Premier against more Afrocentric schools:

That makes two of us. You know, being in American schools my kids really get short-shafted understanding anything about the rest of the planet. Yet while I bemoan the U.S. education system for not covering the finer subtleties of the BNA Act, I realize it is my responsibility to feed my kids whatever I feel their not getting in those hallowed halls.

Kids are under-performing in schools everywhere. The last I saw the drop-out rate in North Carolina was over 60%. Afrocentric schools is another fad treatment for a complex problem that will require a number of measures to correct.

Speaking of fad treatments, Mario Dumont believes he has the answer: more dicipline in schools. Réjean Parent, head of the Quebec teachers union called Dumont an “idiot”, saying he didn’t have the understanding to address the situation.

These are complex problems that require thoughtful, long term solutions, not some “off the top of my head” epiphany from a politcal gasbag.

Take a look at the marker on this map:

That’s DeGaspe Street in Montreal. This is where Jackie Robinson lived when he broke the color barrier in baseball and came up in the majors to play for the Montreal Royals in 1946. The American civil rights revolution was trailblazed in Canada, not the U.S. DeGaspe street in the cultural epicenter of Montreal, nested between Delormier Downs and Jarry Parc: Baseball history, Canadian history, American history.

Rachel Robinson tells it best:

We left the South bruised, stimulated, and more contemplative than we arrived. A more resilient pair. Our totally opposite experience in Montreal later that year provided us with an excellent springboard into the majors…

My first intimate encounter with the city came when I went apartment hunting. I selected a location from the Royal’s list of available apartments, and went to an attached home on DeGaspe Street, in a French Canadian neighborhood, and knocked on the door. The woman who opened it set the tone for the entire stay. She said “Welcome!” in English, and meant it.

Now that’s nothing I’ll find in either an American or Canadian text book, but I intend to teach it to my children.


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