Why Blacks are still being miseducated
by, 05-16-2010 at 08:29 AM (48424 Views)
On May 11, 2010 Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer signed HB 2281 an ethnics studies ban into law, a bill that prohibits schools from teaching classes designed to teach students of color about their heritage and history. The governor holds the belief –as with many other whites- such classes promote resentment and encourage minority students to want to "overthrow" the U.S. government. Such classes, the bill says, advocate ethnic solidarity instead of treating students as individual people. State schools chief Tom Horne, who has been pushing for the bill for years, said that ethnic studies encourage students of color to believe they've been oppressed by white people. Horne told Yahoo news: Public schools should not be encouraging students to resent a particular race, he said. "It's just like the old South, and it's long past time that we prohibited it," Horne said. A Brewer spokesperson defended the governor's position: "The governor believes … public school students should be taught to treat and value each other as individuals and not be taught to resent or hate other races or classes of people," Paul Senseman said.
Within the above story the Arizona governor and her supporter attempts to rationally justify denying non-white students a racially affirming and accurate history of themselves. This story only made national news because of the already heated national debate regarding the Arizona immigration bill with racist implications. While some may see this latest story as being additional evidence that the state of Arizona is very racist, however the Governor’s held position and subsequent action is not uncommon. It is one held and practiced by many white elites particularly those that are tasked with comprising the U.S educational system.
It’s no unintentional oversight that the U.S educational system withholds 95% of the history and contributions of African Americans from it curriculum.
As a means of maintaining the current statuesque generations of African Americans have been deliberately educated to respect only white culture-- and rendered totally ignorant of their own past achievements and history. One of the most disheartening experiences is to visit public schools named for honored, Black civil rights leaders and discover that routinely and consistently, Black students from kindergarten through twelfth grade are deliberately educated to respect every culture except their own. When America’s schools were integrated, there were no serious efforts on the part of the local or national governments to incorporate into the curriculum any of the many contributions and achievements made by Africans and African Americans. Therefore, the gravely needed information about Black history and culture, needed to affirm and nurture Black students’ self-esteem and aspirations is deliberately withheld from their educational development. Essentially, the esteem and educational aspirations of Black students are being systematically destroyed by a curriculum and educational system designed to inspire only its White students. Consequently, within America’s public schools, Black students must not only deal with common peer pressure and personality consolidation but also deal with an educational system that fails to give them racially affirming information about themselves.
Given that children are very impressionable, easily hurt, and discouraged, the lack of attention to Black history and achievements may gravely affect many Black students. The impact of this exclusion adversely affects the self-esteem, self-perception, and stigmatizes many African American students, leading to crippling self-doubt, and deep-seated self-hatred. This condition far too often eventually gives way to anger and/or resentment towards an education system that belittles Black intellectual ability, causing many Black students to develop poor attitudes towards their education.
During one’s school years, the practice of self-love can be difficult for all students, but it is particularly more difficult for African American students who have no access to the kind of education that makes them feel good about themselves, thus inspiring them to develop their potential. For most African Americans their schools are the places where they first learn how little they are valued in America. It is a miracle that any Black student survives such a debilitating school experience in which they are subjected to a curriculum that almost totally omits their contributions to the human story. Who can truly express surprise that some Black students actively resist learning or that their will or ability to learn diminishes given such a racially biased educational setting? Learning seldom takes place in situations where students are left ignorant of themselves and they are taught to ignore the historical reality of their own unique cultural group.Moreover, this is not an accident.
This practice is an essential factor in maintaining the current social dominance of the ruling class. For a ruling class to maintain its social dominance over its suppressed group, it must condition its suppressed group from a very early age to accept their own subordinate status and to adhere to the authority of the dominant group. To do so, the education given to the minority group from the time that they are youths must be the type that denies them a racially and culturally affirming curriculum. When the suppressed minority population is denied a racially and culturally affirming education, even the brightest among them may have little, if any, hope of extracting themselves from their assigned low, dominated position in life.
While some African Americans students are able to develop the mental fortitude to complete their education, far too many are systematically mortified by an educational curriculum designed to perpetuate White superiority.
The American educational system’s failure to adequately serve African American students as is so routinely does for its White students affirms and reflects the reality that the existing educational system is not isolated from the existing cultural-socio-eco-political system of the United States, which is racist. This is being deliberately done to African Americans because the educational system represents part of America's institutionalized racism.
Schools are tools of the government design to mold students’ character accordingly. As students African American are being systematically educated to believe and to accept white superiority. It is an illusion to believe that the U.S. educational system is race and politically neutral. Nothing could be further from the truth. The American educational system is a key part of America’s institutionalized racism. There is no way to separate the educational system from its surrounding racist cultural and political system.
Black students are always part of studies on intellectual performance. However, very few studies focus primarily on their emotional growth and development as it relates to what they are being taught about themselves. It is widely known in psychological and medical circles that the fashion industry’s promotion of beauty as ‘stick thin’ may be damaging to the self image and health of young girls. When young girls decide to look like underweight models, it subtly pressures them if necessary, to starve themselves to achieve that look. It is also well established that young boys, when exposed to numerous images of violence in movies, television, and video games may become desensitized over time and develop violent aggressive behavior because of this exposure. Similarly, Black students’ psychological distress and related loss of motivation to learn results from forced participation in an immeasurably mortifying and biased educational system. They are so dependent on it and vulnerable because they are subjected to it for seven hours a day from the age of five through eighteen. Consequently, they must constantly resist the negative perceptions of being Black implicit in an educational curriculum almost exclusively dedicated to White ideologies, achievements, contributions and history. Clearly, considerable damage can be done to the mental health of many Black students within such a large time frame.
Dr. Joseph White, a professor in psychology from the University of California at Irvine, found that educational motivation among Black students is apparent during their early school years, but by the third grade many begin to develop disaffection with school. For some, it isn't until the fourth grade that their teachers start to see the warning signs of a profound disaffection towards their education. Moreover, by the fifth or sixth grade, many Black students demonstrate a total loss of enthusiasm towards school and even equate academic success with “acting White.”
Despite their socioeconomic levels, Black students begin school equally motivated and with test scores equal to or even higher, than those of White students. However, research shows that the longer they stay in school, the less motivated they become. And by the time they reach high school many develop a total disinterest with education, fall behind, and subsequently drop out of school altogether.
When we fail to teach Black students about their significant contributions as a race, they grow up besieged by deep feelings of inadequacy, ignorant of themselves, distrusting themselves, doubting themselves, sub-consciously hating themselves, and, invariably, fighting among themselves. Whether it is deliberate or not, an attack has been mounted through the educational system against Black students -- an attack that assures progressively weaker generations. Unless there is a deliberate strategy to suppress Black people and maintain White superiority, why else do they feel the need to conceal the significant contributions of Black people in the educational development of Black children? Why did they find it a necessity to remove Black people from the respectful commentary of the record of world history and then proceed to teach Black children from an educational curriculum that destroys their self-images?
The American educational system’s failure to adequately serve African American students as is so routinely done for its White students affirms and reflects the reality that the existing educational system is not isolated from the existing cultural-socio-eco-political system of the United States, which is racist.
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