Letter to the editor: Race, faith and social media in an era of wokeness

(Caitlin Dutt/AQ)

Content warning: This letter to the editor contains racial slurs. The opinions expressed in this letter are the writer’s and do not reflect those of The Aquinian, its editorial board or its board of directors. The Aquinian doesn’t allow hate speech. The Aquinian reserves its right to publish letters to the editor and does so on the basis of whether they will foster a critical conversation amongst the campus community of the subject at hand.

The year 2020 for most was a year of many possibilities and I can’t forget the quirky social media captions like “Happy New Year, seeing hindsight 2020.” By March we would realize that the year was shaping up to be filled with surprises including the outbreak of COVID-19, followed by the death of George Floyd which sparked massive outcries and condemnation for perceived systemic racism.

The year also saw the rise of Critical Race Theory which was developed out of the Frankfurt school. Cloaked in the veil of progressivism, CRT teaches that race is a person’s most important characteristic and many predominantly “white societies are inherently racist and oppressive.” To overthrow the “oppressive” reigns of what has come to be described as “institutional racism,”  authors like Robin DiAngelo and Ibram Kendi have risen to the forefront pushing ideologies that Caucasians are born racist and to free themselves they must themselves become “anti-racist.” 

I oppose CRT because of its moral failings and dangerous rhetoric. In doing so I haven’t been spared from the wrath of those who consider themselves as fighting for racial equality. In the summer of 2020 when I called out the danger of CRT and affirmative action programs (such as having certain admission spaces in university reserved for certain racism; not on merit but on immutable attributes) on social media.

There’s a larger issue within the Black community especially against those who don’t follow a false narrative. People of colour who speak out against affirmative actions or programs detrimental to the Black community are called “coons” or “sell-outs.” We see this repeatedly done to many Black individuals who go against the prevailing cultural orthodoxy including Justice Clarence Thomas, Dr. Ben Carson, Condoleezza Rice and Candace Owens.

Many people on social media used their feed to protest brutality by posting a black square with “blackout Tuesday” on June 2, 2020. But for many, this was a meaningless gesture just to seem “cool.” It was a symbolic painting of the blood over their doors like in the days of Moses so the angel of death or in this case “angel of cancel culture” would spare them. I declined to post one at the time because I thought it was a vain exercise to virtue signal. In later months one person reached out and said, “I don’t necessarily agree with the riots or the BLM organization, but I had to post the black square on my feed, or my friends would think I’m a racist” and that for me was a watershed comment.

Living in the era of wokeness feels like living in 1933 with the Gestapo force activity trying to de-platform those who go against the prevailing political climate in terms of censorship.

In closing here are my final remarks; yes slavery was a grotesque shameful practice. Yes, segregation was evil and yes racism still exists. But calling everything you disagree with racist is damaging our society. 

In a world that is becoming polarized among racial lines, the demonizing of white people and having them being told having an immutable character makes them “the greatest threat to the world” let me say this, it’s OK to be white. Regardless of your skin colour you are fearfully and wonderfully created. One of our greatest missions on this earth is to “love thy neighbour as thyself” regardless of their skin colour, creed, religious belief, sexual orientation and or political affiliations.

Tyrique Hamil is a fourth-year student from Jamaica studying Economics.