Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Segregating Canada - the first Africentric school

Enrollment is up at Canada’s only "Africentric" school (from 85 to 115):

... west African drummers were warming up for the opening assembly, where children sang O Canada as well as the Black National Anthem ...

"West African drummers"? "Black National Anthem"?

The Black National Anthem is of African-American origin and, along with expressions of hope and faith, recalls the harsh experience of black American slaves:

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us; ...
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past ...

...Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chast'ning rod,
God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,

That song may be relevant in American schools. It may even be a worthwhile element of Canadian school courses covering the history of American slavery. But it makes no sense at all to sing it in Canadian school opening ceremonies on an equal footing with the Canadian national anthem.

Today's opening assembly began with a traditional African "libation" ceremony, where children watched water poured in memory of their ancestors. They also learned to respond to statements with the Yoruba word "Ashe!" (Amen!)
I shudder to think what the school curriculum looks like.

How are these kids supposed to develop a cohesive Canadian identity? How much Canadian history will they get?

And what’s next, [your ethno/racial identity here]-centric schools? How about a whites-only school for those who feel their whiteness is under-appreciated?

If people of whatever ethnic origin want to study "their people’s" history and culture, fine. If it’s important enough to parents and/or their "community" they should provide it at home or in community sponsored courses and activities. It happens all the time in other ethnic communities. But setting up segregated schools pandering to specific ethnic identities will just further Balkanize the country.

Let’s face it, the segregated school concept is just nuts - it's asking for trouble.


Halfwise said...

What? You have a problem with informing kids they are victims-by-descent and victims-by-association, in an educational setting?

As for "Ashe", I wonder which of the quaint and colorful values of the Yoruba peoples would deserve the most publicly funded school air-time in Canada? Polygamy? Slavery? Secret militias? Military rule? Voodoo?

Xanthippa said...

And I always thought MY people were CANADIANS! As a 'Canadian by choice', I am proud that my kids are 'Canadians by birth'...

Setting up little tribal enclaves is destructive to our society! Truly, it rots our collective soul!

Bert said...

I'll be interested in the stat's this school will have (marks, etc) compared to the rest of the province. Better yet, let's compare them to my kids private, Christian school, and see how they fare.

Skinny Dipper said...

It's too bad we in Ontario didn't vote for John Tory's Progressive Conservatives. We would now be having funding for private religious schools that are implicit in their segregation from society.

Xanthippa said...

'Equal, but separate' is the definition of Apartheid.

I do not like Apartheid. It should not be tolerated in Canada, regardless of whether the segregation is based on race, gender, religion, ethnicity or one's choice of underwears...

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