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Jamil Jivani: Blacks as “Woke” Tokens

In the first of a five-part series “Even black men can be fired for not being ‘woke’ enough“, a radio talk show canceled by Canada’s Bell Media and iHeartRadio demonstrates how individuals who are black are only useful to “liberals” when they repeat the slogans of their white intellectual masters. Those who do not conform to the “progressive” stereotype are kicked off the plantation.

Writes Jamil Jivani:

Wokeness—a political agenda with a superficial commitment to diversity and inclusion—has become a global ideological movement. And, more than government policy, it’s big corporations pushing this agenda and punishing those who refuse to comply.

Weeks after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis in 2020, Bell Media hired me to be part of the iHeartRadio talk network as a radio host. From my perspective, Bell Media/iHeartRadio recognized that despite its publicized commitment to valuing people from different backgrounds, they had yet to ever hire a fulltime black talk radio host in their Canadian market. What my experience made clear is that the company failed to consider what it would mean to sincerely engage someone from a black community, without expectations that we conform to the pressures of tokenism.

Elite institutions often make assumptions about a person’s political views based on what he looks like or where his parents are from. Soon after being hired, I could see that Bell Media/iHeartRadio erred in making the same assumptions. I felt that they were hoping to have hired a liberal stereotype of a black man who espouses their expected political talking points. Bell Media/iHeartRadio was not prepared for a black man who loves his country, rejects victimhood politics, maintains strong ties to his faith community, and shares heterodox views on a wide range of issues.

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