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Then you will know the truth...

From the CBC:

The province says it will double the amount of money it spends on making the education system work better for black Nova Scotians.

The four-year, $4.1-million commitment was made to help meet recommendations contained in the 11-year-old BLAC [Black Learners Advisory Committee] report, which looked at how to make the educational system more accessible and equitable.

The BLAC report does not exist online (its age precludes that), but here is short description that gives you the flavour of the report's conclusions:

The BLAC Report On Education outlines the history of Black education in the province of Nova Scotia. The report makes the point that Black students -- at all levels of education -- have been systematically excluded from the education system. Different ways of doing business are required for Black students to obtain the education they require. Two key recommendations emerging from that study deal with community decision-making:

"First, it is imperative that initiatives affecting the education of Black learners be developed in partnership with the stakeholders, the Black community.

Secondly... that initiatives affecting the education of Black learners be controlled by the Black community or that structures be established that are staffed and controlled by members from the Black community."

Forget for the moment the irony of teaching different kids differently while all the time shouting to the world that all people are equal.

Instead look at the age of the report: 11 years!

About two-thirds of the recommendation have already been implemented. You'd think that with two-thirds implemented and the passage of eleven years, the facts on the ground would have changed dramatically enough to call into doubt how valid the remaining recommendations are.

I mean, two thirds of the recommendations over 11 years -- things must have gotten better. But apparently they haven't:

"I see African-Nova Scotians in leg irons trying to catch up with people with Air Nikes and who've been running for years. And that's what we're talking about doing here. We have to catch up," [Delvina Bernard of the Council of African-Canadian Education] said. [2005]

Wow. Two thirds of the recommendations and 11 years, and they're still in leg irons -- nice slavery reference, by the way. I guess all the good recommendations were in the last third. Maybe they should have started with those.

One of those is an African research institute. Sounds expensive. But more on that later.

In fact, the most important recommendation came first:

The Council on African Canadian Education (CACE) is the outgrowth of the Black Learners Advisory Committee (BLAC).

One of the primary recommendations stated that the BLAC have its status modified to a provincial advisory council. In January 1996, the Nova Scotia Legislature formalized this recommendation and CACE came into being.

First recommendation: give me a permanent job. Nice going.

I wonder if the second recommendation was that the CACE be dissolved once the report was fully implemented? Or when serious progress was reported? Just kidding -- of course there would be no such recommendation.

And of course no progress has been made, despite the implementation of two-thirds of the recommendations and the passage of 11 years. The CACE is needed now more than ever!

And what do they want to teach these kids to achieve "equity"? You might think equity would mean teaching them the same skills as white Nova Scotian students and students whose ancestors came from the Far East (I mean Asia, not Newfoundland).

You would be wrong, of course. That's why we need CACE. Their website links prominently to the Africentric Learning Institute, a proposed institute being pushed hard by CACE. Africentric?

A prime belief of Africentric thought is to "move" or "bring" all peoples of African descent from the margins to the centre of world history. Africentricity embodies a struggle for the total liberation of the African mind from the effects of enslavement, colonialism and racism.

Africentricism places all world cultures on an equal footing by critically challenging the assumption and universally held western belief that modern civilization is the result of a "Greek miracle." Africentricity posits that all world cultures, not just Europeans, have contributed to modern civilization.

Well, hold on there. If that were true, then not teaching this to white and Asian children is causing them to miss out on an important aspect of history. Why should only black students learn that African cultures added so much to modern, that is, Western, civilization? Maybe there's more to this than is apparent at this website. From the Skeptic's Dictionary:

Afrocentrism is a mythology that is racist, reactionary, and essentially therapeutic.

Therapeutic? Sounds like what we're talking about here.

Afrocentrism is a pseudohistorical political movement that erroneously claims that African-Americans should trace their roots back to ancient Egypt because it was dominated by a race of black Africans. Some of Afrocentrism's other claims are: the ancient Greeks stole their main cultural achievements from black Egyptians; Jesus, Socrates and Cleopatra, among others, were black; and Jews created the slave trade of black Africans.

The main purpose of Afrocentrism is to encourage black nationalism and ethnic pride as a psychological weapon against the destructive and debilitating effects of universal racism.

This can't be what they want to teach black kids in Nova Scotia, is it?

Some of Afrocentrism's leading proponents are Professor Molefi Kete Asante of Temple University; Professor Leonard Jeffries of City University of New York; and Martin Bernal, author of Black Athena.

And no surprise -- the website for CACE links to the website for the Africentric Learning Institute which links to Temple University's African American Studies site which lists Professor Asante on the faculty page. But more than that, Professor Asante is actually a consultant for the Africentric Learning Institue.

