Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Racist cyberattacks at U of T highlight barriers to addressing anti-Blackness

education fascism politics science technology

A series of racist cyberattacks — as evidenced by screen shots — on a Black first-year engineering student at the University of Toronto is throwing light on the continuing legacy of anti-Black racism on campus as well as institutional barriers to redress the issue.

Last week, the university’s Black Students’ Association held a town hall to highlight the latest incident as part of larger systemic structural anti-Blackness.

A senior U of T official acknowledged the existence of anti-Black racism on U of T campuses and that “there is more that we can do to address it.”

In June, an international student from an African nation preparing to come to U of T was invited to a WhatsApp group chat called Chestnut 2017, named after a U of T residence.

She had chosen Canada over the U.S. because after last year’s elections “it became very evident that the States wouldn’t be safe for a Black student.” U of T brochures depicting itself in glowing terms as a draw for international students also helped.

She was introducing herself on the chat, as were others, when a senior year frosh leader who organized and facilitated the chat said, “I’m a trap n-----” spelling out a diminutive form of the N-word. That is the term used for someone who hangs out in a trap, or areas where drugs are sold. The Star has reviewed screen shots of their conversations.

She was taken aback.  (more...)

This puts me in mind of my own experience at this same engineering school. During the Nixon era -- my time at university -- the school and its affiliated colleges were very masonic and very American. My own college don and many professors and students were American. And, thanks to the American president's labors as a Naval Intelligence officer, the campus was rife with the detritus of Operation Paperclip. Much to my puzzlement, I kept running up against closet Nazis. I was encouraged to get a vasectomy and move across campus to the Catholic college, St. Michael's. I couldn't afford the fees and had no financial supports, so I wound up in a crappy Low Anglican college that couldn't fill its rooms otherwise than by accepting refugee Catholics.

Meanwhile, unknown to me, the Catholic college I couldn't afford to attend was a hotbed of Nazi activity. None other than Canada's most infamous Nazi, as a student at St. Mike's, had founded a chapter of the John Birch Society and was hobnobbing with the likes of Ernst Zundel. You can get acquainted with him here:

So, you're not going to get away from American-style lynch mobs at the University of Toronto. You just have to hunker down with a few fellow undesirables like I did and try not to get noticed. And, if you're black, remember that they lynched Jews and Catholics, too. You might find a few understanding friends among the ones that are desperately trying to not look too Jewish or Catholic.

education fascism politics science technology
If only Canada had a wall
More cyberjoy from our southern neighbor:

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