Here is an excerpt from a thread I started on an online forum:
Me: An innocent enough question: should the U.S., along with billions in foreign aid, also try to influence African nations to value racial diversity in their schools. If such diversity is a good thing, why should it be denied the Africans?
Them: I don’t feel that we should be spending billions there and I dont think we should tell them how to run their schools. Diversity in africa? How would they go about that? Bus some white kids from south Africa up to Nigeria? I dont think that would work out for them, and I believe they have larger things to consider than the ethnic make up of their class rooms…
Me: You’re right. However, given that our government does send our hard-earned money to Africa and given that our government does believe racial diversity is the greatest possible good, should they not promote it in Africa as they promote it here?
Yes, it’s impractical to import whites and Asians to Africa – but it’s also impractical to import Africans to America for the sake of diversity and yet our government actually does this so, that being the case, should it not be both ways?
Them: Africans are “imported” into the US? The term is immigration. Many people from myriad nations immigrate to the US every year. I suspect the federal government has a quota system in place to evenly balance how many people immigrate from one particular country or region. Your phrasing is patently racist and I find it personally offensive. But I assume that’s what you’re going for. Find another rock and climb under that one then relax and stay a while.
American values and customs should not be imposed on other sovereign nations just because US aid goes there. That would be called “meddling” in foreign affairs, a practice that has not served the US very well in the past nor will it in the future.
Me: Some people, it seems, love to find “racism” everywhere they look. It’s an obsession. Of course I used the word “import” regarding whites and Asians too – but this is perfectly all right in the eyes of one racist poster, as long as it’s not used regarding blacks because THAT would be “racist”. Typical double standard and blatant for all to see.
Of course the U.S. should not spend taxpayer money overseas. Nor should the U.S. impose its will on other nations. Given the premise, however, that racial diversity is good for schools – should it not be a goal for those who wish to help Africa, to help bestow upon them this blessing? My query is not a complicated one – but obviously it is one that some people don’t like to ponder.
On the one hand, we have true conservatives who reject foreign aid and meddling (as do I) – but this is not my point and perhaps I could have worded it better originally. Then we have leftists who, for some odd reason, believe racial diversity should only be a goal in nations traditionally inhabited by whites or mainly by whites. To them I ask: “if racial diversity is such a good thing, why not help Africa achieve it if we have a goal of helping Africa?”
I’ll spell it out in even simpler terms. Given: Racial diversity is good for education. Given: Many Americans truly wish to help Africa educate her children = Racial diversity would be good for Africa. Next question: why do those who wish to help Africa, and who DO favor foreign aid to Africa, not make it a goal to also bring racial diversity to Africa? It’s a fair question and it deserves a fair answer; not the usual mud slinging and whining about “racism”.
Them: Other than in South Africa, a country that has quite recently (as of 1996) desegregated it’s schools officially but much segregation remains, where is there segregation in other African nations?
Like in South Africa, desegregation is a new concept for the US as a nation. For that reason, it is understandable that many in the country are threatened by it and would use such sarcastic phrases as “help bestow upon them this blessing”.
If it looks like a rat and smells like a rat…
Me: You’ve never heard of “de-facto segregation”? I will not respond to your other inflammatory remarks because you’re trying to change the topic of this thread. If you wish to discuss the specific advantages of racial integration in education vs. disadvantages you should probably start another thread. This one pertains to “black Africa” where the vast majority of schools are 100% black. This is de-facto segregation. Of course it would be difficult to import children/adults of other races to enrich their schools – but certainly not impossible. If it were recognized as a goal, then ways would be found to make it happen. There are plenty of colleges in areas of the U.S. that are almost entirely white and, guess what? They have special programs called “diversity programs” that encourage students of other races and backgrounds to move there and attend their schools. Why is it so unthinkable that African schools do the same? This should not even be a controversial topic. Would you care to explain why you feel threatened/offended by this?
Them: Ah, we finally come to the crux of this odd thread. These “diversity programs” sound wonderful and should be supported and encouraged. Where in the US is this practice occurring? It’s about time that some level of equality is given to groups who have long been oppressed.
Thanks for clarifying.
Them again: First of all some of the ignorance in this forum is astonishing. Africa has millions of different tribal and ethnic groups and the idea of integrating schools so that children of different tribal/ethnic groups live and work and play together is a great one. I can’t claim to be an expert on pan-African local educational policies so I have no idea if this is a widespread practice or if it doesn’t happen anywhere but if it’s not it could go a long way to healing much of the animus these varying groups feel toward one another, just as it has with the desegregation of schools in the States.
Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be what is being discussed here. What this seems to be is a ridiculous argument that sees people as “black” or “white” and is using the absurd idea of sending white children from who knows where to be educated in Africa to make the idea of desegregated schools in the U.S. seem absurd as well. Poor form friend.
The desegregation of the U.S. education system is one of the truly great things this nation has done. First and for most it taught all successive generations that people are pretty much the same regardless of their skin tone. It has given children of all ethnic backgrounds a chance to grow up together and work together. It has helped to level the playing field that for a long time gave white children a huge advantage as a birthright. And has helped cure much of the systemic racism in our country. Things aren’t perfect but they’re a lot better than the used to be. And, while not everybody takes advantage of the opportunities education affords them, those that do should be blamed for it.
Me: But of course. There is great diversity amongst black Africans and just because they may have similar skin tones does not make them all alike. I’ll even go a step further: There is great diversity amongst white people in the U.S. and the fact that they have similar skin tones does not make them all the same. Nevertheless, it is obvious that any school that is 100% white (regardless of its diversity) is considered to be “lacking in diversity” by the powers that be, by the media, by school administrators and even by the public. So, if diversity of skin color is considered of paramount importance in the U.S., why should it not be considered important in Africa as well?
But you want diversity of “tribes”; groups that differ culturally. American blacks are, culturally, more American than anything else. I would venture to say that a Polish immigrant represents far more cultural diversity, in an American school, than a homegrown black. And yet in the eyes of The Law, that Polish immigrant doesn’t count as “diversity” – because he is white. Take 500 Polish immigrants and import them into a school in America that has a total of 1000 students and guess what? That school is still considered “lacking diversity”. The powers that be will wring their hands and agonize over this and they will do anything in their power to change it.
I’ll pose a question to you: can you cite one example where U.S. law recognized the presence of whites, amongst other whites, as “diversity” in regards to nationality/ethnicity? Has the presence of Jewish kids (for example) ever exempted a school from forced busing? Jews do have a distinct culture and a history of oppression in this country. Has the U.S. government ever recognized the presence of Jews, in a school, as “diversity” for its purposes?
At this point, I was banned.
Diversity in Africa part one
Here is an excerpt from a thread I started on an online forum: