the whole "black community" label, as you may see from my posts.  Many communities there, some very different than others, and some even multi ethnic (like Trini's for example).

How's oiltown treating you?

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Thinly Veiled Segregation | 43 comments (43 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback