Mandarin Chinese Helps African American Children Fight Terrorism
 Vigilance 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

Cliff McKenzie
   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 held.
        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 Public Schools

      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 education."

         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 goodness....

      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 children.
      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

          Here in 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. 



Nov 1--No Terror In Parents Of Vigilance Halloween Parade

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