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Monday, November 14, 2011

Why is the Toronto District School Board promoting a fixation on race?

In contrast to prevalent attitudes of just a couple of generations ago, no one now could express the idea that a person should be judged on the basis of their skin color or ethnicity without annihilating their credibility.  While racism continues to be a pernicious blight in some quarters, most of us understand that viewing people within the framework as members of a racial group rather than simply as individuals is an unintelligent misconception that has been responsible for some of the worst crimes and tragedies of the last 200 years. 

Unfortunately, that lesson appears to be lost on the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), which, at great taxpayer expense, is importing an American author who believes we do not focus enough on race, to be the keynote speaker at an upcoming teachers’ conference.  

Tim Wise is one of the confirmed speakers at the TDSB’s Equity in Education conference to be held in May, who in his book Color Blind, argues that in order to combat racism, we need ..more racism

Sadly, that kind of destructive, irrational methodology is completely in line with the type of thinking that saturates educational approaches in Ontario.

Wise and his followers apparently believe that it is completely acceptable to discriminate against one group of people based on nothing other than their skin color. He is a purveyor of “white privilege”  and whiteness theories that infect Equity programs and do nothing but perpetuate racism. Because it follows to reason that as long as you can stigmatize one group because of their pigmentation, regardless of the motive, racism is an acceptable value.

Wise is right about one thing. He has pointed out that there’s no such thing as a “White race” or for that matter a “Black race”; a concept that is merely a construct and outgrowth of colonial slavery.  But rather than refute discrimination on the basis of pigmentation, which should have no more importance than hair or eye color, Wise makes a good living as an apostle in the anti-racism industry, which requires the perpetuation of racism and race-based policies for Equity Studies teachers and consultants to continue to rake in cash. And they make easy prey of the gullible, obtuse leadership at the TDSB which appears willing to try out any faddish social experiment, using your children as its lab rats. 

Racists are idiots and when racism manifests itself, those who practice it should be identified, ostracised and ridiculed. Skin color and ethnicity have nothing to do with a person’s intellectual abilities or moral behaviour. Culture however does affect people’s behaviour and judgement. Skin color doesn’t make a person violent, but the culture of a certain tropical island, for example, may implicitly teach violence and perpetuate it among adherents to that culture. Ethnicity doesn’t make a person misogynistic, but the culture of certain Middle Eastern countries teach that women are of a lesser value than men, and as long as that culture is allowed to be revered, the subjugation of women will continue among many who are raised with such beliefs. 

In multicultural Canada, which has enshrined a facile cultural relativism that says that all cultures are equally valid, it’s forbidden to condemn another culture or say that Canadian values are superior. That sort of shallow thinking paradoxically leads to racism, because when we see differences in people’s behaviour, and we are forbidden from attributing it to culture, other answers are sought. And when operating from the false premise that discounts culture, consciously or not, race is sometimes the erroneous conclusion that some people draw. 

How else to explain the reasoning behind Toronto’s Afro-centric schools, which sees students' problems in skin color rather than culture? Geoffrey Canada, who was featured in the documentary Waiting for Superman (and who, despite his name, is unfortunately not Canadian), was able to accomplish improved performance for underprivileged students in urban African American neighbourhoods with Charter Schools that emphasized discipline and performance in core subjects, not segregation by pigmentation.

Despite preposterous TDSB edicts that say only white people can be racist, racism is not the sole province of any one group.  When looking at the make-up of Equity Studies programs, or as is more strikingly evidenced by the like minded characters in the “Occupy Wall Street” movement, their homogeneous racial composition suggests that people who believe in such things don’t know many people who aren’t Caucasian, and are easy victims for the myths that the “white privilege” snake oil salesmen are selling. 

US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” The sooner the TDSB absorbs that simple lesson instead of spreading Tim Wise’s, the sooner we can move to being a society that recognizes individuals as individuals instead of stereotypes.


Anonymous said...

Thank you! I say this not so much in response to the issues with the TDSB but with racial perspectives as a whole. While I am no fool and can clearly see that "whites" have partaken in a particularly large share of racism over the centuries, the pendulum has swung quite the other way. As a white person I am aware that I must constantly be on guard that I offend no one in any possible way while my friends of "visible minorities" are free to make racial jokes comfortably, especially against white people who are caricaturized as rigid, uptight etc. If I complain that this is racist then somehow I am being racist... How did this happen and how can we make it stop?

Anonymous said...

"Whites" have partaken in a particularly large share?

I think you'd be hard-pressed to find races that *don't* have long histories of slavery, including black Africans and American Indians.

This "Victimology" scam is the most pernicious scourge I can think of to the well-being of Western civilization: undermine the fabric and productivity, sew hatred between ethnicities, and make a pile of money while hastening the demise of capitalism - doesn't get much better than that!