settler state

btw, super interested in how Morton County Sherriff’s Department is spinning this narrative in their favor. Said yesterday they would be moving back on Backwater Bridge to “de-escalate.” Protectors, of course, placed at blame coz when you’re in deep what the hell, gotta keep up with it. Not sure if they actually have moved back but it’s  interesting this comes out hours before USACE announces denial of easement. Know your enemies. Don’t trust the settler state.

canada does have a nationalist identity actually, several of them (nationalism in quebec looks very different from nationalism in ontario).

its a settler colonial state in the same way that the usa is, it perpetuates the same oppression on the first nations, it has policed borders and regulated immigration (even if it is a bit more open than the usa)

moveover, canada also has a profound national anxiety: that they will be culturally consumed by the much more populous usa. this is why there is actual legislation mandating that media air a certain percentage of content produced in canada (to prevent the airwaves from being dominated by us-produced content)

pretty much all that that article is doing is participating in the same centralization (and consequent normalization) of a particular white middle-canadian perspective/identity to the point where it ceases to be marked as ‘identity’ at all (this is the same process by which white heteronormative bourgeois perspectives are painted as ‘objective’ whereas everyone else has a particular situated (and hence non-objective) way of looking at things)

Dear whitesplainers and others who feel compelled to caution NDN’s in this moment that the struggle isn’t over. First of all, REALLY?! Second of all, choosing this moment to lead with such comments is an affront to everyone who fought long and hard for this victory, who have put their lives on the line for the recognition of NDN sovereignty, to protect water, and for all things living. Third, it denies the intelligence and agency of NDNs. We don’t need you to tell us that the “war isn’t over.” We get it. Chairman Archambault is an informed, steadfast, and fearless leader. NDNs everywhere understand that the federal government can’t be trusted. NO ONE has said they are leaving the camps. So take this moment to stand down. #NoDAPL #Ready2Unfriend #WhosNext? #ThisRedGirlisOnFire

Sandy Grande (via FB)

This is incredibly important right now. Don’t condescend to inform indigenous peoples of their battles. We are well aware of how settler colonial nation-states work. In the words of my friend and tremendous ogichidaakwe: the black snake is injured but it is not dead. #noDAPL

The state can’t live with us and it can’t live without us. Its violence is a reaction to that condition. The state is nothing other than a war against its own condition. The state is at war against its own (re)sources, in violent reaction to its own condition of im/possibility, which is life itself, which is the earth itself, which blackness doesn’t so much stand in for as name, as a name among others that is not just another name among others.

That we survive is beauty and testament; it is neither to be dismissed nor overlooked nor devalued by or within whatever ascription of value; that we survive is invaluable. It is, at the same time, insufficient. We have to recognize that a state—the racial capitalist/settler colonial state—of war has long existed. Its brutalities and militarizations, its regulative mundanities, are continually updated and revised, but they are not new. If anything, we need to think more strategically about our own innovations, recognizing that the state of war is a reactive state, a machine for regulating and capitalizing upon our innovations in/for survival.

i have some quotes from the jewish state by herzl queued up and it’s so funny how zionists can deny that israel is a settler colonial state when:

a. zionism emerged around the time european colonial expansion was considered acceptable

b. theodor herzl literally calls palestinians barbaric and expresses the same sentiment towards them as other european colonialists expressed towards their subjects

c. herzl explicitly uses the words “occupation” and “occupying land” when describing the jewish takeover of palestine and proceeds to explain how exactly jews will take control of the land

obviously zionists have not read the work of their beloved father of zionism because if they had, they would be swallowing their own words.

You cannot dismiss history from reality. The truth is, and I’m sorry but the truth does hurt, that Turkey is a settler-colonial occupying genocidal state too. If you look at its formation, it rose up out of an imperial empire. If you look at modern Turkey, you’ll see that there was a lot of forced assimilation, and even today there’s a lot of discrimination etc. “Eastern Turkey” occupies Western Armenia, and Turkey occupies parts of Kurdistan, and North Cyprus. Turkey as a nation has denied several other nations their self-determination. Not to mention, the genocides it has committed against the Armenians, Assyrians and Pontic Greeks which to this day it continues to DENY (despite this year being the centennial anniversary). Also not dismissing the fact that Turkey is a NATO ally which is responsible for the destruction of other Middle Eastern countries. You can’t fit Turkey into a box of “Good Muslim state” versus Israel “Bad Jewish state”. You can’t say Israel is a settler-colonial occupying genocidal state while Turkey isn’t just because it fits your certain anti-Israel narrative.

