How Accelerated Christian Education Is Racist

How Accelerated Christian Education Is Racist May 4, 2012

ACE PACEs promote segregation. In the educational cartoons that occur throughout each PACE, students of each race attend different, segregated schools. It’s laid out in Accelerated Christian Education’s Procedures Manual I – Learning Center Essentials, even in the latest (2010) edition, pages 20-23. The PACE characters attend three different church-schools. White kids go to Highland, the blacks to Harmony, and the Asians to Heartsville. Vomit.

(You can also find the same claim made here and here.)

I can go one better. Here are examples of outright racism that appeared in my ACE schoolbooks. If you don’t believe me, I’ll happily upload scans of the relevant pages. You ready? Let’s go.

Although apartheid appears to allow the unfair treatment of blacks, the system has worked well in South Africa… Although white businessmen and developers are guilty of some unfair treatment of blacks, they turned South Africa into a modern industrialized nation, which the poor, uneducated blacks couldn’t have accomplished in several more decades. If more blacks were suddenly given control of the nation, its economy and business, as Mandela wished, they could have destroyed what they have waited and worked so hard for.

Cited in “A Mixed Message in Black Schools”

Here they are in Social Studies PACE 1086 (1990, p. 29), writing before the fall of apartheid, again implying that if blacks got control of the South African economy they would destroy it:

The government must be responsible to the taxpayers who provide the money that the government spends. Since that is true only taxpayers should be given the privilege of voting…

The apartheid policy of South Africa is a modern example of this principle. Under the apartheid system, the population of five million Whites controls most of the nation’s wealth. If apartheid were done away with, the twenty million Blacks, who are not taxpayers, would be given the privilege of voting. Within a short period of time they would control the government and the means of taxation. ‘The power to tax is the power to destroy.’ Heavy taxation could become a burden to the property owners who actually finance the government and provide jobs. Economics is the major reason that apartheid exists. Some people want to abolish apartheid immediately. That action would certainly alter the situation in South Africa, but would not improve it.

So racism can be justified on economic grounds. Incredibly, asked to respond to the first of these quotes, ACE’s Ronald Johnson said he did not consider the passage to be racist. Awesome.

Incidentally, I phoned ACE’s head office. Although the out-of-date quote was still in use last time I was in an ACE school (five years after Mandela’s election), they told me the PACE has now been updated. The very helpful operator told me the PACE had “likely only very small changes,” and if I still had the earlier version I should “go ahead and use it.” If anyone can tell me what the updated version says, I’d love to know (Update: Now we know).

Actually, we have some idea, because here is a quote from another PACE, on apartheid, written after it fell :

For many years, the four racial groups were separated politically and socially by law. This policy of racial separation is called ‘apartheid’. South Africa’s apartheid policy encouraged whites, Blacks, Coloureds, and Asians to develop their own independent ways of life. Separate living area and schools made it possible for each group to maintain and pass on their culture and heritage to their children.

For many years, Blacks were not allowed to vote in national elections and had no voice in the national government. Reporters and broadcasters from all parts of the world stirred up feelings against the white South African government. These factors contributed to unrest within South Africa. In addition, there are at least ten separate, distinct tribal groups in the nation. Because these tribes are not a cohesive group but are often in conflict with each other, much of the violence in South Africa has been between different groups of Blacks. In spite of apartheid and the unrest in recent years, South Africa is the most developed country in Africa, and Blacks in South Africa earn more money and have higher standards of living than Blacks in other African countries.

(Accelerated Christian Education, World Geography 1099, pp. 27-28. 1994, revised 1996)

So apartheid was beneficial after all. And that’s not all. Native Africans have no concept of wisdom, says ACE founder Donald Howard, because they do not know God. Here he is writing in the ACE supervisor [teacher] training PACE A Philosophy for Educational Reform Part 2 (1995, revised 1998, pg. 8)

It’s interesting that in the African primitive languages there is no word for wisdom. We in the West find that surprising, but you see, the idea of wisdom came through the Biblical channels of the Judaeo-Christian religion and filtered into all of western culture and society.

Let’s finish off with a spot of light-hearted Asian stereotyping:

In addition, the history, culture, religions, and appearance of the people all helped make Oriental people and the ‘Far East’ seem inscrutable to the rest of Earth’s inhabitants.

[Accelerated Christian Education World Geography 1106, 1994, p. 7]

I’m off to take a bath.

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