Many black schoolboys in Britain are performing poorly academically because they associate excelling in school with homosexuality, thereby worrying it could undermine their masculinity, according to a teaching official.
Adolph Cameron, head of the Jamaican Teachers' Association, told UK media that black male youth are attracted to the “hustle culture” to earn a living in preference of achieving a career based on academic achievement.
Cameron told the BBC: That notion of masculinity says that if as a male you aspire to perform highly it means you are feminine, even to the extent of saying you are gay. But in the context of Jamaica, which is so homophobic, male students don't want to be categorized in that way so that they would deliberately underperform in order that they are not.
He warned that this self-defeating attitude will ruin the futures of thousands of Afro-Caribbean boys both in Jamaica and in Britain.
Indeed, according to government statistics, black boys are among the worst-performing ethnic groups in the UK with respect to scholastics.
In 2010, only 40 percent of Afro-Caribbean boys completed five good GCSEs including English and math, versus a national average of 58.5 percent.
Cameron said at a lecture in Bristol that in Jamaica, boys score at least 10 percentage points behind girls in national testing.
Education ... takes second place to notions of entrepreneurship as, predominantly our young men, get involved in the informality of what University of the West Indies academics have called a 'hustle culture',” Cameron added.
I would not be surprised if here in England the same or similar things occur in terms of how they feel about themselves and how the respond to and with respect to the society around them. Boys are more interested in hustling, which is a quick way of making a living, rather than making the commitment to study. This is a supposed to be a street thing which is a male thing. The influence of this attitude towards masculinity seems to be having a tremendous impact on how well African-Caribbean and Jamaican males do.
Cameron further stated: There's a fear of being categorized as gay in a society where homophobia is so strong.
In response, Christine Blower, general secretary of Britain’s National Union of Teachers (NUT), said: There are obviously issues for black boys both in Jamaica and the UK. We need system-wide reform to ensure that the system does not disadvantage black boys. Experience tells us that some black boys do achieve, and what we have to do is replicate those systems which enabled them to achieve success.
Cameron’s controversial statements somewhat echo the remarks made by the white historian David Starkey in the wake of the summer riots that roiled through much of England.
At the time, Starkey said: The problem is that the whites have become black -- a particular sort of violent, destructive, nihilistic gangster culture has become the fashion -- and black and white, boy and girl, operate in this language together; this language, which is wholly false, which is a Jamaican patois, that’s been intruded in England, and this is why so many of us have this sense of literally [being in] a foreign country.”
Starkey was widely assailed for his remarks.