My favourite thing about Zionists making the argument that there was no Palestine because it was never a proper nation-state with borders is that they also imply that countries under empirical rule also didn’t exist because they weren’t nation state and didn’t have borders, and this can also be extended to modern-day settler colonial states that weren’t essentially “countries” because they didn’t exist in the form of a modern nation-state. 

Then that brings me to their next argument that “Palestinians don’t exist.” Neither did Israelis before 1948. But here’s the thing. People all over the world embraced an ethnic/religious identity primarily before the emergence of a modern nation-state and national identity. In fact, the concept of national identity came along with colonies seeking independence under colonial rule in the 1500/1600s.

But even if Palestinians have always identified as Arabs or as whatever ethnicity they are, that doesn’t change the fact that Palestinian culture is deeply rooted in Palestine. It may be labelled as ‘Arab/Levantine culture’ because it shares similarities with Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria but it takes root in Palestine and is even dervied from the cultures of previous groups of people who lived on the land before the Arab conquest. for example, dabke apparently is said to be of Phoenician or Canaanite origin. The Palestinian dialect of Arabic shares similar vocabulary and linguistic elements with modern Hebrew because theyre both highly influenced by Aramaic. This isn’t even to mention the DNA that many Palestinians and Jews share. Just like Jewishness developed in diaspora but has its roots in Palestine, Palestinian culture, history, and existence also has its roots in Palestine. The only difference is it has an Arab label on it, but it was never imported.

Others have raised serious concerns about Canada’s ability to deliver justice to indigenous communities at all… 

[…] The socio-political realities that make it possible for indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people (who are almost always left out of reports), to be murdered and disappeared in Canada originates in the colonial violence that enabled the creation of the settler state and the expansion of capitalism. Canada could not have been built without it. Colonial acquisition of lands was enacted through targeted gender violence to destroy indigenous peoples’ connection to their territory by attacking those at the heart of that connection: indigenous women. It also served to debase their power and autonomy, fragment societies and curtail indigenous nations’ ability to create life.

[…] So how can the Canadian state be held accountable for its complicity in colonial gender violence – both past and present – when it is the driving force behind this inquiry? It is crucial that we demand an answer to this question. The indigenous affairs minister, Carolyn Bennett, has said: “The end goal of the inquiry is to find concrete action that will be able to stop this national tragedy.” If there is to be any hope of this goal being met, the inquiry must be held to account and made to confront the deepest root causes of the crisis. Anything short of this is an affront, will add further injury to indigenous peoples, and is a denial of state culpability.


MIXD zine is a text & art-based space by & for mixed-race people of colour - born out of convos & dialogues surrounding questions / understandings of mixed-race experience(s), embodiment(s), histories & resistance.

“Healing” is the theme of issue #2!

[ some prompts / ideas:]

- what has / could healing & care look like on an (inter)personal, intergenerational, and ‘community’ basis?
- challenging the notion of healing as possible, as mandatory, as having a time limit, as equating to ‘forgive & forget (violence)’.
- exploring & grounding struggle / resistance as (inherent to) collective healing processes - within contexts of white supremacy & colonialism, & against systems / institutions of domination: e.g. prisons, the police, the anti-immigration system & the settler colonial state.

stumped? need more prompts / ideas for submissions? here’s a full brainstorm list from our initial visioning meeting for MIXD #2!

email submissions to !

I can’t speak for everybody commenting on the events in Oregon, but when I have posted about the state’s selective use of violence between white people and people of color I am not pointing out a “double-standard” of a white supremacist government – I am pointing out its consistency. The double standard reasoning asks for the same state repression visited upon people of color (think COINTELPRO) to be visited upon white reactionary movements too. This makes little sense because it does nothing to remove state or white supremacist violence. If anything, it further legitimizes it. 

