Settlers, deputised: Dallas Jokic, ‘Cultivating the Soil of White Nationalism: Settler Violence and Whiteness as Territory’, Journal of Critical Race Enquiry, 7, 2, 2020, pp. 1-21


Abstract: This paper considers the emergence of white nationalist movements in Canada and their relationship to settler colonialism. How do ideas of Canada as a white nation, and fear mongering about white Canadians being “replaced” come to be so effective in a context in which white people have typically been the replacers themselves? While the Canadian state frames itself as multicultural, many of its laws and practices cultivate white nationalist beliefs, affects, and feelings. The state informally deputizes white settlers as owners and protectors of private property and uses them to dispossess Indigenous peoples from their land in order to appropriate it. This deputization protects both the material territory of the state and the affective and ideological justification for the continuation of settler colonialism. Private ownership of land cannot be understood merely as a legal capitalist relation, but is felt by many settlers as a deep, primordial connection to the land. Acts of settler violence both express and shape the racialized core of Canada. I propose thinking about settler private
property as what I call “settler whitespace,” which is not only protective and expansive, but also involves the fabrication of an idea of white nativity to Canadian territory. This racialization of space serves to naturalize racist violence, cultivate hypermasculine expressions of whiteness, and ground white claims of exclusive belonging to Canada, all characteristic of the resurgent far-right. The property regime of Canada is not just part of its territorializing project; it lays the groundwork for white nationalist movements.

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