University of British Columbia faculty email signaturesnow include verbiage acknowledging that the University sits on “unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan Peoples,” and shamelessly pandering to Black people.
The treacle touting Black folks reads: “To Our Black students, Staff, and Faculty: You are seen, you belong, you are beautiful, you are building a legacy, your history matters, be unapologetically Black, your existence matters, you are resilient, you are valued, your presence on campus matters, you are creative, you are innovative, you are brilliant, you matter.”
Any self-respecting person of color would cringe at those words and throw up just a little in his or her mouth. Not every Black person is “beautiful” and/or “brilliant,” just as not every white person is. Furthermore, “your existence matters” and “you matter” are redundant.
Imagine if a university’s email signature contained an ode to white people reading: “You are seen, you belong, you are beautiful, you are building a legacy, your history matters, be unapologetically White, your existence matters, you are resilient, you are valued, your presence on campus matters, you are creative, you are innovative, you are brilliant, you matter.” Would everyone be cool with that?
It would be far more likely that a college’s email signature would state: “To our white students, staff, and faculty: You are racists, and bigots, you are scum, you have despoiled history, you are unapologetically white supremacists and non-viable tissue masses, you are scions of the patriarchy, you are all misogynistic, transphobic, racist reactionaries who chased the beatific indigenous people’s off their lands, you are vile capitalist oppressors whose lives don’t matter to this university.”
UBC’s email Ode to Blackness is particularly odd given the fact that only about 1% of British Columbia’s population is of African origin. Moreover, Blacks as a group were never oppressed in the province.
But, what the hell, a little proactive, shameless virtue signaling never hurt anyone, right?