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Black Education – Have We Made Progress?
Black education can use the rich fertilizer of African proverbs. Here is one from the Mafa people of Cameroon, Northern Nigeria, and Southern Niger: Nobody kills an ignoramus who asks for wisdom. This comes from a culture where even accepting a gift without rejecting it first could be considered begging and therefore shameful; however, humbling yourself to learn something you should have known in the first place ranks above prideful ignorance.
I have thought a lot about this proverb, especially as it relates to blacks with the highest academic degrees. It is quite an achievement to go through the rigors of Western education and stand out. Thanks to integration, this leaves blacks open to participate not only in the Western economic and political arenas, but also at certain levels of the Western social sphere.
Still, I can’t stop thinking about the Jews and how well integrated they were into German society before World War II. Like African Americans, they were judges, doctors, teachers, artists, etc. Many of them had disassociated themselves from their cultural and religious heritage just as westernized blacks are doing. Not believing like other Jews that they had not risen to socially acceptable heights, Westernized and assimilated Jews may have been more vulnerable to voting for the very laws that would later send them to concentration camps.
Western education, the foundation of black education, consistently teaches that white scholars were the first to discover the way the world and the universe work and that whites have made the greatest contributions to society. This is systemic racism.
Why does this matter? Because you must first deny yourself to accept this premise. Look at the price the Jews paid for this self-denial. How many ended up in concentration camps before rediscovering who they were?
Today, of all the other countries in the world, the United States has the highest percentage of its population in jail or tied to its legal system. According to a report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics surveying prisons, at the end of 2008, 7.3 million adult Americans were under correctional supervision. China has only 1.5 million with four times the population of the US and Russia has less than a million. African Americans, who officially make up 13 percent of the US population, account for almost half of the US prison population.
Even more about the state of blacks in America, by far blacks (even educated blacks) die at higher rates than others in the population from common diseases like cancer; black children seem destined to kill each other faster than they can replace themselves; and the great-grandmothers are raising their great-grandchildren because both the grandmothers and the mothers are dead, on drugs, or in jail. Great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents are statistically simply absent, mostly for similar reasons.
The best source of this information is a public school. Just teach in an inner-city school even for a short time and you will see what our children are enduring far more than other races.
Many educated black people either don’t realize these problems or are more likely to blame those who suffer for making bad decisions, thanking God they aren’t like “those people.”
Westernized black education dismisses the psychological effects of slavery and segregation and their legacies on today’s black psyche. For many educated blacks, the extent of their compassion is to tell suffering blacks to “get a job!” This discounts the 100 percent employment rate of slavery and the fact that it was illegal for blacks to be unemployed during segregation. This dismissive attitude among many educated blacks also dismisses the fact that during slavery, blacks were not the recipients of the fruits of their labor and that most blacks during segregation only made enough to keep them in a state of debt. very serious, not by choice as many educated blacks live today, but by necessity.
It seems very likely that blacks educated only under the Western educational system forget that having the right to control their own money and to participate in both the economy and the social spheres of this country are newly granted advents. Furthermore, these rights are subject to the vagaries of American law which, for the benefit of blacks, has been extremely fickle. On average, we can expect a major change about every 50 years, and the tide is turning. Although there was a slight decline in incarceration rates during 2008, statistics show that since the 1980s, prison incarceration rates have been growing exponentially.
How does the above proverb fit into this?
Does wisdom suggest that the date on a calendar heralds progress?
Does wisdom suggest that the ability to participate effectively in an economy that consumes the earth’s resources to extinction at the price of human rights demonstrates progress?
Does wisdom suggest that abandoning your identity to gain acceptance in social spheres built on a foundation that crushed the humanity of your ancestors checks progress?
Does the Westernized educational system promote wisdom or “progress”?
If Western education doesn’t promote wisdom, then couldn’t Westernized black education increase their ignorance?
Nobody kills an ignoramus who asks for wisdom.
I hope that we African Americans find out that this African proverb is true.
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