Where in Asia should they build an xkcd school?

A portion of the profits from xkcd: volume 0 will be donated to three literacy projects in Asia: building a School Room (pre-school); building a Reading Room (library); and funding a Local Language Publishing Program. The charity Room to Read is now polling the public to decide where in Asia these three projects should take place.

The School Room (pre-school) will be built in Sri Lanka, but the four regions to decide between are: Nuwara Eliya, Moneragala District, Mannar District, and Matale District.

The Reading Room will be built in either Laos, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, or Nepal.

The Local Language Publishing Program will in either Laos, Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, or Cambodia.

How do you decide which locations to vote for? Are you connected to any of these regions?

The deadline is May 17th, 2010 at noon EST. Vote here: How Should We Donate $53,000 of xkcd Book Profits?

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Black Coolness is higher-status than Asian Dorkiness.

''Power to the people. Black power to black people. Yellow power to yellow people.''The Racialicious post, Talking About The Things We Do To Each Other, is an important intra-POC conversation about tensions between black people and (East) Asian people (or rather between non-Asian black people and non-black Asian people). This is an incredibly complex topic, and I will have to respond to this issue through multiple posts.

Firstly, however, I must strongly disagree with Thea Lim’s characterization of East Asians:

I had a long convo with my friend L about this last week, where he said that East Asian students always gravitate towards white students, whereas African American students will usually stick together. The more we talked about it, the more I realised that he thought East Asian students do that because they aspire to whiteness, and because they can – economic privilege or light skin privilege allows them to do so. I was surprised to realise that he didn’t get it – East Asian students gravitate towards white students as a means of protection from the particular kind of racism that East Asians experience; where they are always made to feel as if they are from somewhere else.

Not only does this not apply to me as a (non-black) Chinese Canadian, but this whole situation does not apply to the schools I attended growing up. Perhaps it is a class difference and/or regional demographic difference, but the situation that Thea describes would be impossible at the public schools I attended.

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Institutional racism and white privilege run Keswick, Ontario.

Korean boy can only watch as others go to school (Globe and Mail, May 2, 2009):

Earlier this week, the boy’s father received a couriered letter from the York Region District School Board. It said the school’s principal, Catherine McGinley, was recommending the discipline committee mete out the harshest possible punishment when it meets on May 13. She asked that the 15-year-old be expelled not just from Keswick High, but from all schools in York region.

“It was horrible. It was a big shock,” the boy’s father said.

Yesterday afternoon, spokesman Ross Virgo said the board meant to retract that letter, that it was sent in error and that its contents were no longer valid. He said the case is being investigated further, and that the recommendation of expulsion is no longer in effect.

But no one had told the boy’s family, who were still mulling over the letter’s devastating implications late yesterday.

They said that they feel as though some combination of forces is trying to run them out of this rural, mostly white town, particularly in light of attacks on Asian fishermen in the nearby Lake Simcoe area in 2007.

[…]

His father said the school doesn’t seem to understand the impact of the racial comment. Afterward, a vice-principal asked his son why a Korean was upset about being called Chinese.

“Probably they don’t realize how much it hurts when someone makes a racist comment,” his father said. “My son said, ‘I felt all the way down, like I am nothing, on the floor. Like they’re the master and I’m the slave.’

His father said he will continue to fight for his son.

Maybe they’re trying to force me to move to another area, I don’t know … I’m not going to give up. If I give up, no other Asian can ever come here and feel safe.


Related post:

White people are more segregated than minorities.

When most white people talk about segregated communities, they think of communities with many black people or other racial minorities. Most white people believe that minorities have mostly same-race friends and that they need to be racially integrated with the rest of society. However, this is a false assumption based white people’s tendency to notice people’s race only when the people are not white. The typical white person notices race when passing through communities of colour, but she rarely thinks about race when she is surrounded by all white people. If the typical white person is in a group setting with mostly white people but one or two token non-white people, the typical white person perceives the group as “diverse”.

If the typical white person is interested in reality instead of her personal observations (which would be prone to her subconscious racial biases), she may discover that her worldview is distorted. Yet another study, Campus Diversity Important Predictor Of Interracial Friendships, shows that of all racial groups, whites are the most segregated:

A new study in the journal Social Science Quarterly found that campus racial and ethnic diversity is important in predicting friendship heterogeneity, and that minorities have higher predicted friendship diversity than whites.

[…]

As school diversity rises, predicted friendship diversity also increases, although whites still have lower predicted levels of friendship diversity than minorities. However, this relationship shifts as schools become more diverse, with whites having nearly as diverse friendship networks as minorities on the most diverse campuses.

These studies that show that whites are the most segregated are important, because white people often criticize minorities for living in so-called “ethnic enclaves”.

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Africentric education is not black segregation.

Toronto’s Africentric school is open for everyone, not just black students. This is not racial segregation. Everyone needs an Africentric education.

The Africentric grade school will seek to hire a number of black teachers and use a more global, less Europe-focused curriculum to engage more students of colour. It will be open to children of all backgrounds from anywhere in the city.

Currently, our public grade schools are Eurocentric in focus, and children of all colours are led to believe that science, history, and technology starts and ends with Europe and European colonies. Eurocentric schools are not white-only schools. If you grew up in Canada, you had a Eurocentric education, not matter what colour you are.

If you believe that Africentrism is biased, you should also believe that Eurocentrism is biased. If you believe that Africentric education is biased and Eurocentric education is neutral, it means that your worldview is Eurocentric.

Unfortunately, too many Canadians fail to distinguish between “Africentric” and “black only”, and even some CBC news reporters think “Africentric” is interchangeable with “black-focused”. This creates mass confusion among the general public, and instead of quality debate, the general Canadian public reveals the extent of its miseducation.

Gasman (53 people recommended this comment):

Wasn’t racial segregation deemed illegal in Canada? […]

swamprat (52 people recommended this comment):

Martin Luther King Jr. just rolled over in his grave.

CrystalP (35 people recommended this comment):

Why are there such double standards when it comes to “minorities”? If this were a push for an all white school there is no way that this would be approved.

I am proud that Canada is such a diverse country, I am all for promotion of equality and acceptance of different race/religion etc. but I’m white and I’m beginning to feel like I would have a better chance for success in this country if I wasn’t.

ntcMEAsh (22 people recommended this comment):

I really think we are taking a step backwards here…. Imagine the uproar if we re-introduce white only schools…. people would freak out.

RocWells (13 people recommended this comment):

[…] its wrong to seperate, shame on Toronto and whats really disturbing is that its young kids that are being seperated, what kind of lessons are we teaching them? […]

Davebo (11 people recommended this comment):

Why is Toronto promoting Apartheid?

Shouldn’t this so called school be illegal? How can this stand? What does parliament think of Canada becoming the new South Africa?

GaretS (10 people recommended this comment):

I bet nobody would back a white only school…

Puissance (9 people recommended this comment):

Is this a joke? Racial segregation? Who would vote for something like that? Children need to grow up in a multicultural environment.

JaniceRobinson (9 people recommended this comment):

[…] Black people, who have also experienced segregation/isolation in the past….now want to re-experience it?? […]

Jimbo5 (9 people recommended this comment):

Well let me get this straight …my TAX dollars are being used to fund a all black school. […]

No.

Unfortunately, the CBC site does not allow one to downvote comments.

The majority of commenters are arguing against a straw man. Thus, the discussion is unhelpful, and it makes the Canadian public look uneducated.

Here is a bonus stupid comment:

jblack (3 people recommended this comment):

ChrisSealy

I taught my children to be “color blind” when it comes to a person’s skin color…

Canadians shoudl all be “color blind” and then Canada will work well.