Report: College Strong-Arms Students Into 'Agreeing' They're Culpable Colonizers

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

What would you do if your school made you confess to a crime?

To participate in a recent Zoom call, students at Toronto’s George Brown College were reportedly given a choice: Sign an admission of white-privilege land theft, or lose the opportunity to take part.

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It seems an odd administrative string, since attendees had paid access-enabling tuition.

Quillette Senior Editor Jonathan Kay tweeted an image of the pre-call IT requirement. Above a clickable “I Agree,” students and faculty were saddled with this:

It has been the site of human activity since time immemorial. This land is the territory of the Huron-Wendat, Mississaugas, Anishinaabe and the Haudenosaunee.

The territory is the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the Confederacy of the Anishinabek and Allied Nations to peaceably care for and share the resources around the Great Lakes.

Sound okay? We haven’t yet detailed your diabolism:

We also acknowledge all Treaty peoples — including those who came here as settlers — as migrants either in this generation or in generations past — and those of us who came here involuntarily, particularly forcibly displanted Africans, brought here as a result of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and Slavery.

Next stop: Murderville…

As settlers or the displanted, we benefit from the colonization and genocide of the Indigenous peoples of this land. In order to engage in resistance and solidarity against the past and present injustices inflicted on the Indigenous peoples of this land, it is imperative we constantly engage in acts of awareness and decolonization.

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The call’s ready when you are:

**By selecting “I agree,” you are indicating your acknowledgment of this statement.

Not to worry — according to a disclaimer, you’re agreement is not at all agreeance:

Our intent is not to impose agreeance, but to inform through acknowledgment. This acknowledgment is to generate awareness and offer opportunities for personal reflection.**

Some might say a few points cry out:

  • The school lists multiple tribes which presumably serially occupied the land; yet, only the Caucasian “colonialists” must admit to dwelling upon it undeservedly.
  • The school owns the land, not the faculty or students.
  • George Brown appears to be assigning responsibility for a crime that was committed before the accusers’ birth.
  • The saying “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still” surely applies.
  • The school is forcing students to admit they’ve stolen property, by employing as leverage the threat of denying their use of it. If the land agreement is correct, then everyone’s participation in the call is the effective endorsement of the sin they’re simultaneously denouncing. Evidently, the college is attempting to illustrate its morality by admitting to unspeakable acts; concurrently, it’s proving its immorality by further indulging in those devilish deeds. And it’s requiring that all involved be similarly sociopathic.
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Concerning stupefying signals of virtue, George Brown’s not nearly alone:

College Professor on Stolen Land Accuses Columbus of Symbolizing ‘White America’

Minnesota Proposes New Social Studies Standards That Call out ‘Whiteness, Christianity, and Capitalism’

‘You Are Racist’: Images Pop Up Online Revealing San Diego’s White Privilege Wringing of Teachers

Seattle Tells Its White Teachers to ‘Bankrupt’ Their Privilege and Acknowledge Their ‘Thieved Inheritance’

Cornell University Announces It’s on Stolen Land During Commencement, Doesn’t Commence to Giving It Back

It seems to me that no apology can be taken seriously if the issuer isn’t willing to make amends. So long as it’s open, many will likely count George Brown College among those whose sorries are…sorry.

 

-ALEX

 

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