One of the main things that have kept black people at the bottom of most measures of human development is the feeling of shame they have at copying the cultures of other people. In many black American communities, for example, a person who works very hard and reads a lot is stigmatized for “acting white.” They want to preserve “black pride” at any cost.


This particular problem with school can not be found virtually  anywhere in Africa itself, the “motherland” of African Americans. The culture of Africa in that area comes from the influence of Christian missionaries who brought and emphasized education to Africans very long ago. Some African Americans might argue that this shows that such formal education is not really part of African culture since it was just brought by whites. But the same blacks shamelessly proclaim their faith in Jesus Christ and see no irony in that!


In Africa, black kids can walk many miles just to get to a school, and in some of these schools the kids sit on bricks instead of desks due to poverty, and yet some of them endure – at least until their parents can no longer afford to let them go. I know at least one Chemistry professor who went to such a primary school and he had to walk a very long distance every single day (he taught me at university). In Africa, a good education is very highly valued but very difficult to achieve beyond the many obstacles. Most of these kids would give anything to get the quality of education that is offered to inner city black American kids!


And yet even Africans, especially when they do get very educated, start talking about “preserving our own culture” and avoiding copying Western culture, which is also a common view among the middle-class black Americans who do like education. Ironically, they learn this nonsense from Western universities or textbooks. That’s where they hear about the supposed importance of maintaining “diversity” in world cultures, and the ridiculous idea that all cultures are equal and valuable. They too embrace the attitude of black pride at this higher level and begin to claim that our culture is great but our problems are actually caused by “greedy white capitalist” countries (or just greedy white capitalists, in the case of black Americans).


If your culture does not produce prosperity, does not produce technological developments, does not cure diseases, and so on, it must be changed. It is certainly not valuable. There’s no rational reason for preserving something just because you’ve done it for a long time. For example, in many African villages, instead of hospitals, they have witch doctors. Should they reject the building of modern hospitals because these are “western” or “foreign” things?


Fortunately for Africa, the people in these poor villages have not had the privilege of going to university to learn about preserving their own culture. When a hospital is built among them they quickly recognize it as superior to their witch doctor and they take their children there because they can empirically see that it has a much higher success rate compared to the ramblings of their witch doctor.


The only hope for blacks all over the world is to humble themselves at every level and start copying the general lifestyle, manners and work habits of other people who have been more successful. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, because that’s how everyone else develops. No group started out developed. They all copied from other people and sometimes even improved on what they copied so that the copied group eventually started copying from the copiers.


Thus when the Japanese officially decided to copy American culture and business approach after the second world war, they did so well that Americans started sending people to Japan to study their management techniques. But I am quite sure it is not the “black” ghetto culture that the Japanese copied. It is the mainstream American culture, perhaps mostly practiced by people of European descent, that they copy. It is a disservice to black Americans to tell them that this culture does not belong to them, but belongs only to white people; they could have gained the benefits of such a culture even more than the Japanese and other people who were learning it from afar.




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