Notes on “the counter narrative” and “decolonising education”

In the RobCast Episode 141 “The Thing in the Air – Part 3 The Counter Narrative“, Rob Bell shares with us about the importance of the counter narrative that challenges the dominant story used by the empire to oppress and conquer others through military violence.

It is a counter narrative that is coherent and subversive and compelling such that it wins over many people and pushes out the oppressive narrative.

It is about sacrificial love that brings real change.

He said that when we read news, we can ask ourselves “what’s the story?”

While protests and other forms of activism have their place, we can move through our anger and frustration and hold on to the counter narrative that is compellingly subversive and transformational.

E.g. MLK’s counter narrative “I have a dream”

The narrative of “I have a dream” not only denounces segregation but also envisions a new kind of society where kids of every colour go to school.

It moves beyond naming the problems that we are against by articulating how we can build a better future.

To evaluate a unifying narrative, we can check whether it has the capacity for self critiques and receptivity to others’ feedback in order to improve upon it.

The narrative of a cult or empire tends to highlight only the accomplishments and conquests through military violence etc but deliberately omit details of their failures or shortcomings.

The gospel of Jesus in the scriptures includes self-critiques, as the writers included details about the flaws of Moses, David, Jesus’ disciples, etc.

Systems are only as healthy as their capacity for self-critiques.

Incidentally, in this Guardian Australia video, Professor Kehinde Andrews makes a compelling case of decolonising education in order to create a new world of justice and equality.

It reminds me of Rob Bell’s above-mentioned podcast about articulating a counter narrative that challenges the dominant story used by the empire to oppress and conquer others through military violence. Indeed, we are now in the process of decolonising education by challenging the Eurocentric narrative and reclaiming our own unifying counter narrative that is based on love, peace, sisterhood and brotherhood, and egalitarianism; that is subversive and transformational.

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