"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Hampton Philosophy Lives On

Following the Civil War, the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute was used to further subjugate African Americans by training freed slaves as black teachers who would then spread the message of subservience and second class citizenship throughout the South, where freed slaves were hungry for what they believed to be liberation through education. See James Anderson's account of the Hampton Industrial Education Model.

The Hampton idea was based on promoting the belief in an inevitable black moral inferiority, a moral feebleness, that would take generations to correct. It was also based on promoting the belief that slavery had been the best thing that ever happened to Hampton students and other freed slaves, for without slavery, there would have been no opportunity to move beyond the savagery of the Dark Continent and to become Christians. Slavery provided the rescue from moral ruin!

If you thought the days of pumping the benefits of slavery were in the past, check out this clip from a present-day op-ed:

Remember Ronald Reagan’s story about the kid who had to shovel a huge pile of manure? He went about it with such joy he was asked why and said, “With all that manure, there’s got to be a pony in there somewhere.”

The pony hidden in slavery is the fact that it was the ticket to America for black people. I have long urged blacks to consider their presence here as the work of God, who wanted to bring them to this raw, new country and used slavery to achieve it. A harsh life, to be sure, but many immigrants suffered hardships and indignations as indentured servants. Their descendants rose above it. You don’t hear them bemoaning their forebears’ life the way some blacks can’t rise above the fact theirs were slaves. . . .

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