Patrick Wolfe’s “Settler Colonialism and the Elimination of the Native”

NYU Food, Land and Power

Patrick Wolfe, in “Settler colonialism and the elimination of the Native,” lays out a detailed argument in which he seeks to distinguish between genocide and settler colonialism while also illuminating the complexity of their relationship, and in so doing, lays the foundation for the concept “structural genocide” by drawing upon multiple histories, including Australia, North America, Palestine/Israel, and Rwanda.

There were several ideas Wolfe proposed that felt especially significant/resonant:

  • Race is made in the targeting of people, it cannot be taken as a given or merely a social construct without historical purpose & context. “Black people were racialized as slaves, slavery constituted their Blackness. Correspondingly, Indigenous North Americans were not killed, driven away, romanticized, assimilated, fenced in, bred white, and otherwise eliminated as original owners of the land but as Indians.”
  • For Indigenous people, their targeted identity was constructed form where they are & were – they became target simply…

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