What does Professor Asante teach?

The child who goes to school in America gets the programming on the very first day when she learns about the founding fathers of the nation. There are sexist problems here, too. The racist problems inhere in the structure of the knowledge. The child is told that these white men came and created such a wonderful civilization! Already the idea floats around that this was the most marvelous thing to happen in history. The little African American girl sitting there filled with her own historical consciousness, however fragmented from her home, wonders deep in her soul, how could such an experiment which enslaved her ancestors be as wonderful as the teacher makes it out to be.

Indeed the fact that most of the books published by university presses begin all discussions of theatre, art, poetry, philosophy, communication, or political science with the Greeks instead of with the people of Kemet is indicative of the problem. Aeschylus, Sophocles, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, and Solon came after the Africans and were students of the Africans. Rather than begin at the beginning, all discussions of knowledge in Europe and America begin in Greece. We do not have a problem with Greece as the beginning of European knowledge; the problem is that it is not the beginning of knowledge. Indeed, as Diop said, Egypt is to the rest of Africa as Greece is to the rest of Europe. However, the difference is that Egypt is the Mother of Greece. Bernal goes so far as to say that the name of Athens itself is an African name. Of course, we know that Herodotus says that nearly all the names of the Greek gods came from Africa.

Make no mistake, what we have today in every sector: education, economics, law, medicine--is the legacy of five hundred years of white attacks on Africans.

Euro-chauvinists and nativists claim an essentialist perspective for Europe generally, and for Greece specifically. They see it as a miracle of the white race.

Africa stands at the door of knowledge in the West. Africa taught Europe in geometry, medicine, astronomy, philosophy, and literature. Africa was often the source and the method by which Europe got its information.

And Professor Asante's opinion about religion:

I shall begin my lecture with a conclusion: Until an African leader publicly acknowledges, honors and prays to an African God, we Africans will continue to be viewed as pathetic imitators of others, never having believed in ourselves.

While we have often embraced our enemies gods they have found those gods to be anathema to their interests. Show me the gods we Africans worship and I will show the extent of our moral and ethical decay.

Those who speak to us of Christian or Islamic morals have often been the very ones who had defiled our ancestors' memories and called out sacred rites paganism. Malcolm X once said that the world pushes the African around because we give the impression that we are chumps, not champs, but chumps, weaklings, falling over ourselves to follow other people rather than our own traditions.

Remove all images of a white Jesus. This is not correct even if one is Christian. The historical Jesus had be black in color despite the missionaries' attempt to paint him English and Swedish.

We are the children of the Supreme God sustained by our ancestral connections, formed to glorify the best values of Maat, encouraged to assume responsibility for each other in a community of consciousness.

But our God must not be one of exploitation, egocentrism, conservatism and westernization. If so, we shall go to hell.

Does Afrocentrism have any factual basis?

One of the more important Afrocentric texts is the pseudo-historical Stolen Legacy (1954) by George G. M. James.

James's principal sources were Masonic, especially The Ancient Mysteries and Modern Masonry (1909) by the Rev. Charles H. Vail. The Masons in turn derived their misconceptions about Egyptian mystery and initiation rites from the eighteenth century work of fiction Sethos, a History or Biography, based on Unpublished Memoirs of Ancient Egypt (1731) by the Abbe Jean Terrasson (1670-1750), a professor of Greek. Terrasson had no access to Egyptian sources and he would be long dead before Egyptian hieroglyphics could be deciphered. But Terrasson knew the Greek and Latin writers well. So he constructed an imaginary Egyptian religion based upon sources which described Greek and Latin rites as if they were Egyptian (Lefkowitz). Hence, one of the main sources for Afrocentric Egyptology turns out to be Greece and Rome. The Greeks would have called this irony.

I guess we know now what that African research institute will be needed for. Rewriting history is hard work.

The "leg irons" holding black students back while everyone else is racing ahead have not been removed despite implementing most of the BLAC report for over a decade. But CACE is pushing for more, for its own institute, and a curriculum designed especially for black students. But the major premise of this curriculum is rooted in fiction, not reality, and seems to be designed to build walls and not bridges. How does a lie set you free? How does an education based on a fiction and designed to breed suspicion and anger help students who are struggling? How is equity achieved when black students are taught something at odds to what all the other students are taught, something at odds to what just about everyone else understands to be true, something that tells him everyone else has wronged him? And hows does the Nova Scotia taxpayer feel about this? Has anyone explained it to them? To the black parents and non-black parents alike?

As it is said, "You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts."

When it comes to entitlements, though, CACE figures it is entitled to millions of dollars from the Nova Scotia government. Facts will fall as they may.

[At least one person is fed up with romanticizing Africa.]

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