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NEW TECHNOLOGY, SAME OLD EDUCATIONAL BIASES
MacWarehouse, a MicroWarehouse company, sells all types of computers and computer products. One of its attractions is the discount it offers to educational institutions. Aset University, the first free Black Studies curriculum on the internet, is a legitimate educational institution. Wondering what the response would be, Aset placed an order with MacWarehouse and explained that Aset was not accredited. Surprisingly, MacWarehouse honored the order and provided Aset with the software it desired at the educational rate.
A few months later, Aset placed a second order with MacWarehouse. Again, Aset asked for the educational prices. After sending the required fax stating that the materials purchased would be used for educational purposes, Aset's order was refused because it was not an accredited institution. Aset then told MacWarehouse to cancel the order, and a second fax, which appears below, was sent to MacWarehouse pointing out that, educationally, the new technology has held onto the same narrow-minded prejudices as the old technology.
Below is the fax. Following the fax is an explanation of why this is so important to Black educators.
June 7, 2001
When I made my initial educational order through MacWarehouse, I made it clear that my institution was not an accredited institution. It didn't matter then because the order was approved and I received it. Now, in refusing to honor to Order #P6913419, you are telling me that educational prices only apply to accredited schools. That puts high technology in the same biased boat with old school discriminators who declare that tests like the SAT are equitable measures of intelligence. The fact of the matter is that tests like the SAT are no more valid than any other measures of intelligence.
The same is true of groups that accredit schools. Whether a school is accredited or not has little or nothing to do with its function as an educational institution. As a matter of fact, if a school teaches a perspective that clashes with that of the accreditors, that alone can render it not worthy of receiving accreditation. If MacWarehouse's new stance is that only the schools that approach education the way status quo forces want it to be approached are worthy of discounted prices, then it should say so directly. That way, everybody would know that high technology, more specifically MacWarehouse, promotes the same old prejudices and biases as "old" technology. The rhetoric of high technology revolves around new possibilities, but the reality is as old as plantation slavery.
Education has failed some people because some people never seem to learn. Fortunately, my students will continue to learn, with or without MacWarehouse's discriminating approval.
The above fax was not sent to MacWarehouse in order to get them to change their mind about the order; Aset University can make it without white power's discounts, as is the case with all Black institutions (all they need is the nerve to take the road Black People need to take in order to educate Our own). The fax was sent because I knew I was going to use this occasion to make three points to the students of Aset University and the other visitors to this web site, and I didn't want MacWarehouse to be able to claim they had been blindsided.
The three points I want to make are: (1) The educational system in the United States is just as biased and anti-Black as it ever was, and "accreditation" is part of that biased process; (2) Educational institutions that teach Black People what Black People need to know will never be accredited by the educational system in the United States; and (3) Black educators who dilute the Black message in order to receive accreditation and educational funds are doing more harm to Black People than good.
Accreditation, like the SAT, is as biased and anti-Black as it can be. In fact, accreditation is more germane to indoctrination than education. The same individuals who are in charge of accrediting educational institutions in the United States got their "education" at schools like Brown University, which exists because of the labor of Black slaves. The same individuals who are in charge of accrediting educational institutions still want to teach that Christopher Columbus discovered America, that Egypt is not a part of Africa (therefore, Black People had nothing to do with the great civilization that existed there), that John Brown was a madman (because he took up arms in defense of the rights of Black People), that Native Americans were savages, that white people are superior to other people, that Nat Turner had a diseased mind (because he killed white people in an attempt to end slavery and set up a Black government), that Arabs are terrorists (because they defend themselves by any means necessary against Israel and other white power governments), etc., etc., etc. How can individuals who are as warped and tunnel visioned as that objectively determine which schools should be accredited and which should not?
Educational institutions that teach Black People what Black People need to know will never be accredited by the educational system in the United States. Why? Because genuine educational institution will tell the truth, and that will be different from what white America wants taught. Much of what is called education in the United States is a combination of lies and half truths that support the white mythology and give white people more credit than they actually deserve. And, not unimportantly, it simultaneously attacks Black People and give Black People less credit than Black People deserve. Therefore, in order to accredit a genuine Black educational institution, the accreditors would have to admit that what they have been teaching all along is not what they should have been teaching. They would have to admit that white scholarship is a white con game, that people have reason to doubt most of what white education has said for centuries, that white institutions of learning are centers of misinformation and that white educators have, as a matter of course, practiced intellectual and developmental genocide against other peoples, particularly Black People.
Therefore, Black educators who dilute the Black message in order to receive accreditation and educational funds are doing more harm to Black People than good. That is why illiteracy among Black teenagers has increased by some 24% since the late 1930s. Black educators are presenting a standard to Black People that is not worthy of being emulated or held in esteem, and they are helping to convince young Black People that the white way is superior to everybody else's way. Black educators are, in effect, setting Black People up to play a secondary role within the white scheme of things, convincing Blacks that they should be satisfied and content with that role, and convincing Blacks that struggling to represent the legitimacy of Blackness and the Black way is of little to no value.
Black educators do not need to stoop that low, and they do not need to teach Black People that it is alright to stoop that low. Black People can educate Black People better than anyone else can, and We don't need white monies or discounts to do that. All We need is a small percentage of the self respect and pride Black People had 60 years ago.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and list your course title as the subject.