The flaw in reasoning here is a failure to understand that what appears to be a “double-standard,” or the selective deployment of state violence, in reality is the consistent maintenance of white supremacy. Not enacting state violence against white reactionaries is perfectly consistent with its historical inverse, enacting state violence against people of color. This is, in part, because state violence in the West has always been predicated on the oppression of PoC. In other words, the State as we know it today could not exist without white supremacy. 

So when white reactionaries like those in Oregon seek to practice enclosure, the process of claiming a number of small landholdings to create one larger, which ceases to be common land for communal use, but rather restricted to one owner for privatization and capital accumulation, it is not distinct from Western settler colonialism, it is a mechanism of it. The sort of ideology behind their actions is consistent with state power. They merely want to be their own sovereign state, however small.

Where are the public acts of mourning by white trans women for the deaths of trans women of color?

I’m writing this post in response to the last post I reblogged on this very subject. While I want to be up front about the fact that it was that post and that work which occasioned me to write this, I did not want to take up space on that post as a white person. 

This has been on my mind constantly since the 29th. I was searching for the words amid pain and grief and couldn’t find them, but there’s no excuse. I should have said it sooner.

The acts of public grieving that have been going on since Leelah’s death (which was a murder, let’s remember), including my own, have been profoundly racially coded. Despite the importance of mourning the loss of one of our sisters, we have all of us, white trans women, participated in the reification of the status of black and brown trans women as an unmournable population, not worthy of the profound outpouring of grief and outrage we saw for leelah, nor inciting us to such action and activism.

White trans women: our inability to see the deaths of our black and brown sisters as a tragedy in the same way as we saw Leelah’s is a part of what is killing them. The misreporting we saw on the death of leelah alcorn we can expect tenfold for the murder of trans women of color—they will rarely even be seen as human, let alone gendered properly. This if they are reported on at all.

We can and need to do this work even in the face of Leelah’s tragedy. The death’s of trans women of color are not secondary to, or a departure from a conversation about her murder. This is not a derail; it is a call to acknowledge the silences that our grief over Leelah cover over, whether we mean them too or not. This is a call to acknowledge the silence of white trans women on the murders of trans women of color.

We need to use our greater access to media visibility to create our own networks of dissemination about the tragedies faced by trans women of color communities every day. We need to help get their stories out. We owe them so much more than this. And we need to keep the recognition in sight that this is never enough, the deaths are too high and we have done too little—against white supremacy, against the economic exploitation of people of color, against the police and prison state—to call ourselves allies. As we fight for legislation such as the banning of conversion therapy, let us keep in mind the populations and individuals such struggle will never benefit. The expansion of liberal reforms for the benefit of white trans women only solidifies the marginalization of trans women of color and people of color more generally. And I want to say specifically that we have failed the black trans women and indigenous non-cis folks (who may or may not choose to identify with the struggle against western cis patriarchy in the terms I’m using) who are as a class exploited and degraded by an incarceral and settler colonial state. Expanding the power of the state to condemn and punish, and expansion of the institutions which do so consolidates their hold and their appearance of legitimacy.

We need to rigorously interrogate how we react to these kinds of tragedies. Not only in terms of our political goals, but down to the very ways in which we experience grief, loss, and mourning, and which bodies are able to generate such feelings in us, and which we are not able to even see. Even in the absence of discussion in white-controlled spaces, we need to actively seek out the voices of trans women of color and indigenous non-cis folks. We have not been hearing them. I resolve to do better.


“[The] key problem with the politics of recognition when applied to the colonial context… [is that it] rests on the problematic assumption that the flourishing of Indigenous peoples as distinct and self-determining agents is somehow dependent on their being granted recognition and institutional accommodation from the surrounding settler-state and society… [Within in this scheme,] not only will the terms of recognition tend to remain the property of those in power to grant to their inferiors in ways that they deem appropriate, but also under these conditions, the Indigenous population will often come to see the limited and structurally constrained terms of recognition granted to them as their own. In effect, the colonized come to identify with “white liberty and white justice.”
—  Glen Coulthard cited in Andrea Smith Queer Theory and Native Studies: The Heteronormativity of Settler Colonialism GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies - Volume 16, Number 1-2, 2010, pp. 42-68