I had to recently attend the Wet’suwet’en Teach-In with Eve Saint at Ryerson University for one of my politics classes.
I disagree with the Wet’suwet’en protests because I believe that Coastal GasLink (CGL) needs to be built. Regardless, I went to the event open minded and told myself that I would listen to the speakers.
I was shocked at what was said at the Wet’suwet’en Teach-In. Saint, one of the panelists and a Wet’suwet’en protestor, said that Canada is an awful country. Saint said that “The RCMP is the KKK,” people from the small towns near the Wet’suwet’en First Nation are “racist, genocidal maniacs,” and the protests should make “Canada disgusted with themselves.”
I could not comprehend the comments Saint was making, because I love Canada. My nonno and nonna fled Italy to come to Canada and start new lives. Canada has been a beacon of hope for people around the world, so to hear her making these comments was despicable.
The Wet’suwet’en Teach-In was run by Kiké Roach, the Unifor National Chair in Social Justice and Democracy. The Unifor National Chair in Social Justice and Democracy is an equity, diversity, and inclusion office. The Unifor National Chair in Social Justice and Democracy plans social justice events at Ryerson.
Ryerson has the Office of the Vice President Equity and Community Inclusion. The Office of the Vice President Equity and Community Inclusion said that it “collaborates across campus to make Ryerson a truly inclusive place to learn and work.” The Sunshine List said that Denise Green, the vice president of equity and community inclusion, had a salary of $300,000 in 2018.
Ryerson is known for their commitment to social justice, but there are other universities with similar equity, diversity, and inclusion offices. For example, the University of British Columbia has the Equity & Inclusion Office. The Equity & Inclusion Office has more staff members than the President’s Office.
While these equity, diversity, and inclusion offices have names that appear harmless, this masquerades their intentions. Universities should not have equity, diversity, and inclusion offices because they go against what they should be about.
Equity, diversity, and inclusion offices promote radical ideas. The teach-in that I went to had Saint encourage people to participate in protests against CGL. Some of these protests have been peaceful, but others have been disruptive.
Consider the Go Transit blockade in Toronto last Tuesday. Thousands of people from in and around Toronto could not go home as soon as they wanted to because protestors were blocking train tracks.
The Unifor National Chair in Social Justice and Democracy organizes Social Justice Week, and some of the events held during it are crazy. The 2019 Social Justice Week had events that are filled with rampant political correctness and postmodernism.
These offices brainwash students. They make students think that there is one acceptable opinion on issues. They discourage students from formulating their own ideas.
At this teach-in that I went to, the majority of students stood up and applauded the speakers when it ended. I could see nervous looks on a few students’ faces when they stood up and applauded.
I remained seated and did not applaud, because Canada is the greatest country in the world. However, I feel other people stood up and applauded because these offices convince them that these opinions are acceptable to have. I think that these opinions are wrong, and I will never stand up and applaud anti-Canadianism.
Open inquiry is stifled because of these offices. The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms said that these offices commit unjust censorship of freedom of expression on university campuses.
These offices support open inquiry only when it is their version of it. They make free speech a contested ground, and it causes students to become intolerant to opposing opinions.
These offices are fine with having guest speakers with leftist opinions coming in. However, how come they are insistent on shutting down guest speakers such as University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson and The Post Millennial editor at large Andy Ngo? Would guest speakers such as “Rubin Report” host Dave Rubin and Blexit founder Candace Owens be welcomed by these offices?
The Canadian government promotes these offices through Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Institutional Capacity-Building Grants. It is time for the Canadian government to end these grants and instead direct money to universities valuing the most important type of diversity, diversity of thought.