Race card

Fathima has a brilliant post about the virulently racist editorial cartoon featured in the Globe & Mail on Monday, comparing it to The Star’s two editorial cartoons as well.

Racist Cartoon

What’s particularly interesting about this Globe & Mail cartoon (by Tony Jenkins) is that, unlike the ones in The Star, it takes a stab at the substance of what an Afrocentric curriculum (so to speak) may look like. The joke, of course, is that knowledge itself is decisively nonracial and, indeed, can’t possibly be racialized — so the only way these schools would be “Afrocentric” is through the thick-lipped, ebonicized blackness of the teachers (and students).

In asserting that the key element of the Afrocentrism is the ebonics, “S’up, dog?” [sic], it asserts that this, this is what characterizes African culture and its derivative culture: the bastardization of proper, common standards of discourse (that is to say, knowledge), and therefore, behaviour. And this bastardization, this wanton inability to get it right, is all that separates the Afrocentric curriculum from the acultural, aracial curriculum that gets taught in “normal” schools. So, not only are these Afrocentrists setting themselves apart, but they are going to ruin the ability of black students to interact with “mainstream” Canadians.

(In all of this I imagine certain administrators from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Arts & Science looking at the cartoon and saying, “I can see how it’s offensive, but it’s not quite racism.”)

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