Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Extreme Acronyms

From the News Wire:

Black Conservative Group Blasts Ebonics Plan for California Schools

( - A black conservative group is criticizing a controversial pilot program in San Bernardino, Calif., schools that would inject "Ebonics" slang into the schools' curriculum.

The project, known as SANKOFA or Students Accumulating New Knowledge Optimizing Future Accomplishment Initiative, is designed to improve the academic performance of black students by keeping them interested in their studies.
Is it just me or is the acronym for this plan just a little--strained?
Reading on:
Sankofa, an African word from the Akan language currently spoken in Ghana is translated as "We must go back and reclaim our past so we can move forward; so we understand why and how we came to be who we are today."

I wonder if there is as much thought put into implementing this program, and its effects on the Black students, as there was into finding a way to make the acronym work.

But that has nothing to do, Project 21 said, with Ebonics. The group called it the "legitimization of modern urban American slang" and warned that it would "harm the professional development of black children if it is put on the same level as Standard English."

I happen to agree. I also wonder if this is yet another way to isolate Blacks from Whites. In my younger, idealistic days we used to sing about a color-blind world, where children wouldn't pay attention to the color of their playmates skin. It was the big, evil adults who made skin color important.
Guess what? The big, evil adults are still making skin color important. Only now they call themselves "liberal" and "culturally sensitive."
Update I: And, of course, today Thomas Sowell has a column about this very thing! He is much more eloquent than I.