vs. Terrorism Synopsis: Fighting Terrorism begins
with fighting Ignorance. The VigilanceVoice
examines why black parents are sending their children to
Mandarin Chinese schools to learn to speak and write the
world's most difficult language. We find it's
all about fighting Ignorance, the fuel of Terrorism.
Children learn Courage, Conviction and Right Action, and
how to examine the world at large with great vision.
Parents of Vigilance take them to the school.
And learn they can get a Pledge of Vigilance for free.
Saturday--November 2, 2002—Ground
Zero Plus 416
Mandarin Chinese Helps
African Americans Fight Terrorism
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York
City, Nov. 2 --Fighting Terrorism is a battle with ignorance.
In New York City, Parents of Vigilance are
going the "extra mile" to insure ignorance won't be a stumbling block to
their children's ability to look the Beast of Terror in the face with
Courage, Conviction and the ability to take the Right Action.
That's why they are sending their children
to a Mandarin Chinese school in the Lower East Side, a predominately
Chinese section of the city.
Attentive class at
Shuang Wen Academy
The majority of non-Asian children at the
school are black. Their parents travel up to an hour each way to
deliver and pick up their children who attend Shuang Wen Academy, a public
alternative school established four years ago to "personalize" the
"impersonal" nature of public schools.
Among the 245 students attending Shuang
Wen Academy, housed in Public School 134 at East Broadway and Grand
Street, 23 are black, 11 white and 8 Hispanic.
The school day starts at 8 a.m. and
ends at 5:30 p.m. All classes are taught both in English and
Mandarin. From 3 to 5:30 p.m. Chinese language instruction is
The lure to the black population,
according to an article in the New York Times by Yilu Zhao today,
is the school's discipline and academic excellence. Out of 1,000 elementary
schools in the New York City five boroughs, Shuang Wen achieved third
ranking in math and 23rd in English.
For parents living outside the area,
there are no school buses. Denise Gamble from Cambria Heights,
Queens, starts out at 6:45 a.m. to deliver her child to the school, noted
for its nurturing and rigorous principles of education. Ms. Gamble,
a supervisor for the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, lauds
the school's structure. "The long hours and challenging curriculum
are good preparation for the future when our students go to college, when they go
to graduate school," the Times reported her saying. She
said her children even ask to go to school on days when they are sick.
New Visions for
Community advocates and
educators launched the school by submitting a successful proposal in July
1995 to the Fund for NYC Public Education now known as New Visions for
Public Schools. The Academy was established in September 1998.
Shuang Wen means dual language.
Many black friends and relatives were
shocked to hear Ms. Gamble enrolled her children in a Chinese bilingual
school, reporter Zhao recorded. They even accused her of betraying
her black heritage. Her response: "Call me a snob. Call me
what you want. I just want my children to have a good, solid
Mandarin is considered one of the
most difficult languages in the world to master. There are four
tones of Mandarin, and the same syllable can be pronounced in four
different manners--rising, flat, etc.--with four different corresponding
meanings. Plus, there is no relationship between what you hear and
what you write.
Many scholars believe that mastering
Chinese forces the mind to tax its potential, and opens the mind to seeing
the world in a much broader spectrum. Chinese writing is
pictographic, symbols that have meaning, requiring one's imagination to be
pushed to see "within," or, to "think."
Every child born, has innate
Opening a child's mind to
limitless capacity to use mental tools is an act of Vigilance.
It teaches a child to have Courage to explore his or her own thoughts, and
to not be Intimidated by feelings he or she "isn't smart enough," or
"worthy enough." Achieving the capacity to speak and read the
world's most difficult language is, indeed, a massive accomplishment in
its own right.
Terrorism feeds on Ignorance.
It's primary goal is to drive its victims into states of Fear,
Intimidation and Complacency--all mental states. The more
closed one's mind is to power of one's potential to think, the more
vulnerable one is to Terrorism's madness. And that madness, of
course, is to think one is powerless to fight back.
In contrast to Fear, Intimidation and
Complacency are the elements of Vigilance--Courage, Conviction and Right
Action. By training the mind to "think," one has a better chance at
turning Fear into Courage, overcoming Intimidation by mustering
Conviction, and dispelling Complacency with the muscles of Right Action.
I view the decision to send non-Asian
children to Shuang Wen Academy an Act of Vigilance by their parents.
It seems clear that a Parent of Vigilance would want his or her child to
"learn to think" to the maximum capacity possible, and nothing creates
that challenge more than language training.
"True knowledge is when one knows
the limitations of one's knowledge" Confucious
Few can deny the power of Asian education
discipline. One only has to look at the top students of major
universities to see how the rigors of educational discipline motivates a
child's thirst for achievement.
Race, color or creed is not a handicap to
learning how to use the mind's potential. Black, Hispanic and
white children mix with the Chinese at Shuang Wen Academy, sharing in a
journey to excellence.
I thought about parents choosing to enroll their
children in a school which taught them a different language, a different
culture. I thought about the need for all children to become
one, thinking in terms of their future, and the future of all other
That challenge certainly requires Vigilance.
It demands a parent think first about his or her children, and secondly
about their race, ethnicity, or culture. While one's heritage
and culture are important, they are also stamped into one's genes.
One cannot escape who one is upon birth, and living solely within that
culture denies access to what the world truly is--a multicultural
cornucopia of wisdoms, experiences and opportunities.
"Life is finite, while knowledge
is infinite".... Zhuang Zi
In Iraq and other nations where
citizens are fed one point of view, their ability for Vigilance is limited
by myopic vision. They can only see what they are told to
see, taught to see. Children raised in such systems are
trained to walk a mental tightrope of "I'm right and your wrong" tensions,
fed to them by a culture that wishes to restrain free thinking and human
evolution into a global world of choice.
"With strength to lift mountains
and spirit to take on the world" ... Xiang Yu
America, or in any "developed" nation, a parent who feeds a child his or
her prejudice, bigotry, or single-minded heritage, virtually Terrorizes
the child into thinking that to be accepted, he or she must reflect the
view of the parents, grandparents, culture. To move
outside that "wall of acceptance" is to be cast out of the inner circle.
Thus, Ignorance prevails, and with it, the Beast of Terror grows, feeding
on the limitations of the child's mind.
"The Rise and fall of a nation
rests with every one of its citizens"...
Knowledge is power. It is used
to drive away the primal thirsts of human Ignorance. It
broadens one's ability to see the world in balance rather than on tipped
scales where "righteousness and indignation" rule.
Socrates once said: "The unexamined
life is not worth living."
For the children at Shuang Wen Academy,
the blacks, whites, Hispanics and Asians, they are indeed examining
life--together, as Children of Vigilance, monitored by Parents
of Vigilance. One day when they meet the Beast of
Terror, they will know how to banish him, not only in English,
but in Mandarin Chinese.
That ought to send him
on his way.
1--No Terror In Parents Of Vigilance Halloween Parade
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