DELIVERED VIA FAX and e-MAIL
November 15, 2011
Dalton McGuinty, Premier
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
Re: Toronto District School Board Plan for Africentric Secondary School
On January 25, 2008, I wrote to you asking that you intervene to deny public school boards the power to create race-focused schools. At the time, the issue was the opening by the Toronto District School Board (“TDSB”) of an “Africentric” elementary school. Although you condemned the idea of the school, you refused to make any legislative or regulatory amendments to deny public school boards the power to open up alternative race-focused schools. Facing opposition neither from your government nor from the opposition parties in the Legislature, the Africentric elementary school opened.
I am writing to you now because the TDSB is resuming discussions aimed at the opening of an Africentric secondary school in Toronto. On March 29, 2011, when the idea was first publicly floated, the TDSB faced such strong and passionate public opposition to the idea that the TDSB dropped the plan. Now, just 8 months later, the TDSB is nestling the same proposal in a group of proposals for 9 other relatively benign schools (e.g., sports-focused, choir-focused), presumably hoping to imply the falsehood that race-focused schooling is similarly benign. A public meeting will be held at TDSB headquarters on Wednesday, November 16, 2011, and will include the Africentric secondary school proposal.
There are a number of red herrings argued by each side of the Africentric schools debate. Most proponents argue that students get good grades in the school because of its racial focus, but nobody is objecting to the school on the basis of students’ grades. Some opponents argue against the Africentric schools on the basis that it is segregation, but proponents are correct to reply that the school is not technically segregating people because it is open to all (regardless of genetic make-up) and nobody is required to attend it. Each of these arguments misses the essence of the problem associated with schools like Toronto’s Africentric school.
The Africentric school is, in essence, one of any number of potential genetics-focused schools. Central to any genetics-focused education is an environment and curriculum infused with history and culturally-related elements (paintings, clothing, music, etc.) of a collective defined by its phenotypical make-up (skin tone, the typical shapes and sizes of its body parts, hair colour, eye colour, etc.). Because genetic-focusing carries with it some horrific historical predecessors, the genetic-focusing of such a school is normally masked by instead referring to the school as being focused on something correlated with phenotypes, such as the countries or continents in which such phenotypical traits are more commonly found. It is for this reason that the de facto genetics-focused elementary school in Toronto prefers to refer to itself not as something like “black-centric” but as “Africentric”. It is the exact same obfuscation used by “white” racists, who have often tried to mask their racism by saying that they are merely “Eurocentric”, and proud not of their genetics, but of the place from whence their families hailed.
A genetics-focused school is, by its very nature, pro-collectivist / pro-tribalist. On its face, it seeks to have students identify with a collective defined by a group of phenotypical traits. The aim is to have individual students see themselves not just as “human beings”, but as “black human beings”, or as “white human beings”, or as “Asian human beings” etc.. A genetics-focused school is opposed to color-blindness, instead making “race” a lens through which every aspect of education is to be viewed by the student. The student is thereby encouraged to see himself or herself as a part of a “racial” collective.
Nature does not impose collectives: ill-intended humans do that. Every child, by birth, is an individual, free of any de facto membership in any collective, “racial” or otherwise. Yet race-focused schools aim to make children believe the opposite: that they are members of a tribe defined by their genetic make-up; that their value or potential as a person is somehow related to the value or past achievements of others in their collective; that their self-esteem is the result not only of personal effort, but of a communal pot of achievements made by anyone who happens to share some of their phenotypical traits.
Such genetic collectivism is the essence of racism. There is no difference between that sort of thinking, and the thinking that says white, blue-eyed, blonde-haired Germans are somehow great or evil because some white, blue-eyed, blonde-haired Germans did something great or evil in the past. To imply that one should be proud of ones genetic make-up because someone with similar phenotypical traits won an Oscar or a Nobel prize also implies that one should be ashamed of ones genetics because someone with similar phenotypical traits committed genocide, has never yet been Prime Minister, or lives in poor neighborhood. To imply that one has intellectual potential because one has the look of a famous genius is to imply that one has limited potential because one has the look of a famous moron. It also is to imply that the sins or successes of the father are the sins or successes of the son. The proponents of race-based schools know this, and that is precisely what they want.
For the proponents of the Africentric schools (or other race-focused schools that the proponents are sure to propose in the near future) the end-game is a society full of individuals who see themselves not as independent human beings, but as racially-defined members of a racially-defined collective. Those promoting the Toronto Africentric schools seek to create a population that sees itself as being made-up of racial collectives. In such a society, all differences in wealth, influence, office, etc. can then be blamed upon racism, which will then serve as the excuse for government intervention. If racial collective A has a higher average income – or holds a higher percentage of CEO positions – than racial collective B, adults educated to be racial collectivists will be eager to blame all such differences upon racism, and to call for a government-imposed redistribution of wealth, political influence, jobs etc. among the racial collectives. By training children not to be color blind, but to see everything from math to language to art through a racial lens, the proponents of race-focused schooling aim create a population of adults so obsessed with race that they champion socialism – wealth redistribution, hiring quotas, etc. – as an alleged cure to the racism upon which they will blame every shortcoming. The proponents of race-focused schools are not truly concerned about students, grades, self-esteem or even genetic make-up. They are, at root, socialists using race to turn people against one another so as to foster the popularity of socialism.
In Ontario’s public schools, children – all children – need to be taught what they should value in themselves and in others: a knowledge of scientifically-discovered facts of nature; the indispensable necessity of strictly logical thought for the purpose of obtaining knowledge; the virtues of honesty, productiveness, integrity, justice, independence, pride and rationality in general; a society in which all relations with others must be consensual. These things are indispensable for the success of each child, regardless of his or her genetic make-up. It is these things that should be the focus of a child’s education if he or she is to succeed and to achieve his or her own happiness and self-esteem.
Accordingly, I am again asking you to introduce legislation that will remove from all publicly funded educational organizations the authority to set up schools that – as I have described above – foster racial in-fighting, racial collectivism, unearned and unwarranted pride or guilt based on how one looks, and socialism. And, at the same time, I am asking that you take steps to cause our tax-funded schools to do a better job of explaining to children that there is only one race – the human race.
Leader, Freedom Party of Ontario
c.c., TDSB, Laurel Broten, Tim Hudak, Andrea Horwath