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.
4 DAYS AGO
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.
2 DAYS AGO
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?
|< A Day in the Life | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >|